Painting

Portrait of Wallace

Public Description: 

Wallace, the renowned stud thoroughbred, was the son of 1890 Melbourne Cup winner, Carbine, and is buried near the stables at Bundoora Park. Owned by J.M.V. Smith, original owner of Bundoora Homestead and Park and prominent horse breeding and racing industry identity, Wallace died in late 1917, aged 25.

From 1903 to 1915, Wallace was one of the most sought after breeding stallions in Australia and in 1915-16 he topped the Australian sire list with his progeny including Melbourne Cup winners Kingsburgh (1914) and Patrobas (1915). He competed in at least 949 races and won close to £250,000 in prize money.

The artist Mark Gawen was born in South Australia in 1861. He was best known as a sporting artist and was mostly self-taught apart from studying in Paris for a short time in 1891 during his thirties. He received commissions to paint many of the top race horses of his period. Gawen lived most of his life in Victoria and died in 1943.

Trafalgar

Public Description: 

This is a portrait of the golden haired racehorse, titled Trafalgar. Trafalgar was one of the most popular horses of his time within Australian horse racing circles. From 59 starts he had 24 wins, 11 seconds and 6 thirds, his most significant wins being the Sydney Cup in 1909 and the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1912. Trafalgar was a notable son of Wallace, who was the son of the 1890 Melbourne Cup winner, Carbine. In 1900, Wallace was bought by J.M.V. Smith, original owner of Bundoora Homestead and prominent identity in the horse breeding and racing industry and came to stud in 1901.

The artist Mark Gawen was born in South Australia in 1861. He was best known as a sporting artist and was mostly self-taught apart from studying in Paris for a short time in 1891 during his thirties. He received commissions to paint many of the top race horses of his period. The commission to paint Trafalgar’s portrait most likely came from his owners Messrs P & W Mitchell of Bringenlong, near Corryong. Gawen lived most of his life in Victoria and died in 1943.

Bundoora Homestead Welcome

Public Description: 

Hybrid mythical creatures and giant Australian animals are common encounters in the artwork of Sharon West. Set in a traditional landscape, West presents a unique way of exploring the relationships between the white settler, Aboriginal cultures and the Australian landscape. The artist navigates within Australia’s colonial narratives to highlight the cultural conditions of settlement, and the accompanying dispossession of Aboriginal people from their land.

West’s artwork is grounded in satire and, at the same time, references Australian landscape movement paintings, reflecting colonial perspectives of history and myth, while imbued with the artist’s imagination and personal narratives. Offering re-imagined glimpses of Victorian history with people of the Kulin Nation, West creates statements about colonisation as an evolving historical and cultural process.

In the richly textured Bundoora Homestead Welcome, West reflects on three distinct histories. Pre-colonial settlement is represented in the foreground by the land’s traditional owners, local Wurrundjeri Willam men, hunting for food when Mt. Cooper was an important ceremonial and camping ground. The middle ground depicts the occupants of Bundoora Homestead going about their daily activities; men astride horses and a woman promenading through the gardens with parasol in hand. The background shows Bundoora Homestead, a Queen Anne Federation style mansion built in 1899 as the centrepiece of 600 acre horse stud which was refurbished by Darebin City Council in 2001 as a public art gallery and heritage facility for the wider community to enjoy. Presented in an oval shaped picture frame, as was fashionable during the 1800s to the mid- 20th century, the word 'Welcome' is printed around the edge of the artwork in some of the most popular languages currently spoken in the Darebin municipality.

West has developed a comprehensive and impressive body of work examining the relationship between settler and Indigenous cultures within the context of Australian colonial art history. She practices principally with the mediums of painting, assemblage and digital media. West has exhibited widely in Australia and has curated a number of exhibitions working primarily with Victorian Indigenous artists. She is the recipient of various awards including the Excellence in Conceptual Photography Award Kodak Salon (CCP, 2011) Bendigo Bank Emerging Award for the ANL Maritime Art Awards (Mission to Seafarers, 2011), and winner of the Darebin Art Show (2011). Her artwork is held in public collections including the State Library of Victoria, City of Melbourne and the Museum of the British Empire (UK) as well as many private collections.

Bundoora Homestead Welcome © Sharon West

Hearing the Music: A Portrait of Christos Tsiolkas

Public Description: 

In Hearing the Music: A Portrait of Christos Tsiolkas, Nick Stella eloquently captures the passion and intensity of the internationally acclaimed, award winning author, Christos Tsiolkas. Stella skilfully compels the viewer to look into the eyes of his subject who seems to stare back at us with a beguiling sense of compassion and understanding.

Hearing the Music: A Portrait of Christos Tsiolkas © Nick Stella

Mt. Cooper Estate

Public Description: 

Hybrid mythical creatures and giant Australian animals are common encounters in the artwork of Sharon West. Set in a traditional landscape, West presents a unique way of exploring the relationships between the white settler, Aboriginal cultures and the Australian landscape. The artist navigates within Australia’s colonial narratives to highlight the cultural conditions of settlement, and the accompanying dispossession of Aboriginal people from their land.

West’s artwork is grounded in satire and, at the same time, references Australian landscape movement paintings, reflecting colonial perspectives of history and myth, while imbued with the artist’s imagination and personal narratives. Offering re-imagined glimpses of Victorian history with people of the Kulin Nation, West creates statements about colonisation as an evolving historical and cultural process.

In Mt. Cooper Estate, West depicts a new housing development built on the north eastern slope of Mt. Cooper, an ancient land shaped by extremely powerful geological events. Standing at 137 metres, it is the highest point of landscape in metropolitan Melbourne and one of Victoria’s oldest, extinct volcanoes. Standing side by side in a uniformed pattern, large, modern homes of various types with manicured lawns and landscaped gardens are constructed on a place of great cultural significance. Mt. Cooper was an important ceremonial and camping ground and the site of an Aboriginal stone quarry and scarred trees. It constitutes part of the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri-Willam, a clan of the Woiwurrung language group that forms part of the Kulin Nation. Overlapping past with present, further up the hill, behind the water tower, are three Wurundjeri-Willam men, traditional owners of the land.

West has developed a comprehensive and impressive body of work examining the relationship between settler and Indigenous cultures within the context of Australian colonial art history. She practices principally with the mediums of painting, assemblage and digital media. West has exhibited widely in Australia and has curated a number of exhibitions working primarily with Victorian Indigenous artists. She is the recipient of various awards including the Excellence in Conceptual Photography Award Kodak Salon (CCP, 2011) Bendigo Bank Emerging Award for the ANL Maritime Art Awards (Mission to Seafarers, 2011), and winner of the Darebin Art Show (2011). Her artwork is held in public collections including the State Library of Victoria, City of Melbourne and the Museum of the British Empire (UK) as well as many private collections.

Mt. Cooper Estate © Sharon West

No Place for a Village

Public Description: 

Hybrid mythical creatures and giant Australian animals are common encounters in the artwork of Sharon West. Set in a traditional landscape, West presents a unique way of exploring the relationships between the white settler, Aboriginal cultures and the Australian landscape. The artist navigates within Australia’s colonial narratives to highlight the cultural conditions of settlement, and the accompanying dispossession of Aboriginal people from their land.

West’s artwork is grounded in satire and, at the same time, references Australian landscape movement paintings, reflecting colonial perspectives of history and myth, while imbued with the artist’s imagination and personal narratives. Offering re-imagined glimpses of Victorian history with people of the Kulin Nation, West creates statements about colonisation as an evolving historical and cultural process.

The inspiration for No Place for a Village is John Wesley Burtt’s Batman’s treaty with the aborigines at Merri Creek, 6th June, 1835 (c.1875), a European interpretation of a pivotal moment in history that underplays the onerous implications for the Indigenous participants who, within 25 years of signing the treaty, had been relocated to missions on the outskirts of Melbourne. On the banks of the Merri Creek, where it joins up with the Yarra River, John Batman balances precariously in the jaws of a giant eel grimly clutching his Treaty document. Aboriginal elders wait and watch with interest while Kangaroosters and other hybrid curios forage for food close by. A comical scene with a foreboding undercurrent, West shifts the balance of power to directly challenge the validity of the Treaty negotiations.

West has developed a comprehensive and impressive body of work examining the relationship between settler and Indigenous cultures within the context of Australian colonial art history. She practices principally with the mediums of painting, assemblage and digital media. West has exhibited widely in Australia and has curated a number of exhibitions working primarily with Victorian Indigenous artists. She is the recipient of various awards including the Excellence in Conceptual Photography Award Kodak Salon (CCP, 2011) Bendigo Bank Emerging Award for the ANL Maritime Art Awards (Mission to Seafarers, 2011), and winner of the Darebin Art Show (2011). Her artwork is held in public collections including the State Library of Victoria, City of Melbourne and the Museum of the British Empire (UK) as well as many private collections.

No Place for a Village © Sharon West

Sienna Earth

Public Description: 

Sienna Earth is a highly precise, intricate and colourful motif-based work that considers the damage and devastation Man has wrought upon the Earth. The solution, as depicted in the painting and represented by 100 interconnected masks, requires genuine communication and commitment between disparate global cultures to restore balance and harmony to the planet.

Caesar Sario’s art reflects his passion for the environment and endangered species everywhere. He draws inspiration from the concept that human beings can aspire to be at one with nature.

Sienna Earth © Caesar Sario

Black Dog

Public Description: 

In Black Dog, Warren Lane conveys a sense of nostalgia for times past when Edwardian and Art Deco designed buildings were the heart and soul of a thriving neighbourhood High Street. He masterfully observes the elegant decay of derelict and depressed suburban structures as changing facades reflect their faded glory. The black dog appears to be passing his own judgement on their potential demise. Demolition is almost certain with high density housing and modern retail outlets as their future destination.

As a painter working predominantly in oils, Lane creates intricate and familiar scenes linked by themes of the built environment, politics, human rights and social change. Lane’s astute illustrative portraits and urban landscapes are skilfully structured compositions that employ a high degree of realism laced with an undercurrent of satire. His work is both thought provoking and humorous, inviting the viewer to contemplate the subject matter without pretension or distraction.

Black Dog © Warren Lane

A Brief History of Preston

Public Description: 

In A Brief History of Preston, Warren Lane powerfully distills two centuries of European settlement in Preston, a northern suburb of Melbourne located in the City of Darebin. During the colonisation of this area in the 1800s, the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri-willam people were overtaken with farming and various other pastoral activities eventually leading to the industrial and commercial developments of the present day.

An Indigenous man stands erect in the foreground of the painting, staring straight ahead as if looking into the future or perhaps it is the past. Behind him are two potent symbols of “progress” represented by Holstein Friesian dairy cattle and Northland shopping centre (c 2010), looming cavernous and omnipresent over a vast, empty car park temporarily devoid of consumer activity.

As a painter working predominantly in oils, Lane creates intricate and familiar scenes linked by themes of the built environment, politics, human rights and social change. Lane’s astute illustrative portraits and urban landscapes are skilfully structured compositions that employ a high degree of realism laced with an undercurrent of satire. His work is both thought provoking and humorous, inviting the viewer to contemplate the subject matter without pretension or distraction.

A Brief History of Preston © Warren Lane