James Darling & Lesley Forwood’s ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’ presented at ZKM: Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany

We are thrilled to share that James Darling & Lesley Forwood’s collaborative installation ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’ will be presented at ZKM: Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe in Germany as part of the exhibition ‘The Beauty of Early Life. Traces of Early Life’. This exhibition invites us to look at the emergence of life through artistic works from modern times to the present, complemented by scientific exhibits from the early days of life, right now, at this crossroads of a global climate and biodiversity crisis.

First exhibited at Hugo Michell Gallery in 2018 ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’ was selected as an Official Collateral Event of the 58th International Art exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2019, curated by Dr Lisa Slade and supported by The Art Gallery of South Australia.

‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’ is a South Australian collaboration between Darling & Forwood, Jumpgate VR, composer Paul Stanhope, and the Australian String Quartet. ‘Living Rocks’ addresses the question: what was our planet three billion years ago? It celebrates the cosmic imperative of microbes in action through the universe, most notably their survival by way of the great events of extinction that have happened or are still to come on our planet. From an extensive pool emerge thrombolites that have been crafted, not by unimaginable time and the force of nature, but by the artists who employ the distinctive roots of an arid land eucalypt to create living rocks.

“The installation connects the present day to the beginning of life. It is a memory of our origin and a prophesy of our future.” – James Darling

‘The Beauty of Early Life. Traces of Early Life’ will be on display at ZKM: Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe from 26 March to 10 July 2022.

See ZKM: Centre for Art and Media website for full details.



Pictured: James Darling & Lesley Forwood’s ‘Living Rocks: A Fragment of the Universe’, installation view at La Biennale di Venezia 2019

Kate Just announced as finalist in Beechworth Contemporary Art Award

We are very excited to share that Kate Just has been selected as one of 10 finalists in the Beechworth Contemporary Art Award (BCAA)!

The Beechworth Contemporary Art Award is a $10,000 non-acquisitive prize, and an opportunity for artists on the national stage, regional and remote artists to exhibit in a unique historic and culturally significant village setting.

The first art award of its kind, this national award is to be held within the streets, alleyways, parks and buildings of the small Victorian community of Beechworth. Audiences will have opportunities to engage directly or incidentally with the ideas, techniques and entertaining ways of Australia’s contemporary artists.

The award offers a new platform for creative opportunity. The town’s granite boulders, numerous waterways and heritage preserved facades allow a unique dialogue between artists and the community. In creative ways, contemporary artists will connect the past with the present, inviting audiences to be entertained and experience new interpretations of the world around them and their place within it.

As an artist primarily focused on the deployment of craft forms including knitting, sewing, textiles, and photo media in contemporary art works that question histories of female and queer representation through the lens of subjective experience, for the BCAA Kate Just plans to activate familiar spaces in new ways and invite audiences to participate in a unique and powerful art event.

Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Bulthirrirri Wunuŋmurra & Binygurr Wirrpanda | Amy Joy Watson

Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of 'Yirrkala - Next Wave' by Bulthirrirri Wunuŋmurra & Binygurr Wirrpanda and 'Goodnight Air' by Amy Joy Watson on Saturday 5th November.
Artist Talks | Saturday 5th Nov, 1:30pm
Opening Event | Saturday 5th Nov, 2-4pm
Bulthirrirri Wunuŋmurra & Binygurr Wirrpanda
Yirrkala - Next Wave
'Yirrkala - Next Wave' shines a light on two early career artists working out of Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Indigenous Art Centre, Yirrkala. Striking a balance between continuity with their forebears’ artistic legacy and innovative artmaking, the exhibition showcases works by Bulthirrirri Wunuŋmurra & Binygurr Wirrpanda that speak to the concept of water as a metaphor and tool for discussing abstract concepts of existence in Yolŋu culture.
Tides, rain, springs, dew, mist, clouds are all drawn on to discuss these abstract concepts of existence. And so, this next wave of Yirrkala artists is breaking on the shore of mainstream awareness.
Amy Joy Watson
Goodnight Air
In 'Goodnight Air' Amy Joy Watson builds on her distinctive visual language that explores geography, light and emotional states through delicate woven landscapes, made of metallic thread.
Across embroidered works on paper and tarnished brass mesh, this new body of work explores art making as a process for healing and recovery.
In the wake of post-natal anxiety and acute insomnia, Amy’s slow and gentle hand stitching process revealed itself as a form of active meditation, one that is vital to her mental health.
Shimmering golden threads represent the cascading water or “liquid sunshine” that manifests in visualisations that appear during moments of contemplation and meditation.
Hugo Michell Gallery are proud to partner with Bird in Hand Winery for this opening event.
Please join us in celebrating the launch of these two exhibitions!
Hugo Michell Gallery acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

BINYGURR WIRRPANDA, Binygurr Wirrpanda, Mäna at Lutumba (972-22), 2022, etching and earth pigments on found metal sign, 92 x 126 cm

Amy Joy Watson, Untitled (detail), 2022, metallic thread, brass mesh and brass frame, 114 x 92 cm

Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Sally Bourke + Jess Taylor

Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of ‘Tempest’ by Sally Bourke and ‘Primordial’ by Jess Taylor
*Please note*
– If you wish to join us for a staggered opening at either 6pm or 7pm, RSVP IS ESSENTIAL to
– Due to the current government restrictions visitors are required to wear a mask
Sally Bourke
“A tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard.”
– Act 1, Scene 1, The Tempest, William Shakespeare, 1607-1611
Sally Bourke’s ‘Tempest’ is about love, loss and weathering the storm. In the same way that Shakespeare plunged his audiences into the tempestuous eye of the storm in his 17th Century play, Bourke draws viewers into a deep storm of her own making. Torrential rain falls across sullen faces and mingles with tears; Bourke’s paintings evoke emotions that are as mercurial as the stormy weather her figures are situated within. Through the alchemy of painting, Bourke emulates water’s seemingly magical power of transmutation and invites us to enter the tempest and emerge transformed.
Jess Taylor
     Primordial /prʌɪˈmɔːdɪəl/
1. existing at or from the beginning of time; primeval.
2. basic; fundamental.
Jess Taylor’s ‘Primordial’ is borne out of a mining of personal experience. About the work Jess shares: “It’s human nature to want to see ourselves in the experiences of others, just as its human nature to offer others the chance to see themselves within us. At our core we become great excavators, digging with eager fingers to pull out fragments of ourselves, polishing their surfaces until others might see themselves reflected in their facets”. This body of work unravels deep but innately human fears and experiences, shrouded by the symbolism and myth of Jess’s oeuvre.
Hugo Michell Gallery acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

    Sera Waters in 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State

    We are excited to share that Sera Waters is currently exhibiting in the 2022 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State at the Art Gallery of South Australia, curated by Sebastian Goldspink.
    “Free/State assembles a group of artists who are fearless; the provocateurs, vanguards and outsiders – challenging histories and art forms, and in the process, offering reflections on an era of multi-faceted global upheaval. The exhibition explores ideas of transcending states, from the spiritual and artistic to the psychological, and embraces notions of freedom in expression, creation and collaboration.”
    Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Free/State
    4 March – 5 June 2022

    Sera Waters is an Adelaide based artist, arts writer and academic. Since being awarded a Ruth Tuck Scholarship in 2006 to study hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework (UK), Waters’ art practice has been characterised by a darkly stitched meticulousness. Her embroideries and hand-crafted sculptures dwell within the gaps of Australian histories to examine settler-colonial home-making patterns and practices, especially her own genealogical ghostscapes. More recently Waters has been exploring how textile traditions can help navigate a future affected by climate change.

    Waters is currently undertaking research and developing her ‘Future Traditions’ project, enabled by being awarded the 2020 Guildhouse Fellowship (with Art Gallery of South Australia, supported by the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation). Her solo exhibition, Domestic Arts, is currently touring South Australian regional galleries with Country Arts SA presented in partnership with ACE Open. This exhibition was developed from being the 2017 recipient of the inaugural ACE Open South Australian artist commission. Other major exhibitions include Dark Portals, at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, University of Western Australia (2013), Sappers and Shrapnel at Art Gallery of South Australia (2016) and Going Round in Squares at Ararat Gallery TAMA (2019).

    Her works are held by the Cruthers collection of Women’s art, Ararat Regional Gallery, the Art Gallery of South Australia and private collections nationwide. Waters is a studio member of Central Studios, lecturer at Adelaide Central School of Art, and is represented by Hugo Michell Gallery.

    Garawan Wanambi Joins Hugo Michell Gallery as a Represented Artist

    Hugo Michell Gallery welcomes the addition of Garawan Wanambi to our represented artists!

    Born in 1965, Garawan Wanambi belongs to Marrakulu clan and works out of the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre in Northern Arhem Land.

    After his father’s death in 1973, Garawan was brought up by Wayuŋga Wanambi of the Marraŋu clan. Through this connection, Garawan paints Marraŋu designs, the counterpart of Marrakulu from the other side of Arnhem Bay. Garawan and his family continue to live and work at Gängan, to the south of Yirrkala, and he has emerged as one of the most gifted of the new generation of artists based there.

    Garawan extends the history and practice of Yolŋu painting. Whilst continuing to use natural pigments and miny’tji (sacred clan designs), he extends the possibilities of these methods through the mixing of natural pigments to form unique colours and deliberate tonal variations. His precise geometry and complex layering of designs create a depth of field on an otherwise flattened surface and a mesmerising optical effect. In doing this, Wanambi explores the Yolŋu concept of Buwayak ‒ simultaneously making elements both visible and invisible.

    He was a finalist in the Telstra Art Prize in 2009, 2014, 2020, and a finalist in the Kate Challis RAKA Award in 2013. In 2014 he was awarded the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Best Bark painting prize.

    Garawan has works held in a number of significant collections; Kerry Stokes Larrakitj Collection, The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection (USA), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Charles Darwin University Art Collection, Artbank, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Museum of Australia, Monash University Art Museum Collection. His works are also held in private collection both nationally and internationally.



    Paul Yore announced to present major exhibition at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art

    Hugo Michell Gallery is thrilled to announce that Paul Yore will be presenting a major exhibition at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) as part of their 2022 program.

    The exhibition Paul Yore: Word Made Flash, curated by Max Delany, will encompass the full scope of Yore’s work—appliquéd quilts and needlework, banners, painting, collage and assemblage—drawing on the vernacular of visionary and psychedelic art, Greco-Roman forms, medieval tapestries, the decorative excesses of rococo style and trash culture. The exhibition will be constructed as a ‘gesamtkunstwerk’, with an ambitious new immersive installation presented alongside selected works from the past fifteen years, accompanied by a major new monographic publication.

    A prominent queer artist whose iconoclastic works engage with the histories of ritual, queer identity, popular culture, nationalism and neo-liberalism, Paul Yore’s garish yet playful works recast a vast array of found materials, images and texts into sexually and politically loaded tableaux, suggesting hybridity, contradictory meanings, or an overturning of stable categories altogether.

    Paul Yore: Word Made Flesh will be exhibited at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Victoria from September 17 – November 20, 2022

    Hugo Michell Gallery Open: Fiona McMonagle + Sam Gold

    Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the exhibitions ‘That’s Bunny’ by Fiona McMonagle and ‘Wet from a moonlight swim’ by Sam Gold.
    That’s Bunny
    Fiona McMonagle
    ‘That’s Bunny’ presents thirteen large scale watercolour portraits which take cue from historical covers of the popular men’s magazine Playboy. McMonagle provokes audiences using this iconic imagery as a lens to re-examine the culture and long-term impact of the portrayal and sexualisation of women.
    Wet from a moonlight swim
    Sam Gold
    ‘Wet from a moonlight swim’ looks at social, gendered, bodily experiences and relief of non-binary expressions of the self. About the work, Gold shares: “This work is reflective, the colour palette is chosen from collecting and recording times of walking and swimming at night, when I have worked through struggles with societies gaze of what is queer, what is allowed; colour and form act as offerings of these experiences.” This body of work encapsulates the beauty, sensual folds, and the fluid approach to all the many varied experiences Gold has had as a queer person.

    Exhibition runs from: 3 February – 5 March 2022
    Official Exhibition opening: Thursday 3 February 2022


    Hugo Michell Gallery acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

    Happy Holidays from Hugo Michell Gallery!

    Hugo Michell Gallery would like to thank you for your support throughout a challenging year. Wishing you good health, prosperity and a fun-filled summer!

    Save the date: Thursday 4 February 2021
    Narelle Autio – ‘The Place In Between: The Changelings’
    Kate Just, Jamie O’Connell, Min Wong – ‘Neon’

    CLOSED: from 18 December 2020
    OPEN: 4 February – Available by appointment from 11 January 2021

    Pictured: Lucas Grogan, ‘WE THINK YOU SHOULD TAKE THE DAY OFF’, 2020, ink, acrylic enamel on archival mount board, 43 x 43 cm.

    Richard Lewer announced as Paul Guest Prize WINNER

    Congratulations to Richard Lewer who has been announced as the winner of the Paul Guest Prize!
    “The Paul Guest Prize is an award and exhibition held biennially that highlights contemporary drawing practice in Australia. The Prize was initiated by former Family Court Judge and Olympic rower, The Honourable Paul Guest OAM QC and encourages artists from across Australia to engage with the important medium of drawing in contemporary art practice. The Prize is a non-acquisitive cash award of $15,000.”
    Of the winning work Lewer states:
    “Drawing is the foundation of my art practice, I appreciate that it is immediate, unpretentious and uncomplicated. From a personal point of view, drawing plays a fundamental role in my wellbeing, it is where I go to escape when I need to deal with my demons, it is the best way I know to become healthy.”
    Finalist Exhibition: till 7 February 2021. Bendigo Art Gallery.

    For more information click here.