BAG
Botanical Gardens
Bridge Street, Benalla VIC 3672
Telephone: 03 5760 2619
gallery@benalla.vic.gov.au
Open 10 - 5pm Closed Tuesdays


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Previous Exhibitions

Drawn to the Wild: Kate Jenvey
9th Feb 2017 - 2nd Apr 2017 
Drawn to the Wild: Kate Jenvey
Simpson Gallery

Kate Jenvey is an internationally renown artist who creates highly detailed images of wild animals and birds. From the artist’s early childhood in East Africa, nature has been a source of wonder and excitement leading to a great respect for the natural world.

Kate’s use of coloured and graphite pencils precisely capture the detail, nuances and intricate structures in a manner that honours nature’s beauty.

The power, dynamic beauty and drama of the wild are all ingredients that Kate explores through her art, providing herself and her audiences with deep enjoyment.

Image: Kate Jenvey, Rosy Cheeks, 2016

Michelle Nikou: a e i o u
28th Jan 2017 - 2nd Apr 2017 
Michelle Nikou: a e i o u
Bennett Gallery

Adelaide-based artist Michelle Nikou draws on surrealism in a reflective and productive way to transform mundane domestic objects and materials into sculptures of humour and marvel. In this exhibition of new and recent work she utilises surrealist strategies such as chance, psychological metaphor, deadpan wit and juxtaposition, and inventively mingles high and low art sources and cultural references. Her work intentionally blurs and extends the boundaries between fine art and craft and often invests unremarkable or overlooked facets of daily existence with new and unexpected significance.

Nikou’s practice is also characterised by a deep engagement with language and she forges connections between art and literature that invoke suburban life, family interactions and food. Seemingly disparate concepts and materials are regularly combined to produce unsettling and sometimes absurd effects, such as the fried eggs made in bronze that lend the exhibition its title, the flattened egg forms suggesting the vowels of the alphabet.

As a result of imaginative exploration Nikou has evolved a distinctive visual vocabulary and sophisticated practice with a strong conceptual basis in its play of poetics, aesthetics and forms.

A NETS Victoria Touring Exhibition

Image: Michelle Nikou, Sylvia’s Jumper, 2013-16
Courtesy of the artist and Darren knight Gallery, Sydney

The Salon: Benalla Art Gallery Collection
15th Dec 2016 - 31st Jan 2017 
The Salon: Benalla Art Gallery Collection
Ledger Gallery

The Salon presents an intimate experience of the Benalla Art Gallery collection. A wonderful array of works from the Collection including paintings, decorative arts and furniture are displayed in a 19th century salon style.

Image: Arthur Streeton (1867 – 1943)
Impression for Golden Summer, 1888-89
oil on canvas on board
Ledger Gift, 1980

Shape Shifters
15th Dec 2016 - 5th Feb 2017 
Shape Shifters
Ledger Gallery

Shape Shifters celebrates the development of abstraction within Australia from the early 20th century to the present. Drawn from the Benalla Art Gallery Collection, the exhibition presents paintings, prints and sculptures by some of Australia’s most highly regarded artists including Rosalie Gascoigne, Clement Meadmore, Howard Arkley and Juan Davila.

Shape Shifters traces the influences of international movements of impressionism, cubism and surrealism on early Australian modernism, the rise of abstract expressionism during the mid 20th century and the emergence of bold contemporary Indigenous painting from the 1980s on.

Image: Clement Meadmore, Delaunay’s Dilemma, 1992. © Meadmore Sculptures, LLC/VAGA. Licensed by Viscopy, 2016.

Dream Machine
15th Dec 2016 - 5th Feb 2017 
Dream Machine
Simpson Gallery

Benalla Art Gallery is excited to present the tantalising sculptures of Vittoria di Stefano as the inspiration for Dream Machine, an evolving art project co-created with Gallery visitors.

Vittoria’s sculptures are machines for exploring desire as a perpetual and often futile force. Tactile, absurd and sensitive, her small constructions of wax, magnets, rubber, soap, ball bearings and other humble materials re-imagine conventional notions of the machine as a means of production.

As part of this exhibition visitors can create their own sculptural objects in response to the transformational alchemy of Vittoria’s desire machines. These will be displayed in the gallery as part of the exhibition.

Image: Vittoria Di Stefano, Tentative Touch 2016

Australian Exotica
18th Nov 2016 - 22nd Jan 2017 
Australian Exotica
Bennett Gallery

Australian exotica showcases photographic work that engages with the theme of the exotic antipodes.

Ever since the fifteenth century, when European cartographers began including the contour of Terra Australis Incognita (‘the unknown land of the south’) in their speculative maps of the globe, the continent of Australia has been thought of as an exotic place. For many of the artists in this exhibition, this European vision is something that needs to be subverted and critiqued. For others, the idea of living in an eccentric environment, with surreal undertows, continues to inform a distinctively Australian sense of place.

Artists include: Brook Andrew Michael Cook, Destiny Deacon, Peter Dombrovskis, Marian Drew, Leah King-Smith, Joseph McGlennon, Tracey Moffatt, Darren Siwes, Robyn Stacey and Christian Bumbarra Thompson.

Australian Exotica is a touring exhibition organised by the MGA.

Image: Peter Dombrovskis, Lake Oberon, Western Arthur Range, south-west Tasmania 1988.
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection courtesy of the estate of Peter Dombrovskis.

Colour Light Life
15th Oct 2016 - 11th Dec 2016 
Colour Light Life
Simpson Gallery

Jennifer Paull’s paintings speak about the beauty that exists in the play of light and colour. Her dramatic images of people, places and objects are rendered in rich colours which vibrate with luminosity and movement.

Image: Jennifer Paull, Oriental pots, 2016

Familija - Jacqui Stockdale
9th Sep 2016 - 13th Nov 2016 
Familija - Jacqui Stockdale
Bennett Gallery

Jacqui Stockdale is an artist who grew up in Benalla and whose work is now acclaimed and sought after internationally. Familija includes painting, collage, photography and drawing from the past 15 years of her art practice and explores the artist’s fascination with the body, colonial history and constructed identities. 

Using masks, costumes and objects collected from her travels, Stockdale creates theatrical scenes that are layered with cultural and historical references. Her compelling photographic portraits combine photography and painting, playfully mimicking the genre of exotic postcards where subjects are depicted within a fictional landscape.

Stockdale’s latest photographic portrait series, The Boho, draws on 19th century narratives surrounding Ned Kelly. Her re-imagining of the Kelly story is staged in front of painted landscapes from around the Benalla region, such as Stringy Bark Creek and Power’s Lookout.

Image: Jacqui Stockdale, The Offering 2016, C type print

EXHIBITION CATALOGUE: Download the Familija catalogue by clicking the link on the left of the screen.

Natural History: Lake Mokoan - Sally Simpson
26th Aug 2016 - 9th Oct 2016 
Natural History: Lake Mokoan -  Sally Simpson
Simpson Gallery

Sally Simpson’s work reflects her fascination with the way values and meaning assigned to land change over time, according to point of view, culture and situation. She uses unexpected methods to transform natural and man-made materials found at particular sites, creating sculptures that evoke artefacts or specimens and drawings that reflect the fragility of the environment. The purpose of these objects is to record the interaction between humans and the land at a particular point in history, as if for a future museum.

Simpson’s Lake Mokoan Series utilises both manufactured and natural materials collected on site including discarded irrigation pipe, lace and fish bones, that reflect the fragility of this environment in flux. Her drawings of mummified fish found at the lake suggest the provisional nature of survival in a changing environment.

Part of a former irrigation scheme, Lake Mokoan is now in the process of being converted to the Winton Wetlands.

 

Image: Sally Simpson, Venerated remains (installation view). Courtesy of the artist.

Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 2015
2nd Jul 2016 - 4th Sep 2016 
Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 2015
Bennett Gallery

For the past 27 years the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (DMNPP) has encouraged both excellence and creativity in contemporary Australian portraiture by asking artists to interpret the look and personality of a chosen sitter, either unknown or well known.
Founded by Doug & Greta Moran and family in 1988, the DMNPP is an annual Australian portrait prize. Currently with an annual first prize of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), the Prize is an important part of Australia’s Arts calendar.
Benalla Art Gallery was selected as the only Victorian venue to present this prestigious prize.

Image: Wendy Sharpe, Self Portrait with Ridiculous Hat, oil on linen, 2014.