The launch of exhibitions by Laszlo Biro and Paul Roguszka

Amongst a few showery and cold days, Sunday the 15th June presented us with a beautiful day for the launch of "The Greater Gourd" by Laszlo Biro and "Unique Signatures" by Paul Roguszka.

There were lots of local followers of these two artists in attendance and others from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Melbourne.

There is a lot more information on the artists and their work on our exhibition pages - click HERE to have a look.

Below are a few photos taken at the exhibition - all by Marie Cameron ("A Woman with a Camera"). Marie takes photographs to promote people and events. Phone her on 02 6689 7329 or contact via email at a womanwithacamera@gmail.com.

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Various works by Paul Roguszka and Laszlo Biro

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The Tower by Paul Roguszka

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Rainbow Pumpkin by Laszlo Biro at the end of the hallway

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Paul Roguszka and Laszlo Biro standing in front of some of their stunning works

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Works by Paul Roguszka and Scott Harrower (in a group showing at the rear of the gallery)

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More of the group exhibition at the rear. Paul's work was spread throughout the gallery to give it some space.

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Lisa admiring more of Paul's smaller pieces.

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Paul and Peter

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Happy gallery-owner, David.

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Artist, Laszlo Biro, and just a couple of his beautifully-executed paintings.

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Visitors from afar - Vanese and Vance.

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Lisa and Paul's "Caldera Screen" - tactile, robust and beautiful (both of them).

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Some of the crowd. They always end up on the street!

Buy art from us and get special deals on accommodation and meals

Lismore and Nimbin Tourism have organised a huge range of special deals over the coming months to encourage visitors to stay a little while in Lismore and get the opportunity to sample food, art and entertainment that they ordinarily might not do - or might not even know is there!

There are heaps of discounts on accommodation, meals, shopping and entertainment. Click on the link below to see them all.

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The Channon Gallery is participating by offering substantial discounts on accommodation and meals in Lismore with the purchase of art. It encourages people to visit the gallery, which helps us, but also spreads the 'love' to other businesses in Lismore and hopefully assists the programme to encourage people to spend some more time here.

You do have to purchase art in order to take advantage of the special deals, but if you are that way inclined, we have a great diversity of works in different styles from some of the best of our local artists, plus a few from further afield. Click on the deals below to find out more, including applicable conditions (both should be close to the top left of the linked page). They run from now until the end of October, 2014.

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Please note that it is possible for you to use the "Accommodation on Us" voucher with other offers provided by Accommodation Places in Lismore, as redemption of the offer by the gallery is completely independent of that by others. Potentially you could have a 2 or 3 night stay in Lismore for virtually nothing if you use our offer with another! We're happy to advise on places to stay, particularly in and around The Channon.

All images are from the Lismore Art+Food promotion pages - designed beautifully by DogWhistle Creative.

Exhibitions by Laszlo Biro and Paul Roguszka starting in June

Two very different exhibitions - for our gallery - commence on the 14th June, 2014 and run until the 13th July.

They are different in that one is all finely and meticulously crafted woodwork and the other is almost 100% figurative works. The latter by Laszlo Biro continues on from the high proportion of figurative works in our current, rather sumptuous exhibition, "3 Decades" by AñA Wojak.

The exhibitions are "The Greater Gourd" by Laszlo Biro and "Unique Signatures" by Paul Roguszka. Both artists are local (Casino and Blue Knob areas, respectively) and demonstrate excellence in their individual practices.

The launch for both exhibitions is on Sunday, 15 June at 3pm. Please come along, but RSVP would be appreciated.

More information on each exhibition is available by following the trail by clicking on the invitation below. RSVP also available directly from individual exhibition pages.

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Twelve + 3 at The Glasshouse in Port Macquarie

"Twelve + 3", a group show curated by Julie Barratt (Access Arts) and Zoe Robinson-Kennedy (Arts Northern Rivers) is currently showing at the Glasshouse in Port Macquarie. It looks to be a beautiful venue and artspace.

We are really interested in this as Lindsay Hunt , a local artist and one of our gallery's stalwarts, is in the show. There are also a host of artists from Northern Rivers and the Mid-Coast.

The exhibition continues until 10 June. More information is available on the Arts Northern Rivers website.

Some photos are below of the opening (and featuring some of Lindsay's works). Many thanks to Julie, Zoe and their associated organisations for permitting us to share them here.


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A sense of spendour -3 Decades - AñA Wojak



Our formal exhibition programme so far this year has been very diverse and focussed on presenting quality work by local and not-so-local artists. So far we have exhibited amazingly sublime works by Stuart Cussons and a group show of works by Soren Carlbergg, Graham Mackie and James Willebrant - all of high quality and very different to exhibitions elsewhere in Northern Rivers.

Our current exhibition is the first survey that we have done of an artist's visual arts career. Yet again, it is something very different in content to anything we have seen before - or exhibited before.

The work of AñA Wojak covers a period of just over three decades and explores an arts practice that is rooted very much in her eastern European origins, her relationship or exposure to religion, her interests in eroticism and her environment, and her artistic inspirations, drawn from many quarters including the abstract expressionists of the 1960s and later, including Mark Rothko.

Curatorially, there was not so much of a selection process, other than limiting too much repetition and endeavouring to use as many works as possible that covered AñA's career. It was very important, however, to present the work of the artist - not so much in a chronological way - but in the best way to present her work and give in to the splendour that her work evokes.

The word, "splendour", is not something that we would normally attribute to our exhibitions, no matter how beautiful they are. With AñA's exhibition though, the sum of the various parts add up to something that is indeed splendid. There is a richness and unique texture across the exhibition that comes from her use of metals, gold-leaf, rich oils and recycled timbers. There is boldness to her figurative works and a softness to her assemblage - and a haunting, luminous beauty to her abstractions on steel.

There is nothing in this exhibition that has been executed on canvas or linen, and the alternative "materiality" conjures an exhibition that indeed evokes splendour ... even awe.

The parts of the whole are worth looking at too, of course, and represent clear artistic attitudes and practice at various points in the artist's career.

It's really very interesting. To see a 'journey' and an evolution of artistic thinking is really quite special for anyone interested in art.

It's a very special exhibition, indeed - both the parts and the sum of the parts!

AñA's artistic practice continues - hopefully for a few more decades yet!

More on AñA's exhibition - HERE. For complete works available by the artist, please look in our STOCK ROOM.


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Art Galleries Outside Cities



Cities provide a rich field to explore the Arts, and the visual arts in particular. They are the homes of State art museums, fancy and not-so-fancy commercial galleries and interesting arts co-operatives.

Regional artists exist throughout the country and are both diffuse and concentrated. They are no less talented or worthy of advocacy, in comparison to their city ‘cousins’. Some are also fortunate to be well-represented in cities.

Government-run regional galleries, aside, there are a plethora of endeavours run by individuals, couples or groups of people in regional areas that act to advocate for local artists and support local culture through the visual arts. Their support often extends to investing their own cash and much time to do this. It often relies on people of goodwill, including volunteers and a small cohort of local art-buyers to keep things going. For those with extended and hard-won networks, there are regular or sometimes-buyers from outside of the local region as well.

The variety of galleries in our own region of Northern Rivers is pretty startling. There are commercial galleries like us, who have a regular exhibition programme and specialise in local artists. There are craft and art galleries, community-run enterprises, arts collectives and galleries run by sole artists. We all do something a little different, but we are all not in it for the money! That’s for sure!!

But then, we do need to at least be able to financially secure for what we do for local arts - eventually.

No matter what model of art gallery is being executed, a business plan is a must. This may be an evolving document, but it should clearly articulate what you are doing and why. We dislike the nomenclature, but a “vision” or “mission” statement accompanied by a rationale is very helpful.

Some idea of local opportunities and constraints (the SWOT analysis) is also helpful. It begins to tease out what may distinguish the gallery - how it offers something different to “competitors”. We tend to think of this as how we contribute to diversity and maybe also quality, in certain genres of the visual arts.

From this comes an understanding of aims to achieve the “vision” or “mission” of the endeavour and what objectives there are to fulfil those aims, acknowledging issues raised in the SWOT. This starts expanding into day-to-day objectives like presentation, cleaning away cobwebs and dust (a challenge out here in The Channon) and the way people are greeted when they enter the gallery. There are the more global issues too, like workplace health and safety, insurances, artist selection criteria and providing provenance documentation for sold works that live beyond the gallery and acknowledge the artist’s extended life as a creative force and perhaps also as a commodity (icky term, but it DOES happen).

Every gallery needs some sort of criteria for selection of the artwork that they exhibit - even community or co-operative ones. It is important to reputation and the general assessment of quality of the arts of a region as well.

There are a host of strategies and actions that need to take place to realise objectives. Some are more obvious and some take a bit of knowledge, advice or trial and error. Marketing is an example of the latter examples, and it can include blogs, social media and advertising - and all sorts of permutations and combinations.

It all sounds huge, but really, it’s just sitting back and thinking things through a bit - and documenting it, no matter how rudimentary. It’s amazing how it can expand upon a few revisits, a little more thinking and perhaps the odd glass of wine!

No matter how we might all advocate for the arts via our galleries, we all need a sense of what we are doing, why we are doing it and how we actually will do it. It’s not all about being hard-nosed business people. We all want great things for our artists though, and the visual arts in these beautiful places outside of cities.

Networks are very important too, and we are very fortunate to have links and some very close ones with local government, commercial and community arts advocates and galleries. Some of our artists, too, proffer some pretty insightful advice for which we are truly grateful.

Regional galleries play a significant role both locally and nationally. They are an interface between the local and its cultural exponents and creators. They are also be a window on regional artistic endeavours, and hopefully excellence, to the world!

We are still working on this. Advice is welcome! Likewise, we are up for conversations and sharing of knowledge and experience with others.

There is so much that regional arts practice, individuals and endeavours, can offer this nation and beyond. Cities are great, but they are just a part of the whole - not the whole, itself! Just ask some of the buyers of our art who come from the city!

Coming Up - 3 Decades by AñA Wojak

10 May to 8 June, 2014

3 Decades provides a showcase of the diverse visual arts practice of AñA Wojak from the early 1980s right up to the present.

More information by clicking on the image below, RSVP details for the launch of the exhibition on Saturday, 10 May.


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Three of a Kind - Three Artists - Diverse Works

An exhibition of works by Soren CARLBERGG, Graham MACKIE & James WILLEBRANT.
5 April to 4 May, 2014


This exhibition by these three artists and friends from art school was recently shown at the Grafton Regional Gallery. We will be revising the show though, and adding works not previously shown. Different spaces demand different works to create a different experience!

The move further north in the Northern Rivers brings the exhibition closer to Soren's home here and gives us an opportunity to see the works of his mates, Graham Mackie (from the Grafton area) and James Willebrant - perhaps the most celebrated of the three due to his strong showing over the past 30-40 years in reputable galleries in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.

There are very different styles from the three artists, who all went to art school together and have remained friends over the past 40 years. The works of all three are accomplished, with works on show that should appeal to a broad audience as well as individuals who like to really think about the art.

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National car launch - destination: The Channon



On the 11th and 12th March, the gallery was closed to act as a venue for the national launch of a new model of a vehicle in the Toyota stable.

The two days saw national journalists, flown into Coolangatta, for a 'mystery' drive in the new car through the Northern Rivers, landing for lunch at The Channon Gallery. The drive would have been an excellent way of putting the SUV through its paces - winding, scenic roads with plenty of rough bits!

There was a huge effort to convert the front of the gallery into a dining area. Maggie and Baz from BAM Promotions and Weddings set up the furniture (all great quality) and The Larder from Byron Bay did the rest, with prep areas, bar tables and buffet tables. Their food and service throughout both days was truly excellent! This is a bit of a rave, but the standard was so high - and all produced and executed in just a couple of hours each day.

Stuart Cussons' exhibition provided a sublime backdrop and porcelain items by Dawn Thirlaway and Michael Hallam helped add a 'Lismore artist' touch to the dining tables. More art work by artists from Lismore and Northern Rivers were on display out the back of the gallery, as well as a couple of large pieces from artists elsewhere to add some scale.

The whole promotional journey and event was organised by The Project Group from Sydney, and from what we could see, it all ran like clockwork. A big thanks to Kate Smailes from The Project Group for seeking us out and including us.

Anyway, it was something a bit different in the life of the gallery and eye-opening in terms of what can be done with so little, in such a short space of time and with such high quality!

A few snaps from the two days are below.

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An Observation of Observations

Listen to a spoken voice version of the blog post, here:



Currently we have Stuart Cussons exceptional work showcasing in the gallery.

It is a reason to celebrate, but also brings with it, not inconsiderable vexation. Why?
Well, if I may be candid, it underscores two things that I hate about the “Art world”. The propensity for some people to be visually lazy; and the assertion that the work is simplistic, obvious, and could be deftly fashioned by a child; unsurprisingly, the lazy viewer’s child.

I don’t get it. Why they don’t get it.

If Stuart’s work were in the Tate/Whitney/MOMA, (or even GOMA, only 200km away!), it would be greeted very differently I suspect. At least in such spaces, most folk would stop, engage with the work, and at least think: “I don’t really understand this (or like it), but it’s here in this ‘important’ place, the work must be of some significance, and so I’ll persist and spend some more time with it”.

Hey, I could be wrong, but I do suspect that a major gallery brings a gravitas that does indeed help the appreciation of the artwork in many people’s eyes.

My point is that I’m naive enough to argue that the work should be admired and respected regardless of the vessel containing it. The reality is that presentation, and the blessing of the Art Gods, (critics, curators, and people that know about this stuff), does indeed matter; and the public respond in kind. Packaging has for centuries, been at the heart of consumption. And for God’s sake spare me the pious bullshit that Art is NOT for consumption - it is, it’s an industry Virginia, and it needs engagement on a commercial level for artists & galleries to survive. We’re a great distance from the Whitlamesque funding utopia these days. Have you checked the priorities of the current corporatist Junta government? (End of rant).

I suppose I’m troubled by lack of quiet enjoyment and reflection of the work by many people entering the gallery. Oh, to be sure, some folk do spend more than 5 seconds admiring the work and at a point between then and 5 minutes, walk away just a little more curious, a little more uplifted, and perhaps, infected with wonderment. The rest, zoom past the epic panels, oblivious to the great subtlety contained within them. How I want to leap at them and urge them to look again, with quietude, introspection, and surprised discovery!

If you haven’t seen Stuart’s work, I strongly urge you to do so. If you cannot physically be here, please go online and (imperfectly) witness them; we have a youtube interview with the man as well!
Stuart’s artwork cannot rationally be described as “simplistic”, it certainly can not be accused as being “obvious”; and it most assuredly cannot be replicated by one’s child; however strong the temptation to invoke some misguided Freudian Ego extension may be! The exhibition is literally stunning. It not so much sings as quietly whispers. It is a whisper that haunts.
As a non-artist, I stand in still, respectful awe at these things on the wall. I am certain that I could NEVER fashion such marvelous things of quiet, profound beauty.

Art needs to be admired, witnessed, pondered upon. As the old axiom goes, “Art without an audience is meaningless”.

But what do I know?
At the end of the day it could be that people simply don’t like the stuff ... it’s a funny ol’ world innit?!

"Surface Tensions" by Stuart Cussons

A small, but enthusiastic crowd helped us launch Stuart Cussons' "Surface Tensions" exhibition yesterday (2nd March).

The exhibition is comprised of works that continue Stuart's exploration of painting and working in 3D, with all new works made up of painted works on panel which were assembled at the gallery prior to the exhibition. The exceptions were a small work and a sculpture in steel - a 'self-portrait' with a very modern twist!

Stuart's exhibition presented us with some very bold (and large) pieces - each with its own sense of tranquility, quiet sophistication and slight tension. The works really required their own space and it was a great opportunity to pare back the gallery quite a bit and totally refresh it, following on from our summer showings of a large number of artists and their works.

Stuart's exhibition continues until the end of March. It may not be for everyone, but just about all who have seen it so far, have said how beautiful it is. We concur!

A selection of diverse works by a number of artists are on show at the rear of the gallery.

Some pics from the launch are below.

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New Additions to our Stock Room Artist Pages

Just as we have been trying to improve the presentation of art work in the gallery, we continue to try to enhance the experience of viewing art on our website.

We have just started to publish some 'room simulations' of a few choice pieces of artwork from each artist to the Artist Stock Room pages to allow for a better understanding of the size and proportions of artwork and how they work with rooms when they are hung. The photos of rooms for use in this endeavour were purchased from Fotolia (Stock Photos) and are probably a bit different to the typical household, due to their minimal character. They do seem to help visualise how an artwork might actually fit (or not) into one's own abode or office, though.

We won't be posting room simulations for each artwork - just a selection to give an idea of various sizes and shapes. We've only just begun on this, so there are still quite a few artworks and artists to go!

Some examples are below.

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A Soren Carlbergg piece.

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A diptych by Steven Perrin.

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A stunning work comprising panels by Stuart Cussons.

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A piece by Marika Bryant.

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A piece by Lily Kelly Napangardi.

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A quintyche by Yvonne Mills-Stanley.

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A perfect setting for this piece by Lindsay Hunt.

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Another by Lindsay Hunt.

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A piece by Imbi Davidson.

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A piece by Greg Mallyon.

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Another work comprising panels by Stuart Cussons.

There are ways of purchasing original art to make it more affordable

A lot of art galleries - well the physical, non-virtual ones - usually offer a few methods to purchase art works.

There are the usual ways, like upfront payments via cash, EFT and credit card, but a way to make things more affordable is to purchase by lay-by. Typically this requires a 20% deposit and instalments made over 3 months, but sometimes terms can be extended.

The Channon Gallery offers most items on lay-by and extended terms on certain items (subject to approval) and 'home lay-by' (take-home upon payment of deposit) to approved purchasers. Shipping costs can also be stretched over an extended period, where they apply.

Some art work can be pretty pricey, depending on the artist and the size of the work, but with a median price of $880 for the art work that we exhibit here (i.e. half is under $880 and half is over), the lay-by option can really help in the acquisition of something original and special.

Anyway, it's just a thought, wherever you might view art. If you love it, there are ways that its purchase might just be possible!

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Wishing you all the best at this special time of year

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To all who have passed through our doors, admired the work of our artists, 'liked' us on Facebook, glanced at our website and, especially, advocated for us either locally or nationally - we thank you all and wish you all a wonderful Christmas or whatever particular event you may celebrate at this time of the year. Our culture is wonderfully diverse, but equally wonderfully, the highpoint of summer (in Australia) brings people together to commune with each other, demonstrate goodwill and consider with gratitude the highlights of the year.

At The Channon Gallery, we have so much to grateful for - our artists, visitors and the people who purchase our artists' work. The place is pretty special too and there are many who continue to act as strong advocates for us and what we do here. To name just a a few Mayor of Lismore, Jenny Dowell, Councillor Isaac Smith (Lismore City Council), Peter Wood and the whole gang at Arts Northern Rivers, Brett Adlington, Director of the Lismore Regional Gallery and his staff, Mitch Lowe and Andrew Walker plus the ladies who work at Lismore & Nimbin Tourism, Kirilly Perdergast from Common Ground Byron Bay and Lismore, Simone and Liz at Elindale House B&B in Lismore, Wendy and Peter at Byron Plantation luxury self-contained accommodation, all of the crew at Apartments Inn at Byron Bay and Paula & Paul from Lakesong Pet-Friendly Accommodation at Lennox Head.

There are many more to thank as well, notwithstanding our Facebook 'likers' and people who regularly comment, share and like our posts. That's you Jenni, Anna, Natsky, Maria, Maria, Susan, Susan (not a stutter), Daniel, David, Misch, Matt, Christine, Heather, Laidy, Shirley, Leunam, Lisa, Zdenka, Virginia and Lyn. We hope you know who you all are! Just a bit reluctant to post surnames. Apologies also if we missed anyone!!

Right here in The Channon, Fiona McConnachie has been a treasure. A volunteer helper, labourer and curator, Fiona continues to bring her Arts background, humour and muscles to keep us going. We couldn't be more humbled and grateful for her input!

Finally, but certainly not in the least, are our artists. We won't name them all as they are all listed on our website - and they are all great! Marika Bryant, Lindsay Hunt, Stuart Cussons, Sue Adler, Matthew Shepherd, Susan Gourley and Soren Carlbergg have all made a difference with their friendship throughout the year and have been a real boost to our sometimes failing energy levels! Thanks also to Marika for her assistance in re-organising the gallery post-renovations ... and for lending us her husband!

The Year That's Been

At the beginning of the year, we thought that we would cut down on exhibitions so that there was one every two months. This was to give us a breather, due to the effort it takes, front and back of 'house' to mount an exhibition, plus the expenses associated with solo or duo shows, launches etc. Anyway, that all went out the window!

Some of the highlights for us this year are:
Steven Perrin's solo exhibition in March-April;
the Imbi Davidson and Tony Leitch duo show around the same time;

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Stuart Cussons solo exhibition of absolutely sublime works in April-May;
a trio show of works by Annique Goldenberg, Leanne Stewart Haugh and Heather Matthew - all fantastic and so different - also in April-May;
Julie DeLorenzo's solo exhibition in July-August with works that were a huge departure (and a very welcome one) from her more well-known practice;

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a solo exhibition we curated for Imbi Davidson at Arts Northern Rivers at Alstonville;

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Marika Bryant and Karyn Fendley exhibiting together in August-September;
Rikki Fisher's solo exhibition, September-October, and
more recently, the Julie Corbet and Marie-lise Laviolette exhibition held over November to early December.

There were also a few group shows which allowed us to slot in a whole lot of new work and new artists. It's been great to welcome works by Kelly Sullivan, Paul Raguszka, Mitchell O'Mahoney, Dan McDonell, Susan Gilmour, Laszlo Biro, John Thomas Turner and Steven Giese, plus continue to show works-as-they-come from our existing artists who continue to stick with us.

On a profoundly sad note, the Northern Rivers lost artist, Dawn Thirlaway to cancer. We miss her still but are lucky to have so many of her wonderful works in porcelain to view and exhibit. There was so much work from Dawn's estate to catalogue - and we aren't quite finished yet - but so much of it is now on display for everyone to appreciate. We're thinking of you Amber, and your Mum, particularly at this time of year.

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Fiona McConacchie & Dawn Thirlaway


Lastly, the other big news from 2013, was that we put in some new walls, tracks and lighting in our rear gallery space. This has only really been fairly recent and we are still coping with the ramifications of altered spatial quality, but we are pretty pleased. We can finally hang more work - plus smaller work - out the back without it being lost in the void that it was.

Stop by and have a look soon! New exhibitions are just underway (check out the EXHIBITIONS page) and there's a lot of new work.

In the meantime, 'Happy Holidays', stay safe and we look forward to engaging with you in 2014.

Difference, Desire & Destiny - An Exhibition

This month we embark upon on exhibition, Difference, Desire and Destiny, that includes various and carefully selected works that explore issues of human identity & sexuality - primarily male homosexuality. Works range from the blatant portrayal of the erotic human form, and extend all the way to questions of the obscurity or indeed, veracity of how humans not only see their own identity, but their sexuality. For some, sexuality is an immutable and incontestable state of being - nothing to do with choice. For others, and less commonly, sexuality is a mercurial and contestable construct, not at all central to one’s sense of self.

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Difference is all about identity; sexual identity.
This is acutely the case for many gay people. They are defined by their difference and in stark contrast to the heteronormative paradigm that pervades society. Some welcome that difference and many others seek to ‘normalise’ themselves into a more mainstream existence or just end up going that way. Neither is wrong. On one hand, there is the confirmation of human rights and the ability to share the laws, rights and opportunities that apply to heterosexual unions. Then, regarding the latter, there are also those who wish to reside at the edges of mainstream culture and recognise other modes of relationship, conjugation and engagement in the sexual side of life. This is always personal, but may be embraced as an almost anarchistic sensibility - why try to fit a 'square peg into a round hole', after all? Why be concerned with square pegs and round holes at all?

Desire - what we humans crave sexually, visually, emotionally.
People, bits of people, circumstances.
This is as individual as there are individuals, but there are commonalities as well as divergences in what constitutes desire - how lust is satiated and the enigma of where real affection may lie within this - whether it does at all.

Desire is what propels us, as sentient beings and as sexual beings. It gives life purpose. In the gay world, it is often the modus operandi - not always, but OFTEN. It may be seen as hedonistic, but is often a mask for just being and engaging or connecting with another human being. The context may be very different (largely) to a heterosexual experience of dealing with desire and its accompanying rituals - dinner, conversation, flirting, slow walks, seduction etc - to put it in maybe a cliched, but altogether not inaccurate way. Gay people do this too, but there are many opportunities and occasions where it is much more visceral and so much more about ‘carpe diem’ and ‘go-for-it’ when there is opportunity. Desire is also about so much more - possessions, status and cash etc. Despite the latter being so, we are focusing more on the sexual and ‘what-comes-naturally’ in this exhibition, though.

Destiny. Both self defined and imposed by the Gods.
Looking for love & partners; the futility, (sometimes), and intense longing when you are different - finding a lover, and more importantly, finding yourself.

Destiny is perhaps also a function of time and geography. Depending where you are or in what time you have lived, your destiny is shaped by your context, your culture … Sometimes that very thing breeds persecution and human rights abuses. Conversely, it sometimes shapes a cultural ‘tolerance’ (a less than optimal word) that every human being can expect just for being human.

Throughout history, humanity has dealt with religious and state persecution (eg. the Nazis), and continues to deal with newer threats in the world in regard to people who are not heterosexual or do not fit the heteronormative ‘picture’ of humanity whether they are straight, gay or otherwise. These threats are obvious and some are very slippery and almost invisible as a real threat in the delivery of their message. Respectively, they include a number of African regimes, the Westborough Baptist Church, Putin and the anonymous purveyors of sexual alienation and discrimination in Russia, and Tea Party sympathisers in Australia and the US.

This exhibition manifests components - and thinking - of all of the above. It does not endeavour to be all-encapsulating, despite the profound nature of what it means to be identified as 'different' sexually. There is also an emphasis here on male sexuality and homosexuality. This is not necessarily by choice, but is part and parcel of what our artists have offered us - artists who are homosexual and artists who are heterosexual. They all see the confusions as well as universal themes - and some very specific ones - when it comes to exploring sexual identity, the nature of desire and how that colours one’s destiny.

There is a hegemony associated with these issues and they are being played out now in our society. There are ‘warm and fuzzy’ notions of equality (and rightfully so, in a human rights context). There is also the suggestion of what is lost by ‘normalising’ difference and diminishing diversity to form some sort of homogeneity. There is the confrontation with what may be seen as ‘acceptable’ sexual practice - the conduct of sex - no matter how it occurs - with marriage, between partners or more anonymously in the search for an answer to desire or something more.

Is it anyone’s business? Really?

Concurrently, we happily celebrate 25 years of Tropical Fruits in Lismore - their championing of the GLBTI community, and support of acceptance, or at least tolerance, of those beyond heteronorms. Lismore Regional Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of 25 Years of Inclusion, a collaboration between the Gallery and Tropical Fruits Inc. Their exhibition continues until 26 January, 2014.

Please note; Difference, Desire & Destiny is a restricted exhibition due to the inclusion of a few works of a homoerotic and somewhat explicit nature that are unsuitable for children - and may be offensive to some adults.

More information on the exhibition is available by clicking on the image below.

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Exhibition - Women's Work(s)

Our latest exhibition of works by Northern Rivers female artists, featuring the work of Julie Corbet and Marie-lise Laviolette, opens on Sunday, 17th November, 2013.
The launch is at 3.00pm on that day, so if you interested in coming along, please just RSVP by clicking HERE.

Click on the image below to enlarge and for more information visit the exhibition page - HERE.

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Art Beyond Cities

Another ‘word’ from the Company Secretary.
(Image: “The Company Secretary”, Lindsay Hunt)

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I told you in my last post that the latency would be removed, and, so, here am I waxing lyrical again!

The renovations continue to delight & vex us in equal amounts. The front gallery has been re-hung (thanks to Peter), and we have a grand selection of wonderful art to view whilst we continue to work on the rear space; so please, come and drop in, say hello, and admire the selections we’ve chosen.

Today, we had a visit from two lovely travellers from Cambridge. They were delighted with what we had on show, and what we had to say. Coming from the cultural richness of Europe, they had many insightful comments regards our venture.

One of the recurring comments we receive from visitors from cities, here and beyond, is that they are somewhat surprised that we we do what we do, and indeed, where we do it. And this intrinsically raises the question:

Art outside the cities ...

What's good about it? Why bother?


Just this week, we have sold paintings to collectors located in the eastern seaboard of the USA. They found us and our artists via our extensive web presence - wonderful (and kind of surprising)!

Nonmetropolitan regions attract artists and other people working in the creative sphere.

(Not) surprisingly, the country provides succor and inspiration.
It generates community. That happens in the city too, but the environment is maybe more competitive and a little relentless in a number of ways.
It breeds networks, groups and individuals who work that little bit harder to generate an audience and patrons.
It generates creative means of entrepreneurship for the limited audience.
It generates creative partnerships.
That happens in the city too. Sometimes, it is more organised there, through institutions and programs/grants. Sometimes it is through more independent means through a centre of gravity/critical mass that a city can generate.

In the country, it is often more ‘made’ and deliberate, through seeking out, talking, word-of-mouth and getting out there. Local government helps too, as do regional peak arts bodies/organisations.

Exhibition launches in the country are maybe not quite so fashionable, compared with the city, and are not seen as something of a society event. They are social and are as much about catching up as viewing art and celebrating the work of local artists.

Artists are the same though. They still evolve and follow their own paths - no matter where they reside. Maybe their paths end up a little differently to their city cousins as their influences may diverge. We haven't seen that though. City artists still paint rural landscapes. Regional artists still produce work that could reside in the realm of urban art, for example; and we happily have a number of works of this leaning. There is all that which is in between as well.

Art happens everywhere. Quality is to be found everywhere - just as mediocrity is.

Regional areas are another source of artistic treasures and there are many non-artists in those places who are committed to advocating for them and their producers. Government-run galleries do it, as do independent/commercial galleries, community galleries, artist-run initiatives (individual and collective) and arts organisations (Arts Northern Rivers; Accessible Arts!!).

We are both happy and delighted to be a part of this!

Give them all a try. Give us a try!

Live long & prosper!

Rounding up the year with renos!

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An overdue ‘word’ from the Company Secretary.
(Image: “The Company Secretary”, Lindsay Hunt)

It’s almost the end of 2013. Can you believe it?!

We’re little more than 2 years young and it feels strangely odd, yet satisfying to see how far we’ve come in this short time. The past 12 months especially have been a time of trials, surprises and indeed, wonder.

A small gallery with hopes and dreams, in the middle of nowhere no less, is still here and doing well; much to the delight of our artists, patrons and ourselves. Our biggest challenge (how I hate that word), has been the past month or so when we have realised that we had a need to re-think our space (amongst other things).

We have embarked upon re-shaping our rear gallery space in the hope of best utilisng our wall space. If I had a dollar for everyone who has walked in there proclaiming in an almost breathless fashion:
“Oh, what a lovely feel!”. Yes, it may have had so; but it has been a vexing place to hang effectively since day one. So, finally, it was time to do something about it. Make it more practical, utilitarian, and optimise what can happen back there. It needed a fresh coat of paint - literally & metaphorically.

New walls have been erected that enable not only more space, but allow a more coherent flow of vision for the viewer. We now have 2 discreet eyelines for people to enjoy. Stage one is almost complete; stage two … well it’s coming … this all takes time and money and not an inconsiderable interruption to the day to day operations here. It’s hoped that by November, the first stage will be complete; new walls, paint, electrics, illumination etc. etc. An eight seater table has been installed allowing patrons to sit and browse our website/catalogue whilst at the gallery; a fast big screened iMac is there to do your bidding. (Please remember that we have free WiFi whilst you are here, and we invite you to use your laptop/tablet/phone if you should choose to do so. We may not have mobile coverage, but we do have a fiercely fast internet available!).

A huge thank you is in order to our loyal partons over the past 12 months - you know who you are!
An equally sincere thanks is due to our artists who have believed in us and helped to make The Channon Gallery continue and grow.

If you are one of our few thousand of Facebook followers, an enthusiastic thank you too for keeping our online presence real and invigorated - we love your contributions. And those of you who haven’t physically been here yet, a warm and open invitation exists for you to drop in; we would love to meet you.

This blog post is long overdue I realise, and it’s sobering how the sheer amount of day to day work in a gallery can easily prevent a regular post. For those of you who expected more posts recently, my apologies, and my sincere promise that this latency will be a thing of the past, again, thanks to all who keep believing in what we do and how we do it; really - thank you.

Live long and prosper.

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Our thanks to local builder, Paul Willis (ph. 0439 776 241) and his assistants, Heinrich and Nigel.

Starting in September - A solo show by Rikki Fisher

Coming up in September is a solo exhibition of works on scratchboard by Nimbin artist, Rikki Fisher.

The exhibition, entitled "Stripes - A Touch of the Wild", continues Rikki's exploration of wildlife in art, drawing upon inspiration that arose during a recent trip to Africa and manifested in the unusual medium of scratchboard.

Scratchboard is a clay coated hardboard panel that is then coated with Indian ink. Using various sharp tools to scratch into the ink layer, the clay underneath shows through. For added dimension, coloured inks can be added to the white clay areas revealed and then scratched again for additional highlights and volume.

A medium with an early history in the printing of single-colour books and newspapers, scratchboard has seen a renewal in recent years at the hand of artists, entering the field of fine art.

Rikki is a great exponent of this art form, winning the top award (Gold - Best in Show) for the Open category at the 2nd International Society of Scratchboard Artists (ISSA) show in Vancouver earlier in 2013. Those of you who have seen some of her scratchboard work previously will be able to attest to its visual impact and the intricacy of each piece.

The exhibition is to be launched on Sunday, 15th September. Click on the invitation below for details. It's a great opportunity to meet Rikki and have a chat about her work. More information and images associated with the exhibition are here. Lots more to be added!

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Lismore Arts in August

Lismore & Nimbin Tourism have had quite a job in a relatively short period of time to launch Arts in August and pull together a program of cultural events, co-ordinated with a host of organisations and individual who participate in the visual and performing arts in Lismore.

It's been quite a massive undertaking and, if nothing else, has coalesced so many great local arts resources and events for presentation to the public - local and of a broader audience.

At our gallery, we haven't really done all that much that is special, other than ensuring that we plug into the Arts in August program and take every opportunity to promote the program as a whole, plus individual events.

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We participated in the village tour of arts happenings, with David giving a guided tour of the gallery, our current exhibitions and our many local artists. Last weekend, we also hosted the Channel Seven Sydney Weekender crew for filming in the gallery (to be shown in October, we think). They filmed The Channon Markets, the Lismore Regional Gallery and many other spots around Lismore, including places to stay, like the gorgeous Elindale House in Lismore. Lots of our artists work on show there too!

More interviews coming up this weekend!

Arts in August is still in full swing. Click on the image below to see more of what's on for the remainder of the month.

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