seeing time
27 November – 18 December 2021
Opening hours: 1pm-4pm Sat, 10am-5pm Tue-Fri

seeing time is Brook Andrew‘s new body of work reflecting on and abstracting the concept of time and mark-making. That is, how one perceives and hopes to either manipulate, push against or fall into time.

These paintings were created during 2021 and centre on Brook’s alternative visions of time and mark-making outside the Western art canon. This is a contribution to current challenges and dialogues around decolonisation, which is for him, a progression towards a state of yindyamarra-gunhanha (ongoing respect).

yindyamarra-gunhanha is a term Brook has developed to deal with the often challenging space of museum research and repatriation. His signature black and white patterns are adopted from his Wiradjuri cultural heritage. By doing so, he reinforces the strength and cultural continuity of the Wiradjuri for himself and others.

Image: seeing time installation image (L-R) seeing time VIIIseeing time IXseeing time Xseeing time VII all 2021, mixed media on linen, 235 x 235 cm. Photograph by Andrew Curtis.


Caroline Rothwell ‘Horizon’

26 June – 28 November 2021
Hazelhurst Arts Centre, NSW

Sydney-based artist Caroline Rothwell explores the intersection of art and science. Through sculpture, collaged historical prints and digital animations, Rothwell invites viewers to consider our relationship with the natural environment. Commissioned for Hazelhurst Arts Centre, Horizon looks out from an immediate frame of reference to the infinite and considers future possibilities.

In recent years Rothwell has been making regular site visits to Kurnell in Sydney’s south, the site of first encounters between Europeans and First Nations people on the east coast of Australia. In the Untitled series of works Rothwell slices into several of Joseph Banks’ Florilegium – the original engravings of botanical specimens collected at Kamay (Botany Bay) in 1770. Into each engraving she has inserted a pink tongue painted in watercolour, where its sinuous form disrupts the pages and their historical significance. The tongue is a repeated motif, weaving it way throughout the exhibition.

The installation also comprises a series of sculptural works and found objects, large-scale, digitally manipulated photographs of morphed weed species and video works.

Caroline Rothwell’s most recent exhibition was Bloom Lab at Tolarno Galleries in September 2021.

Image: Caroline Rothwell Blue Cabinet 2019 sculpture with Untitled 2019 works on paper (watercolour on Arches paper collage, on Joseph Banks’ Florilegium a la pope print from copper plate engraving)

Christopher Langton ‘Colonies’

Hazelhurst Arts Centre, NSW
26 June – 28 November 2021

Christopher Langton is known for his sculptures and large inflatables that explore themes around pop culture, video gaming and science fiction. Colonies was commissioned for Hazelhurst, and follows Langton’s 2019 Colony exhibition at Tolarno Galleries.

The immersive installation explores ideas of space colonisation while considering issues around our shared ecology. With obvious reference to science fiction and biology, the gallery is filled with asteroids, meteorites and other celestial bodies along with real and imagined organisms in the shape of viruses, bacteria and fungi.

The sculptures in Colonies were 3D printed, using a machine designed by the artist and built using open source information and software. Three large inflatable works are constructed using patterns and PVC which are then painted and later inflated onsite.

The works are printed using polylactic acid or PLA, a sustainable thermoplastic polyester which is produced from corn starch and sugar cane and is biodegradable.

Image: Colonies installation view by Silversalt Photography, courtesy Hazelhurst Arts Centre


Danie Mellor ‘A History of Images’

21 October – 20 November 2021

Click to view the online exhibition.

Danie Mellor‘s new suite of paintings A History of Images provide an intimate glimpse into a pictorial past, a collection of experiences that lie in archival memory beyond our tangible reach.

‘A History of Images’ marks the first time I’m actively trying to convey the complexity of having Aboriginal and colonial settler ancestry. This is my past and our past; this is also our present. – Danie Mellor

Image: DANIE MELLOR Promises 2021, acrylic on board with gesso and iridescent wash, 40.5 x 30.4 cm


Rosemary Laing ‘poems for recent times’

Tolarno Galleries is pleased to release the first works from Rosemary Laing‘s new series poems for recent times 2021 as an online exhibition.

Rosemary Laing originally trained as a painter before moving to the medium of photography in the late 1980s. Her project-based photographic work is often cinematic in vision and generally created with real-time performance and physical installation.

Laing’s work is concept-driven, her projects forming an ongoing narrative that tracks periods of time and events that have had an impact on cultural consciousness. With interventions undertaken in situ or through the use of choreographed performance work, Rosemary Laing’s practice engages with the politics of place and contemporary culture.

Her work is currently on view in the following exhibitions:
This Mortal Coil at the Zuckerman Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, USA  from 28 August — 11 December 2021 featuring a dozen useless actions for grieving blondes #5 2009 and a dozen useless actions for grieving blondes #12 2009.
Reversible Destiny: Australian and Japanese contemporary photography co-curated by Natalie King at Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, 24 August — 31 October 2021 featuring effort and rush #1 2015 and effort and rush #9 (swanfires) 2013-2015.

Rosemary Laing is represented by Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, Galerie Conrads, Berlin
and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne


Caroline Rothwell | Bloom Lab | Virtual Exhibition

9 September – 2 October 2021

View online

Caroline Rothwell’s Bloom Lab evolves from her recent digital project Infinite Herbarium which launched concurrently at Museum of Contemporary Art as part of The National 2021: New Australian Art (26 March – 22 August 2021) and at The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney (26 March to 31 August 2021).

Made in collaboration with Google Creative Lab in Sydney, Infinite Herbarium, is a series of six, 28 minute HD video works, featuring a score by Theodore Wohng.

Each video was created using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine-learning processes, drawing on data-sets of imagery from the open-source Biodiversity Heritage Library as well as a series of recently photographed plants.

The Bloom Lab exhibition comprises the Infinite Herbarium six-video installation, along with companion works: three suspended sculptures, and paintings that have also drawn their forms from her hybrid digital archive.

Rothwell’s practice often responds to archival material in museums, public collections and journals, and here she takes primary research to a bold and innovative new digital artistic space.

Image: Caroline Rothwell Bloom Lab. Installation image by Tina Douglas.


Melbourne lockdown update

Friday 3 September 2021

While Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown continues, Tolarno Galleries remains temporarily closed.

Please contact the gallery via email:

Browse our recent online exhibitions including:

Brent Harris The Stations 2021

Ben Quilty The Beach 

Bill Henson 2021

Andrew Browne Shoegazer 2.0

Brendan Huntley Without Within (Sculpture and Painting)

Tim Maguire Old World, New World

Justine Varga Tachisme

Image: Bill Henson Untitled 2001-2021, CL-SH441-N17G, archival inkjet pigment print, 180 x 127 cm


Announcing Georgia Spain

Tolarno Galleries is delighted to announce representation of Georgia Spain (b.1993 UK), a visual artist and musician currently living and working in Sandford, Tasmania on palawa land.

In the same week of June this year, Spain’s paintings won the 2021 Sir John Sulman Prize for Getting down or falling up, and the Women’s Art Prize Tasmania for Six Different Women. In 2020 Spain was the recipient of the prestigious Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship.

Spain’s paintings explore the complexities of human behaviour; using narrative and storytelling to examine the cultural, political and personal. Her work frequently looks at ideas around human spectacle, theatricality, ritual and ceremony.

She is interested in the emotional and performative exchanges between people in social and psychological spaces and in her paintings physical connection is explored through bodies in groupings. Georgia Spain will present her first exhibition at Tolarno Galleries in 2022.

For her first work available through Tolarno Galleries, Georgia Spain is auctioning a brand new painting You, me and the weight 2021. All proceeds will go to the For Afghanistan fundraiser, organised by Ben Quilty. Click here to view the auction, running until Thursday 2 September 2021.


Brent Harris

The Stations 2021, online exhibition featuring a Q&A between Jane Devery and Brent Harris  about The Stations project.

Brent Harris is well known for haunting imagery that drifts between abstraction and figuration. For more than four decades, the artist has engaged in a sustained investigation into the human condition, producing paintings, prints and drawings that address universal themes such as intimacy, desire, spirituality, sexuality and mortality.

More than thirty years ago, Harris produced a series on the Stations of the Cross for which he received widespread critical acclaim as a young artist.

In 2020, Harris returned to the subject with The Stations 2021, a new body of work comprising 14 polymer gravure etchings with watercolour. The series was printed and editioned at Viridian Press, Benalla by John Loane.

This project was generously supported by Paul Walker and Patricia Mason.


Tolarno Galleries closure

Melbourne lockdown: Update 17 August 2021

Tolarno Galleries is closed during the extended Melbourne lockdown.

We look forward to reopening as soon as possible.

In the meantime, the current Ben Quilty exhibition The Beach is available to view online.

Contact us via for enquiries while we are working from home.

Image: Ben Quilty Peanut Eaters no.2 2021 oil on linen 142.5 x 188 cm. Installation image by Andrew Curtis.


Announcing Kieren Karritpul

Tolarno Galleries is delighted to announce representation of Kieren Karritpul (b. 1994), a Ngen’giwumirri artist who lives in the small community of Nauiyu (Daly River) southwest of Darwin.

A 2021 Ramsay Art Prize finalist, Karritpul won the inaugural Youth Award at the 2014 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. In 2020 he won the National Indigenous Fashion Award for Textile Design, resulting in a collaboration with Country Road Homewares.

As a Ngen’giwumirri man, Karritpul is not permitted to weave, instead he paints magnified views of woven objects and fibres. Weaving Myself: the Landscape and the Land, on view until 22 August at @agsa.adelaide as part of the Ramsay Art Prize 2021 exhibition, was painted using two brushes, one made with his own hair. He uses the weaving process as a visual metaphor for land and landscape. The painting is a magnified view of the woven surface that stands for the breathing lands of his Country. Karritpul feels he was born woven into the land. Using repetition and line he creates a surface that moves like human breath.

Tolarno Galleries will present a Kieren Karritpul solo exhibition in 2022.

image: Kieren Karritpul with his paintingWeaving Myself: the Landscape and the Land. Photo by Saul Steed, courtesy Art Gallery of South Australia.


2021 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize Finalists

Congratulations to Danie Mellor (artwork pictured) and Justine Varga on their selection as finalists in the 2021 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize.

Visit the Monash Gallery of Art from Thursday 9 September – Sunday 7 November 2021 to view this year’s Bowness exhibition. Award announcement Thursday 16 September 2021.

The winning work will be awarded $30,000.00 and will be acquired into MGA’s nationally significant collection of Australian photographs.

Image: DANIE MELLOR Jindagaa [ancestor]: at the fall of night 2021, chromogenic print, 124 cm (diameter), edition of 3 + 2AP.


Ben Quilty ‘The Beach’

31 July – 28 August 2021.

Ben Quilty’s newest exhibition, The Beach, is a culmination of works made in the lead-up to the last American Presidential Election and then continued through recent pandemic times and lockdown.

During that time, he was given a book about the American Realist painter, George Bellows, and it has not left his studio since. Bellow’s paintings of men boxing illegally in early 20th century fight clubs was the starting point for this exhibition.

Taking multiple screen shots of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fighters locked in deadly and bloody combat, and hosting a team of local boxers, Quilty poses questions about contemporary humanity.

Named after famous beaches around Australia, the fighting men also evoke memories of the Cronulla Riots and continue Quilty’s exploration of Australian cultural identity and the darker sides of Island Life. “To make paintings of men punching the life out of each other feels like an apt response to being alive in 2021,” Quilty says.

Image: BEN QUILTY The Crowd, oil on linen, 180 x 202 cm


Bill Henson online

Although the gallery exhibition has closed, Bill Henson (24 June – 26 July 2021) is now available to visit online.

The online viewing space includes exclusive videos featuring Bill Henson sharing behind-the-scenes stories of creating the artworks, installation images and details of each of the 13 images in the show.

Image: BILL HENSON Untitled 1/5B B 1990-91. From the series Paris Opera Project. Archival inkjet pigment print, 127 x 127 cm (paper size)


Bill Henson: 26 June – 24 July 2021

Bill Henson‘s new exhibition is a glittering array of never-seen-before photographs. Some were commenced in the 1990s; all were completed during Melbourne’s long COVID lockdowns. The sense of deep time behind Henson’s images is a hallmark of his approach to photography – an attempt, as he puts it “to get closer to things.”

“It sometimes takes years for me to work out what I want to photograph, a rumination which gradually clarifies itself over a long period of time,“ he says. “I spend a lot of time thinking about things, daydreaming. It takes awhile for things to get to the point to say I know what I need. It’s a face, or a body or a landscape of a particular kind, or it’s the effects of the weather and how that changes the nature of the landscape.”

Bookings are not required, but please let us know in advance if you are bringing a group. Opening hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday – Friday and 1-4pm Saturdays.

If you can’t make it in person, visit the Bill Henson online viewing room.

Read more at The Age (26 June 2021) and Broadsheet (21 July 2021).

Image: Bill Henson Untitled 2016-17, CL SH816 N9, archival inkjet pigment print, 127 x 180 cm, edition of 5 + 2AP


Patricia Piccinini ‘A Miracle Constantly Repeated’ at Rising Festival

Congratulations to Patricia Piccinini who has just unveiled A Miracle Constantly Repeated, a world premiere commission for the inaugural Rising Festival. The multi-room installation takes over the mythical Flinders Street Station Ballroom and surrounding chambers in the heart of Melbourne.

Opening on 26 May 2021 and continuing for several months, this is Piccinini’s most extensive hometown exhibition in two decades. Described as “an eco-system of hyper-real silicone sculptures, video, sound and light… Australia’s foremost visual artist will augment the ballroom’s architecture with enormous dioramas, sentient saplings, nurturing marine mammals and enormous life-sustaining foliage.”

Read more at The Age and Broadsheet Melbourne.

Image: PATRICIA PICCININI La Brava 2021, silicone, fibreglass, hair, Ed 1 of 4 + 1 AP. Photograph by Tina Douglas.


Andrew Browne ‘Shoegazer 2.0’ exhibition

22 May – 19 June 2021
Meet the artist: Saturday 22 May, 1pm – 4pm

There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
– Leonard Cohen

In 2020, Melbourne artist Andrew Browne spent the long COVID-19 lockdown developing Shoegazer, a series of drawings premiering online in August 2020. A playful allusion to Shoegaze, a 1990s subgenre of indie rock, the title refers more to subjects and prompts found close at hand… almost underfoot.

These drawings of modest subjects, rich in association, serve as touchstones for Shoegazer 2.0, Andrew Browne’s new collection of paintings: the accidental abstractions of foot-path repairs; a tenacious dandelion emerging from a crevice; a spill of obscure yet florescent liquid; a crazy-patterned mural, or so much carelessly discarded detritus.

As paintings, these introspective images now loom large and take on a heightened significance. Browne highlights uncanny juxtapositions, flashes of colour and discovers secret portals. In these fleeting street scenes, moments of humour, joy and reverie are captured.

Continuing Andrew Browne’s longheld interest in landscape and surreal natural phenomena, Shoegazer 2.0 shines a light on visions that reflect and connect us all.

Click here to view Shoegazer 2.0 online.

Image: Andrew Browne Rockaway 2021, oil & aluminium pigment on linen, 191 x 132 cm

Caroline Rothwell: Winner 2021 Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize

Congratulations to Caroline Rothwell who was awarded the 2021 Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize on Friday 14 May 2021 for her painting, Vault.

The annual acquisitive prize that was launched in 2017 to advance art and opportunity for emerging and established women artists in Australia. It is the highest value professional artist prize for women in Australia.

Image: Caroline Rothwell pictured with her winning artwork Vault, and Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize Patron, Jennifer Turpin. Image via Instagram. Artwork details: Caroline Rothwell Vault, acrylic on linen, 163 x 183 cm


Brendan Huntley ‘Without Within’

17 April – 15 May 2021
Meet the artist: 1pm – 4pm, Saturday 17 April 2021

A new collection of paintings and sculptures. Read an interview with Brendan Huntley at Artist Profile. Listen to an interview on 3RRR.

In early April 2020 I found myself searching for some peace of mind amongst the chaos of the pandemic. One day, I heard someone on a podcast describe how a moth or butterfly doesn’t simply grow wings on its already fully formed caterpillar body, but breaks itself down into a kind of soup and slowly reforms itself in the cocoon, reusing its body parts to come out at the other end as a completely new creature…

During Melbourne’s long lockdown my studio and home became my cocoon, a place to grow and experiment. Usually, I spread my practice out between two studios – my home studio for painting and my sculpture workshop in Frankston. When the threat of limited movement loomed, I filled my car with bags of clay and adapted my home studio. With the paintings pinned to the wall, a conversation could take place between the two mediums – patterns, colours and forms flitting across the space.

This series depicts a spectrum of transformations, a diversity of personalities, patterns and forms, and a propensity for movement and flight within the immovable solidity of clay, plinth and frames.

They sprung from a year of isolation, as I slowly built my own community of butterfly and moth people to celebrate the hope of emerging transformed.

Brendan Huntley, excerpt from the exhibition text

Image: Brendan Huntley Untitled (moth) 2020, oil pastel, dry pastel, oil and graphite on archival paper, 61.5 x 42 cm (framed)

Brendan Huntley online viewing space:
Click to view the Without Within exhibition online –  sculpture and painting


Easter 2021

Tolarno Galleries will be closed Friday 2 April to Monday 5 April.

Reopening on Tuesday 6 April for the final week of Tim Maguire’s exhibition Old World, New World.

The exhibition is also available in the online viewing space.

Best wishes for a safe and enjoyable Easter break

🐰 🐰 🐰

Image: Tim Maguire Untitled 20210101 2021, oil on canvas, 137 x 137 cm

Brook Garru Andrew: DIWIL

12 March – 5 September 2021
Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA)

DIWIL is an immersive installation by the internationally acclaimed interdisciplinary artist and scholar, Brook Garru Andrew. The Wiradjuri word diwil translates to ‘collection’ and reflects on the artist’s relationship with objects, history, and Country.

The exhibition marks the premiere of GARRU NGAJUU NGAAY, a major new commission by MAMA. GARRU NGAJUU NGAAY (‘magpie, I see’) is a wall drawing and neon installation that fully surrounds audiences in the museum’s collection galleries.

Brook Garru Andrew’s matriarchal kinship is from the kalar midday (land of the three rivers) of Wiradjuri, and Ngunnawal on his mother’s father’s line, both Aboriginal nations of Australia, and paternally Celtic. He is driven by the collisions of intertwined narratives, often emerging from the mess of the “Colonial Hole”. He was Artistic Director of NIRIN, the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, 2020, and is currently Enterprise Professor, Interdisciplinary Practice at the University of Melbourne, Associate Professor, Fine Art at Monash University and Associate Researcher at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.

Image: Brook Garru Andrew, DIWIL, installation view, Murray Art Museum Albury, 2021. Photo Jeremy Weihrauch


Tim Maguire exhibition film & online viewing space

We are delighted to premiere an exhibition film to accompany Tim Maguire‘s Old World, New World.

Visit the online viewing space to watch the film.

The exhibition continues in the gallery until 10 April 2021.

Thanks to our friends at Thirdrow Films for capturing Tim Maguire and the new paintings so evocatively.


Tim Maguire

Old World, New World
13 March – 10 April 2021

Old world, new world. Empire, colony. Destruction, rebirth. Tim Maguire’s new paintings are influenced by his decades-long touchstone of 17th century Dutch still life, memento mori and the aftermath of Australia’s recent bushfires.

“The show’s title refers to the old world of Dutch still life painters and to the so-called new world of Australia,” says Maguire. “But I’m also thinking about the failure to adapt imported concepts from the old world and achieve some kind of harmony here.”

Join us on Saturday 13 March between 1pm-4pm when Tim Maguire will be at the gallery for the exhibition opening.

Image: Tim Maguire ‘Untitled 20201001’ 2020, oil on canvas, 153 x 168 cm


Nicholas Folland

Burn Down the House
Linden New Art
13 February – 16 May 2021

Burn Down the House is a site-specific installation that responds directly to the history of Linden’s heritage-listed building. Across three gallery spaces, Nicholas Folland places found furniture and tree branches encrusted with more than 10,000 bottle tops. The installation explores the tension between the safety of home and the wild incursions of nature, accompanied by a rhythmic and layered tapping, generated by two small mechanical contraptions that hang on the wall. The beats flow over one another like cicadas, communicating across the landscape.

Linden New Art
26 Acland Street

Image: Nicholas Folland with House Party (2021), found furniture, bottle caps, enamel paint, dimensions variable. Photography by Theresa Harrison


Amos Gebhardt at The Substation

Spooky Action (at a distance)
12 Feb – 27 Mar 2021
Free admission, bookings essential

Amos Gebhardt brings a cinematic force to large-scale, moving image installations and photography, collaborating with performers, choreographers and musicians to create both intimate and widescreen tableaus. This major exhibition marks the re-opening of The Substation and is a PHOTO 2021 International Festival of Photography event.

Melbourne premiere! Amos Gebhardt’s major three-channel video work, Small acts of resistance is screening for the first time in Melbourne, along with There are no others and Lovers. In the Main Performance Space, Level 1, is a stunning presentation of the four channel Evanescence.  Make sure to experience this soon – Evanescence is showing only until 6 March 2021.

Centred on themes of identity, queerness, resistance and entanglement, this extensive series of Gebhardt’s works form a labyrinth of film and photographs that unify the artist’s practice in a bold new way.

ARTIST TALK: Amos Gebhardt will be in conversation with Susan van Wyk, Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Victoria on Friday 26 February, 6-8pm. Book here.

Hear Amos Gebhardt walk through the exhibition with ABC RN The Art Show.

Image: AMOS GEBHARDT Evanescence (Water #3) (2018) archival inkjet pigment print, 100 x 150 cm, Edition of 5 + 1AP


Justine Varga presents ‘Tachisme: a stain on photography’

Floor talk
6pm to 6.45pm, Friday 19 February 2021
Tolarno Galleries
Level 4, 104 Exhibition Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

A WRITING & CONCEPTS lecture in collaboration with TOLARNO GALLERIES and PHOTO 2021 International Festival of Photography.

Justine Varga will discuss the creative potential of those elements of a photograph that are usually thought to be marginal or even deleterious to its health – in particular, about stains and similar pictorial imperfections.

While focusing on the role of the stain and staining in her own work, the artist will also be seeking to place her interest within a broader history of image making. The talk will consider the nature of photography and argues for a certain kind of artistic practice keenly attuned to the materiality of the medium and to corporeal presence.

RSVP here. Tolarno Galleries is open late until 8pm on Friday 19 February 2021.

IMAGE: Justine Varga Influence 2018, chromogenic photograph, 129.3 x 107.8 cm (framed size)


Welcome Skywhalepapa!

Congratulations to Patricia Piccinini on the arrival of Skywhalepapa – a new monumental sculpture in the form of a hot-air balloon. A companion to Skywhale (2013), together they form a skywhale family that launched in Canberra on 7 February 2021. Two further Canberra skywhale flights are scheduled for 8 March and 3 April 2021. The sculptures will float across the skies of Australia as a National Gallery Touring Exhibition throughout 2021 and 2022.

The Skywhales: Every heart sings project spans music and song to knitting and baking. The story of the skywhale family is told in Patricia Piccinini’s new children’s book Every Heart Sings, while an NGA exhibition brings together studio drawings and 3D models. Musician Jess Green (AKA Pheno) has created a song, We are the Skywhales, keen knitters can make their own skywhales from a pattern developed by a local Canberra knitter, and Three Mills Bakery have produced a limited edition skywhales croissant for the three Canberra flight events.

Skywhales: Every heart sings is the third instalment of The Balnaves Contemporary Series. Read more in The Age Good Weekend and The Guardian.

Image courtesy National Gallery of Australia.