WAMA Art Prize

Ararat Art Gallery

The WAMA Art Prize, Works on Paper, is a $25,000 biennial national award.

Inviting a multi-disciplinary range of nature-inspired Australian artists, the award celebrates the connectivity with nature and raises awareness of the importance of conserving our precious, unique Australian environment.

Over 300 artworks were entered in the WAMA Art Prize and the 50 finalists are represented in this exhibition.

This open competition was judged by a panel of well-known members of the Victorian art industry. The panel of judges for the Award include Dr Vicki Couzens, prominent artist and Gunditjmara Keerray Woorroong women; Robert Nelson, art historian and art critic; Suzanne Davies, contemporary art gallery director; and Dr Jacqueline Healy, art historian, museum director and Chair, WAMA Art Advisory Council.


7th -25th March

Flinders Lane Gallery


Catalogue essay by Marguerite Brown (MA ArtCur) 2023

When Gina Kalabishis goes walking in the bush, occasionally she encounters a “space of awe”i that literally stops her in her tracks. Most of us can relate to being unexpectedly awestruck by the light, atmosphere, and sheer ebullient glory of the natural world. It takes you away from your thoughts – the busy shopping list of your life administration; the email to be sent, the phone call to return. Certain moments remind us we are part of something infinitely bigger than ourselves. This is the space of awe that Kalabishis seeks to evoke in this new body of work Romantica.

Most of the paintings in Romantica are inspired by time spent on Yuin country at the bushland Gang Gang Residency on the south coast of NSW, where she was artist in residence in 2021. Other works feature scenes taken from Cape Conran Coastal Park along Victoria’s far east wilderness coast. Both places hold personal significance for Kalabishis, having spent numerous summers on family camping trips at Cape Conran, and being moved by the unique history and stunning wilderness of Umbi Gumbi, a 100 acre property and co-operative where the Gang Gang Residency is situated.

Just as humans will never lose the innate desire to commune with the natural world, artists will forever imbue representations of nature with emotional resonance. As the poet and critic Charles Baudelaire wrote in 1846, “Romanticism is precisely situated neither in choice of subject nor in exact truth, but in a way of feeling.” Kalabishis’ work has long been dedicated to the realm of feeling, or one feeling in particular – love. She compares the experience of nature’s sublime beauty with falling in love. This heady subject matter is developed in earlier works through her fusion of ikebana inspired still life arrangements with atmospheric landscapes. 

In Romantica the hovering still life arrangements have gone, and the artist’s eye turns to the understory of the bush. Here the tangled vegetation of the forest floor carries the blackened scars of recent bushfires, dramatically cast against slivery green foliage and in many works punctuated by explosions of orange flowers. While bushfire has always been a part of the Australian experience, today imagery of burnt scrub carries with it a potent environmental message as climate change brings an escalation of these natural disasters. Celebrating the beauty of a place can act as a passive plea for protection, and these works are no exception. 

In one of the major works, ‘If I didn’t have your love’ (after Leonard Cohen) an impenetrable melange of ferns, banksias and other vegetation consume the picture plane. Pale areas of mist rise alongside dark pockets of shadow creating an atmospheric space ripe with mystery. This work showcases the artist’s seductive palette of red, blue, purple and grey that is carried throughout the exhibition. It also features the quintessentially hardy native banksia tree that populate many works. Banksia’s tough cones are adapted to release seeds in response to bushfires, and here they serve as a reminder of the capacity of life to flourish even in the most hostile environment. 

One can glean metaphoric associations that mirror personal relationships in these new paintings. Kalabishis depicts the space after a calamity, when the firestorm has passed. But instead of desolation she finds wonder, wresting beauty out of the chaos and with it an enduring promise of new life. 

Gina Kalabishis, in conversation with the author 10th February 2023




Memento- Pictures of you

Shoalhaven Regional Gallery

1 October -26 November 2022

Opening: Saturday October 15,  2 - 4pm


Consisting of paintings and works on paper, these are personal works of the artist’s loving relationship with this land and its inhabitants, formed in response to a residency at Bundanon Trust and visits to the Shoalhaven region over several years. The pieces combine ‘free style’ Australian ikebana landscape arrangements with local fauna.

Initially Kalabishis set herself a journey to create works of the Shoalhaven River, from Bundanon to the sea, from the floor to the sky. However due to historic circumstances preventing her from returning to the

region for two years, these visions shifted into nostalgic mementos of the romantic landscapes she walked and ran, stopping to gather foliage for arrangements under the watchful eyes of its inhabitants.


"I gratefully acknowledge the wonderful and enduring support of these organisations and people in my life over this five year period: The Wodi Wodi of the Yuin Nation, The Shoalhaven Regional Gallery and staff, Bronwyn Coulston, Bridget Macleod, Rahima Miriam and Eva Hampel. The Bundanon Trust and staff: a heartfelt thank you to Yvonne and Arthur Boyd and Family, Deborah Ely, The beautiful Julie Ryan ( for her faith in me, the art work and her generous hospitality), John Baylis, Ralph Dixon (for the special gang gang cockatoos and incredible hospitatlity), Jennifer Thompson, Charies Matugas, Michael Blount, Mary Preece, Jim Birkett and Gary Hogan. Artist Profile: Victoria Hynes, Erin McFadyen, Kon Gouriotis. Neos Kosmos: Iris Papathanasiou. Dr Ryan Jefferies (Science Gallery, Melbourne University), Hamish Coates, Eamon Coates, Alexander Coates, Anya Mckee, David Keys and Tamara McGuane (Art Spectrum) Claire Harris (Flinders Lane Gallery), Jenny Collodetti, Michael Varcoe-Cocks,The Aboriginal Community Elders Services Inc (ACES), Dr Mal Eutick, John McDonald and Dr Leigh Summers (EMSLA), Nicole Moore (LALC) TarraWarra Museum of Art. 
And the unique flora, fauna and environment of the south coast NSW.

This show is dedicated to the late Inga Clendinnen, AO, FAHA, Australian author, historian, anthropologist, and academic, and the late Jim Birkett, Artist and Art Educator at Bundanon Trust.

Gina Kalabishis 2022




The Flying Gardeners, Flinders Lane Gallery

3-21 August 2021

The Flying Gardeners; the bats, birds, bees and butterflies, they sow and grow and even protect our magnificent Australian landscape and it’s inhabitants.

Gina Kalabishis’ forthcoming exhibition pays homage to the activity and work of these engaging pollinators. Capturing stilled moments in time, and with a sense of immediate purpose, her images depict the flurry of their activity and in so doing highlight the fundamental contribution they make to both the ecological and agricultural systems of our world.

The Flying Gardeners

Catalogue essay by Sophie Cunningham,  2021

When I was in my twenties I helped my scientist-brother do field work. He spent time with the banksia of Wilson Promontory. Netted trees to try and identify pollinators. Bats, birds, marsupials, insects, wind? All of the above? His next project was looking at the reproductive ecology of a rainforest palm in Costa Rica. I visited a couple of times and helped out once again. That work was to develop a model for understanding how the success of a plant is influenced by the animals that it interacts with. It was when I walked through the forests of La Selva in Costa Rica that I first saw hummingbirds: so tiny I thought they were colourful bumblebees. I thought of those hummingbirds when I looked at Gina’s paintings of regent and blue-faced honeyeaters — the delicate curved spine of a beak designed to dip into bottlebrush and the flowers of eucalyptus. The regent honeyeater is now endangered — there are only a few hundred left in the wild.  Some species of bat, butterfly and bee are similarly endangered. To lose these creatures is to lose the work they do in keeping entire ecosystems alive; in feeding us.

I felt this keenly on a recent trip to the south of Western Australia when I walked through coastal heath full of swamp banksia shrubs. There were New Holland honeyeaters everywhere. Hundreds of them. The birds dipped and dived their long beaks into cones in full flower, golden, pollen-filled. As I walked towards the flowers I could hear their hum and buzz; saw that individual cones had dozens of bees staggering around under the weight of their bounty. They were drunk on it. It was such a privilege to be in the presence of this abundance; such vibrant biodiversity. Pollinators are — I knew, but realised all over again — a sign of a flourishing landscape. Gina’s work captures all this: the respect we owe these tiny workers, the focus of these seekers of dust, of life force, of nectar.

Gina Kalabishis’s work first caught my eye when she and I did a residency at Bundanon in NSW.  Every day I’d go on a long walk through the spotted gum and paperbark forests that surrounded our retreat. I’d often see tiny sculptures — ikebana — sitting in the clefts of hills, between granite rocks and tucked into tree roots. Curved sticks, a cone, draped eucalyptus leaves.  I’d think to myself, Gina has been here.


I am such an admirer of the hyper realism, the surrealism, of Gina’s latest work. Its intensity, its richness. Her celebration of pollinators alongside the hints of a warning. The flashes of colour and the melancholy of her greys and blues. The discretion of restrained olive greens that melt to grey.


I recently visited Gina’s studio and stood in front of dozens of her paintings and drawings. I found myself wanting to stroke the bats’ graphite fur, the pollen-filled fuzz of the bees’ hind legs. I want to look at the gang-gang with as much intensity as he looked at me.

Gina’s birds and bats have a frank gaze and those of us who love cockatoos (despite their naughtiness), and the grey-headed flying foxes of Yarra Bend park know the truth of this; that these birds and bats are curious, chatty and playful. However, Gina also captures their sleepy private faces, their vulnerability. Bats (like birds, like butterflies) are being squeezed into diminishing habitats. Bats’ leathery wings give them grief on hot days and flying fox colonies have been moving further and further south in a vain attempt to avoid heat waves. In these COVID times the flying fox has become associated with disease and is persecuted as a result.


On my visit to her studio I asked Gina how she painted pollen and she showed me the variety of yellows she has worked with to capture its particular quality. I look around the room and I see that she’s sprinkled it everywhere: like fairy dust, like tiny pieces of sunlight scattered across paper and canvas. I read the working paper taped to her desk where she jots down thoughts and ideas. Pollen & Seeds, Gina has written, magical dabs of brightness.




Finalist: John Leslie Art Prize 2020

Gippsland Art Gallery, Wellington Shire Council

Inaugurated in 2000, the John Leslie Art Prize is a national, biennial prize for landscape painting, named after the former Patron of the Gippsland Art Gallery, John Leslie OBE (1919-2016). The continuation of the Prize is made possible through the generous ongoing support of the John Leslie Foundation.

Madam Butterfly (after Malcolm McLaren)  2019

oil on linen, 153cm x 122cm



'Home - La Maison' - An Online Exhibition of new works by Gina Kalabishis

at Flinders Lane Gallery 11 May -30 May 

These works were intended to have been created for the group exhibition that was going to be shown on Saturday 9 May at 6pm at the Ancienne Eglise St, Laurent, Eygalieres, France concluding on Saturday 30 May 2020.

This suite of eight new ink and gouache on watercolour paper artworks are a combination of Australian and French symbols of flora and fauna with a culinary mix of produce from the south of France, the Saint-Remy-de-Provence,

Eygalieres and Molleges, are small communities in the Bouches-du-Rhône, southern France. These delicate ikebana free styled arrangements speak of and capture these beautiful areas as a safe haven.

This is a visual emotive recording though art of a personal nature that is potent in its tragic timing. It's subject matter of birds in the safety of the trees they inhabit, is symbolic of our 'Home- La Maison' a safe refuge for humanity.

The potent beauty of drawing, the emotive nature and gastronomic produce of Australia and France reaches out  to a current important online audience referencing the COVID_19 symbology of home isolation. 

I gratefully acknowledge Nicky Ginsberg Director at NG Art Residency, France for the opportunity to come for such a short and unfortunatley interrupted so tragically, I hope to return to continue my residency one day.

GALA Gallery is a newly established commercial art gallery located in Rockhampton, Central Queensland.

Delighted to be part of this group exhibition.


Social Card 1Social Card 2


NG Art Creative Residency Eygalières, Provence, Southern France 2020
I am elated and so appreciative to be awarded this beautiful three week residency .
3 March -26 March
My sincere gratitude to Nicky Ginsberg.

'Pilgrims far and wide, in pursuit of creative enlightenment, are journeying to Eygalières, Provence, Southern France to attend the NG Art Creative Residency at the 15th century Provencal homestead, Mas des Pelerins; House of Pilgrims.

A home away from home, NG Art Creative Residency is an international multi-disciplinary creative residency that offers a place of respite, nourishment and enlightenment for artists, writers, poets, musicians, performers, filmmakers, photographers, academic scholars, and other creatives who seek to enrich their process.

We invite creatives to embark on imaginative endeavours, and immerse themselves in an environment of reflection and creative freedom – in the studio and en plein air.

Directed and founded by long-standing gallerist, curator, entrepreneur, director and visionary Nicky Ginsberg, the NG Art Creative Residency is the collective brainchild of Ginsberg’s creative offspring; NG Art Gallery, Carlton Project Space, Kensington Contemporary, the Chippendale Creative Precinct, Mission Restaurant Bar, and The Chip Off The Old Block, Sydney, Australia.'

Umbi Gumbi Artist in Residence 2020
Cuttagee. NSW
I am so thrilled to be awarded a two week residency in this special region.
20 July to 3 August. 
My sincere thanks to the Umbi Gumbi co-orperative.
Umbi Gumbi is a 100-acre property in a stunning beachside location nestled in the spotted gum forest. It is bordered by Cuttagee beach along the eastern side of the property and Cuttagee Lake to the north.
Since 1978, Umbi Gumbi has been owned and operated by the Umbi Gumbi cooperative. In 1978 it was classified Residential Conservation permitting four dwellings to be built. The property was designated a Nature Reserve in 1978 with a mandate to preserve this piece of coastal forest comprising spotted gums, coastal mahogany, banksia, stands of melaleuca, burrawangs and cabbage palms, and wildlife such as wallaby, possums, kangaroo, and native birdlife.
The original Ridge House was built in the 1960s by Mary and Frank Brett (related to the à Beckett / Boyd family) and the remaining three (including the Beach House) are testament to the principles of 1970’s self-sufficiency, hand built with mud brick, stained glass, local timbers and recycled materials. They have been featured in Earth Garden and Grass Roots magazines. All the houses were located and built out of sight of each other and designed to blend into the landscape. 
Umbi Gumbi has inspired many of Australia’s writers and artists. John Blay, a founder of the cooperative, wrote his first novel, Part of the Scenery while camped out at the Umbi Gumbi dam. Salman Rushdie visited during the time he was in hiding from writing The Satanic Verses. Richard Neville and Martin Sharp - writers, artists and social commentators - stayed regularly. During his final years, Brett Whiteley spent time at Umbi Gumbi.
Michael Dransfield was a frequent visitor, and called Umbi Gumbi ‘the idea forest’. In Tim Thorne’s Umbi Gumbi ‘planes of lake, of surf / Are defined by the spotted gum forest / … / in this house full of music and words, / love is like big windows’. Dorothy Hewett always felt a special connection to the place, using the physical landscape and characters in her poetry and in her last novel The Neap Tide. 


The forest, the sea, the mix of company and isolation have also been an inspiration for musicians. The Strides recorded songs for an album there and they named one of their songs Umbi Gumbi. Sydney group Iron Gate Sound recorded an EP at the property.



Finalist in the ROI Art Prize 2019

I am delighted to be selected as a finalist in this prize!

As an annual, acquisitive art prize of $10,000 funded and run by the ROI Owners Corporation, the ROI Art Prize is unique in Victoria, if not Australia. Now in its eighth year it continues to gain respect and interest, in 2018 attracting more than 50 entries from established and emerging artists. From the first year’s winner in 2012, the late Gordon Bennett, there has been an impressive list of entrants and winners.

The ROI Art Prize and the People’s Choice Prize will be announced on Thursday 28 November 2019 at the ROI.

The ROI Art Prize is sponsored by Nelson Alexander and WinConnect.


This Land..... Elaine L. Jacob Gallery at Wayne State University, Detroit, USA

The James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History, Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, Wayne State University, Detroit, is pleased to present THIS LAND IS…, October 25 through December 13, 2019.  
THIS LAND IS… features works created through a wide variety of disciplines by artists who address current and future environmental concerns.  The artists confront political, cultural, and social ecological changes by observing sentimental landmarks and documenting their importance.  This exhibition was curated by Jennifer Belair Sakarian and includes works by the following artists: David Buckley Borden and Casey Keenan, Sophie-Madeleine Jaillet, Sarah Anne Johnson, and Margaret Laurena Kemp in collaboration with Gina Kalabishis.

Finalist in the St Kevins Art show 2019, Toorak, Melbourne



Finalist: John Leslie Art Prize 2018

Gippsland Art Gallery, Wellington Shire Council

EXHIBITION: 22 September— 25 November 2018

Inaugurated in 2000, the Prize is named after John Leslie OBE (1919—2016), Patron of the Gippsland Art Gallery.

The continuation of the Prize is made possible by the generous ongoing support of the John Leslie Foundation.

Judge: Andrew Frost, Art writer, critic and broadcaster

Talking with Painters with Maria Stoljar

Episode 52: Gina Kalabishis

Gina Kalabishis’s work is about relationships and connection; connecting with nature and connecting with each other.

Talking with Painters is an audio art podcast where Maria Stoljar talks with Australian painters about how they became an artist, their influences, techniques and current work. 








Bundanon Floor to Sky

17th July 2018 - 11th August 2018

Flinders Lane Gallery

This exhibition is an official MELBOURNE ART WEEK event.

The exhibition with be opened by
Deborah Ely, Chief Executive Officer, Bundanon Trust
and Dr Ryan Jefferies Head of Programs, Science Gallery Melbourne

For this extraordinary solo exhibition, winner of the 2017 Eutick Memorial Still Life Award, Gina Kalabishis, presents a new body of work inspired by her residency at Arthur Boyd’s Bundanon property - an experience that allowed her to create and explore in this unique envirnoment. Kalabishis celebrates both this opportunity and the landscape. Utilising the motifs and mythology of Australia’s native flora, and creating compositions inspired by ikebana arrangements, intimate narratives are constructed where the human experience becomes enmeshed with the beauty of nature.

This exhibition is dedicated to the loving memory of historian and writer Inga Clendinnen, AO, FAHA (Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities)
Now I know how I want death to come for me, strolling in the slanting rain of light through eucalyptus leaves, a strip of bark in my fingers, the gurgle of hidden magpies all around. I will say to Death, ‘A moment, friend.’ And then: ‘I’m ready now.’ ”

Catalogue Essay
by Dr Ryan Jefferies 2018
Head of Programs, Science Gallery Melbourne

Bundanon means ‘deep valley’ in the language of the Wodi Wodi peoples of the Yuin nations, who as the traditional custodians of the lands, share deep spiritual connections with the fertile valley shaped by the Shoalhaven River. Empathizing with Indigenous culture, artist Arthur Boyd highlighted the human imbalance with this landscape and our ignorance to imminent ecological damage. Boyd developed a passion for environmental protectionism while he lived at Bundanon in New South Wales, where he championed the idea that ‘you can’t own a landscape’. And while this may be true, it is important to acknowledge that we can be part of it.

In ‘Bundanon Floor to Sky’ Gina Kalabishis exquisitely highlights the human connection to the landscape through her bold, immersive artworks that explore the Australian bushland with a visual poetry and scientific eroticism. Her anthropomorphism of the landscape profoundly draws us back into the natural world with deep desire and intrigue. The traces of technological glitches, the merging of seasons and the distortion of scale combine to present a dreamlike timelessness and beautiful warping of reality. Her emotive realism juxtaposes against our growing disconnect and blindness to the ecotopia of nature.

From brush kurrajong to the prehistoric burrawang, the diverse plants of Bundanon are themselves like artworks aesthetically positioned across an outdoor gallery. Their myriad of foliage and flowers presented in a rich spectrum of green and brown hues. Above them, the troposphere illuminated by the bright spotlight of the sun, flickering with the transient seasons.  The ever-present human body is often subtlety hinted at by Kalabishis. Bark becomes skin. Sometimes smooth and overtly sexual. Sometimes torn and discarded as if part of an autopsy conducted at the hands of a forensic scientist. The outstretched remains are left decaying back into the earth to nourish a new cycle of growth. A spiral shell that Kalabishis travelled along the winding length of the Shoalhaven River to collect, becomes the landscape’s inner ear. The tiny structures of the auris interna – the cochlea, tympanic membrane and auditory ossicles – become enormously oversized to capture the warm morning songs of tiny passerine birds of the bush. Their voices resonating with a scale much larger than their diminutive selves.

An emotional undercurrent of a lost lover flows through the artist’s work with a raw sexual energy. We cannot help but feel that the forests and scrublands are an absent partner we desire and want back in our lives. Kalabishis clusters native plants and flowers into anatomical ikebana arrangements, emulating lungs, heart and interconnecting vessels. Intertwining branches are lovers embraced. The mirrored lives of people and plants is direct. Flora too is alive. Plants breathe, have sex and need food. They also nourish our own emotional wellbeing. We are therefore products of our environment and our very blood and bones share the same building blocks as the leaves, bark and stems of our native flora. This is an environment where art, science and culture can deeply intertwine as we attempt to understand our place within an existing ecology. An ecology that we often forget as the disconnect between bushland and people widens.

The wonderful legacy of Boyd’s bequest of Bundanon continues with Kalabishis’s beautifully emotive artworks. A gift that extends to the rich creativity that can transpire from our unique landscape and a reminder of our place in the fragile balance of life. At a time when we are becoming increasingly urbanised, Kalabishis superbly places us back in the landscape and we are left lusting for more.


"I gratefully acknowledge the wonderful and enduring support of these organisations and people in my life: The Wodi Wodi of the Yuin Nation, The Bundanon Trust and staff: a heartfelt thank you to Yvonne and Arthur Boyd and Family, Deborah Ely, Julie Ryan, John Baylis, Ralph Dixon, Jennifer Thompson, Charies Matugas, Michael Blount, Gary Hogan, Jim Birkett, Mary Preece and Saskia Vrenegoor. Dr Ryan Jefferies, Hamish Coates, Patricia Coates, Eamon Coates, Alexander Coates, Anya Mckee, Claire Harris, Jenny Collodetti, Michael Varcoe-Cocks, David Keys and Tamara McGuane (Art Spectrum), The Aboriginal Community Elders Services Inc (ACES), Dr Mal Eutick, John McDonald and Dr Leigh Summers (EMSLA).
And the unique flora, fauna and environment of the south coast NSW.

Gina Kalabishis 2018



Gina Kalabishis has been announced the winner of the  2017 Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (EMSLA)

'Passing Pulpit Rock - Distant Sky (After Nick Cave and Else Torp)'


As Australia’s only national Still Life Painting Award, EMSLA is celebrating it’s eleventh consecutive year with a new $20,000
non-acquisitive First Prize
and relocation to the city of Wollongong.


Dr Mal Eutick is an ardent fan of still life painting and in act of great vision and generosity funded the inaugural Eutick Memorial Still Life Award in 2006. EMSLA, as the prize is colloquially and fondly known, was instituted in memory of Dr Eutick’s parents Lillian and Malvin. Now in its eleventh year EMSLA comes to Wollongong and coincides delightfully with the city’s celebratory, signature festival, Viva La Gong.

Critic and art historian John McDonald, principal judge since EMSLA’s inception, continues in this challenging role in 2017. John’s continued relationship with EMSLA has added prestige to the award and increased still life’s importance as a genre. Excitingly, for artists everywhere, EMSLA is now non-acquisitive.

Still life is an enduring genre with an intriguing and chequered past. Emerging in Europe in the 16th Century it waxed and waned in popularity but never entirely vanished. Still life, or nature morte, traditionally involved arrangements of fruit, flowers and natural objects - dead or alive. Genuine mastery was essential to realistically reproduce the crepe-like texture of poppies, the velvety surface of tulips, the furs, feathers and fins of dead animals; and the convincing replication of glass, crystal or metal in the depiction of vases, weapons and mirrors.

Artists in the 21st century have expanded, and in some cases shattered the traditional stereotypes of the genre, including its traditional adherence to verisimilitude. Contemporary still life painting still requires extraordinary skill and while realism is always admired it is no longer demanded or expected of artists.

EMSLA celebrates excellence in still life painting and welcomes the influences of impressionism, abstraction, realism and hyperrealism (indeed all the isms) in all their permutations. 

Dr Leigh Summers


'Romancing the Skull'

Art Gallery of Ballarat

Sat 14 Oct 2017 – Sun 28 Jan 2018
Very excited to be part of this show with a work created from my Art Residency at the: Harry Brookes Allen Museum for Anatomy and Pathology, Melbourne University.

The skull has entranced and fascinated generations of artists. Romancing the skull looks at the depiction of the skull in art and examines why we continue to be so enamoured with this iconic symbol. The exhibition explores a range of themes including the skull as a reminder of our mortality, the use of the skull in addressing social and political issues, and the skull and crossbones as a symbol of piracy and rebellion.

Romancing the skull will also look at the way in which the skull has been embraced as an important symbol in Mexican Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. Prints by Mexican artists José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913) have become synonymous with Day of the Dead and his Calaveras (skull figures) are now firmly embedded in Mexican popular culture. More than twenty of his iconic prints will be introduced to Australian audiences for the first time.

Other highlights of the exhibition include a Nuremberg Chronicle dating from 1493 depicting one of the earliest Danse Macabre (Dance of Death) images, and Australian artist Shaun Gladwell’s Virtual Reality work Orbital Vanitas 2016, which debuted at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It will also include works by contemporary Australian artists Sam Jinks, Rona Green and Ben Quilty and specially commissioned works by Fiona Hall, Reko Rennie and Sally Smart.


Winner of the People's Choice Award: 2017 Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize 

Thrilled to the winner of this award with 'Arete no.3'

The Gallery @ Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre
6 May to 18 June, 2017

The Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize (BAAP) provides painters residing in Australia the opportunity to participate in Melbourne’s Bayside arts and cultural program. It fosters a sense of identity, pride and place through a community event and enables the acquisition of suitable artworks for the Bayside City Council Art & Heritage Collection.

With over 550 entries from across Australia, thirty-nine finalists have been chosen.

BAAP is judged by industry professionals who award total prize monies and acquisitive funds of $19,000. This year’s judging panel includes; Samantha Comte, Curator & Exhibition Coordinator, Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne, and Jason Smith, Director Geelong Gallery, who will be joining Joanna Bosse, Curator, the Gallery at Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre.

First prize is $15,000 with a Local Art Prize of $3,000 for an artwork or artist with a Bayside connection. The opening event and announcement of the winners will take place on Thursday 11 May, 6-8pm. Visitors can also cast their vote for the $1,000 People’s Choice Award.

NITEART  Thursday 27th July.

Gina Kalabishis investigates her painterly arÄ“te, activating the Flinders Lane Gallery Showroom in shimmering blue light, themed "Once in a blue moon" Kalabishis will present a number of her blue night paintings melding her playful homage to Australian landscape painting and her sensual ikebana  Australian native arrangements as united works.
Responding to her  paintings Flower Vasette will display a large enamoured native  suspended floral  arrangement in response to Kalabishis's work.
On the night the artist will be present to give a informal talk and will be creating a live night drawing responding back to Flower Vasette's arrangement thus generating a full loop of captivating art making.


Bundanon Trust 2016 Artist in Residence Program.

'Bundanon floor to sky' Flinders Lane Gallery 2018

Autumn Residency : March 2017

The  Artist-in-Residence program is open to professional artists and thinkers from all disciplines, individually or in groups. The residencies support new work, research and collaborations by Australian and international artists, and are hosted in purpose-built studios on the Shoalhaven River properties on the south coast of New South Wales.

 For more information about Bundanon Trust and the AIR programme, please visit:



Finalist in the 2016 Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (EMSLA) 10th anniversary

Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery

A wonderful award and a very entertaining opening going by last years!

Exhibition period Saturday 12 November to Saturday 7 January 2017

The Gallery is indebted to Dr Mal Eutick and his family for sponsoring the EMSLA, the Eutick Memorial Still Life Award, an acquisitive award. 

Bundanon Trust 2016 Artist in Residence Program. 

 Summer Residency : November - December 2016

The  Artist-in-Residence program is open to professional artists and thinkers from all disciplines, individually or in groups. The residencies support new work, research and collaborations by Australian and international artists, and are hosted in purpose-built studios on the Shoalhaven River properties on the south coast of New South Wales.

 For more information about Bundanon Trust and the AIR programme, please visit:


Verdant Garden

Curated by Claire Watson

Bundoora Homestead Art Centre

Opening 26 November 2-4pm

26 November 2016  - 5 February 2017

Drawing inspiration from the role of the garden on contemporary life, this exhibition celebrates the long, intimate and symbolic relationship between artist and garden. Featuring contemporary artists using a variety of mediums, this exhibition explores ideas of germination and the ways urbanisation has impacted on Australia’s love affair with the garden. Featuring Mark Dober, Sarah Hendy, Penelope Hunt, Gina Kalabishis, Elizabeth Nelson, David O’Brien, Alice Wormald and more! Immerse yourself in the works of these green-fingered artists and enjoy Bundoora Homestead’s heritage garden while you’re here. 

Winner of the Bruny Island Art Prize People's Choice Award.

Just thrilled to be the winner of the People's Choice Award.

Sponsered by Audi with my painting 'Shine a Light' (oil on linen, 125 x 72cm)

A special thankyou to all the wonderful voters!   Dr Caroline Rannersberger and Mat Fagan.


Bundanon Trust 2016 Artist in Residence Program.

Spring Residency:  August - September 2016

The  Artist-in-Residence program is open to professional artists and thinkers from all disciplines, individually or in groups. The residencies support new work, research and collaborations by Australian and international artists, and are hosted in purpose-built studios on the Shoalhaven River properties on the south coast of New South Wales.

 For more information about Bundanon Trust and the AIR programme, please visit:


Finalist: John Leslie Art Prize 2016

Gippsland Art Gallery

Wellington Shire Council


"A Song of Ice and Fire" Inside the John Leslie Art Prize 2016 - Simon Gregg

Extract from Catalogue


 In the two years since the last John Leslie Art Prize there has been a vast amount written and published about Australian art. From Sasha Grishin’s sweeping survey Australian Art: A History to Patrick McCaughey’s Strange Country , an abundance of fresh literature reinforcing the preeminence and continuing validity of Australian painting has appeared. McCaughey’s book was subtitled ‘Why Australian Painting Matters’, but it might as well have been subtitled ‘Why Australian Landscape  Painting Matters’ for, as he and Grishin tend to confirm, landscape remains a fundamental theme of the art of this country. That said it’s not all ‘Golden Summers’ at Eaglemont or ‘Purple Noons’ on the Hawkesbury.

The Australian condition might be best surmised, in the words of George R.R. Martin, as ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. Arguably Australia’s most prestigious prize for landscape, the Wynne Prize, was first awarded in 1897 to Walter Withers for The Storm , an exhilarating work that captured the bleak ferocity of a climate that cares little for those caught in its wrath. In the John Leslie Art Prize too we come to celebrate those works that dispel the myth of a homogenised climate, promoting instead the reality (and sometimes the fiction) of a land of extremes.

Gippsland is the ideal place to host an exhibition of landscape art. With the exception of barren deserts, it contains all the rich variety of Australia’s geography within its naturally-formed amphitheatre. Indeed, it has more in common with the honey dew sweetness and Pre-Raphaelite mysteries of Tasmania. It is here, in Gippsland, that we draw together 49 of the finest Australian landscape paintings produced in the last two years, and gaze through their cumulative lens at the continued evolution of the genre.

And what better place to begin than Gina Kalabishis’Heartland 131061, where the artist freely pays homage to Australian colonial painting, interrupted by a suspended floral still life.Splicing Eugène von Guérard with Ikebana shouldn’t work but here it curiously does—though neither are entirely orthodox in their depiction. The crisp, sharp detail of the botanical specimen contrasts with the blurred landscape behind. Both are subjects we commonly associate with sunlight—certainly within the Australian artistic tradition (think only of Streeton’s ‘Golden Summers’)—but here they become otherworldly and ethereal.

 The Prize is made possible by the generous ongoing support of Gippsland Art Gallery’s long time Patron, John Leslie O.B.E.

  2016 Judging Panel

 Marielle Soni, Senior Art Consultant, Artbank Melbourne

 Melinda Martin, Director, Linden New Art, Melbourne

 Shannon Smiley, Artist, winner John Leslie Art Prize 2014


 Finalist: Inaugural Bruny Island Art Prize 2016

Bruny Island, Tasmania

24 September to 2 October 2016. 

The Bruny Island Art Prize rewards excellence in Australian painting.

 The 2016 Bruny Island Art Prize will celebrate the theme ‘identity and environment’ and welcomes any painting that relates to this theme, including landscape and portraiture. The prize is open to any artist who is resident in Australia.

In 2016, the winn