Ed Bats: The Smallest Weird Number, 12 July – 5 August 2017

‘In the studio there is one constant, which is music. It’s an integral part to my art making and serves as a form of escapism. The latest paintings were driven by a near obsessive barrage of minimal and ambient music and soundscapes. Phillip Glass for breakfast, Boards of Canada for lunch, a bit of Susumu Yokotas “Sakura” for dinner, topped off with a fiendish amount of minimal techno. The constant sit down, stand up, stare, paint, stare, sit down repetition is fuelled by my own visual interpretation of the moods and compositions that I find myself listening to on a daily basis. I am convinced of the coexistence of painting and music.’

–Ed Bats, 2017

ED BATS (b. 1990) was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He has exhibited in New Zealand and internationally at The Young, Wellington, Parlour Projects, Hawkes Bay and various galleries throughout Europe. In 2016 Bats undertook artist residencies in Berlin, Germany and Lyon, France. He is a three-time finalist for the Wallace Art Awards and has works housed within the Wallace Collection and various private collections. He currently resides in Wellington, New Zealand. The Smallest Weird Number is his second solo exhibition at Gallery 9.



Sarah crowEST: WERKSATZ TAEUBER, 12 July – 5 August 2017

Sarah crowEST’s latest series of paintings brim with the spectre of an encounter with what she describes as the ‘lost architecture’ of Sophie Taeuber-Arp (Swiss dancer, designer, architect and artist). A little-known set of geometric, linear abstractions made by Taeuber-Arp in the 1920s have become a touchstone for an ongoing body of work by crowEST. Taeuber-Arp’s elegant and minimal diagrammatic paintings on paper have become, today, unfathomable in their intent due to archival omission of an unsupported strand of her oeuvre. CrowEST seeks to honour Taeuber-Arp and continue the conversation by inhabiting a slender strand of her formal language to work with it in new directions. The series shown at Gallery 9 is part of a group of crowEST’s paintings currently featured in Call of the Avant Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art at Heide Museum of Modern Art alongside the only work by Taeuber-Arp held in an Australian collection.

CrowEST was a Gertrude Contemporary resident studio artist for 2013-2015. In 2013 she was awarded 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 Anne and Gordon Samstag International Travel Scholarship and spent a year at Escola MAUMAUS independent study program in Lisbon, Portugal.

Recent solo exhibitions include Peregrination São Paulo, Oca, Parque Iberapuera, São Paulo, Brazil (2016); #straponpaintings, Heide Museum of Modern Art (2016); Running Order, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (2014); The Gertrude Sequence, Gallery 9 (2015); selvedge, order, rupture, West Space, Melbourne (2014); A Serious of Objects, Australian Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide (2014); and SOFT. HARD. EASY. C3 Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne (2014). In 2016 crowEST was curated into the TarraWarra Biennial at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, and featured in FABRIK: conceptual, minimalist and performative approaches to textiles, curated by Jane O’Neil at the Ian Potter Museum of Art.

WERKSATZ TAEUBER is crowEST’s third solo exhibition at Gallery 9.


Michelle Hanlin: The Necklace Stared Back, 14 June – 8 July 2017

Michelle Hanlin presents The Necklace Stared Back, an exhibition of paintings depicting spiritual objects in shallow relief. Hanlin plays with the arrangement of statues, rosary beads, chalices, candles and shiny sashes until they inspire a sense of mock reverence and strange symbolism. Abstracted and simplified, the objects become emblematic and resemble brightly coloured designs for flags or badges. The Necklace Stared Back points to the connections between religious imagery and methods of representation in art, and how a process of creative interpretation can instill meaning into static forms.

Michelle Hanlin graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from Sydney College of the Arts in 2003. She has gone on to exhibit in solo and group exhibitions around Australia. Her work is represented in the Artbank and Wollongong City Gallery collections. The Necklace Stared Back will be her seventh exhibition at Gallery 9.


Mark Rodda: 14 June – 8 July 2017

Mark Rodda presents two separate series of paintings in Ephemeral Archipelago & Estuary Lookout.

Constellations of marks, textures and shapes gently drift, separate and bond together in Ephemeral Archipelago, suggesting a world that is micro and cellular, as well as a landscape of more cosmic proportions. Rodda deploys a repertoire of brushstrokes and gestures in these works – sticky accretions of paint contrast with transparent washes, watery flecks of colour and the smoothly sanded timber supports.

In Estuary Lookout, the artist reintroduces his mysterious cast of characters to these floating worlds. He describes these more representational paintings as ‘pin boards’ that hold disconnected fragments of imagery. Rather than convey narrative, he tries to create a feeling of what he calls ‘relaxed but engaged freedom’ – the landscape of the mind in an untamed state of reverie.

Rodda has held over 17 solo exhibitions in Australia and New Zealand and has shown in group exhibitions and festivals internationally and around the country. In 2013 he was a finalist in the Wynne Prize for landscape at the Art Gallery of NSW and in 2014 won the Glover Prize, Australia’s richest prize for landscape painting. Rodda is represented in private and public collections including Artbank, the Glover Prize Collection and the Trust Bank Collection. This is his third exhibition at Gallery 9.


Paul Snell: Chromophilia, 17 May – 10 June 2017

Paul Snell explores the possibilities of abstraction in photomedia. For Chromophilia, he rhythmically repeats, pairs, overlaps and sequences visual data to create luminous abstractions in uncountable varieties of colours. The smooth plexiglas surface of each object gives a screen-like illusion of depth and distance, and as Snell explains, “invites the viewer into a space of inner contemplation and transcendence.”

Snell has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Australia and internationally. In 2016 he presented his major solo exhibition, Liminal, at the Queen Victoria Museum and Gallery, Launceston and was finalist in the Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award at the Gold Coast City Gallery. In 2015 he was winner of the Whyalla Art Prize. Snell is a graduate of the Tasmanian School of Art and was awarded his Master of Creative Arts from the University of Tasmania in 2011. He is represented in the collections of ArtBank, Devonport Regional Gallery, Burnie Regional Gallery and the Justin House Museum. Chromophilia is Snell’s third exhibition with the gallery.


Tony Lloyd: The Distance, 17 May – 10 June 2017

The Distance, Tony Lloyd’s second exhibition with Gallery 9, continues his fascination with mountains, highways, darkness and space travel. In this exhibition, immense mountains are contrasted with distant aircraft, jet vapour trails are likened to road lines, and footprints in the snow read as an indecipherable Morse code. In other works, asteroids appear out of the darkness above endless highways, melding night and space into a single perspective. Lloyd’s enigmatic scenes of remote and unpopulated landscapes are difficult to locate. Curator Simon Gregg writes of Lloyd: “His paintings have a sense of time frozen, and haunt us through their penetrating ambiguity, speaking of nowhere and of no-when.“

Tony Lloyd has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally for over twenty years. He was winner of the 2014 Belle Arti Art prize and the 2012 John Leslie prize for Landscape. In 2014 Lloyd was awarded highly commended in the Sir John Sulman prize at the Art Gallery of NSW. He received the RMIT Post Graduate Award and has undertaken residencies at the British School at Rome, Canvas International Art in Amsterdam and 24Hour Art, Beijing. Lloyd is represented in the collections of Artbank, BHP Billiton, City of Whitehorse, Gippsland Art Gallery, Macquarie Bank, RMIT Gallery and the State Library of Victoria.


Julian Hooper: 19 April – 13 May 2017

In Blind Love, Julian Hooper returns to portraiture, a subject he explored previously in the historically themed Liliu and Future’s Counsel series. Hooper’s portraits emerge out of highly reduced configurations of abstract shapes and motifs. In this exhibition, he transfers the linear style of his drawings to painting, preferring simple black washes and the cream of unprimed canvas to the more intricate and colourful layering of past work. Hooper also introduces an element of collage, with pieces of painted canvas adhered to the front and sides of the supports. The graphic construction of the work frees the picture of painterly nuance and exploits the reductive simplicity of drawing. This makes room for new complexities, such as the trompe l’oeil painted timber frames, and the inclusion of motifs reminiscent of Cubism and Constructivism. As with all of Hooper’s paintings, these works draw from a deep pool of art historical knowledge. The paintings present themselves as riddles that need to be carefully considered and turned over. They are closer to being masks than portraits, in that they attempt to conceal their personal meanings.

Julian Hooper has held over 20 solo exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and New York. In 2016 he featured in Necessary Distraction, a survey of contemporary New Zealand painting at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. Hooper is represented in the Queensland Art Gallery collection as well as major collections throughout New Zealand including the Chartwell and Wallace collections, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the University of Auckland collection.


Jake Walker: 19 April – 13 May 2017

The title of Jake Walker’s new exhibition, Time Frame, puns on the potential of the picture frame to enclose and contain time. In this series, the viewer digs through gaps and transparencies to discover an archeology of surfaces. Sometimes a signature or line drawing is spontaneously etched into the final coat of paint – a reminder of the artist’s most recent contact with the surface. Walker’s ceramic frames carry their own sense of history, carefully revealing stages of the firing process. Their protrusions and appendages evoke instruments of antiquity and pieces of modernist pottery. They subvert their traditional function as window frames and become containers for the painted object, enclosing and charging it with energy. In an age when time is increasingly framed by the shallow flicker of a screen, Walker’s art makes us slow down and look back.

Walker received his MFA at Otago School of Fine Art in Dunedin in 1991. Recent solo  exhibitions include Geyserland, Dutton Gallery, New York; Suggested Things, Hamish McKay, Wellington, 2016; Unemployment Works, Station, Melbourne, 2016; Sydney Contemporary with Gallery 9, 2015; The Town Belt, City Gallery, Wellington, 2014; Paintings Questions, Gallery 9, Sydney, 2013; Painting and Relief, Studio 12, Gertrude Contemporary, 2012. Select group exhibitions include 5 Perspectives, The Young, Wellington, 2014; Assembly, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2014; Never-Never Land, Roslyn Oxley 9 in collaboration with Utopian Slumps, Sydney, 2014; Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013. Walker’s work is held in the Wallace Arts Trust, Chartwell Collection (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki), the Joyce Nissan collection, the Te Papa Tongarewa collection, as well as various private collections in New Zealand, Australia and internationally. Walker was a Gertrude Contemporary resident studio artist from 2011 to 2012. He lives and works in Featherston, New Zealand.


David Ralph: Absent Presence, 22 March – 15 April 2017

David Ralph reflects on the psychology of architectural spaces and what they say about the people who inhabit them. Recent work has looked at the buildings that artists and musicians colonise and transform. After moving to Leipzig in 2014, Ralph became interested in the derelict structures that artists choose to reoccupy. Ralph finds the ‘theatre of life’ inscribed within the walls of these spaces, and describes his atmospheric, jewel-like paintings as collective portraits of the people who have occupied them over time.

David Ralph is based between Melbourne and Leipzig, Germany. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Victorian College of the Arts and an MA (Fine Art) from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London. Since the early 2000s Ralph has held solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney and featured in curated group exhibitions in Australia, New York, London and Paris. He is a former Sulman Prize finalist and recipient of the Anne and Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship. In 2013 Ralph was the recipient of the Australia Council, Visual Arts Board skills and arts development grant, which allowed him to undertake the LIA Leipzig International Art Program in Germany.

Ralph is represented in numerous collections including the Fondation D’Art Contemporain Daniel & Florence Guerlain (Paris), British Airways Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, Artbank, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Warrnambool Regional Art Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, Port Philip City Council, City of Yarra Council and the RACV.


Kristina Tsoulis–Reay: Movements, 22 March – 15 April 2017

Kristina Tsoulis-Reay is concerned with articulating the visual properties of memory through painting. In Movements she captures women and girls during mundane, quotidian moments of introspection. These are intimate moments during which the human subject drifts and is absorbed into their surroundings. Her fluid brushstrokes create a sensory confusion that transforms and invigorates the photographic source. Each painting interacts in a continuum of separate (yet inseparable) images, mirroring the active form of memory, where disparate moments become linked across time and space. Tsoulis-Reay hints at the collective power present in the individual moment, suggesting the potential for groundswell, for change, for movement.

Tsoulis-Reay completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) at RMIT University in 2009 and a Master of Fine Arts at Monash University in 2014. She has held solo exhibitions at Sutton Gallery; Caves; St Heliers St Gallery; Light Projects; Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts and West Space. Her work was included in Painting, More Painting at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in 2016. Group exhibitions include shows at The Honeymoon Suite, Melbourne; Federation University, Gippsland; Monash Faculty Gallery, Melbourne; Milani Gallery, Brisbane; Utopian Slumps, Melbourne; Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; One Minutes Foundation, The Netherlands.

Movements is the artist’s first exhibition at Gallery 9.