"Remain, as I do, incomprehensible: to be great is to be misunderstood"- Oscar Wilde.

"You knew what my Art was to me, the great primal note by which I had revealed, first myself to myself, and then myself to the world"- Oscar Wilde.

November 25, 2012

CLOSING NIGHT! This Tuesday 27 Nov, 6-8pm

Arts Project Australia & The Sisters Hayes are very happy to announce that there will be a VERY special one-time only CLOSING EVENT for The Great un Reveal!

So if you missed the opening, or just want to see it all again, join us at the closing this TUE 27 NOV from 6-8pm for your last chance to see the exhibition before it comes down!

October 19, 2012

Cathy Staughton

The first of four Luna Parks in Australia, Melbourne’s amusement park, was opened one hundred years ago this December. Showman J D Williams developed Luna Park with the three Phillips brothers (from Washington State, USA). The park opened with great success and has remained popular since.

Cathy has had a life long fascination with Luna Park. You learn that pretty quickly when you get to talking with her. Luna Park is not just a place to Cathy grew up with. The amusement park is a place that has grown to hold and embody Cathy’s passions, dreams and rich fantasy life.

Cathy with one of her paintings for The Great un Reveal

There is a carousel in Washington, that same state the Philip’s brothers hailed from, that we three sisters grew up riding. As we spun around on it during the endless summers, it began to twine together our family memories and stories. Like Cathy, our love of theme parks is born in their ability to metaphorically hold life’s joys, excitement, fears and mysteries.

Cathy and Esther after a long day of painting!

Which leads me to speak of Finucane & Smith’s Carnival of Mysteries premiered in the 2010 Melbourne Arts Festival. Two years ago, we were working on the production designers for the shows set. It was with great excitement that Moira Finucane and Jackie Smith selected Cathy to paint one of the panels for their Tent of Miracles. We were over joyed at the selection because it was the perfect meeting of creative minds.

When we began working on this project we were all well aware that it was the centenary anniversary of Luna Park. And I don’t mind telling you our dear readers that we were delighted with the coincidences of the three American siblings from Washington! It has been great fodder for our imaginations. We’ve even began dreaming that Cathy is the great showman those three brothers joined up with. And in doing so we created ‘Our little Luna’.

Come visit the gallery TODAY for the opening of The Great un Reveal! 

Terry Williams

A little over five years ago, I (Christina) missed an exhibition I really wanted to see. It was called ‘To the End of The Earth- Works By Terry Williams’. The show’s curator was artist Moya McKenna. You can read about it by clicking here.

I missed the exhibition because when it was on I had never heard of Arts Project Australia.
Only a few months after that show finished I met both Moya and Terry at the studio when I became an arts worker.

I have to say they both made an impression. Despite being almost physical opposites, (Terry’s height means he towers over Moya) it is evident they both share an enigmatic strength and purpose explodes into action when they create work. I’ve never seen Moya paint in her studio but I have caught glimpses of Terry working in his (its one of the great privileges of working in as an artist assistant).

Too see what I mean check out this amazing short film of Terry at work:

"Terry"  by  Jeffrey Paul

Anyway, I was telling you about this great show I have never seen… The thing is, I saw a photo of Terry and Moya standing in front of a wall that Terry was able to ‘add or subtract’ drawings to during the length of the exhibition. This piece set up a sort of living dialogue that grew in to a full and complex journey- one that no doubt extended to The End of the Earth…

When we began working with Terry for the Great un Reveal we wanted to create some drawing room with a nod to a show we missed all those years ago...

Terry hard at work preparing for The Great un Reveal!

Luckily, you only have to wait one more day to see the work!

October 16, 2012

Tim Noble

Tim Noble often draws symbols or small intricate designs that identify some thing he love or celebrates. Tim's graphic style, intricate mark making and broad use of colour reflect Tim's hearty embrace of decorative logos, footy emblems and seasonal holiday imagery from the media and advertisement.

In the whirl and burl, of the busy Arts Project Studio,
Tim is an impressively still and steady presence.

The Sisters Hayes have been smitten with this quite young man's work ever since we saw it.... especially Tim's DISNEY works! One of the most recognized Disney designs features a castle based on their famous theme park structure in Disneyland.

Tim Noble, 'Walt Disney Picture', 2011, texta on paper
Image courtesy of Arts Project Australia

The Walt Disney Picture logo is one of the logos Tim draws a lot. This logo is what you see just before a Disney movie starts... Once the 'when you wish upon a star' instrumental accompaniment begins and you see a glowing arch fly over the castle you know the magic has begun.

We've worked with Tim to create a 'magical' installation for the show. See it in just three days for the opening of the Great un Reveal!

October 13, 2012

Adrian Lazzaro

Adrian Lazzaro’s artworks are expressive, with intense line work. Adrian draws beautifully. His subject matter is inspired by supenatural beings. Vampires, zombies, wrestlers, werewolves and otherworldly creatures are sensitively brought to life under Adrian’s deft hand.

Adrian Lazzaro, The haunted mask,  2011, dry point
Image courtesy of Arts Project Australia

Adrian's work reveals a deep engagement with what it means to be human. This was exemplified when Adrian's figurative works were included in the exhibition ‘Revealing the human’, curated by Professor Colin Rhodes. That great exhibition was accompanied by a fantastic symposium on art, intellectual disability and the role of the specialist studio.

Adrian was asked to speak at the Revealing the Human symposium. With playful language, aliteration and humour Adrian spoke of his own human nature and of his artistic ability as supernatural.

Artsworkers Christina Hayes & Bernadette Trench-Tiedemann
in coversation with artists Adrian Lazzaro and Jodie Noble

What followed, over the last three years, has been an ongoing discussion of what it is like to be supernatural in an every day sense... Because Adrian' family, like ours, has an affinity with the sea we talked a lot about that as well. Adrian wrote down for us a fishing tale told to him by his dad. It reminded us of stories of Selkies told to us by our father who is a former sailor.

For those who don't know, Selkies are supernatural creatures who are seals that can shed their skins and take on a human form on land. Since seals are one of Adrian's favourite animals and are potentially supernatural humans it didn't take long for us all to head to the Melbourne Zoo and undertake some research.

Esther, Adrian and Rebecca sketching away

The Deep Sea Seals were perfect life models

Waving to Christina behind the camera

Adrian with the immortal seals at Melbourne Zoo

October 11, 2012

Rebecca Scibilia

For Downton Abbey fans everywhere we have some pretty awesome news…. the show is a major feature in Rebecca Scibilia’s new work with us. Exciting right?

We undertook some intensive research in the form of a daylong Downton Abbey MARATHON at our house. It was pretty awesome, all the cares of the week slipped away as we discussed and argued about the exact titles of each character. It can be a bit complicated remembering who is a Lady, a Corporal, first footman or a Duke.  You do not want to get things confused. As Mr. Carson says, there is nothing much worse ‘than a maid serving a Duke’.

More "research" with Rebecca in the Sisters Hayes Studio

When it comes to exciting escapism, there is nothing like a period costume drama. And Downton Abbey is epic escapism.

For those of you who do not know, the show Downton Abbey is set during the dying end of the Edwardian era, in a fictional Yorksire county estate. The aristocratic Crawley family and their servants are at the centre of the drama as the great historical events; such as the sinking of the Titanic, The First World War and Women’s Suffrage roar past.

Mansions, silver service garden parties & summer linens, what's not to love?

The Downton Abbey crew.

Three sisters.... we can relate

Poor Mary, most likely exhausted from her fifth costume change of the day.

Oh, Edith.

Rebecca's favourite character, Nurse Sybil Crawley

Another casual dinner in Downton Abbey

Rebecca and TSH believe that for the costumes alone, this show is irresistible viewing. And if that doesn't convince you, two words: Maggie Smith.

Rebecca’s work is drawn from what she loves. Book covers, DVD covers and celebrity magazines all provide ample imagery and text for her paintings. We are pretty excited to be making this work from our shared love and looking forward to sharing it with you all very shortly. 

October 7, 2012

Dionne Canzano

Dionne Canzano is a highly passionate figurative artist. Her subject matter ranges from pictures of Elvis Pressley to animals of the great wild. Dionne also has a certain penchant for depicting deadly spiders and snakes… Oh my! These various subjects are made common by Dionne’s intense love and fascination with them. 

The Sisters Hayes do not quite share her love for deadly creepy crawlies…. But we certainly do share her love for THE KING!

Last year, Dionne went on a trip with her family to Graceland. We poured over her picture albums. They hold some pretty amazing photos. Dionne said we could share this one with you:

Dionne visiting the Elvis memorial, Graceland
While we were out on location for Dionne’s photo shoot, her mother, the lovely Maureen, told us that they were all really touched with how welcoming and peaceful their visit to his home and final resting place was.

We wanted to make a work with Dionne that reflected her undying love for Elvis, her recent pilgrimage to Graceland and that honored her fandom in all its glitz and glory. 

The final work is under wraps until the The Great un Reveal Opening on October 20. Until then, we'll let the King play you out with one of our favourites-

October 4, 2012

Steven Perrette

It's October! You know what that means- the Melbourne Show is pretty much over. Love it or Hate it (who could?) the Melbourne Show is a highlight of the September calendar... With its show bags, epic rides, animal shows and country style competitions,  the Show captures the imaginations of young and old.

Steven Perrette is an artist completely enamored by the color, noise and frenetic energy of The Show.

Last year, when I (Christina) was curating Steven's Solo Show, I came across an amazing body of work that would consistently returned to this incredible subject. You can make an appointment to see for yourself in the Arts Project Australia Archives.

Anyway, it wasn't long after Steven's exhibition opened that Steven and The Sisters Hayes were off to the Ballarat Show! Steven is the show bag KING! He knows the best ones and is all about old school value. We were impressed... he even brought large shopping bags to haul his loot home. The thing is, Steven's love of the show is infectious. I think it is because Steven is generous. He gets show bags for other people- not just his friends and family either. One time I saw him give a show bag to an artist in the studio he'd barely exchanged two words with all year.

Why tell you all this? All will be revealed in less then two weeks!

Visiting the petting zoo

Christina and Steven with his show bag stash

September 24, 2012

Cameron Noble

Cameron Noble’s paintings and drawings of pop stars, models and celebrities are stunning. His brilliant use of colour heightens their already iconic state until the viewer is completely captivated. At only 29, Cameron’s painting of Billie Holiday has already been included in Arts Project’s Permanent collection. The permanent collection enables a truly significant work by an artist to become a part of a much loved and cared for collection of work. 

Cameron’s work is alluring and sensual. His portraits reveal a knowingness of each subject. We have been very excited about what Cameron had in store for us. 

Earlier, we went down to Rose Chong Costumes and we all put our hands together in tribute for a late nineties VH1 Top count down #1 HIT. 

Rose Chong Costumes

Cameron searching for the look

Dan and Christina wait for the reveal

All hands on set!

September 22, 2012

Peter Ben

Talk of the Good and the Bad can often get a bit tricky. Some see good and bad in black and white. Others see a great deal of gray. Our conversations with Peter on the subject often got quite, well, colourful. These conversations led to his new work which tackles the question of the good and bad as well as the LAW!

We have had a great deal of fun. There is nothing like a good 'cops and robbers' chase to make everyone happy. Here are some photos of the behind the scenes filming of Peter’s work as he gets into character.

Peter Ben takes over the green screen room

It's a wrap: Rebecca, Peter Ben and Christina after a long morning of filming 

September 19, 2012

Alanna Dodd

The good thing about being an artist is that you can express yourself, declare what you love and, yes, even indulge your obsessions. Like many of her contemporaries, such as artists like Elizabeth Peyton and Karen Kilimnik, Alanna does all of this. Much of her art making has been devoted to one of her great loves, James Hird.

We had a great time in the Arts Project Australia Archives looking through Alanna’s work with her. She has aptly shown that both love and painting are powerful things. To paraphrase Peyton, Alanna has shown how painting can become an opportunity to transform your ideas and thoughts about a person into a meditation- and how they become the occasion.

September 12, 2012

Paul Hodges

A true figurative artist, Paul’s point of departure in his artwork is often the body in movement. With a background in dance, Paul’s new work draws on his interest in ballet, classical music and the representation of great historical figures in Art. When we met with Paul earlier in the year he was painting portraits of Napoleon. They share a striking resemblance and who doesn’t get fascinated with French opulence. It was wonderful synchronicity when the NGV International opened Napoleon Revolution to Empire… we were practically first in line.

Here are some images of our visit to the exhibition. There is some very exciting filming being done tonight… we are keeping the location under wraps but not its subject. Prepare yourself to meet NaPAULeon at The Great un Reveal!

September 9, 2012

Chris O'Brien

For Chris O'Brien, spaces holds meaning and a multitude of narratives and memory both imagined and real. Remaking a space, through model making, drawing, painting or installation is a way Chris can capture and hold dear the intangible power imbued in a space.

Like Chris, we are fascinated with how the the spaces we fill have the potential to carry meaning. We also love what has fallen into decrepitude. As we began working with Chris it was announced on the evening news that the lifts in the Nicholas Building were being replaced with modern ones. Our heart sunk. Not only did we feel the loss of the physical lifts and the memories they held, but there was also the inherent loss of the lift drivers with whom we shared our days. Chris knew both the lifts and their drivers from his visits to our studio. He wanted to talk to people about how they felt about this, he wanted to interview them while in the lifts, and he also wants to go on the radio.

So began 'the lift project'....

Chris and Christina with artist and lift attendant, Tim Fleming

Chris with his model lift

Chris and Esther looking at clothing from the era when the lifts were first built

September 1, 2012

Kelvin Heffernan

Kelvin Heffernan is a seasoned painter whose work brings to life archetypal monsters, witches and other damned characters. Horned beasts, hunters, and metamorphosed people are painted in a passion, with intense colour and visceral mark making. Kelvin's work feel's like its embodied and as such it felt right that it grew in scale and form.

Kelvin in front of one his large-scale background paintings for "The Great Un Reveal"