Maria Stoljar talks with Australian painters about how they became an artist, their painting techniques, influences and current work.
Ep 116: Aida Tomescu (uncut)
Fresh out of Sydney lockdown, the incredible works of Aida Tomescu are showing both in Sydney with Fox Jensen Gallery and in Hong Kong with Flowers Gallery in two outstanding exhibitions.
To add to this, in early December 2021, Orange Regional Gallery will be exhibiting what promises to be a blockbuster Tomescu show, looking at the artist's latest large works and how they connect to a group of key paintings and etchings from the past twenty years.
Tying in with these shows, I recently came across some footage I’d taken in the lead up to Aida’s 2019 show with Fox Jensen Gallery, ‘The Open Wounds of White Clouds’. Watching the video again, I soon realised there were many timeless gems in that conversation which I had never published, so here is the full exchange.
We filmed this conversation in Aida's studio in August 2019, in the midst of many dynamic works lining the walls and with Aida standing in front of the triptych titled ‘Sewn onto the Stones in the Sky’. That work has since been acquired by the Art Gallery of NSW (see below) and Aida talks in this episode about her approach to that work.
This episode will also be released as a video on the Talking with Painters YouTube channel with a view to uploading by mid-November. Scroll down to see four previous videos of Aida currently on the channel.
To hear the audio podcast conversation click 'play' beneath the above feature photo.
Current and upcoming shows
* 'A Long Line of Sand', Fox Jensen Gallery, Sydney, current until 30 October 2021* 'In a Carpet Made of Water', Flowers Gallery, Hong Kong, current until * 'Unfolding Presence', Orange Regional Gallery, Orange, opening 3 December, 2021
* Aida Tomescu website* Aida Tomescu at Fox Jensen Gallery* Aida Tomescu at Flowers Gallery* Episode 33 Talking with Painters podcast: Aida Tomescu* Episode 65 Talking with Painters podcast: Aida Tomescu on Tony Tuckson* Book tickets for 'The Artist Speaks' series - Art Gallery of NSW
Previous YouTube videos
Aida Tomescu - extended interview of episode 33 of the Talking with Painters podcast
Aida Tomescu talks with Maria Stoljar in her studio
Aida Tomescu's 2019 show 'The Open Wounds of White Clouds'
Maria Stoljar talks with Aida Tomescu about the AGNSW exhibition Tuckson: The Abstract Sublime
'Sewn onto the Stones in the Sky'oil on Belgian linen200 x 460cm overallCollection: Art Gallery of NSWPurchased with funds donated by Ken Cole AM and Rowena Danziger AMPhoto: Andrew Jensen
'A Long Line of Sand IV', 2021 oil on Belgian linen200 x 306 cm (diptych)each linen panel 200 x 153cmPhoto courtesy of Fox Je...
Ep 115: The Archibald Winners
Scroll down for transcript
If you’ve been listening to this podcast over the years, you would probably know I’m a self-confessed Archibald tragic. I'm fascinated by the depiction of the human face and figure in paint and that is exactly what the prize celebrates each year at the Art Gallery of NSW.
The Archibald Prize is Australia's most famous portrait prize and is now in its 100th year. This episode is a compilation of clips from my conversations with Archibald winners where they talk about how they felt about winning, what it did for their career or about the painting itself.
I've also included a clip from my conversation with biographer Scott Bevan where we talked about what was arguably the most controversial Archibald win - the 1943 winning portrait by William Dobell of fellow artist Joshua Smith.
To hear the podcast episode click 'play' beneath the above photo. Scroll down for the transcript.
See below for a list of podcast guests, the year they won the prize and their portraits. Click on the name to go to the full interview.
A video based on this episode will be posted to the Talking with Painters YouTube channel in a few weeks.
* Guy Warren 1985* Davida Allen 1986* William Robinson 1987 and 1995 * Francis Giacco 1994* Wendy Sharpe 1996* Lewis Miller 1998* Euan Macleod 1999* Nicholas Harding 2001* Del Kathryn Barton 2008 and 2013* Guido Maestri 2009* Ben Quilty 2011* Tim Storrier 2012* Louise Hearman 2016* Tony Costa 2019* Vincent Namatjira 2020* Peter Wegner 2021* a href="h...
Ep 114: Kim Leutwyler
Many Australians may have seen Kim Leutwyler’s work without ever having set foot in a gallery. In 2019 her impressive Archibald painting of television presenter Faustina Agolley was splashed across Sydney to promote the prize.
The striking image was on a huge banner above the entrance of the gallery, on bus shelters around the city, in newspapers and even on the front cover of a magazine.
Kim is no stranger to the Archibald Prize - she’s been shortlisted in five out of the last seven years. And her sitters all have one thing in common; they are people she admires and who are making a mark in the queer community.
Using bold colour in a distinctive style, Kim involves her sitters in the process, depicting them with an exciting combination of realism and abstraction. Always innovating and moving forward, she is constantly pushing towards pure abstraction, exploring and experimenting along the way.
Kim has a fabulously positive outlook and is a regular finalist in many major Australian art prizes and has exhibited widely across Australia and the US.
This episode was recorded remotely during the 2021 Sydney lockdown.
To hear the podcast episode click 'play' on the above photo.
Above portrait photo courtesy of the artist
Links to things we talk about in the episode
* Kim Leutwyler's website* Kim Leutwyler with Nanda Hobbs* Kim Leutwyler with 33 Contemporary* Kim Leutwyler at Bluethumb* Faustina Agolley* Trixie Mattel* Tenebrism* Kehinde Wiley * Marc Etherington * Robert Rauschenberg* Gamblin's 'Torrit Grey'
Click here for tickets to 'The Artist Speaks' series at the Art Gallery of NSW referred to in the introduction of this episode.
Faustina the Fuzz, 2019, oil and acrylic on canvas, 30” x 30”Finalist Archibald Prize 2019
Trixie Mattel, 2019, oil and acrylic on canvas , 60” x 40”Finalist Portia Geach Memorial award 2019
Brian with pink, blue and yellow, 2020, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36"Finalist Archibald Prize 2020
Kim, 2021, oil on canvas, 110 x 101.5 cmFinalist Archibald Prize 2021
Rhi, 2021, oil on canvas, 40" x 30"
Werrong with Pink and Blue, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 48"x 36"
Danger Zone, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas , 38in x 46inCollaboration with Marc Etherington
Watson, 2018, oil and acrylic on canvas, 60” x 40”
Ep 113: Georgia Spain
One of Georgia Spain's paintings was taking up more than its fair share of her Tasmanian studio. So she thought one way of freeing up some room would be to send it to the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney as an entry into the Sir John Sulman Prize.
A few weeks later she found out it had been shortlisted and a week after that, to her astonishment, it won. It was the first time she had entered the prize.
In selecting the winning work, guest judge Elisabeth Cummings said the painting was a strong, confident image full of energy and movement and that the artist's use of the figure was imaginative and very much her own.
This recognition was not a one-off. Georgia was one of five to receive the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship less than a year earlier and won the Women's Art Prize Tasmania in the same week as winning the Sulman. I got the impression, though, that, although the accolades were welcome, what was more important was to continue to create and explore without placing too much importance on them or on commercial success.
Although only 27, Georgia has exhibited in five solo shows across Tasmania, NSW and Victoria. She is also a singer and songwriter and her album ‘Trouble Isn’t Something You Can Hold’, recorded in 2017, draws from major life experiences and helped her through tragic times.
Georgia was born in London and lived in Ireland until she was nine before migrating to Australia. She now lives in Tasmania with her partner.
To hear our conversation press 'play' beneath the above feature photo.
Portrait photo supplied by the artist
Links to things we talked about in the show
* Georgia Spain on Instagram * Solo show 'One to Another' at Egg and Dart Gallery* Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship* Sir John Sulman Prize* Georgia's album 'Trouble Isn't Something You Can Hold'* YouTube video of Georgia's song 'Parasite'* Oscar Lush on Instagram
'Getting down or falling up', acrylic on canvas, 180.6 x 187.5 cmWinner: Sir John Sulman Prize, 2021
'Six Different Women', 2021, acrylic on canvas, 110 x 95cmWinner: Women's art Prize, Tasmania, 2021
'Pantomime', 2021, acrylic on canvas 134.5 x 113cm
'Standing, Waiting, Kissing, Waving, etc.', 2021, acrylic on canvas150 x 200cm
Ep 112: Jo Bertini
Jo Bertini's recent exhibition at Sydney’s Arthouse Gallery, ‘Songs of Dry Hills’, alluringly portrayed the landscape she is drawn to repeatedly - the desert.
Her love of that landscape and its First Nations People has led her to spend months at a time not only in the deserts of Australia but also those of India and the US. She has built an intimate connection to these lands and their people through thousands of hours of drawing and painting directly from her subjects.
The paintings in her recent show were big and bold, but it wasn't just the scale that caught your attention. Standing in front of the works the viewer was drawn into an other-worldly landscape where earth colours are replaced with a kaleidoscope of hues including accents of shining iridescent paint.
Jo has been exhibiting for over 30 years, in hundreds of solo and group shows, and her work is held in private and public collections across the world.
She is also an acclaimed portraitist with work in the National Portrait gallery, as well as an art educator, lecturer and writer.
Jo comes from a family of well known painters and photographers including the modernist photographer Olive Cotton and her mother, the sculptor Anne Ferguson, has been her greatest mentor.
To hear the conversation press 'play' beneath the above photo.
I also filmed Jo in her studio in Sydney - her larger studios are in country NSW and in New Mexico, USA, where she has lived for the past 5 years. That footage will be on this website and the Talking with Painters YouTube channel in a few weeks.
Solo exhibition at GOCA, University of Colorado, April to August 2022
Links to things we talked about in the show
* Website of Jo Bertini* Jo Bertini at Arthouse Gallery* Australian Desert Expeditions* 'Fieldwork', book of Bertini's drawings and gouache paintings
'Dry Wash', oil on French polyester canvas, 124.5 x 154.5cm
'Desert garden in the land of enchantment', oil on French polyester canvas, 155.5 x 155cm
'Casting a Wish Beneath the River', oil on Belgian linen, 201 x 155cm
'Hidden River of Sand', oil on Belgian linen, 202.5 x 206.5cm
Kitty Kantilla and Freda Warlapinni at Milikapiti (Snake Bay), 2003, oil on canvas, 152 x 135cmCollection: National Portrait Gallery, Australia
'Lachuben Rabari - Old and New', 2016, oil on canvas on vintage woven wedding shawl 130 x 92 cm
'Sand Sky', oil on French polyester canvas, 93.5 x 135cm
'The Language of Wind', iridescent pigment and oil on French polyester canvas, 99.5 x 175.5cm
Selection of pencil, charcoal and gouache sketches from 'Fieldwork', published by Zabriskie Books, 2014
Ep 111: Joanna Logue – ‘Alone on the Marsh’
'Everyone has a COVID story' Joanna Logue told me when we spoke recently about her show with Scott Livesey Galleries in Melbourne.
Part of Joanna's story is that, for the first time in her career, she wouldn't be attending the opening of her show. The paintings had travelled to Australia from her home in Mount Desert Island in the USA without her.
Joanna is a previous podcast guest and creates breathtaking landscapes which spill over towards abstraction. In this episode we talk about her stunning recent body of work in 'Alone on the Marsh' which draws on the landscape of her home in Maine with its rugged marshes, waterways and dense vegetation.
We also touch on the hardships brought by COVID - the homesickness, grief at the loss of a loved one back home and the dislocation caused by social and political unrest.
In spite of the difficult times, Joanna also talks about a silver lining and how her painting may not have taken the course it did were it not for the events of the past year.
Press 'play' beneath the above photo to hear the podcast episode.
You can also see a short video from our conversation below.
Above photo supplied by the artist
'Alone on the Marsh', Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne, 22 May to 19 June 2021
* Joanna Logue* Joanna Logue's exhibition at Scott Livesey Galleries* Joanna Logue at King Street Gallery on William * Jan Pinkerton
TANGLE POND 1, 2021, oil on linen, 100.00 x 126.00 cm
SOMES POND, 2021, oil on birch board, 41.00 x 51.00 cm
BREAKNECK CREEK , 2021, oil on linen, 130.00 x 130.00 cm
MARSH SONG II, 2021, oil on linen, 65.00 x 140.00 cm
Of all the media I consume “Talking With Painters” has the most integrity, depth and inside. Maria your sincerity and enthusiasm is infectious, thank you for this wonderful gift to art, culture and to our common wealth.
Betterer and Betterer
Wow 100 episodes. Feed the addiction.
Another fabulous episode!
Fabulous insight into the world of painters and how they think and work. Throughly enjoyable and educational listening.