CLARE McFARLANE v
ANDREW NICHOLLS v

The Church Gallery is delighted to present an exhibition of new works by Western Australian artists Clare McFarlane and Andrew Nicholls exploring beauty, the decorative and Australian identity.

Clare McFarlane has a Masters and an Honours Degree in Fine Art from Curtin University, where she also completed a Graduate Diploma in Cultural Heritage. She has held two solo exhibitions in Western Australia and participated in many group shows. Her work can be found in numerous collections including the City of Perth, Cruthers, John Curtin, Joondalup Hospital, Bureau of Statistics, and Alinta Gas. Andrew Nicholls is known not only for his artwork, but also his writing and curatorial projects, including Wembley Ware – Excitingly Different! at the Art Gallery of Western Australia in 2005. He has exhibited broadly, including solo exhibitions in Perth, Melbourne and the UK.

Clare McFarlane’s paintings reference the histories of scientific inquiry and the decorative arts to investigate Australian identity. “Whereas Australian identity is commonly represented in the masculine, my work offers a ‘feminine’ perspective” she states. Drawing on the designs of the William Morris Company (founded in the UK during the 1860s), she combines this lyrical Pre-Raphaelite patterning with the detailed depiction of birds, butterflies, insects and plants native to Australia, arranged so as to reference the collection of specimens for scientific inquiry. The appearance of these Australian elements “is sudden: arriving or emerging from a Victorian sense of beauty and nature – tamed and domesticated – in structured patterns.” Clare also looks to the mysteries of the southern night sky for inspiration, combining the seemingly random splendour of the constellations with the restrained elegance of Victorian pattern making. She observed that her paintings “represent a dichotomy between romantic beauty in the natural world and our understanding of it through scientific knowledge.”

In contrast, Andrew Nicholls’ practice is concerned with the sentimental - a cultural sensibility historically aligned with the marginalised, yet one that he feels forms an often-unacknowledged force driving mainstream culture. His drawings comprise a mixture of largely-appropriated imagery and text that he painstakingly reproduces by hand in ink pen. These include elements drawn from Victorian scrapbooks and children’s book illustrations, postcards and souvenirs, 1960s teenybopper pop songs, china patterns and Internet pornography. His works for this exhibition form part of a larger body of work exploring Australiana, created in response to the recent Commonwealth Games and Cronulla Beach race riots. He states, “As a white Australian, I am an introduced species in my own homeland, making distinctions between ‘authentic’ and ‘artificial’ subjectivity irrelevant. Yet this distinction continues to obsess mainstream Australia. My ethical response to this incongruence is to privilege the fake over the genuine and kitsch over good taste.” For this exhibition Andrew has also drawn floral imagery from photographs taken by Clare McFarlane as source material for her paintings, subtly linking the two bodies of work.

Further parallels can be found between their works; the obsessive attention to detail, an understanding of the impact of European design and culture on Australian identity, the appropriation of patterns and images from Victorian culture and investigations into what constitutes beauty and an Australian cultural identity.

 

*prices valid 2006

 

poetic observations
acrylic on board
35 x 35cm [x4]
2005
$2000 SOLD to artbank

evil angels 1
ink pen on arches aquarelle paper
28 x 19cm
2006
$380

caper white - drift
acrylic on board
22.5 x 12.5cm
2005
$350 SOLD
evil angels 2
ink pen on arches aquarelle paper
28 x 19cm
2006
$380 SOLD
caper white - dance
acrylic on board
22.5 x 12.5cm
2005
$350 SOLD
evil angels 3
ink pen on arches aquarelle paper
28 x 19cm
2006
$380
spider wasp
acrylic on board
22.5 x 12.5cm
2004
$350 SOLD
evil angels 4
ink pen on arches aquarelle paper
28 x 19cm
2006
$380
spider orchids - arcs
acrylic on board
22.5 x 12.5cm
2005
$350 SOLD
evil angels 5
ink pen on arches aquarelle paper
28 x 19cm
2006
$380 SOLD
spider orchids - arabesques
acrylic on board
22.5 x 12.5cm
2005
$350 SOLD
out in the streets [portrait of kurt stefano] -‘he
don’t hang around with the gang no more.’
ink pen on collaged paper
38.5 x 57cm
2005
$990
fabaceae - isotropis cuneifolia - bloom
acrylic + screen print on board
18 x 18cm
2006
$380 SOLD
dream lover [portrait of kurt stefano] -‘…until
then, i’ll go to sleep and dream again.’
ink pen on arches aquarelle paper
38.5 x 56.5cm
2006
$990
first principals i
acrylic + screen print on board
18 x 18cm
2006
$380 SOLD to cruthers collection

valentine for thorpe
ink pen on collaged paper
57 x 38.5cm
2006
$990

first principals ii
acrylic + screen print on board
18 x 18cm
2006
$380 SOLD to cruthers collection
white australians -
'...because i reckon i love you mate
.'
ink pen on arches aquarelle paper
76.5 x 56.5cm
9 panels able to be rearranged into numerous formations
2006
$6600 SOLD
first principals iii
acrylic + screen print on board
18 x 18cm
2006
$380 SOLD to cruthers collection
white australians -
'...because i reckon i love you mate
.'
detail - panel 8 of 9
 
first principals iv
acrylic + screen print on board
18 x 18cm
2006
$380 SOLD to cruthers collection
 
 
fabaceae - isotropis cuneifolia - bud
acrylic + screen print on board
18 x 18cm
2006
$380 SOLD
 
 
anigozanthus manglesii - vicious
acrylic on board
22.5 x 12.5cm
2005
$350 SOLD
 
 
anigozanthus manglesii - verbose
acrylic on board
22.5 x 12.5cm
2005
$350
 
 
anigozanthus manglesii - violatile
acrylic on board
22.5 x 12.5cm
2005
$350 SOLD
 
red nocturne: boöts, hercules, cygnus & pegasus
acrylic + screen print on board
18 x 18cm [x4]
2006
$1350
unfamiliar sky: boöts, hercules, cygnus & pegasus
acrylic + screen print on board
18 x 18cm [x4]
2006
$1350 SOLD
coded verse: long tailed pea-blue, common grass blue, northern purple azure & spotted pea-blue
acrylic + screen print on board
18 x 18cm [x4]
2006
$1350 SOLD
autumnal memory: mole cricket, yellow admiral, pentatomidae & damaged moth
acrylic + screen print on board
18 x 18cm [x4]
2006
$1350 SOLD

This page is an archived record of this exhibition. Prices are valid for the year of exhibition only.

Please contact the gallery or check the stockroom to confirm current availability and prices.

All artwork reproductions are © the artist. Images may not be used without permission from turner galleries and the artist.

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