What's On

Exhibitions held in 2019

Obsessed - Compelled to make

Tjunkaya Tapaya at work, 2017, Photograph Angus Lee Forbes

8 December 2018 – 3 February 2019

This exhibition explores the preoccupations that drive the creative process, providing an insight into the working practices of 14 artists from across Australia.

Moving beyond the finished work, this project tells the hidden stories of making, uncovering the artists’ inspirations, day-to-day studio experiences, hours of expertise, and the joys and frustrations of obsession.

Obsessed: Compelled to make is touring throughout Australia, accompanied by a series of films, and features artists Gabriella Bisetto, Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Honor Freeman, Jon Goulder, Kath Inglis, Laura McCusker, Elliat Rich and James B Young (Elbowrkshp), Kate Rohde, Oliver Smith, Vipoo Srivilasa, Tjunkaya Tapaya, Louise Weaver and Liz Williamson.

Obsessed: Compelled to make is an Australian Design Centre (ADC On Tour) national touring exhibition, presented with assistance from the Australian Government Visions of Australia program.


From HQ in Islington: High Tea with Mrs Woo at work in their studio space. Photograph Rowena Foong.

8 December 2018 – 3 February 2019

Conceived to complement the companion touring show Obsessed: Compelled to make, this exhibition investigates some of the burgeoning Hunter-based studio clusters and the preoccupations of the labour-intensive, time-invested, hands-on practices that take place in these spaces. Selected tools, raw materials, process documentation, and finished works combine to conjure a sense of the makers’ realms.

Featured studios: The Creator Incubator, HQ, Pinkerton, Red Shed and The Soap Factory.

Curator: Meryl Ryan in consultation with the studios and supported by the Australian Design Centre

Newcastle School: Making it!

Newcastle School student enjoying making art.

8 December 2018 – 25 January 2019

Newcastle School caters to the needs of local primary students with a moderate or severe intellectual disability. The school believes in a quality art education program to develop students’ skills. This exhibition will be selected from works the students have created around ideas invoked by the concept of the simple need to make.

Curator: Rob Cleworth in consultation with Newcastle School

Artist Focus: Matthew Tome

Matthew Tome, Smells Like Green 2017, oil on canvas, 71 x 71cm, courtesy the artist © the artist

6 October – 2 December 2018

Following on from popular previous Artist Focus projects, this showcase spotlights the practice of Hunter-based artist Matthew Tome, who maintains an active studio while heading up Newcastle Art School, Hunter TAFE.

As an artist whose creative practice is wide ranging in both its intellectual and material scope – his investigations extend into the use of kinetic and time-based media – it is through painting and drawing that the breadth of his thinking is most apparent.

Tome has sought to embody the lived experience via the act of making and materiality of the medium –the gestural marks, texture, viscosity, colour (and smell) become more than analogous references to sensations experienced.

Curator: Rob Cleworth


Charles Collin, The Shearsmen (detail) c1944, silver gelatin photograph, 15.5 x 20.6cm, Gift of the Newcastle Photographic Society, 1990, Collection Lake Macquarie City, Art Gallery © the artist’s estate

29 September – 2 December 2018

In this ongoing series of exhibitions curated from the gallery’s permanent collection, a selection of silver gelatin photographs by Charles Collin offer a wonderful insight into the architectural and industrial landscape that has helped shape the cultural and physical landscape of Newcastle and the broader Hunter region.

In 1990, the Newcastle Photographic Society gifted to the gallery a collection of work by Collin, a photographer who produced a rich body of photographs documenting the workers of BHP and the dock life of Newcastle in the period c1940–70.

Curator: Rob Clewoth