Peter Nelson: exhibition 27 Aug – 21 Sep 2014

The Mountain Without The Words


Gallery 9 is pleased to present an exciting exhibition by Sydney-based multidisciplinary artist Peter Nelson. The new body of work presented in The Mountain Without The Words comprises drawing, painting, 3D printed sculpture and video animation. All works are interrelated and stem from an individual painting through a process best described by the artist:

This exhibition began with a small painting of a mountain, made in a temporary studio whilst on residency in Chongqing. I packed-up that studio and took the small painting to a new workplace in Sydney. To connect these two experiences and continue the imaginary landscape, I began to intricately translate the painting into a three dimensional virtual environment that I could explore. The video and the 3D printed sculpture were made from a digital model of the ink painting. My ongoing interest in landscape painting and computer games has directed me towards a gap between the analogue and the digital — a small zone of irrationality where cultural, historical and personal narratives seem to share an absurdity, brought about via the dismantling of their means of communication. The various equivalents to rock, time and immensity — dry ink, celadon ceramic and layered pixels — seem as absurd as the reverse side of the sculpture. The formal transitions of this exhibition seek to hold open this, to gap allow narratives to expand from within the mountain.

Peter Nelson, Sydney, July 2014

Peter Nelson is a graduate of the College of Fine Arts, UNSW with a BFA (Hons. Class 1) and MFA (research), and is also a former recipient of The University Medal. Since art school, he has undertaken residencies in Sydney, Paris, Taipei, Beijing and Chongqing. He has contributed work to many curated and group exhibitions and had solo shows in commercial, regional and artist run galleries across Sydney as well as in Taiwan and China.

Simon Blau: exhibition – Hobbyism 30 Jul – 24 Aug 2014

Simon Blau’s ninth solo exhibition with Gallery 9, Hobbyism presents two related but distinct series of paintings. In one room the artists reveals an echo to previous bodies of works’ hard edge aesthetic, though softened with tonal fields of colour. Solid in form but lighter and paler than his work with enamel, these forms are arranged with inviting perspective and alluring colour. In the other, again with fewer triangular and quadrilateral forms Blau has continued to break away from the formal rigour applied to his geometric paintings and sculptural objects. Unpredictable twists and turns driven by the artist’s intuition form fluid abstract lines of colour. Mandala like, some of the forms turn in on themselves while others spiral out to connect with each other, forming networks which bring constituent abstract elements together as a compositional whole.

Blau lives and works in Sydney. He has been exhibiting since the 1980s and his work is held in numerous public collections including The National Gallery of Australia, The National Gallery of Victoria, Wollongong City Gallery and Artbank as well as corporate and private collections including The Baillieu Myer Collection of Contemporary Art, Melbourne.


Belem Lett: exhibition – Island Fever 30 Jul – 24 Aug 2014

Gallery 9 welcomes back Sydney-based artist Belem Lett for his second solo show, Island Fever. 


As with Lett’s previous work, visualisations of virtual spaces and cartographic illustrations merge, and are rendered as abstract forms, shimmering and floating on layered grounds. Departing, for now, from the GPS maps of his personal urban meanderings as seen in Far From Nowhere (2013), Lett has looked to the maps of this island nation and their historical and contemporary geographic recordings to investigate new abstract forms with his distinctive brushwork.

Dr Martin Woods, curator of maps at the National Library of Australia searched far and wide to uncover unique and previously unseen maps of the Australian coastline for Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia (2013/14). The exhibition presented a plethora of discoveries from Indigenous Australian star mapping recorded on barks, to ancient Roman imaginings of an unknown continent and more familiar French and British charts from the colonial age. Inspired by a similarly diverse range of maps stretching from early Dutch exploration until now, Lett’s new works reference compositional elements of traditional map making. Their abstract forms reflect on the imperfect, undefined historically shifting nature of coastlines. The colours that mark out these forms harness layers of repetition and distortion to symbolise delineated, imagined representations of Australia as an island. In Lett’s words, Island Fever plays on “the notion of the island itself [being] stretched, twisted and distorted” to break from its familiar symbolic form, open to new interpretation.

Belem Lett graduated with a BFA (Hons. Class 1) in 2008 and completed an MFA by research at the College of Fine Arts (COFA), UNSW in 2013. In 2010 he was awarded the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship and has been the recipient of the COFA, UNSW Travel Grant to undertake a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris during which he also staged a solo show. Lett’s recent exhibitions include solo shows at Firstdraft and MOP projects in Sydney, and group exhibitions at Sawtooth ARI in Launceston, The Digital Art Centre in Taipei, Taiwan, Rear View in Melbourne, Wellington St Projects, Campbelltown Regional Gallery, Delmar Gallery, Gallery 9 and the Papermill in Sydney. Lett is also a Founding Member and Director at Wellington St Projects, Sydney.


Suzie Idiens: exhibition – All things being equal 2 – 27 July 2014

Black is the constant element in All things being equal, Suzie Idiens’s new exhibition of wall-mounted works at Gallery 9. Yet in her hands black is not only a colour but a substance, and a variable one at that. Each painted finish – high-gloss, matt or textured – is applied to its designated form through a painstaking process in which the hand disguises its own trace, leaving a seamless object that may appear to have been industrially fabricated for consistency, but is deliberately tactile, carefully individuated and receptive to the observer’s contemplation.


START Art Fair – Saatchi Gallery, London: 26 – 29 June 2014

Gallery 9 is excited to announce its participation in this year’s inaugural START Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2014. START is an invitation only international showcase for interesting young galleries exhibiting exciting artists, giving a select group of 48 galleries the opportunity to present the very best of global contemporary art.

START will be unique in that it will provide each gallery with larger scale stands (approximately 40 sqm), well lit display area in beautifully proportioned rooms with high ceilings in a museum quality environment. The Saatchi Gallery attracts 1.4 million visitors per year and is located on King’s Road in the heart of Chelsea.

For what will be Gallery 9’s largest presence at an international art fair to date, the Gallery will present a group exhibition of entirely new works by seven of the gallery’s represented artists David Ralph, Julian Hooper, Jelena Telecki, Simon Kennedy, John Aslanidis, Suzie Idiens and Tonee Messiah. The selection of Ralph, Kennedy and Telecki is an intentionally harmonious inclusion of figuration and landscape in the context of the contemporary built environment and reflections of modern art and literature. Hooper’s and Messiah’s new semi-abstract works will then bridge, with clever geometry across ambiguous landscape planes to justify a jump to intense monochromatic colour field objects by Idiens. The non-objective framework of Idiens connects to Aslanidis’ visions of soundscapes and intensely patterned circular grid formation. In something of our house style the Gallery 9 stand will be sparsely hung with an emphasis on minimal examples of work per artist.

view the PREVIEW CATALOGUE online

Anna Kristensen: exhibition – Render 4 – 29 June 2014

Recently returned to her hometown Sydney, having completed residencies at the Australia Council for the Art’s Greene Street Studio (NY, USA) and the Bemis Centre for Contemporary Art (Omaha, USA), Anna Kristensen is currently undertaking a year-long residency at Artspace where she has completed the work for this exhibition, Render. This is Kristensen’s third with Gallery 9.

view the ONLINE CATALOGUE with exhibition text by Susan Gibb

enquire about this exhibition

David Ralph: exhibition – Commune 10 May – 1 June 2014


Ralph recently commented on how Leipzig, in the east of Germany, not far from Berlin is now home to an increasing number of artists from around the world, many of whom paint there due to its relative affordability and the generous, comfortable situation it provides. Ralph’s latest works, made during his residency are primarily concerned with the virtually derelict spaces many of Leipzig’s artists have colonised as property elsewhere in the western world has become so out of reach. The most noticeable aspect of this architectural environment is how old, derelict and redundant spaces can become a haven to artists, especially painters, whose practices often demand space.

This exhibition seeks to capture in part the spirit, environment and habitat of Leipzig’s post war, socialist and industrial past, as it is transformed and morphed into something new and very different. My paintings explore a place where artists – painters can thrive, create new work and a new community from the ruins of the past. This exhibition is about the places that artists colonise and transform.

David Ralph, Leipzig, March 2014


Tonee Messiah: exhibition – Sorrow’s Breakfast 12 Mar – 5 Apr 2014

What starts at the back is forced to the fore.
How close can we come to the tipping point, to the place where the mind makes a slip and finds itself in the throws of mild breakdown or unhinged mania?
Sorrow’s Breakfast is a meditation on the lived experience and the fragility of the mind’s capacity to process experience and withstand tension. It is a questioning of one’s own capacity, under the right circumstances to slip down into the cracks.

Gallery 9 is pleased to present Tonee Messiah’s sixth solo exhibition with the Gallery, Sorrow’s Breakfast, an exhibition of new oils and works on paper.


This new body of work is an emotive and intuitive response to an acknowledgment of human fragility, specifically the ‘us and them’ notions which disfavour people who have been marginalised by society. Messiah describes how a recent curiosity has lead to a deep empathy for how vastly different the realities are for those who are seemingly functional and others who have been left behind by a society that requires an extremely high coping threshold. The same empathy motivated the artist to reflect on how a human brain functions under circumstances of extreme stress and anxiety, and how fine the tipping point can be.

Sorrow’s Breakfast presents a new visual language that layers tension and equilibrium on the painted surface. Interdispersed and ever-present amongst objects of gentle comfort and homely place in the fore is an ambiguous vision of psychological dissolve. Again Messiah’s works shows a harmonious but not exclusively complimentary spectrum of colour and with unpredictable representational and abstract forms she blends background to foreground shifting focus to the opposing corners of the picture plane.