Julian Hooper at Aurora Place 27 Feb – 10 Apr 2015

To continue the series of offsite shows at Aurora Place, Gallery 9 is pleased to present an exhibition of works by acclaimed Auckland-based Julian Hooper, surveying his practice from 2008 to the present.

Amongst the earlier works presented, Count and Szuz both from 2008 present elaborately detailed figures composed of a variety of eclectic forms ranging from flora to geometric abstraction. The figures in later paintings like Florence and Siena 2010 further delve into a Hooper’s eclectic inventory sourcing forms from still lives and sea creatures who strike poses reminiscent of fashion magazines. They are also recollect surrealist sensibilities and explore a sense of interior space with minimalist geometry. They are incongruous and absurd but endearing and radiate intrigue akin to the work of 16th century painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

Works from the two later series, Metalepsy exhibited at Gallery 9 and the Melbourne Art Fair in 2012 and Milk Island (2013) hang across the foyer nearby the café. They bear compositions that evolved entirely during the painting process. The paintings are essentially abstract but for Hooper, his abstraction is a secreted kind of figuration which opens itself up to ambiguity and interpretation. His use of abstract form acts as a relaxant on representational elements. Hooper’s imagery hints at figures, landscapes, interiors and still lives. Despite these ambiguous qualities, a tension and precision underscores each of Hooper’s paintings and reveals a subject unseen.


Born in Auckland in1966, of mixed Hungarian and Tongan heritage, Julian has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and Australia since 1990. In addition to numerous curated and group shows in Australia and New Zealand, Julian Hooper has held over 20 solo exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and New York.

His work is represented in the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art collection as well as major collections throughout New Zealand such as the Chartwell Collection, Auckland City Art Gallery, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, The Wallace Collection and the University of Auckland collection.

Michael G. F. Prior: exhibition 18 Feb – 14 Mar 2015

Gallery 9 is pleased to present a new site-specific project, Discussion Model by Michael G. F. Prior.

Prior devises strategies of fabrication, organisation and mechanisation to make temporal arrangements with sculpture. Applying aleatoric method to a physical manifold (objects, the body in space, sound generators), he initiates self-developing compositions. The key elements are sound, light and motion.

“I’m interested in the physical and mental effects that manifest through the interplay of these elements, the base emotional response. The materials I use are chosen for practical reasons – for their ability to create rhythmic shapes and sounds. I use their form as a conduit to compose movement, resonance, refraction and distortion.”

Priors’ installations are made from an organisation of interchangeable pieces that make up the whole. He believes he piece posses a pseudo personality; an individual thing that it does. When these pieces are set in motion they play off each other in various ways – sometimes by design, sometimes not. The nature of this interplay evolves over time: as the viewer switches focus, the behaviour of the mechanisms change, or both. Describing his work, Prior alludes to conversations around a dining table, characters in a play, instruments in an ensemble, or furniture in a room: “The greater narrative grows out of these elements reacting to each other”.

Born in Sydney in 1977, Prior lives and works in Melbourne. He graduated with a BA (Hons Class 1) in Media Arts in 2005 and with a BFA in 2008 from RMIT. In 2014 he exhibited at the Heide Museum of Modern Art, West Space and the Incinerator Art Gallery where he won the Art for Social Change award for work in keeping with the ideals of Marion Mahoney Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin. He has previously exhibited at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, MONA FOMA (Hobart), the National Gallery of Victoria and the Museum of Fine Arts in Taichung, Taiwan. In 2011 Prior undertook a performance tour of the USA with Lachlan Conn as Chronox, an ongoing collaboration that includes installation, performance and published works. In 2015 Michael will exhibit at the Walker St. Gallery in Dandenong, Victoria and create a series of weather driven outdoor works for the Nepean School in Seaford, Victoria.


image by George Husband

enquire about the exhibition here

Tonee Messiah: exhibition 18 Feb – 14 Mar 2015

 Bad Seed 

View the exhibition’s EXHIBITION CATALOGUE online.

From birth our primary focus is to gain control of the functions of our body; we make connections between the desire to walk and motions needed to achieve it, we long to communicate so we learn to speak. Every milestone is marked by harnessing a new function of the body. As we grow our focus shifts to the mental and emotional development of becoming an adult, and for most of us, we rest in the confidence that the physical function of our body is secure and on track. What happens when this confidence betrays us and our body begins to operate outside the realms of our control?

Bad Seed is a collection of works that address the fears and anxieties in realising the independent chaos that exists beneath the skin. As our cells age and transform the pure self-realising control we possess over the machine that carries us comes into question. These works address the alienation and terror that spreads as we come to terms with losing control of our body’s destiny.

The painting process utilised to produce this body of work brings to light our own personal process of striving for control and order. With every step and mark we are autonomously constructing our destiny; what happens when we come to realise that the vehicles we use to fulfil this have an independent natural order that can unknowingly betray us. Perhaps the process of ageing is to remind us that we are at the mercy of nature’s will.


Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man. Henry Adams


Tonee Messiah is an honours graduate of Sydney College of the Arts (2004) whom Pulizer Prize winning critic, Sebastian Smee (The Boston Globe, then The Australian), in 2007 identified as one of the nations most interesting young artists. Her work is held in the Monash University Museum of Art as well as in numerous corporate and private collections.

enquire about the exhibition here


Michelle Hanlin: exhibition 18 Feb – 14 Mar 2015

On the Stairs


Gallery 9 is pleased to present Michelle Hanlin’s most recent body of work in On the Stairs, her seventh exhibition at the Gallery and first since 2012.

Parting ways, for now with painting and sculpture, Hanlin’s new exhibition comprises three collages made from high gloss poster paper, cut and torn into basic shapes and arranged in brutally simple compositions that teeter between hard-edge abstract painting and the symbolic imagery of warning signs. As with Hanlin’s previous bodies of work, the compositions reveal intersections between abstraction and representation, specifically a repeated motif of a three-tiered structure reminiscent of stairs or a pedestal. Atop each structure sit amoebic blobs – suggestive of child-like figures, rudimentary sculptures or phantasms. Around each solid form appear literally exposed torn white edges which situate the otherwise flat forms into shallow relief, appearing like drop-shadows loaned from the realm of graphic design. It is the artist’s intention, that “this elevation of the formless abstract, realised through the simple means, anticipates and invites our empathy.”

Michelle Hanlin is a graduate of Sydney College of the Arts. Her work has been collected by Artbank, Wollongong City Gallery and private collections around Australia. She has exhibited since 1999 and her work has been seen extensively in galleries across Sydney as well as in Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide.

image: Michelle Hanlin Careful on the Stairs 2015 [DETAIL] cardboard collage on Alupanel 100 x 74 cm

enquire about the exhibition here

Samara Adamson-Pinczewski: exhibition 28 Jan – 14 Feb 2015

The Beautiful Corner


Before commencing the works in The Beautiful Corner, in 2013 Melbourne-based artist Samara Adamson-Pinczewski travelled to the USA to undertake the Sam & Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts Residency Program in New Berlin, New York.  It was during her time as artist in residence that Adamson-Pinczewski had an opportunity to experiment with a virtually unlimited array of the paints produced by Golden Artist Colors.

This exhibition comprises a new series of geometric abstract paintings in which Adamson-Pinczewski has refined some of the experiments with colour to achieve scintillating colour effects and delicately subtle surfaces. The Beautiful Corner explores relationships between geometric abstract painting, architecture and urban space, with a focus on innovative uses of reflective paint materials to create ambiguous pictorial spatial readings.

The exhibition’s title references Kazimir Malevich’s symbolic placement of the Black Square (1915), across the corner of the room, and close to the ceiling, during his revolutionary show The Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0.10 (1915). Domestic Russian Orthodox icons are traditionally hung in this ultimate position, also known as the ‘beautiful corner’ or ‘red corner’. In contrast to Malevich’s spiritual beliefs, Adamson-Pinczewski’s abstract compositions are derived from the physical world, specifically modern architecture and contemporary urban spaces, as well as studio-based painting installations. In the artist’s words:

“I focus on using fragmented architectonic motifs and oblique linear structures to create the illusion of fracture, sudden movement and turbulence. The diagonal planes in my paintings are designed to appear vertiginous and weightless, and to simultaneously project forwards and backwards in deep perspectival space.” Samara Adamson-Pinczewski, September 2014

Adamson-Pinczewski holds a BFA (Hons.) and Master of Fine Arts (research) and in 2013 was awarded her PhD from RMIT University, Melbourne. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions in Melbourne since 2000 and The Beautiful Corner marks the artist’s first solo exhibition in Sydney. Her work has also been shown in prize and group shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, New Berlin, New York and Taipei and has been collected in Australia and the USA.

image: Samara Adamson-Pinczewski Surface Slope 2014 acrylic on canvas 183 x 137 cm

James Drinkwater: exhibition 28 Jan – 14 Feb 2015

In The Arms of Moreton Figs

Ancient swells hit the bells and the buoys
Over that black and endless sea
So I think of all the paintings
Every axe and every flame
The Pioneer and You Yangs

But if we sleep now we may never leave
Leaning wind and tidal kiss
Fenced by an ocean
In the liberal minds of sharks and dogs

And if this whole thing becomes a dream
Then place me in tombs of slumber
In the halls of my youth
In the arms of moreton figs

James Drinkwater – December 2014



James Drinkwater is a Newcastle-based artist whose practice broadly involves painting, sculpture, assemblage and collage. His painting practice is largely dedicated to translating his internalised self, through a distinctive language of mark making into an abstracted yet often familiar picture plane. Consistent themes in the work include the artist’s experiences of place, intimacy and memory, and together these document the artist’s life as a continuing body of work. In The Arms of Moreton Figs presents a recently completed series of vibrantly coloured oil paintings, with a temperate, coastal yet refreshingly cool palette and generously textured surfaces.

Drinkwater grew up in Newcastle and studied at the National Art School in Sydney before relocating to Melbourne to pursue a musical career on the side of his art practice. He later moved to Germany where he resided in Berlin for several years and undertake a residency at the LIA in Leipzig. In 2011 James Drinkwater received the Marten Bequest travelling Scholarship and was a finalist in the Dobell Drawing Prize (Art Gallery of NSW). He was a finalist for the Wynne prize in 2014 and was a finalist for the Brett Whiteley Travelling Scholarship for three consecutive years prior to being awarded the prize in 2014.

Drinkwater’s work is held in major public and private collections in Australia and internationally including Artbank, Macquarie Group, Allens Law Firm, the Newcastle Art Gallery and private collections in New York, Singapore, Germany and the UK. He has previously shown with Damien Minton Gallery in Sydney and is represented by NKN Gallery, Melbourne.

Sarah crowEST: exhibition 3 December – 20 December 2014

The Gertrude Sequence

Here begins an art of incremental shifts backwards and forwards – each rectangle presented as a snapshot of phase transition – simultaneously abstract and concrete. These objects are derived from a succession of encounters – formal, material, institutional and social. The Gertrude Sequence emerges from a series of propositions born out of an engagement with the materiality of paint, textile, the properties of support structures and how objects relate to an ‘exhibition’ space. Outwardly, these are formal exercises, realist images without illusions where registration of the process by which the work is made becomes its content. However, (quiet in appearance and made by an introvert) they brim with spectres of encounter and conversation – studio visitors, Belgian linen, shiny pleather, tumbleweed methodology, Sophie Taeber-Arp, soft eyes, et cetera…



In 2013 crowEST was awarded a New Work grant by the Australia Council, and a PhD by University of Melbourne (Victorian College of the Arts) for her practice-led research project An Unaccountable Mass: bothersome matter and the humorous life of forms. In 2008 she was a recipient of the Samstag International Travel/study scholarship and spent a year in Lisbon, Portugal at the mysterious Escola Maumaus in the independent study program.

Recent solo exhibitions include: SELVEDGE, ORDER, RUPTURE, West Space, Melbourne, 2014, A SERIOUS OF OBJECTS, Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, 2014, SOFT. HARD. EASY., C3 Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, tumbleweed methodology: a theory of the cycle of things, Craft, Melbourne, 2013, the inexplicable magnetism of an alien object, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2012, Letting the Odd One In, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, Melbourne, 2010.

Selected group exhibitions include: BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER, Melbourne Art Fair Project Space, 2014, DEEP TIME, TCB, Melbourne, 2014 Assembly: contemporary ceramics, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2014, Unsettled Sculpture, Sarah Scout Presents, Melbourne, 2013, Loosely Speaking, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2013, Cite Radieuse, MAUMAUS Gallery, Alta de Lisboa, Portugal, 2008.