Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


November 10, 2009

Emmanuel Santos (b. 1957)

Emmanuel Santos








1957           Born in Philippines

Emmanuel Santos began his photographic career working for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees as a photo essayist specialising in areas of ethnology, spirituality and social documentary. In 1982 he migrated to Melbourne and is now a renown photographic figure. He took a particular cultural interest in the Jewish community in Melbourne and across the globe.  His impassioned ability to mirror their spiritual and cultural worlds through photography has earned him their eternal respect and acclaim. He has undertaken extensive travels around the world documenting Jewish Life, from Orthodox inner circles to contemporary cosmopolitan Jews.

He has exhibited work documenting Jewish Life, including his renowned ‘Observances’ collection, in a myriad of places such as the Chernivtsi, Ukraine, Sao Paolo & Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Jerusalem, Israel, as well as both Span Galleries & the Jewish Museum of Australia in Melbourne.

Santos’ universality and humanitarian approach to life has earned him the trust of other community groups including a particular Indigenous community in Cape York, Queensland, the Aurukun people. In 1993 he had the rare and intimate privilege to be invited to witness and capture on film a sacred ceremony in the community.

This unique and vivid glimpse into the Aurukun community, entitled ‘Sacred Dance Series’,  has also been exhibited widely across the world. In France it was shown at Salle Jean Despas, Place des Lices in Saint Tropez, the Australian Embassy in Paris & at the Cannes Film Festival. It has also been shown at the Museum of Art in Belgium, as well as Obscura Gallery & the Alliance Francaise in Melbourne.

All cultures, all regions and all people are of interest to Santos and form the impetuous for his life’s work. His most acclaimed photographic series to date, ‘The Passing of Light’,  is a continuous project that was developed through years of study into ancient and sacred texts, such as the Book of Illuminations.

In ‘The Passing of Light’, Santos retells the narratives of the angels in these texts. Through his extensive travel, he is able to situate his angels in the most extraordinary backdrops, sometimes recreating the past, sometimes bringing his angels into the present.

Santos has exhibited this collection at Monash Gallery of Art  and Obscura Gallery in Melbourne, Silverlens Gallery in Manila, and has just completed a traveling tour of the works in Beijing, Basel, Manila, Milan and Prague. An entire edition of this series, which so far consist of 38 works, also sold in full at Christie’s Auction House, Hong Kong, setting the record for Philippine contemporary photography and Southeast Asian photography.

Galleries and institutions world wide have sort to hold his work in their permanent collections. These include Museum of Art, Ukraine, Musee d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaisme  & Bibliotheque Nationale de France, France, Diaspora Museum,  Israel, Orthodox Union, New York,  Jewish Museum of Australia, State Library of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria,  Victorian Arts Centre, Immigration Museum  & The Holocaust Centre, Melbourne, as well as both the National Library of Australia & the Parliament House permanent Art Collection, Canberra.



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More About Santos



November 9, 2009

By Lisa Monique

Published: November 10, 2009 

Elle Zoltak at Art for Science 






Art for Science raises funds for the Murdoch Children’s Institute of Research and fashion for artists, collectors, galleries and corporate Australia.

48 of Australia’s star artists donated a piece of their work for the cause, which were auctioned off at Nellie Castan Gallery in Melbourne’s South Yarra. Over 350 people attended the event, which raised $430,000 for the institute.

Elle Zoltak, Gallerist and in-house Designer for Nellie Castan Gallery, gives us the glorious inside perspective to the event.

Nellie Castan Gallery was very generous to host this event. What went into it in terms of planning?

The Murdoch Institute, which is made up of a committee of volunteers, do most of planning for this event. They get in contact with artists, they organise the catalogue, the auctioneer and auction process, the pricing, the guest list, as well as the hanging and lighting of the exhibition. Nellie donated the space for the event, as well as staff and time. We gave a lot of logistical direction.

And the event itself, what was the buzz like?

Very glitzy and glamorous. The crowd was very stylish and it was hard to know what the auction was about. Was it about the art, the clothes, the fashion, or the charity?

It looked like everyone was having a blast, were there any memorable moments?

The event started upstairs as an auction. Guests arrived at 7.30 and the auction began at 8.30. It was moved along quickly, so by 10pm the guests we encouraged to move downstairs into the warehouse car park, which was transformed into a night club. There was a dance floor, band and two bars, all sponsored by The Big Group, which is one of Melbourne’s finest catering companies. We had cocktails, French champagne, everything was sponsored!

Any fun on the dance floor?

I don’t want to name any names, but one of the artists, when he gets drunk,  likes to do the splits, so of course that was the highlight of the night – splits on the dance floor!


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In terms of the auction, were a lot of the bidders art collectors?

Yes, many were regular collectors. There were also people who don’t usually by art, but that have a lot of money. These ones will collect big brand names, like Bill Henson and David Bromley. They wouldn’t risk an unknown. For them it’s more about showing off and about the labels – just like the clothes!!

Do you think the current economic climate has influenced people’s charitable tendencies?

It’s hard to say, because they raised more money than ever this year. The committee was nervous about it, but they were blown away by the amount of support for the charity. People’s attitudes where ‘it’s for charity, it’s for charity’ and ‘what’s another $1000’. It didn’t end up being an issue.

And lastly, which was your favourite piece of art on the night?

My favourite piece was a Song Ling.  He’s represented by Niagara Galleries.  It was a gorgeous painting of an Anime style girl in a bright yellow raincoat. I’m surprised it didn’t go for more. I think the auctioneer hit the hammer too soon, he could have milked it for more.

Related Links

Art for Science Catalogue

Elle Zoltak

Suzi Carp

Robert Doble

David Bromley

Bill Henson

Emily Floyd

Viv Miller

Kate Just

Ash Keating

Your Views

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Nellie Castan Gallery - Mark, Nellie, Elle, Leonie & Olivia
Nellie Castan
The Auction upstairs in the gallery
The Party downstairs in the car park
The Splits! 

Digital vs Drawing

November 2, 2009

Artinfo annouces that British artist, Alan Kane, has created a new show to air on Channel 4 in the UK. It is a life drawing class broadcast digitally on television.








Life Class: Today’s Nude, features nude models, as well as an art expert offering tips throughout the program. Home viewers are encouraged to sketch and draw at home.








Kane’s impetuous for creating the show was to inspire people to bring art back into their lives and using the television he will reach a large audience base.









Another aim is the fact that drawing has declined worldwide, especially in schools and is

rapidly being replaced by digital and computer-based art

So the irony is – Kane is using digital media to promote drawing.








Life Class is also making use of the best online format for sharing digital images – flickr. Viewers and drop-ins are encouraged to post their sketches on the official Life Class flickr page, as well as tag their work to show which episode it was from.

lifeclss flickr










There is also the option to watch the episodes online, but unfortunately not in my area. Nothing was found on youtube either. Please enjoy this East Sydney Academy of Art youtube clip on the wonders of lifedrawing – created on the iPhone, of course.

iAfrica, uCurate: Minneapolis Institute of Art gives you art on your iPhone and wants you to curate their African Art Collection

November 1, 2009

In conjunction with their upcoming exhibition, “iAfrica: Connecting with Sub-Saharan Art”, the Minneapolis Institute of Art [MIA] have created an iPhone application to allow visitors to handle the sacred and ancient art objects in the digital world. The application allows users to learn more about the 28 items on display, including the Congolese thumb piano, which can actually be played.


This is the second museum to include an iPhone application as part of their exhibition program. The first was the Brooklyn Museum, with the  Brooklyn Museum Mobile Collection. While having mixed reviews, this iPhone app is more of a general tool for getting to know the museum.  The application offers visitor information, a keyword or artist name search function to browse the collection, as well as a “randomize” feature that calls up random artworks from museum collection. There has been much question of its efficiency as an application, with various freezes and crashes reported. Overall however, this as well as MIA’s iPhone application, bring museums into the 21st century and draw in new audiences that perhaps would otherwise never enter a gallery.

MIA is also asking visitors to the exhibition to curate the future Africa galleries via their iPhone. Of course non-iPhone users and iPhone freeze and crash victims can take the survey on the gallery’s computer or their home computer.

Read some more on MIA’s iPhone appplication

Kind of lazy, but also interesting Blog Post

October 23, 2009

Typing ‘Digital Media’ into Google Images on Friday October 23rd @ 11.27pm and these are the results:

I know I should be out, but I’m writing Blogs!

If I remember, I’ll do it again in five years from now and compare the results.

See … lazy, but interesting 😉

McSweeney’s Quarterly on your newspaper, I mean iPhone

October 23, 2009

McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern is a literary journal published often quarterly, but mostly late. It is known for its unique publication forms, trying never to arrive in the same fashion twice. It began as a journal which published only pieces that were rejected from other mainstream magazines, but then began to create material solely for the purpose of the journal.

McSweeney’s Quarterly is very diverse. From a newspaper edition, as blogged about in the New York Times online,  to an iPhone application.











Forget mX on the train,  McSweeney’s iPhone and iTouch App, ‘Small Chair’ is now available to fill your time. ‘Small Chair’ offers small sections of the full content of the printed quarterly.  It can be downloaded from the App Store like all other apps.

The app costs around $6 and you also get six months of weekly surprises straight to your pocket.

Specially formatted iPhone humor arrives daily from the website, as well as news, updates, and announcements. This feature remains active and free even once the Small Chair subscription expires.

As Nieman Journalism Lab points out, McSweeney’s is tapping into a new idea that other media applications are yet to explore – that of app subscriptions. The reason for many apps not attempting this idea that is that most users don’t resue apps, but purchase new ones. McSweeney’s has circumvented this issue, through an automatic update, which is announced by a custom McSweeney’s chime.

The new App can also be used as a clever marketing tool for McSweeney’s where it is hoped users will find other McSweeney’s products and seek them out.

 It is an interesting culmination of the printed and digital worlds, suggesting they are not so far from each other at all!

For more on this app go to Media Bistro and NY Magazine.

A bit about McSweeney’s publishing, DVDs, website from their visit to Google:

iMap on paper?

October 14, 2009

The little ‘i’ these days is usually associated with digital media. Like iPhone and iiNet. This time, art collective Melbourne Futures have collaborated on a new project, called iMaps, which is showing at the City Library in Flinders Lane as part of the 2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival.

The project aims to

Map… and document.. the spaces that we live in through community engagement.

– on PAPER!!








But unlike the iPhone that is watching and recording our every move, this mapping of human interaction is voluntary, where people who visit the art work are encouraged to sketch directly onto it, mapping their personal journeys and experiences in Melbourne.

The arts section of today’s Age reviewed the collaboration [fittingly, this piece is not available digitally], but they do have a working and interactive blog.

Sometimes it’s nice to see a small ‘i’ on a page.. 😉

ARTINFO REVIEW Florence Broadhurst lives on in live art by Emma Hack

October 13, 2009

By Lisa Monique

Published: October 12, 2009

image 1MELBOURNE – Florence Broadhurst was a floral delight. While her story tragically ended, she left behind an artful legacy of screen printed elegance. Like her art, her life was layered with colours and designs that only made sense as a whole. Peeling the layers from one another reveal clues to a sketch that can never be known.

Emma Hack prints yet another layer of the story. Not on a screen, but on her muse’s body. Or so she did in East St Kilda’s, Obscura Gallery, last Sunday afternoon.

Her muse strolled into the gallery space dressed in nothing but a white g-string and stood blank before Florence Broadhurst Tropical Floral. Emma then painted her muse white before shrouding the figure in a wallpaper wonder.

From the first black brushstroke at 2 o’clock, to the final splash at 5, Emma’s muse was camouflaged into the design and became just one more layer of the Broadhurst legacy.


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With this Live Installation Artwork, Adelaide artist, Emma Hack launched her debut solo exhibition in Melbourne. She began her career as a make-up artist and body illustrator for theatre productions.  She soon discovered that her edgy creations transformed into elegant pieces of art, once photographed.

Her adoration of Broadburst designs prompted her to experiment with the concept of painting her models ‘into’ the wallpaper and photographing the outcome. Later she discovered her own flare for photography and began directing every stage of the work from start to end.

Emma sent one of her works to Signature Prints, the Sydney based print making company who manages the estate of Florence Broadhurst and still employ the same hand printed techniques used by Broadhurst to reproduce her wallpaper designs. They fell in love with Emma’s project and gave her full access to the Broadhurst archives for her art practice, the only artist who has been given this privilege. Emma Hack’s Wallpaper Collection was born.

Obscura Gallery displays nine of these wallpaper wonders as part of a retrospective of four other Emma Hack Collections, including Panoramic Bodies, Beautiful Ways to Die and Fragile Dolls, as well as five new works from the newly created collection, Native Mandalas. In this series, Emma creates her own background designs, intertwining abstract forms with native flora in the shape of a Mandala. Each muse is then painted ‘into’ the Mandala holding a different native Australian bird and photographed. The muses are superbly camouflaged in these works, giving the sensation that the birds are floating gently within the composition.

Obscura Gallery and its staff have been overwhelmed by the response to the works, and have welcomed the support of Marie Falcinella, who was the Gallery Manager of Emma’s Adelaide gallery, Art Images Gallery. Marie shares her powerful admiration for the work through graceful and insightful observations. Marie will also attend as keynote speaker at the closing party, along with the classical delights of French Horn player Susan Scott, Conservatorium of Music in Sydney.

The wallpapers will be stripped from the gallery walls on October 19th.

Related Links

Emma Hack

Obscura Gallery

Florence Broadhurst

ART Melbourne

ART Sydney

Canvas in Concert

The Daily Telegraph

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ARTINFO NEWS The Rise and Fall of the Art World

October 12, 2009

By Lisa Monique

Published: October 12, 2009

image 2MELBOURNE – Art World Magazine caused a sensation when it arrived in Australia in September 2007 and quickly rose to the top, as one of the key publications for contemporary art trends, information and news. Just as quickly, it has disappeared from magazine shelves, to many a gallery and artist’s dismay.

Art World Magazine is a unique bi-monthly publication covering a splendorous array of new art from around the world. The magazine is run and written by passionate members of the art world community and is published by a UK company, B5 Media.

As announced on Art Market Blog, for some as yet to be confirmed reason, Art World Magazine has been placed on an ‘indefinite hold’, as stipulated in an email that circulated the office of the editorial team. While the magazine website is still up, looking fairly active, the ‘hold’ is confirmed by the subscription page, which reads:


The best explanation given was that of ‘personal family’ reasons  in reference to Steve Bush, publisher and owner of B5 Media. Born in the UK, Bush resides in Australia and is also responsible for other significant art publications, such as Australian Aboriginal Art [AAA]. This was the first publication solely dedicated to Indigenous art in Australia and according to Judith Ryan, senior curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, quenched a long standing thirst in the industry. AAA is not immune to the current unstable publication climate, also on ‘hold’ until further notice. It has been speculated however, that the GFC is also responsible for these sudden suspensions.


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Hanna Rose, manager of leading Melbourne commercial gallery, Arbitrary Gallery, speaks to ARTINFO on the impacts of the fall of Art World.

Hanna, thanks for speaking with us. What were your impressions of Art World while it was in operation over the past two years?

Art World was fabulous. It was our primary source of information and took almost 100% of our promotion and advertising budget.

How has its fall affected your advertising choices?

We have to start looking at the publications we used to advertise in, but so much has changed and we are not sure their readers are our market anymore.

What do you see for the future of Art World?

I hope they return. They had a unique edge. They spoke from and about the art world in a voice that was universally understood, even outside the art world, which is how it brought us a lot of new business.

If Art World does return to the magazine rack, do you see this current fall as having a long-term impact on its readership and advertisers, in terms of trust and reliability?

It might take a while for people to regain their trust, but as long as they continue to produce the same content and bring light to new art, their reputation will be restored. Although I’m not sure if that is possible without Steve Bush.

Related Links

Art World Magazine

Australian Art Collector

Art Almanac

The Photograph Collector

Art Market Blog

Your Views

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Twitter is so interesting…

October 1, 2009

Wow I’m starting to get swept up in this digital world. I really didn’t think it would happen, as it all felt so foreign and bizarre to me at first. But I guess it’s like going to see a Shakespeare play [which I did just the other week]. When you first begin to watch, nothing makes sense and it sounds like gibberish. Then half way through you suddenly realise you have been understanding everything, that something in your brain just clicked and you became attuned to it.

Wow I think I just compared Shakespeare to Twitter and just made a whole bunch of people really angry and a whole bunch of other people really excited!!

So, I subscribe to and receive weekly e-newsletters. This week I clicked on the email in the hope of finding a digital media related arts article.

Lucky for me, I found a article entitled ‘Ai Weiwei published images of himself in hospital on Twitter’ – JACKPOT!

I have recently joined Twitter myself, so I thought I’d jump on to find his posts.

At first I thought I found him, or someone using his name – AiWeiwie –  but this user only had one tweet. He had just over 1000 followers, but was only following one person. Someone called aiww,  this user had made many tweets in Chinese characters, nearly 8000 followers and following nearly 2000 people. I wasn’t 100% who it was, but I started to follow him.

I did a Google search for ‘Ai Weiwei Twitter’ and found a the Twitter account for the CDTimes, an online Chinese newspaper, which gave me a link to an article about one of Ai Weiwei’s blogs and how it had allegedly been shut down. This was getting interesting.

On the left side bar of this article page I saw a link to another report of the story of Ai Weiwie in hospital in Germany and I found myself coming online full circle. This article also gave me a definitive link to Ai Weiwei’s Twitter page – which turned out to be the mystery account I started following earlier.

I was also introduced to Ethan Zuckerman’s blog which promised an English translation of one of Ai’s tweets. Some of his other blog comments opened up a whole new group of ideas, some of which almost read my ‘online’ mind.

Please read:

I’m interested in Ai Weiwei’s story on at least two levels. First, it’s fascinating to think about the story of a celebrated artist becoming an activist and becoming such a threat to power structures that police would risk detaining and beating him, knowing the potential international attention it could attract. (Rebecca MacKinnon’s interview with Ai Weiwei is useful for understanding his rapid move into activism and politics.) Given his existing fame, it seems like detaining or injuring Ai Weiwei would be an extremely dangerous way to attract attention to the controversy over Chengdu schools.

For me, there’s another level of fascination, which has to do with contemporary newsgathering and newsreading. I hadn’t planned to write about Chinese activism and free speech today – and there are a few editors to whom I owe drafts who likely wish I hadn’t just spent two hours reading about Ai Weiwei and his situation. But one feature of digital media is that it can make you vulnerable to ephemeral obsessions, topics that pique your interest and demand a deep dive, if only to understand the facts of the story.

Ethan pinpoints my current online experience, of how rich and compelling digital media and information can be. How there exists out there an extension of our world, so real and so palpable and so full of both mystery and truth, sometimes so difficult to distinguish between.

And here is the promised translation:

Update: a friend offers a translation of a recent Twitter post from Ai Weiwei: ” Here the newest photos. Surgery lasted 2 hours, 2 holes in the skull, 30 ml of blood have been extracted, the pressure on the brain is normal again, no head ache any more.” So, good news. Here’s a photo of Ai Weiwei recovering in bed in Munich.

In summary of my experience, there is so much out there and as I’m getting used to this foreign world, I thought I’d share my Twitter-journey with you.

And just because it seems to be becoming my thing, I’d like to finish with a semi-related, semi-unrelated youtube clip.