Around the Galleries

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“Tribal Wealth”, by Gigs Wena (Chimbu Province), 2010.

MORE than 80 works from private collections have been brought together for the exhibition, “Piksa Inap Tok (Pictures Can Talk): Contemporary Art from Papua New Guinea”, created in conjunction with the symposium “Art Nau: Contemporary Art and Creative Possibilities in PNG”. At ANU School of Art & Design Gallery, corner of Ellery Crescent and Liversidge Street, Acton, September 18 to October 18.

THE “Love is in the Air” sees the MoAD (Museum of Australian Democracy) take visitors on a journey through Old Parliament House to discover some of the greatest love stories in Australian history, many of which unfolded within the historic walls of Old Parliament House. These romances showed a different, more personal side to the politicians who worked at Old Parliament House. The 45 minute long tour will run daily at MoAD until October 13. Ticketed event. Information at

“Radio Gaga” by Johnny Romeo, 2018, acrylic and oil on canvas

POP painter Johnny Romeo was a huge hit last year for Aarwun Gallery and he’s coming back with a new show, “Rocka Rolla”, a display of rambunctious Kitsch Pop works which re-imagines cultural icons. Opening at Aarwun, Federation Square, 6pm, Friday, September 20, and then the exhibition continues until October 5.

THE National Portrait Gallery is open again after refurbishments and repairs with “The Look”, a new exhibition from the collection of 68 contemporary photographs of well-known Australians from politics, the arts, science, business and sport, including Ian Thorpe, Michael Hutchence, Tim Jarvis, Noni Hazlehurst, Layne Beachley, Marcia Langton, Nick Cave and Ruby Hunter. Curator Sarah Engledow says: “Everyone here is operating the same equipment – two eyebrows, two eyes, a nose and a mouth. But how thrilling it is to look closely at how.” At the NPG until February 9.

Pink Elephants by Ayar Frantz

BELCONNEN Community Gallery presents “Mirth” (Pink Elephants). The exhibition features bright acrylic paintings and sculptures by Ayar Frantz from Bega, who has based her work on three themes – planet, saint and island – which emerged from an arrangement of second-hand objects found in the town centre. The opening celebration is at the Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court, Belconnen, from 5.30pm-7.30pm, Wednesday, September 18. All welcome. Then the show continues 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, until September 17. 

STARTING on Saturday, September 21, the Queanbeyan Art Society’s 12th annual Civic Art Show will be held in a huge art marquee in City Walk for nine days – until Monday, September 30. Last year saw record art sales with about 780 viewers every day coming through the art show. All work is for sale.

THE Precinct Market is a new Friday event launching at the Kambri at ANU. The markets will feature live entertainment and more than 60 stall holders selling an array of fresh produce, flowers, plants, artisan goods, clothing and hot food. Market director is Kirrily Sinclair, who will launch the first event from 9am-2pm this Friday, September 20. All welcome.  

“SEASIDE DREAMs”, by Jenny Blake, acrylic on wood.

“BLOCK by Block” is a body of work by local artist Jenny Blake, who rescued wood offcuts from buildings skips, repurposed the wood to create a new body of artworks, painted the wood offcuts with miniature landscapes and reassembled them to resemble building blocks. “Making art from trash is great for our environment and has social benefits,” Blake says. At Strathnairn Arts, 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt, September 19 to October 13.

“Solstice”, by Alison Ford, 2019, oil and acrylic on linen.

GALLERY owner Helen Stephens will open her house this Saturday to visitors to view her private collection and to learn about the value and joy of collecting art. Speakers on the day will include Goulburn Regional Art Gallery director Gina Mobayed and   artist/collector Alison Ford, whose current exhibition, “Memoraryscapes”, is on view there until September 22. Helen Stephens Gallery, 39 Murray Street, Collector, 2pm-4pm, Saturday, September 21. Free event, but bookings advised to or 0406 836393.

“Midnight Moth” by Hanna Malkus, 2019, watercolour and acrylic on paper and canvas. Photo: Karen Wilson

EXTRAORDINARY primary school artworks, now showing at Tuggeranong Arts Centre, are the creative outcomes of a year-long enquiry by Bonython Primary School students into the practise of “acknowledging country”. Supported by Tuggeranong Arts Centre, the project saw Bonython students engaging with members from the local Ngunnawal community exploring what it means to acknowledge the country’s First Nations Peoples and their custodianship of the land upon which they learn, play, walk and wonder. At the Centre until September 25, all welcome.

Work by artist Tania Vrancic

“FREEDOM” is the name given by artist Tania Vrancic to a new body of work in which brushstrokes, sgraffito and ceramic pencil mark-making relate back to her abstract landscape paintings. Her work was inspired by letters and documents that relate to the concept and idea of freedom as well as themes of imprisonment and oppression. Canberra Contemporary Art Space, 19 Furneaux Street, Manuka, opening 6pm, Thursday, September 19. The show continues 11am-5pm, Friday to Sunday, until September 29.

“Jitterbug”, by Mimi Fairall, 2019, mixed media on board.

“#ADULTING” is an exhibition of Mimi Fairall’s new body of work, which celebrates and reflects upon the process of growing up. Drawing from personal experiences as a millennial, she expresses how she navigates the negative and positive realities of the world and her place within it. Opening at ANCA Gallery, 1 Rosevear Place, Dickson, 6pm, Wednesday, September 18. All welcome. The exhibition continues until October 6.

Wildflower medley by Elvi McCann

WITH the theme of  “Flight and Fantasy”, the annual exhibition of the ACT Embroiderers’ Guild will be held at Albert Hall from 10am-4pm, Friday, September 20 to Sunday, September 22. As well as traditional and contemporary embroidery, there will be creative and recycle challenges, the Greenhills Mystery Project, a young stitchers display, embroidery demonstrations, a gift  shop, recycle table and café.


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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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