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Shades of Reality A Group Exhibition

Shades of Reality    A Group Show by Julian Ashton Art School artists

Hanging Together.  It was a joy to mix with a group of fine artists who have joined forces to hold an exhibition at The Mary Place Gallery at 12 Mary Place, Paddington 2021.

Here are works by Sue MacLeod-Beere, Vicki Bosworth, Isabelle Chouinard,  Frannie Deane, Diane Geffen, Yvonne Gorman, Stephanie Engels, Rosemary Kringas, Marie Mansfield, Nada Suzana Rogic, Sally Ryan, Kathryn Tarkowski and Janelle Thomas, who display their work happily together. 

Paul with Vicki Bosworth

A thread that was evident in the exhibition was a love of simple objects and subjects beautifully expressed, recent echoes of happy days at the Julian Ashton Art School.  

May 20 to 25 2014   

Opening Tues May 20, 6-8pm)  

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Alan Somerville Sculptor

Alan Somerville, Sculptor: “The Bella Figura”

When you cross the Anzac Bridge in Sydney from the Southern end you are aware of two, above life size, bronze figures of soldiers. One, an Australian, the other, a New Zealander.  They stand valiant, in all weathers, a moving tribute to manhood and heroism. Alan Somerville who sculpted these works recently held an exhibition of his latest work at the Walter Burley Griffin designed Willoughby Incinerator Art Space, itself a work of sculpture.

This exhibition by a master of anatomy and fluidity in form was all action. Nothing here is at rest. The charging bull, the rapturous dancers, Horses are the very essence of horse. Lovers melt in each other’s arms. The works in the round are framed by a lively collection of animated drawings.

Here is a master sculptor who is part of that golden thread of figurative sculpture that includes  Rodin, Degas and our own George Lambert. I have long admired the work of an inherently modest man who works incredibly hard to create a seemingly effortless result.  It was my privilege to open this exhibition and share the occasion with his many admirers on Saturday the 3rd of August 2013.

See Alan’s work on his website –

Paul Delprat

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Judy Lane Sculptures

Judy Boyd Lane is currently exhibiting a suite of fine sculptures and drawings at the Mosman Art Gallery.

Judy at the opening

Judy at the opening

They are inspired by a recent trip to Europe, where she was drawn to the sculptures in many museums in London and Paris. On show are a number of delicate drawings forming a flowing suite that grew from these experiences.  

As is her custom Judy, who is a visual diarist, came back with many filled sketchbooks.

I shared a number of happy and fruitful years with Judy as a fellow student of Henry Cornwallis Gibbons and J Richard Ashton at the Julian Ashton Art School.   

This collection of penetrating sculptural portraits reveals a draughtsman’s insight into character and an instinctive understanding of form.

The works on show are the latest examples of an artist who has been a master in many mediums, including portraiture figure drawing and painting. She is also a highly respected teacher. We rejoice in this move into exciting new territory.

The exhibition runs from 30th June till 26th August 2012

Paul Delprat

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Kathrin Longhurst at Catherine Asquith Gallery Melbourne

Kathrin grew up in East Germany. The first art she saw was social realist propaganda. In her latest exhibition at the Catherine Asquith gallery in Melbourne she takes a nostalgic look back from her new homeland of Australia to deal with the paradox of a generation of liberated eastern bloc women.

Pilot Girl with jacket

Pilot Girl with jacket

With a mixture of satire, romance and sensuality she engages the viewer in a surrealistic, heart stopping journey.

It is heartening to see a young painter powerfully expressing her own original vision with this collection of very well-crafted works.

The exhibition, you should not miss, runs from the 3rd to the 21st July 2012 at 48 Oxford Street Collingwood.

Paul Delprat

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Michael Muir artist at Eva Breuer Gallery

Michael Muir with Paul Delprat

Michael, lives in the northern beaches of Sydney, He captures in his art the light of that lovely location and was happy at the opening of  his sell-out show at Eva Breuer Galley. Openings are nerve wracking at the best of times for but this one was a cause for celebration

Michael was a student at the Julian Ashton Art School from 1999 to 2002, where he won The John Olsen Scholarship. He developed a distinctive style very early, the strongly modelled, exquisitely coloured collage like paintings, having grown from the simplified forms he was attracted to when he was a student at the school. These are powerfully thought out works refined to very essences. The fluency with which he portrays the happiness in his heart reveals the draughtsman who is also a master of line.

To lift your spirits, in our winter of discontent, visit this exhibition which runs from the 16th till the 26th of June 2012 at 83 Moncur St. Woollahra

Paul Delprat   

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Ralph Trafford Walker Artist

Ralph Walker, (1912 – 2003) was an Australian draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor of enormous industry and great talent. In his long life of 93 years he created thousands of drawings and hundreds of pieces of sculpture ranging from life size figures to miniatures that he worked in the palm of his hand. The hallmark of his work is a deep understanding of form through drawing and a haunting poetic sense of intimacy – moving towards soliloquy and loss. Ralph designed the relief panels for the Sydney Mitchell Library main doors. These panels had aboriginal subjects. Ralph was one of the first Australian artists to give aboriginal people integrity and honour through his work.  Among the many examples of his public art Ralph created works for the Australian War memorial in Canberra having been an official war artist during WW2. Those who have written with admiration for the work of Ralph Walker include fellow artist Fred Williams, Richard Leplastrier architect and historian Manning Clarke and yet the work of this major artist is relatively unknown. With his artist/writer  wife Jean he lived in a rambling, self-designed, house among Angophoras near Sydney Harbour. His son, Ian Walker, himself an artist, with the assistance of his talented family is cataloguing and preserving Ralph’s work.  I have fond memories of Ralph and Jean dating back to the 1960s when I got to know them through my uncle Richard Ashton. There was lively knowledgeable conversation on the subject of art and vigorous debate. From 1937 to 1941 he was a student at The Julian Ashton Art School, where he studied under Henry Cornwallis Gibbons.

Ralph, gentle and kindly, was never happier than when he could be reclusive in his purpose built Studio Yurt at the bottom of the garden. Here he was not to be interrupted whilst creating his little figurines and firing them in the kiln. He was a lover of the human form and of the bush.

Jean wrote two bestselling books on designing Australian bush gardens and was a close friend and supporter of the Bradley sisters, Joan and Eileen, who were like her, pioneers in the field of bush regeneration. Their bush care involvement was in response to the depletion of the natural habitat including that of the Sydney Blue Wren, a sculptural inspiration of Ralph and Jean.

Paul Delprat

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Heroes of the Art World

Eliza Ashton was a fighter for women’s rights and on one occasion, together with Rose Scott and other suffragettes chained herself to the railings of the NSW Government House. Her husband, artist Julian Ashton, happened to be dining with the Governor, Lord Carrington that evening. Ashton’s fine portrait of Lord Carrington hangs to this day in Government house. Neither husband nor wife was aware of each other’s proximity that evening and related the story later with great amusement.

The present Governor of New South Wales Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC is a champion of the betterment of the lives of women and she has a great love of art. Her Excellency recently held a function at Government House honouring artist Charles Blackman, an occasion which was especially notable for the brave attendance of his old friend Margaret Olley. The Australian art world is since lamenting the passing of Margaret, who though frail, was still vital and painting in her eighty eighth year. Her generosity to the Art Gallery of New South Wales is legendary.

The long serving Director of the gallery Edmund Capon, who has steered that cultural icon for over thirty years, has recently announced his resignation. His rare vision and capacity to bring people together for important artistic endeavours will be sorely missed. Two great contributors to the Australian art world have signed off.

Paul Delprat

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John Olsen opens Max Miller Exhibition in Sydney

Max Miller and John Olsen reminisce

Art Atrium Gallery in  Sydney is the venue for the latest exhibition by Australian artist, Max Miller.  Max was my contemporary at the Julian Ashton Art school in Sydney, where we both worked under the watchful eye of Henry Cornwallis Gibbons. This was an occasion  to reminisce about old friends and adventures we had shared in Sydney and the bush.

John Olsen also had fond memories of the school having earlier been a student of “Gibby”, as we affectionately called him.  Max had printed many etching editions for John over the years at his Kangaloon studio and the two enjoy a long friendship and mutual regard.

John  offered to open Max’s show, which was tribute indeed when one considers the many requests the great artist receives and declines. Max searches for the spirituality of nature. His prodigious drawing talent permits him to move with ease from lyrical abstraction to the close observation of natural things, which he renders with searching analysis. He is an inveterate bushman and is never happier than when he is enjoying a solitary ramble, in all seasons, in the wild hinterland of Australia.

In his affectionate speech John Olsen observed that Max is a passionate master who paints the small things that the hurrying world passes by.  Max,  who could be embarrassingly modest about his achievements, had created work that was highly estimable and full of integrity.- Paul Delprat

Art Atrium Gallery located at  181 Old South Head Road, Bondi Junction in  Sydney.  See

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William Dobell, an artist’s life

William Dobell,    An artist’s Life

Elizabeth Donaldson has written a book that brings this fine artist to life.  It is produced  by Exisle Publishing, directed in Australia by Anouska Jones.

 Having for many years had an association with his house at Wangi in New South Wales and feeling that the full story of the life of Sir William Dobell had not been told, Elizabeth has produced an excellent biography that is profusely illustrated with photographs and images of the master’s work.  Artists are, in my experience, invariably people of place and the humble cottage at Wangi built by the artist’s father was to be his home and base for his adventures and inspiration throughout the latter part of his life.  

I visited him there on several occasions when I was a student at his old school, The Sydney Art School, where he had studied with Julian Rossi Ashton and Henry Cornwallis Gibbons.  He was pleased to reminisce about his student days and spoke fondly of Julian Ashton, who had acquired one of his first paintings.  One of his fellow students at the school at that time was Joshua Smith, the subject of the famously  contested Archibald Prize in 1942.

This informative book has been a labour of love for the author, staunchly supported by her husband Robert and it was my privilege to be invited to launch the book at the Newcastle Art Gallery on Friday 24th September  2010.

This book is a “must collect” for every Australian art library.