Neil Ernest Tompkins and Kitty Napanangka Simon create art that initially appears to be on opposite ends of the spectrum: the former figurative, and the latter abstract. But as is often the case with painting, there are more layers beneath the surface.
Tomkins has been painting his distinctive style of landscapes from a young age. He is very process driven, painting en plein air, but often using collage techniques to create a composition. His paintings are unique, playing with perspective and dynamism to reinvent the formality of landscapes.
Simon was born in 1948 and she has led a rich and varied life, from her early experiences in traditional desert walking to her present life in the Warlpiri community of Lajamanu. Her paintings are vibrant and exciting, often depicting the salt plains of Mina Mina, a sacred women’s dreaming site.
The Sydneysider and Northern Territory local are being exhibited alongside each other in country X Country, the inaugural exhibition for Art Leven, formerly Cooee Art—Australia’s oldest Indigenous gallery. Curated by Gadigal artist Kate Constantine (Konstantina), the show is a result of Art Leven taking Tomkins for a weeklong painting workshop at Warnayaka Arts with Simon, with the objective “to organically explore themes around the craft of landscape painting and ways of seeing and translating land and Country.”
View, in pictures, these vivid depictions of Country.
John Nixon: A Poet of Prints
Known as a great avant-garde painter, the late John Nixon also created hundreds of prints—which, as those who knew Nixon can attest, exemplify his minimalism, experimentalism, and his interlacing of life and art. John Nixon—Four Decades, Five Hundred Prints is currently on display at Geelong Gallery.
The art books we loved in 2023
Whether scouting the perfect gift or searching for a summer read, our editors have picked their top art books of 2023—spanning everything from a history of ceramics, women and spiritualism, and First Nations practices.
Art Guide Editors
Tacita Dean’s strange fortune
Since the early 1990s, British artist Tacita Dean has gifted us myriad artworks on the intimacy, unexpectedness, and materiality of film and image making. With a new survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, we look at Dean’s tracing of history and chance.
The spiritual science of Sundari Carmody
From the dark matter that holds the universe together to the smallest of seeds, Sundari Carmody’s art connects the cosmos with the intimate, as a new exhibition at GAGPROJECTS shows.
Unboxing the cultural impact of sneakers
Sneakers are a cultural phenomenon made up of paradoxes. Some see them as an accessible and inclusive force in fashion that serve as an outlet of self-expression for many; yet to others they are a symbol of out-of-control consumerism. Two Queensland exhibitions are embracing these dualities, though from contrasting angles: Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street at HOTA on the Gold Coast, and Torsion at Brisbane’s Metro Arts.
Mike Parr on catharsis and confrontation
Since the 1960s Mike Parr has been defining performance art. Known for his performances of extremis, from hacking off a fake arm to burying himself underneath a Tasmanian road for three days. With a new, three-part exhibition at Anna Schwartz Gallery, Parr talks about catharsis, the institutionalisation of performance art, and the motivations behind what he does.