Taungerong Country; View of Yea

Public Description: 

In Taurgurong Country; View of Yea, Gwen Garoni (1933-2014) celebrates the landscape of her Taurgurong country, offering a personal perspective and artistic vision formed by an intimate knowledge and deep connection to the land. The vibrant hues of the distant mountains and the lushness of the uncleared land reveal a spiritual beauty that speaks of a time long before colonial settlement.

Aunty Gwen Garoni was a respected Victorian Koori Elder and a descendant of the Taungurong people of north-east Victoria. Her work reflects upon the significance of place, family connections and cultural identity. Her art is grounded in her love of country and explores the Australian landscape, ancestral memories and early colonial history.

Garoni was a winner of the DATSICC emerging artist award for the Gumbri White Dove Acquisitive Prize (2006 and 2010), a finalist in the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards (2006 and 2007) and a finalist in the ANL Maritime Art Prize (2009 and 2011). Her artwork is held in public and private collections.

Taurgurong Country; View of Yea © Gwen Garoni

Campsite in Springtime

Public Description: 

Campsite in Springtime is a richly colourful and vibrant expression of respect for ancestors and reflects the importance of Country in Koori life. Working within landscape depictions of her Gunditjmara tribal lands, and ancestral memories, Frances Gallagher contemplates the significance of place, family connections, spirituality and social displacement.

Clearing the land for agricultural purposes and the spread of urban centres has substantially diminished, from much of the public consciousness, the intense cultural mapping by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people throughout Australia. The impact of white settlement caused Indigenous people to move, or be moved, from their traditional lands and dramatically disrupted their way of life.

Aunty Frances Gallagher is a respected Victorian Koori Elder who was born in Bendigo in 1926 and is from the Gunditjmara people of Western Victoria. She was one in a family of eight children brought up on Framlingham Mission, an Aboriginal reserve established on the south-west coast of the state in 1861 by the Board for the Protection of Aborigines. Gallagher has participated in numerous group shows including exhibitions at Melbourne Museum, Koorie Heritage Trust, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Boscia Gallery and RMIT School of Art Gallery.

Campsite In Springtime © Frances Gallagher


Public Description: 

Untitled, winner of the Darebin Art Show (2010), conveys a sense of summertime in the inner northern suburbs. The vivid blue sky dominating the top third of the painting infuses great energy into a mundane scene, while the everyday beauty of the neighbourhood is revealed in the bright, harsh light of the Australian summer sky.

Jason Emilianowicz captures a familiar, local streetscape: a suburban fence line, adorned with imposing graffiti, backs on to a public path following the South Morang railway line and the Merri Creek. A woman strides briskly along the path with her dogs that are just disappearing from view.

Untitled © Jason Emilianowicz

Krampus Wreath

Public Description: 

In Krampus Wreath, Paul Compton portrays the infamous folklore figure, Krampus, in the middle of a traditional Christmas wreath. Centred amidst the customary decorations of holly, ivy, bells, balls, trumpets, candy canes and stockings is the hairy half-beast, half-demon complete with horns, long pointed tongue and piercing black eyes. Legend claims at Christmas time Krampus takes the presents of naughty children as punishment for their misdeeds and keeps them for himself.

Compton’s art practice comprises drawing, book and zine making, and creating objects and animations. His work pursues an ongoing interest in vignettes, the uncanny, animism, outsiders and all things Victorian. Compton has shown his work in a number of solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group shows around Melbourne. His work is held in public and private collections in Australia, the UK and USA.

Krampus Wreath © Paul Compton

Monk in Landscape - Merri Creek

Public Description: 

Michael Camilleri evokes a medieval-like atmosphere in Monk in Landscape – Merri Creek as the lone figure of a crusading monk travails the banks of the Merri Creek. Sword in hand, his mission is to keep the urban space of the creek safe much like other costumed, modern day, superheroes. Bringing us firmly back to the present is the depiction of a walking path to Rushall train station and, behind that, one of Northcote’s large public housing estates.

Monk in Landscape – Merri Creek is inspired by Camilleri’s illustrations from the Fighting Monk series originally published in the literary journal ‘Going Down Swinging’ No. 30.

Monk in Landscape – Merri Creek © Michael Camilleri

Wombat Dreaming

Public Description: 

Trevor ‘Turbo’ Brown loves animals and has created a body of work entirely based around them. This large painting shows two big wombats and one smaller one, standing outside their dark burrow. They are surrounded by a border of white clouds in a blue sky. 'Turbo''s work may seem naïve with its simple forms, but there is a great energy and skill in his use of composition, colour and line. He uses bright colours and bold outlines, painting quickly with unmixed acrylic paint. The painting is a public favourite within the City of Darebin, and has often hung in public spaces including Darebin Libraries and Bundoora Homestead Art Centre.

Living rough on the Mildura streets and the Murray River bank, 'Turbo' has said that animals were his only friends. He was adopted by Herb Patten and his wife, Aunty Bunta and moved to Melbourne where he took up boxing and became a keen rapper and breakdancer. Uncle Herb and Aunty Bunta enrolled in a diploma of visual arts at the Bundoora RMIT campus and took 'Turbo' along. There he began to paint. It soon became apparent that he had a talent for expressing on canvas the stories and images from his mind.

'Turbo' holds a Diploma of Arts (Visual Arts) from RMIT Melbourne, which he completed in 2004 and his first solo exhibition at the Koorie Heritage Trust in Melbourne, was a sell-out.

Summer Storm

Public Description: 

The painting Summer Storm features the Merri Creek. It illustrates this iconic waterway in this area detailing the native vegetation and the intrusion of the power lines and skyscrapers. The painting also makes reference to Giorgione’s painting The Tempest paying tribute to the power of nature as the lightning bolt on the horizon seems to have carved out the creek. The site of this painting is from Yarra Bend Park where NMIT is located. It was all once part of City of Northcote. The new boundaries put all of the open space south of Heidelberg Road into the City of Yarra. So it is very near Darebin's border. The area is easy to walk to from nearby car parks. It shows the view of the city that we have from the City of Darebin.

Bundoora Homestead II

Public Description: 

In Bundoora Homestead II, Stephen Armstrong depicts the Queen Anne Federation style mansion set against a bright blue Australian sky. A circular driveway leading to the main entrance is cast in partial shadow. The fourteen-room homestead is dominated by double-storey balcony verandahs with striking architectural features including dominant hipped roofs, tall brick and stucco chimneys and terracotta grotesque finials located on the principal gables.

Situated on the slopes of Mt. Cooper, the highest point of landscape in metropolitan Melbourne, and one of Victoria’s oldest extinct volcanoes, Bundoora Homestead was designed in 1899 as the centre piece of a 606 acre (245 hectares) racehorse stud. Between 1920 and 1993 it operated as a convalescent farm and psychiatric repatriation hospital and from 2001 has functioned as a public art gallery and cultural heritage centre. Standing for over one hundred years, Bundoora Homestead is the keeper of many memories and much history.

Armstrong works primarily with oils, painting on site or plein air, in the traditional genres of the figure, still life and, predominately, landscape. His work generally investigates natural, built and urban environments as he captures the atmosphere of a specific place and time.

Bundoora Homestead II © Stephen Armstrong

Bundoora Homestead I

Public Description: 

In Bundoora Homestead I, Stephen Armstrong links the past and present through his depiction of Bundoora Homestead, a stately Queen Anne Federation style mansion. Built in 1899 for a prominent horse racing identity, John Matthew Vincent Smith (1857-1922) and his family, the homestead now operates as a public art gallery. A sense of foreboding prevails as fast moving storm clouds shroud the sky in black and purple hues. In the foreground, circular beds of roses and cannas are surrounded by immaculately manicured lawns reminiscent of the archetypal English manor house. Overlooking this scene is a single struggling palm tree while a solitary native Australian magpie forages for food before the storm breaks.

Armstrong works primarily with oils, painting on site or plein air, in the traditional genres of the figure, still life and, predominately, landscape. Armstrong's work generally investigates natural, built and urban environments as he captures the atmosphere of a specific place and time.

Bundoora Homestead I © Stephen Armstrong