JILL KEMPSON I Two Places I March

Melbourne based painter JILL KEMPSON will be showing her paintings created during her international art residencies in France & Japan.

‘TWO  PLACES’   10-31 March 2016
Exhibition Opening Thursday 10 March 6-8pm.
Please join us for a glass of wine with the artist. All welcome!
View Artist’s profile

In the Studio Forest and Mountains  Oil on Canvas 87 x 207cms
Jill Kempson in her studio with her painting Forest & Mountains


The Valley I  89 x69cms 2014 jpeg
The Valley I oil on board I 89 x 69 cm


The Valley II Oil on Canvas 138 x 80 cms 2014
The Valley 2 I oil on board I 138 x 80 cm


View of Heiki San Oil on Canvas 87 x 207 cms
View of Heiki San I oil on canvas I 87 x 207 cm


La Camargue-The Fence jpeg
La Camargue I The Fence I oil on canvas


Quiet Cove 30 x 30 cms 2013
Quiet Cove I oil on canvas I 30 x 30 cm


Road out to Cap d'Antibes Oil on Canvas 30 x 30 cms 2014
Road out to Cap d’Antibes I oil on canvas I 30 x 30 cm


PrintempsSpring Oil on Canvas 30x 30 cms
Printemps Spring I oil on canvas I 30 x 30 cm



Two Places

Over the past 30 years of my art practice I have painted a range of themes and explored different ways of presenting these ideas. Although I have experimented with style and technique, my motivation has remained the same: to create a space that invites the viewer to “enter”. These places are often meditative and still, inspiring the viewer to slow their mind and ponder their existence. Quite remarkably, this intention has been realized time and time again, and I have discovered this through people who have bought or simply encountered my paintings.

I have observed that the same painting can yield a myriad of responses – elation, sadness, salvation. A friend’s grandmother on her deathbed died clutching to her heart a small watercolour of a white donkey. The animal represented something significant to her, which was totally unbeknown to me.

In essence, I create the painting and viewer creates his or her own personal narrative.

Therein lies the beauty and mystery of our cognition to the visual and its connectedness to our metaphysical states.

I hope you will be able to visit my upcoming exhibition Two Places.


SQUARED | 14 November-3 December

SQUARED | 14 November-3 December 2015 

Opening Saturday 14 Nov 2-4 pm. Join us for a glass of wine! All are very welcome

Group exhibition of South African – Australian artists :
Dee Donaldson, Jane Du Rand, Louise Jennings, Kim Longhurst and Bronwen Vaughan-Evans

“SQUARED” is an exhibition of wide ranging works by five South African artists that is drawn together by the square format. The show presents a variety of mediums from painting through illustration to ceramic works. While the subject matter is also diverse, there is a commonality that links the work and alludes to a lush world where the nature is juxtaposed with intimate still lives and more urban spaces. While Du Rand and Vaughan-Evans have both relocated from South Africa to Australia, there remains a dynamic dialogue between these artists.

 Bronwen Vaughan-Evans – Oil and Gesso on Board.
View more of her paintings

Bronwen Vaughan-Evans currently lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.  Her work is included in corporate, public and private collections nationally and internationally. Born in South Africa, Vaughan-Evans received her Masters of Arts in Fine Arts in 1995 from the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg.

Vaughan-Evans’ work is created using a process of layering light gesso on top of darker gesso to create a controlled surface in which the dark layer sits just beneath a thin, light skin and thereby alludes to a metaphorical weight beneath the surface of things. The images reference objects and places from her immediate environment and are created by sanding etching through the thin top layer to reveal the dark gesso beneath.











Dee Donaldson – Oil Paint

Dee Donaldson is a Durban-based painter who studied at KwaZulu-Natal Technikon where she won an H.S.R.C. bursary, the Reeves Prize for painting and the prestigious Emma Smith Overseas Scholarship, before graduating with a National Higher Diploma in Fine Art. Donaldson is an established artist and art teacher, teaching groups and private individuals in Durban, South Africa

Donaldson is driven by a  search for a visual “language” that will best communicate ideas, she sees this as a continually evolving process. Donaldson is fascinated with different visual planes and layering often seen in film and digital media, and loves the physicality of painting.

Donaldson 204


dee donaldoson 3


Jane Du Rand – Mosaic

Jane Du Rand is a ceramic and mosaic artist working from her studio in West End, Brisbane. Born in Durban, South Africa, she has a Bachelor of Architecture Cum Laude from the University of Natal. Jane has run a ceramic studio for the past 17 years and is best known for her large scale commissioned ceramic and mosaic artworks in public spaces and on public buildings, as well as a great number of private commissions.

Du Rand is fascinated by pattern, texture and colour, and the different ways that these things can be explored using clay and glass. Du Rand loves the textured forms that can be created in clay and the patterns they make when repeated and are grouped together.

Jane Du Rand 2


Jane Du Rand 1 small


Louise Jennings – Oil Paint

Louise Jennings studied Horticulture in 1989 and from 1990 – 1993 went on to study a diploma in Fine Arts at Technikon Natal. She has been painting full time since 1998 and has exhibited on various group shows in that time. In 2011 she held her first solo exhibition in Durban, South Africa

Jennings is fascinated with memories, collections and things in her domestic environment. For Jennings these things have a history and provide a comfortable link to people and places of her past. Her paintings are like small prayers or icons in their stillness and mindfulness.. they are a personal exploration of places she treasures.

still life of lemons 28 x 28cm


Kim Longhurst – Archival Digital Print

Kim Longhurst believes that craft is next to godliness. She is a maker, designer, illustrator, painter, clay wrangler and collector. Her commercial work is for clients both local and international, from book covers to retail store environments, to installations to charity auctions. Currently Kim is a partner at “The Curators of Contemporary Craft”, a small design studio based in Durban, South Africa. The Curators specialise in high end corporate design and illustration. As the name implies they are inventive with technique and make beautiful things with their bare hands. Longhurst draws inspiration from many sources including Scandinavian design and anatomical / botanical illustrations for her delicate, detailed works.

Longhurst 2

Longhurst 1






to move, to breathe, to float, to fly…

24 October-12 November
Opening reception Saturday 24 October 2-4pm

The opening on 24 October, 2-4 pm, promises to be a feast for lovers of art, poetry and music. Loxton is collaborating with acclaimed Melbourne poet Cathy Altmann, who in 2014 won the Australian Anne Elder Award for the best first book of poetry, with her book Circumnavigation. Altmann will give a poetry reading and together with Angela Chandler, play a musical item.

View Artist’s profile & paintings
View Exhibition Opening photos

Rising_Oil on Canvas_101x101cm v2
Rising | oil on canvas | 122 x 122cm

The natural world is a place of retreat for artist, Corinne Loxton – a place to be free, to commune, reflect and be reenergized. She draws on nature’s processes and events to make work that speaks about the inherent value of nature and the human condition. Each of the paintings in her Bird’s Gallery exhibition, to move, to breathe, to float, to fly…, is a response to an experience in the natural world that simultaneously grounds and lifts the viewer up, to glide in ethereal space.

Corinne Loxton actively crosses the divide between man-made environments and nature – she represents the ever-increasing trend of city-based artists to seek an authentic experience of connection with land. Loxton moved away from the inner west of Sydney 2 years ago and now lives and paints in Blaxland in the Lower Blue Mountains and also makes frequent forays into the natural environment to pay attention and to paint.

Loxton writes, “I paint the sky because it is a boundless space – a place that is ‘other’ – often beautiful, but not benign. The transience of light and form allow me to free-fall and to glide, to experience tumult, disorientation, peace, euphoria…”

Over the past 20 years she has been painting landscapes that invite the viewer to experience drifting into and beyond the everyday – from earth to air. She has exhibited widely, including most recently, a highly successful solo show, Drifting, at Art2Muse Gallery, Sydney. She has received several commissions and awards, most notably the Elioth Gruner Art Prize awarded by the Art Gallery of NSW (1999), and a Residency at La Cité Internationale Des Arts in Paris (2000). Her work hangs in private and corporate collections in Australia, USA and South Africa. In 2014 she was selected as a finalist in the prestigious NSW Parliament Plein Air Art Prize.


Exhibition Opening contributors: Cathy Altmann grew up in Melbourne. She has always loved words and sounds. Since starting to write poetry eleven years ago, her poems have appeared in Melbourne’s trains, on an iPhone app, and in journals and anthologies. Cathy has given poetry workshops and readings in Melbourne and at Darwin’s WordStorm festival. Her book, Circumnavigation, which dealt with the experience of breast cancer, won the Ann Elder award for the best first book of poetry published in Australia. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing, and currently teaches English and Latin. Cathy is married with two children.

Philip Salom writes about Altman’s book, Circumnavigation:

What is extraordinary about this book is Cathy Altmann’s dispassionate observation of her journey through breast cancer, which she then represents in lines of limpid brilliance. It is not resignation she writes from but something far more interesting – a visionary awareness that weighs and transforms the essential moments into this unexpected, associative poetry. Not a word is wasted. Her exactness makes medicine seem imprecise. Her style explores minimalism with imagistic clarity and brief fable-like flashes. There is even a kind of mortal wit underlying the poignancy of loss and recovery. The poems are modest yet marvellous. The book is a revelation.

Exhibition Opening contributor: Angela Chandler who will accompany Cathy Altmann on piano, completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne, and then continued her piano studies with Michael Spivakovsky. Accompanying and ensemble work has always been a particular interest and pleasure. Current activities include teaching piano and sight singing and involvement in local church music.



ROY WILKINS paintings I until 1 October

roy wilkins

We are pleased to announce that we have Melbourne based Roy Wilkins in our featured artist programme for the month of September.

Roy B Wilkins, whose abstract expressionist work has been referred by critics as “a nod in the direction’’ of Australian greats Albert Tucker and Mirka Mora and American wunderkind Jean-Michel Basquiat, produces high-energy abstract mixed media works which are infused with emotional vitality and colourful free expression. 

London-born Wilkins started painting in 1999 when he moved from England to Melbourne – inspired by working at Melbourne’s Heide Museum of Modern Art, the recipient of an extensive collection of work by Albert Tucker (1914-1999). The 50-year-old self-taught artist (born January 1, 1964), who had drawn with colour markers and pastels from a young age, took up painting after working in 1999 and 2000 at Heide where he was able to study trailblazing Australian modernist Tucker’s work including rarely seen unfinished pieces. “I liked looking at the half-finished ideas…I saw his process of working and that excited me,’’ he says. “In our lunchbreak I would sit and study a piece. I couldn’t believe his work; it was mind-blowing. In the unfinished work I saw a lot of raw emotion. I liked the energy and technique. The paint was thick in places… It changed my life, it changed my thinking about art – from something I thought I might be good at to something I knew I should do. I’ve since come to see a lot of similarities with my work.’’ 

He instantly related to Tucker’s free form of expression. Wilkins likes to push the boundaries especially when experimenting with mediums including acrylic paint, spray paint, ink, collage, stencilling, bleach and salt. “Once the bleach touches the canvas it’s more about the chemical reaction, it’s unpredictable and you can’t control it completely,’’ he says. “With the salt you have to wait until it completely dries and then you brush it off.’’ 

Wilkins, who likes to build-up textured layers, is an instinctive painter who often uses the “alla prima’’ approach of laying down pigments in a single application instead of repeated paintings. He also likes to include spontaneous reactions to music he listens to while painting. Music favourites include glam rock artist David Bowie and English rock band Joy Division. “I go with the energy and bring a feeling from the music,’’ he says. Wilkins is also influenced by tribal and indigenous masks with faces, showing exaggerated human features, patterns and intense bright colour, a favourite subject.

Wilkins has been involved in group exhibitions in Victoria since 2002, including at this year’s prestigious M.A.D.E museum at Ballart, and was a finalist in the Smorgon Steel Art Prize in 2001. In 2009 he was awarded Best in Show at Roberts McCubbin School Art Show.

Roy’s exhibiton is on show at Bird’s Gallery 3 September – 1 October.

See more of Roy Wilkin’s paintings here.

Favourite shirt


NGAIO LENZ paintings | until 2 September


We are pleased to announce that Bird’s Gallery will have the lovely Ngaio Lenz for the month of August in our Featured Artist Programme.

Ngaio is a Melbourne based artist, recently relocated from Queensland, working in abstracts  and installation. Her EQUILIBRIUM series is an exploration of the organic shapes of the natural environment. They are the shapes and surfaces Ngaio is drawn to in a world of harsh sharp edges and cold interiors. These works are a balance to the fast pace of modern life and a way of feeling connected to nature and the gentle softness of a weathered surface.

Read more about the artist here.

Top image: Equilibrium 37 | 91 x 121 cm | Mixed media on canvas
Bottom images: Equilibrium 31 | 101 x 101 cm | Mixed media on canvas, Equilibrium 32  | 101 x 101 cm | Mixed media on canvas

Equilibrium-31 Equilibrium-32




Min Simankevicius Van Gogh Park

Photo: Detail of VAN GOGH PARK | 177 x 150 cm


On July 9-30 we are pleased to present an exhibition by photopainter Min Simankevicius. ‘FRACTURED’ is a carefully curated selection of his ongoing studies of natural and urban landscapes via the media of photography and digital manipulation.


Artist’s statement:

In looking at landscapes I have always admired the way the drama of the ever-­‐changing landscape
evolves over time -­‐ with the shifting of light, the effect of wind, the viewing of different points of
perspective. I am not content to capture one frozen moment alone but am driven to find a way of
expressing the shift of time and place in that one image (without resorting to video or moving records).
Photography is generally lauded with the honour of a single “click” and what is captured in that brief
moment, yet seeing the work of David Hockney and his photo-­‐collages opened a whole new arena of
capturing a landscape for me.
My images are a combination of many photos, taken from slightly varying angles and of course, across a
short period of time. The combination of these many impressions create a juxtaposition of parts that
make a whole, yet show the parts in various aspects of viewing. Clouds drift, tree limbs move, the cliche
is no longer.
These images are far from collages, as they are not assembled from varied images, but assembled from
aspects of the same image.

tree of life

Photo: Detail of TREE OF LIFE | 90 x 90 cm



Photo: Detail of GALAXY | 90 x 90 cm


Photo: Detail of FIG TREE | 100 x 100 cm



Currently at Bird’s Gallery we are featuring beautiful ceramic vessels by Nadia Dusselberg. She is a Melbourne based contemporary ceramics artist with a background in the film industry.

Nadia grew up in a creative environment as a daughter of two ceramicists and with a little encouragement began her own explorations in clay in their long established art space, Studio 32. It wasn’t long before she began developing stylistically and her own identity emerged.

Inspired by nature, Nadia’s work has a fresh quirky take on the typically mundane.  She sees practical objects and makes them fun. It’s within this joyful spirit that Nadia playfully names all her works after familiar childhood memories.


Ingrid Dusselberg Ceramics


IMG_6090    IMG_6079


GILLIE & MARC | Featured Works

Gillie & Marc | Featured Works | 22 June – 8 July



For the period of three weeks we are featuring wonderful anthropomorphic sculptures from Australian artists Gillie and Marc. As husband and wife, they collaborate to create art as one, applying the iconic imagery of the dog/human hybrid to celebrate the powerful spiritual relationship that exists between man and animal. Gillie and Marc reference their own remarkable love story in their works, perpetuating a pursuit of happiness and encouraging us to challenge the status quo and the perceived safety of societal convention. 20 years ago the artists married in the foothills of Nepal’s Mt Everest, 15 days after having met in Hong Kong. They now live in Sydney with their 2 children and golden retriever Moby. With a 15 year history of collaboration, Gillie and Marc’s works have received acclaim worldwide and are held in collections both nationally and internationally.

Philosophy 15.10.2015
Techniques 15.10.2015
Statement 15.10.2015



Lolly Dogman & Rabbitgirl
Clear resin | 35 x 28 x 20 cm | 45 x 26 x 17 cm
Price $480 each



He Read on the internet that six cups a day is okay
Just not seven
Bronze | edition 15 | 30 x 29 x 41 cm
Price $2500


They Thought Together No Wave Was Too Big
Bronze | ed 20 | 38 x 26 x 40 cm | Price $2800



“He Wondered If She Remembered Their
Romantic Nights Together | Bronze
Edition 20 | 14 x 12 x 21 cm | Price $980

VAIDAS ZVIRBLIS | Featured Works

VAIDAS ZVIRBLIS | Featured Works | 10 June – 8 July

Aussie land

Aussie Land | oil & mixed media on canvas | 182 x 122 cm


This exhibition features a selection of  Vaidas Zvirblis’ paintings and small sculpture, a glimpse into his extraordinary world of colour and weird creatures. Vaidas is a Melbourne based Lithuanian artist working in a range of media, regularly exhibiting locally and overseas. Full bio here

Here is his recent interview with DPI magazine for their Winter issue:

Q1: Would you share something about yourself with us? Like your education background, your homeland, your career, or anything you want to say.
A1: I received my art training in Kaunas (second most populous city in Lithuania ). My parents noticed my tendering in that direction from in early age. When my father asked me whether I wanted to be an artist, I answered that I did. when I had completed grade 4, father handed me some pencils and enrolled me in an entrance examination for a children`s art school . I was accepted and so began my career in art . After completing the art school I unrolled in the Kaunas Art Academy (Vilnius Art Academy) in Lithuania. In 1998 I with my family moved to Australia, since then I am based in Melbourne, but come back to Lithuania often for various projects.

Girl and the cats 2014

Girl and Her Cats | oil and mixed media on canvas | 102 x 76cm


Q2: How did you describe your art style?
A2: I would describe my style as primitive/naive with an effort to distance myself from given art streams. I make an effort negate the influences I was exposed to at the art academy.

Q3: What material, techniques, or tools do you use for creating?
A3: I work in variety of materials. I feel free to improvise my own techniques and supplements. I like using recycled materials, like timber, empty cans/ bottles, straw, variety of my own rendering mixtures made out of sand, clay, oxides and oil paints. I use those in my paintings as well as in my sculptures. In my illustrations, on the contrary, I choose fine ink pens, pencils and watercolor. I never use computer to enhance my drawings. I like the old fashion way of drawing.

v.zvirblis. Dog. 22x31x13

Brown Dog | mixed media | 31 x 25 cm


Q4: What influenced your art the most?
A4: I am most strongly influenced by primitive /tribal art –the kind of art created before man had a notion of “the artist”. I am inspired by the beauty of aboriginal art as well the old Lithuanian folk wood carvings.

Q5: Your painting works hold strong personal style. How do you develop the way you paint now?
A5: I enjoy larger formats which allow scope for free flowing brush strokes. Initially I am driven mainly by colour, mood and texture from which more specific images emerge.

Q6: Besides painting, your sculpture work is impressive, too. The characters are so lovely. How do you start to create sculpture? What do you want to show in the creatures you designed?
A6: I think of my sculptures as 3D paintings, colour and texture being of more importance to me than form .The imagery which keeps surfacing is basic, simple: naïve creatures unable to survive in the buzz of the modern world, and find a life other than in painting or sculpture.

fat rabbit

Sitting Rabbit | mixed media | 36 x 22cm


Q7: Besides painting, do you have any hobbies? As a freelance artist, how do you balance work and life?
A7: Otherwise I enjoy spending a lot of time in the countryside. For about 7 months I’m with my family in Melbourne where I’m an hour’s drive away from fishing in the ocean or walks in the forest. I spend other time of the year in Lithuania. It is my way of avoiding the cold and wet of an Australian winter.

Q8: What do you want to achieve this year?
A8: I would like to resume my work as an illustrator. In Lithuania I am friends with writer Vytautas Landsbergis with whom I have successfully published a number of children’s books . One of these earnt a prize as the most beautifully illustrated book of that year (Briedis Eugenijus 2007 Kronta). I am open for all opportunities for new projects to illustrate.




JOSEPH WEIDENBAUM | New Relics | 23 May-6 June

Exhibition Opening Saturday 23 May 2-4 pm
Please  join us for a glass of wine!

mask 2 smallmask 3 small

The work is a series of sculptures /masks composed from vintage metal petrol funnels adorned with a variety of materials. Alongside these sit some larger 2 dimensional works also constructed from found materials.

As an artist, who is also a collector of vintage and historical objects, stemming from my own family’s history, I came across a small selection of vintage petrol funnels. I was struck by the form and primitive figurative shapes also by what they represented historically as used objects with their embedded memories.
As a 3rd generation holocaust descendant the themes in my work are often around transformation of the historical. What interests me is the objects and materials and the meaning they hold juxtaposed with what it could be now and in the future.
My father came to Australia when he was 17 as a refugee from war torn Europe upon the infamous ship The Dunera and then had to transform or recreate his world. In a sense, these are the themes that emerge somehow in all of my work.
I began the journey of seeking and collecting these petrol funnels with great fervour. Their conical shape was somehow suggestive of a camera lens, a periscope poking up and into the world and capturing and inhaling global situations. There was also a playful and definite human aspect to them that I was drawn to and the possibilities to create varying characters from these seemingly innate objects.
The process of transforming these forms into masks happened spontaneously in the studio and as I created one, the need to add more, almost like a family then became my purpose. Tribal masks are one of the first forms of Art as projections and expression of people and spirit created by ancient cultures. Subsequently these artefacts became the driving influence of the Cubists in the early 20th century who I admire and draw influences from as well.

As I created the masks something else happened. They became characters with their own unique traits and personalities. I began to see them as my quirky left of field friends part of a tribe with their own fictitious story’s to discover and unpack .

During the process I also asked friends to reflect on personality traits they saw and was amazed at the endless possibilities from different perspectives and viewpoints.

The themes in this sense are conscious and unconscious and much of the synthesis or understanding takes place after the creation as I am an artist that starts with materials and works intuitively. Somehow though the themes in my heritage, my culture and history return eternally. War Zones, refugees, the displaced, the old world meeting the new and how one forges their own identity combining these different aspects are some of the themes I grapple with here.

mask1_35 x 43 x 44_ croppedmask 4 small


ghost lines_840 x 1500_$2000_cropped


the silence_560 x 160_ $1900_cropped


night vision _500 x 900_cropped


yellow frequency_70 x 1.5_$1450_cropped




Page 3 of 612345...Last »
© Copyright 2013 Bird's Gallery Melbourne - Contemporary Art Gallery, Fine Arts & Crafts