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139 Beaumont St
Hamilton, NSW, 2303
Australia

Gallery 139  |  Independent Art Gallery 

2016 BLOG

A Change is as good as a holiday

Ahn Wells

Back wall installation 

Back wall installation 

For this current exhibition, FEED THE MONSTERS OF LOVE (THE SLOW POST), I handed over my beloved gallery to the collaborative art duo ~ SODAMOLLY.  This was a first for Gallery 139 since it's opening in February 2015 and it was a liberating, if a little nerve-wracking experience. It's the first time I've let go of my control over the gallery space as I'm usually involved in every part of the exhibition process.  For this exhibition to work, I had to allow myself to step away and remove myself from any curatorial dialogue.  The result is this wonderfully different type of exhibition, that pushes the gallery's boundaries and gives audiences a contemporary insight into collaborative drawing. In a world where fast is everything, these collaborative drawings have taken months to complete via the post, with Kristian Glynn residing in Melbourne and Colleen Hoad who make up SODAMOLLY.  A commitment the artists have made to the project and to each other and one that I am happy to be able to help bring to exhibition.

As Peter Lankas said during his opening night speech "Collaboration is liberating, letting go of one's own ego. It's exciting, surprising, a learning experience. These works are clearly stamped with the heads, guts and hearts of these artists." Make sure you get in to see the exhibition before it ends on Saturday 3 December.  

The artist/s are in the gallery for the entire exhibition period. It's a great chance to meet and talk to them about the process of collaboration and about past and future projects of SODAMOLLY. 

~ Ahn Wells
December 2016

 

ALLSORTS on show in G139

Ahn Wells

Arvo roll 2016 oil on board 60x50cm 

Arvo roll 2016 oil on board 60x50cm 

In Allsorts, Peter Lankas presents his first solo exhibition at Gallery 139. In preparation for this, we talked about what Lankas wanted to focus on and found that he wanted to just paint and not feel constrained to a specific subject or place. For those who know the artist, this is very much Lankas' personality and by giving him the freedom to paint anything he wanted, he has actually ended up revisiting many past subjects such as the service station and the Merewether coastline and the suburban vernacular he captures so well. By not asking Lankas to be specific, the artist has naturally created his own visual voice.

Lankas has a long exhibition history, he started exhibiting straight after graduating from Alexander Mackie CAE, Sydney in 1980 and since I've known him in Newcastle, I've seen him continue to push his own boundaries while somehow maintaining a “Lankas-charm” in all his works. This charm is Lankas' ability to capture the quintessential Australia, almost by accident but never by default. Born in the Czech Republic and migrating to Australia at the tender age of 11 years – Peter grew up on the picturesque northern beaches of Sydney during the 1970s. He spend his formative years growing up in the inner-city suburbs of Sydney being influenced by punk music and his art school friends. It was during these years, he painted the people around him and the suburbs and has continued to find delight in the everyday and what we think of as the ordinary. His unique and often humorous take on suburbia sometimes skates close to poking fun at his adopted Australia but instead it somehow wraps a hug around the people and the familiar and celebrates them.

Congratulations Peter Lankas on a beautiful exhibition and I hope all of you visiting the gallery enjoy listening to the sweet sounds of this unique artist.

ALL SORTS is on now until 19 November 2016.

Ahn Wells
Director

November 2016

Imbued around 3 galleries

Ahn Wells

View from front of gallery

View from front of gallery

IMBUED is on exhibition across 3 galleries ~ Acrux Art Gallery, Gallery 139 and Gallery 61 Revisited. Each gallery curated their own exhibitions and asked different artists to be involved in each show and shared the exhibition opening across the 3 galleries on Saturday 15 October. 

At Gallery 139 the works by each artist are imbued with an intuitive sense of colour. The artists asked to exhibit in this exhibition are Michelle Brodie, Julia Flanagan, Ellie Hannon, Olivia Parsonage and Vanessa Turton. 

Merewether 'en plein air'

Ahn Wells

The Channel oil on board 207cm x 85cm 

By Ahn Wells

If you frequent Newcastle's Merewether Beach, you may have already seen an artist set-up with his large painting canvas and oversized paint palette near the rocks in front of the Merewether Cafe or to the side of the Ocean Baths. That artist is Dino Consalvo and he has been painting in this area during all hours of the day and night since April in preparation for his solo exhibition at Gallery 139 Hamilton. Relying on nature's patterns, the low and high tides, the colours reflected through the clouds and the salt air. His paintings are not only of this well-known place they are also a collection of how the artist feel towards this familiar location.

Consalvo has always been fascinated with the area of Merewether, particularly the beach and ocean bath areas. The changing colours of the ocean, the rock crevices revealing shapes, lines and textures depending on the tide and the weather. The people who frequent the ocean baths, from the dedicated 5am lap swimmers to the late night loners, Dino has witnessed it all while concentrating on painting 'en plein air'. He comments that Merewether is “always changing, there's never ending views for paintings. The challenge is capturing a moment in time and the feeling it evokes which is what I'm trying to do”.

He grew up in the Newcastle suburb of Tighes Hill, with a strong need to be creative. He started drawing from an early age and left Newcastle for Sydney at age 17. He spent time studying at art school there and in Melbourne where he lived for 38 years, painting and exhibiting, running his own business and raising a family. He recently returned to Newcastle about 4 years ago to concentrate on his art full-time. This will be Consalvo's 4th solo exhibition since his return to Newcastle.

Merewether – a transition is his new exhibition coming up at Gallery 139 in Hamilton from 21 September – 8 October, for more information visit gallery139.com.au 

FIND THIS ARTICLE IN THE CURRENT ISSUE OF HUNTER LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE ~ SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 | PAGE 68

MEET AN ARTIST

Ahn Wells

CLARE WEEKS ON WORKING COLLABORATIVELY WITH STUDENT MAISIE NEALE

Clare in front of the collaborative work by her and Maisie Form 2016 colour Impossible Polaroid photographs in the exhibition "The Artist as Mentor" at Gallery 139 31 August - 17 September 2016

Tell us how the works in "The Artist as Mentor" came about?
For us the idea was mostly Maisie’s. We tried a few video ideas out but then one day Maisie just turned up and said, “Kaleidescopes,” and I knew exactly what we would do. 

How did it feel working collaboratively with your student? Did you enjoy the process?
It feels very natural working with Maisie. I’ve been her teacher for almost two years now and we have always talked about her ideas. I love seeing what she’s working on and helping her with lighting and camera set-ups… and then arguing over her editing.

The audience reaction to your video performance installation has been very positive; everybody enjoys interacting with the works. Was that the intention when deciding to use a 'peep hole' as the means to view the work? 
It’s modelled on an actual kaleidoscope Maisie bought and cut up in sculpture to see how it worked. She then came up with a box design with the usual circular hole that they have. We built a test one and it worked exactly as planned. Video was always the intention to use in the rear of the kaleidoscopes particularly since ours wasn’t one that you turn yourself to create the movement and also because the moving image seems to hold the viewers attention for longer.

Where else can we see your works? Up coming exhibitions? 
Maisie will be exhibiting her Body of Work at the Newcastle Art School closer to the end of the year and I have a work in the Friends of the University Student Art Prize at the University Gallery from 14 September – 1 October. 

Artist Websites

clareweeks.com.au

Instagrams

@_maisie___

@hithereclare

~ interview Ahn Wells
Clare and Maisie exhibited in The Artist as Mentor exhibition at Gallery 139 from 31 Aug - 17 Sept 2016.

THIS FIRST WAS PUBLISHED ON WWW.INDEPENDENTGALLERIESNEWCASTLE.COM

Dusted with COAL

Ahn Wells

Helene Leane's artwork is distinctively her own and we can see this in Leane's second solo exhibition at Gallery 139 COAL DUSTED. Based on the little suburb of Carrington which Leane moved to this year, it endeared itself into the imagination of the artist to produce this series of monotypes, paintings, encaustics and photo transfers.

It is Leane's monotypes that show her maturing as an artist best. A printmaking process in which the artist has developed over her art practice using gouache paint, hand cut stencilling and a gelatine plate. The result, as you can see in this exhibition, is a beautiful soft layering of imagery where that the more you look at, the more you are drawn into the world of the artist and in Leane's world life is full of softness and calm amongst the chaos. Leane prints onto a porous Japanese hosho paper and then uses acid-free glue to attached onto a backing sheet. Like all good printmakers, she is aware of the importance of the longevity of her work and always employs a quality artist framer to add the final touches to her exhibition work. I wanted to acknowledge this part of Leane's professional approach to her art practice – framing can often be an afterthought but with this artist you get the whole package.

Leane likes to experiment with other processes, recently the encaustic process (wax painting) and in this exhibition there are 5 beautiful little landscapes that play with the encaustic medium as much as they do with the subject of Carrington. On the back wall of this exhibition, Leane has employed a photo transfer process with mixed media. Capturing the different shapes, textures and objects that are typical of Carrington. And lastly, the paintings have taken on a mixture of muted marone, soft blue and hints of reed green all tainted by coal dust black which makes up the title of the exhibition.

~ Ahn Wells

 

Abstract Plus

Ahn Wells

"ABSTRACT +" has now finished and it was a very rewarding exhibition, I had new people visit the gallery and artists exhibiting for the first time and to keep things going, I had some sales. I'm slowing starting to combination of artists right for the space and really starting to enjoy the curatorial process.

During this exhibition, I also started Instagram workshop for Artists which have been really fun. Probably more for me cause I'm a bit addicted to the medium. Adding to the gallery income, I hope that it will free up some of the financial pressures of running a commercial space, to allow further curatorial freedom. Fingers crossed. 

Also been starting to work out 2017 exhibition calendar and looking for opportunities for my Gallery Artists outside of Newcastle. Through some past networking, I'm pleased to secure an exhibition space for Gallery Artists, Helene Leane and Dino Consalvo at Janet Clayton Gallery on Oxford (Sydney) in the first half of 2017. 

Now in the process of installing the next exhibition, "COAL DUSTED: Helene Leane" which starts this Wednesday 10 August, opening Saturday 13 August from 2-4pm and ends 27 August. Hopefully, will get a blogpost up before this exhibition ends. 

~ Ahn Wells 

Our little Archibald

Ahn Wells

How very timely to be presenting a portrait/figurative exhibition around the same time as the  biggest Portrait Prize in Australia is being judged ~ The Archibald Prize.  And while many Australian artists know their fate, the winner is still to be announced TODAY, Friday 15 July. 

Portrait painting is a difficult genre to tackle, not only do you have to navigate the physical likeness of your subject but you also have to be sensitive to your subject's sense of what they look like. 

I've been the subject of a couple of portraits in the last few years and it's just as hard to be 'the subject', it requires patience and the ability not to move around (both of which I lack). The most enjoyable part is getting to know the artist as they paint/draw you. The best Portrait paintings become as much a physical representation of the person while also capturing their personality. 

Figurative painting and drawing, in my opinion is far more challenging. The subject/s of a good figurative painting need to be captivating while also blending seamlessly into the overall painting. Think the figurative paintings by Australian artists Russell Drysdale and Sidney Nolan.  

Get in quick to "The Subject" at Gallery 139 as it ends tomorrow, Saturday 16 July. If you haven't already got plans come along to the live 1 hr portrait demonstration by Pablo Tapia from 10am in the gallery. 

~ Ahn Wells

Impromptu photoshoot with me and Coco

Ahn Wells

Impromptu photoshoot in the gallery with Bec Peterson of Inspired by Faith Photography during Fine Drawing exhibition.

Impromptu photoshoot in the gallery with Bec Peterson of Inspired by Faith Photography
during Fine Drawing exhibition.

A HOME

Ahn Wells

Catherine Tempest photographic work purchased from Gallery 139's first exhibition BEGINNINGS in it's home.

Catherine Tempest photographic work purchased from Gallery 139's first exhibition BEGINNINGS in it's home.

I have been wondering lately where the artworks I've sold from the gallery over the past year and half have ended up. Did they find a permanent home or are they still waiting, were they given as presents or were they bought as a present. Then yesterday, a visitor came in and we got talking and he mentioned he had bought a work from me. A photographic work by Catherine Tempest that was part of my first exhibition, timely named BEGINNINGS. I asked him to take a photo of it in it's home and send it to me. Here it is. Catherine Tempest's Sensing Contact a digital photographic image printed onto Tyvek polythene (a kind of printing paper).  

It's actually quite exciting to know that a work sold during my first exhibition which was my first sale from my first business is hanging up in someone's home. It looks contemporary and improves the home owner's space, he also mentioned that both he and his wife like it, which is even more rewarding to hear. 

So, if you're reading this and you have purchased a work from the gallery, please take a photo and email it to us at info@gallery139.com.au, we'd love to see where our artworks have found a home. 

~ Ahn Wells 

How is drawing defined

Ahn Wells

Christina Frogley The Old Dodge charcoal on paper in the group exhibition Fine Drawing 

Christina Frogley The Old Dodge charcoal on paper in the group exhibition
Fine Drawing 

Drawing is often overlooked or seen as a tool used to describe a final piece of work but in this exhibition Fine Drawing, the many different approaches to drawing is the main reason why I wanted to present this second drawing exhibition at Gallery 139. The first was Drawing Fine in April 2016. I believe drawing comes in many forms and is the heart to art making, Visit before the exhibition ends on Saturday 25 June to see what I mean.

~ Ahn Wells

Gallery 139 at The Depot Gallery

Ahn Wells

Installation view from the front door

Installation view from the front door

It's the 2nd and final week of the exhibition at The Depot Gallery, Waterloo and it's been a really rewarding experience, full of lessons and acknowledgements of what worked and what can be done better next time. I have really enjoyed gallery sitting and talking with visitors and those who have little knowledge of the small Newcastle independent arts scene. And it's rewarding to see that the works made in Newcastle easily sit within this Sydney art complex and I'm really proud of my artists (as dorky as that sounds). They have all taken risks with their works, in scale, subject matter and narrative. And it's been a real pleasure to curate, to have the freedom to place the works where I feel best work within this beautiful gallery space. All 3 artists had input into sequence of their works and it is nice to be able to bounce ideas off the other artists. This is what I love about owning a gallery of my own, is being able to final say, where the decisions end with me. There are no mistakes, no rights and no wrongs and I hope that I can continue to bring Newcastle artists to Sydney in the future. 

Gallery 139 presents CONSALVO LANKAS MAHER ends on Saturday 4 June at 2 Danks Street, Waterloo, we are here in the gallery Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 6pm or call 0434 886 450. 

~ Ahn Wells June 2016

Gallery Director, Ahn giving the opening speech at The Depot Gallery, Sat 28 May

Gallery Director, Ahn giving the opening speech at The Depot Gallery, Sat 28 May

Introduction from catalogue
This is the first Gallery 139 presents exhibition outside of Newcastle! We hope this will be the first of many exhibitions presented by the gallery.  

All three artists, studied Fine Art in Australia during the early eighties. It was a time when the newly remodelled National Gallery of Australia in Canberra opened in 1982. The controversial purchase of Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock, a decade earlier, was finally quietening down and by 1985, the Australian landscape had been captured by John Olsen in his signature painting style resulting in a second prestigious Wynne Prize.

While these events may not have directly influenced Dino Consalvo, Paul Maher and Peter Lankas. It was during this time that all three artists were finding their place within the unique Australian cultural landscape. They learnt from teachers such as Frank Celtan, Kevin Connors and Elisabeth Cummings amongst the dirty drawing rooms of the art school and in the paint studios at night.

But it's more than influential teachers and art schools that make an artist. It's about long hours in the studio, failures in and out of the gallery space and an overall commitment to being an Artist.

As the curator of this exhibition, I've seen inside these artists' worlds. I've watched, with slight concern at Dino painting at 3am in the empty Merewether baths and been privy to the developing colours that find their way into a Lankas suburb. I've often looked at the girl behind that computer in Screen tan and thought “that could be me!” and I am still amazed by the grandeur of Paul's humble coastline. This view is so familiar to me too, yet there is always something new to discover within a Maher painting. I hope you enjoy this exhibition. All three artists exhibit regularly with Gallery 139. Both Dino and Peter have scheduled exhibitions later this year. Enjoy, and we hope to see you soon at Gallery 139.

More than just a gallery artist

Ahn Wells

When coming to write about this exhibition, it dawned on me that it's only been 6 months ago since Flynn exhibited here in the gallery. I like to see my gallery artists' working hard, pushing their creative boundaries but still delving deeper into ideas and maintaining a strong aesthetic sense of self. And as motherly as it sounds, I'm proud that Flynn has achieved this with the exhibition. 

When I decided to open this gallery and to "represent" a small stable of artists, I really wanted to make sure that I allowed those artists the freedom to make the art they wanted to make, not just the art they thought I'd want them to make. I will be honest, as I have been with Flynn, not all of the work in this exhibition I like. But, having said that, I do love the overall exhibition. I see what Flynn is trying to achieve and I believe he can push it further and make this into his living, if he choses. He is at the start of his career which is an exciting place to be. 

I encourage you to really look at each of the works and from all angles. Look through, look up, look around and look down. Flynn has placed the works in these seemingly odd points in the gallery for a reason. He wants us to view them in an awkward, unfamiliar position. In a way, we become apart of the experience of the work, when our neck hurts from the looking up, we'll remember that view better. If we ask, why did he leave those sculptures rusty but painted these. He'll have the answer. 

In the end it doesn't matter if we know why, it only matters that we are transformed by the act of viewing and in with some sculptures the act of touching and listening. 

I encourage you to visit the exhibition. Take a seat. Spend some time with the works. This will be your only chance. 

Congratulations to Flynn who also curated his own exhibition. He has such an innate sense of space and an understanding of this gallery, that I was thankful when he didn't need my help for this hang. 

The exhibition runs until 4 June, Flynn will be in the gallery during the week from Wednesday - Friday 10am - 5pm. Come by and visit. 

Opening night, Friday 20 May 2016

Opening night, Friday 20 May 2016

~ Ahn Wells May 2016

Still looking through coloured glasses

Ahn Wells

Beyond COLOUR 27 Apr - 14 May 2016 ~ John Heaney (ceramics), Matthew Tome (etchings), Sieglinde Battley (painting), Lynette Bridge (painting - not in above image)

Beyond COLOUR 27 Apr - 14 May 2016 ~ John Heaney (ceramics), Matthew Tome (etchings), Sieglinde Battley (painting), Lynette Bridge (painting - not in above image)

I've past the 1 year mark and I'm still eager and excited to still be here....maybe owning my own gallery is the cure to my 'one year itch'. Every new show brings excitement and I can't wait to see what the artists have created for me.

For Beyond COLOUR all 4 artist made new work for this exhibition. I asked 2 emerging artists and 2 established artists to be involved with the idea that I could use the gallery space more freely and really showcase each artist's individual practice. I love this exhibition. All the works are imbued with each artists' ideas and personal motifs, the works are 'beyond' what they appear, they are beyond the physical painting, etching, ceramic piece and each artist has found a way to create cohesion in their works. This, I believe comes when artists are given time and freedom to create without having to think about what the work is about. I trust that when you give an artist space to just make ~ their own distinct 'visual signature' emerges. Finding the time and freedom to do this is the challenge. And it is hoped that my gallery can keep providing exhibitions for artists to feel free to just be.  

Lets meet the artists. Lynette Bridge is still part way through her University studies and John Heaney just finished his Honours majoring in ceramics. Most of us in the Newcastle art community know Matthew Tome who has been exhibiting professionally since the mid-1980. He is also the current head teacher at Newcastle Art School, Hunter St TAFE. Sielindge Battley has been exhibiting professionally in Australia since she arrived in 1978 and her works are held in important Australian collections including Artbank, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Commonwealth Law Courts to name a few. 

Both Matthew Tome and Sieglinde Battley have artist websites, just click on their names and you will be taken to their site. You can follow the emerging career of Lynette Bridges via her Instagram (search @lynnie_13) and if you'd like to know when John is exhibiting next, get in contact and I can pass on your details onto him. 

Thanks for reading, like this blog post if did and share it with your friends and if you haven't already, please come into the gallery and see this beautiful exhibition.
Beyond COLOUR ends Saturday 14 May at 2pm.

~ Ahn Wells May 2016

Nature's presence

Ahn Wells

The current exhibition in the gallery is NATURE STIRRED which has come together organically, with each artists' body of work sitting happily within the gallery space and bouncing off each other in a way that I didn't expect. I like when these things happen. 

Penny Dunstan's Lumen photographic prints of plants are reflected in the lines and shapes found in Shelagh Lummis' tall skinny paintings that sit perfectly on the back gallery wall. The black drypoint printed lines in Judy Henry's works share the patterns in Matthew Allam's moss and Lichen little worlds. The bright powerful yellow, orange and reds of John Barnes abstract landscape find a home on the opposite wall in the simplified woodcuts by Sally Reynolds and Gavin Vitullo's 225 year old Pangea sculpture fills the front of the gallery with both impact and hesitance.

With the gallery slowly building a reputation, and with me learning about the 'business' of owning my own gallery. Gallery 139 is slowly finding its feet and its place within the Newcastle arts community.  Be sure to see NATURE STIRRED before it ends on Saturday 23 April.

~ Ahn Wells 

The Interview

Ahn Wells

I arrived 10 mins early, 8.50am...that's early for me. The gallery opens at 10am, and I only live 5 mins away so I don't even need to be out of bed until 9am. But the adrenaline had kicked in from the night before and I was a tad nervous. 

I had chosen to be film interviewed, Holly from Hunter Headline gave me the option of film or to write the answers. I had chosen the option I was less comfortable with because I have a good friend's advice ringing in my ears "Ahn, you're going to have to start doing some things that make you uncomfortable". She was talking to me about being an artist and doing talks, but this is pretty much the same thing. So I took her advice and I said yes to the "uncomfortable" option. 

One thing I noticed is that time flew by. I thought I'd be there for at least 30mins but I was done in 15mins but it felt like I was being interviewed for an hour, even though when I was answering it only felt like a 1 min. Yet the whole overall interview is 7mins, which when you compare that to the other interviews it's quiet long. I wonder if everyone who starts watching, watches til the end?

Anyway, it was a great experience. I'm glad I choose my scary option and I hope if you do start watching the interview you make it to the end. Oh and thanks to Holly from Hunter Headline and the camera guys, who made me feel relaxed in front of 2 big wide black camera lens'!

Read the interview here, watch the interview by clicking on the play button.

~ Ahn Wells

Heaven must be filled with flowers

Ahn Wells

Installation view 

Installation view 

The gallery is filled with flowers. It's what I imagine heaven must be like. There are Calla Lilies, Pitcher Pants, Freesias, Natives, Orchids, Pansies and a Cactus for good measure. It's hard not to be happy when you step into the gallery to view this exhibition. Flowers just bring on smiles and I don't know about you but when I look at them, they just make me feel good and I love having them around. 

It's not surprising that the gallery would eventually be inspired to have an exhibition based on the flowers from ELEGANT BLOOMS FLOWER BOUTIQUE next door. Coco and I visit Amy and Pene everyday and we always buy a vase of flowers to go with a new exhibition.  The works in this exhibition are mostly the result of drawing and painting workshops held in the gallery last year with a few extra works by artists well accustomed to flower painting including Jill Orr, John Earle and Andrew Finnie. 

There is one final week left of ELEGANT BLOOMS in the gallery, it finishes on Saturday 2 April at 2pm. 

~ Ahn Wells

The lessons of Photography

Ahn Wells

installation view The Bounds of Photography 24 February - 13 March 2016

installation view The Bounds of Photography 24 February - 13 March 2016

I started my art career with photography. I remember spending hours in my home darkroom when I was in my early 20's, I developed film after film, printed my own black and white prints and would spend whole weekends alone in the backyard taking photos of everything and anything. Photography taught me how to see, compose and edit. 

In just over a decade, I have seen digital and mobile phones threaten and now (I believe) compliment traditional photography and the with the resurgence of liquid light, plate photography, cyanotype and other alternative photography mediums, I see photography as an art form that is just getting stronger and stronger and more diverse. 

I had planned this exhibition, The Bounds of Photography for last year, but as it turned out I didn't find the right group of artists, so I left it off the exhibition program. But it never was far from my mind and this show has been a bit of an indulgence, a bit of another 'Director's Choice' in a way. While, I am now mindful of the economics of running my own gallery, I'm still very focused on presenting exhibitions that I want to see and not limiting exhibiting artists to presenting work that may be more saleable for the sake of it. It may be my downfall in the end, but I don't care. Like any lessons the best ones are learnt from doing. 

The Bounds of Photography now ends Sunday 13 March from 10am - 1pm to coincide with the Beaumont St. Carnivale which is on from 10am - 5pm.

~ Ahn Wells

Gallery of delights

Ahn Wells

installation back wall: all works by Maggie Hall 

installation back wall: all works by Maggie Hall 

I love putting together exhibitions. Finding the artists to make an overall exhibition just right, where each artists' contribution to the show feeds off the next and the overall exhibition pulls together as one. Sometimes it's not easy to do but when the last work is placed and you step back and breath and see how well it's all come together, that's the reason why I do this.

Not Just Collage is full of different materials - bits of patterned paper stuck down onto other bits of paper, felt wrapped up into a cone and other collected haberdashery items joined together, a drawer used as a frame, pressed tin, old magazines, paints, coloured pencils, crayons.  And it's full of imagery - from the riding horsemen of The Strutt Sisters to the Japanese-inspired mixed media by Caelli Jo Brooker to the aged National Geographic cut-outs used by Kate Burton. There are the beautiful drypoint domestic prints by Jane Collins,  the Renassiance-inspired/salon-hung back wall of Maggie Hall's work that would normally seem unrelated but in Not Just Collage, they have found a commonality. While the personal narratives in Barbara Nanshe's collages, wonderfully complement the abstracted sculptures by Giselle Penn.  This exhibition is truly a delight for your senses....inc your mind.

Not Just Collage runs until Saturday 20 February 2016.

~ Ahn Wells

The gallery's best friend

Ahn Wells

Ahn Wells 2015 Oil on Hardboard 50 X 65 cm private collection

Ahn Wells 2015
Oil on Hardboard
50 X 65 cm
private collection

It's often thought that the second year of business can be the hardest, the most challenging and the one that will test you. I'm certainly aware of the importance of making the second year count. That's why I decided to start my second year of Gallery 139 with a group exhibition that is about something I love, DOGS, even though they have little to do with art or business.  It's a reminder to myself of why I started this gallery. I started it because I love art, I love putting together exhibitions and supporting talented artists. As much as I've learnt this first year, that starting my own art gallery also means I need to sell works to pay the rent, I don't want to ever lose sight of why I do what I do. 

If you are familiar with Gallery 139, you will know Coco, The Gallery Dog. She is my constant gallery companion and is always willing to receive a gentle scratch from a visitor or engage in some play from a four-legged friend.  She is why I now love going to work everyday and it is my love for her that has inspired this exhibition. 

Dogs in Art starts on Wednesday 13 January and opens Saturday 16 January from 2-4pm.  Friendly and well-socialised dogs are always welcome in the gallery.

~ Ahn Wells