Posts Tagged ‘Derek O’Connor Horizontal


Around the galleries: Derek O’Connor at Karen Woodbury Gallery, Peter Cole ‘Elements + Memories’ at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

April 2009


In a mad dash around town I managed to see the Derek O’Connor and Peter Cole exhibitions before they finished and also the Siri Hayes En Plein Air exhibition of photographs at Gallerysmith (see next post).


Please click on the art work for a larger version of the image.


Derek O’Connor paintings at Karen Woodbury Gallery

An intense show of small oil paintings that really draw you into their composition. They are paintings of tremendous energy and layering, the surface being in a constant state of flux. The paintings become metaphors for the bodies existence in space, corporeal landscapes full of sensation ‘neither rational nor cerebral’. They become a mediation and a meditation upon life itself – complex, convulsive, concentrated energy that focuses the viewers attention so that they cannot look away.


Derek O'Connor. 'Horizontal' 2008


Derek O’Connor


Derek O'Connor. 'Horizontal' 2008


Derek O’Connor



“Working with his tools of palette knives and brushes, he sets into motion a train of repetitions, of speeds and slowness1 applying and scrapping paint away in an attempt to move from a position of not knowing towards knowing. He brings … an intense physical and mental awareness to the rhythms of his own movements, his own body. At such moments time seems to expand – to become infinite.

In erasing from his project the world of appearances, Derek O’Connor embraces something else – the realm of ‘sensation’. Sensation is an open painterly expression which resists definition. The Modernist painter Paul Cezanne described sensation as a “logic of the senses” which is neither rational nor cerebral2 … For Derek, the subject of his painting appears to be the act of making itself. Here subject and object collapse (folding into itself) so that sensation is experienced through the materiality of paint, via the movements of the artists’ body to affect the bodies of others.”

Paul Uhlmann from the catalogue essay


  1. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. A Thousand Plateaus. London: Continuum, 1987, pp. 292-300
  2. Deleuze, G. The Logic of Sensation. London: Continuum, 2003, p. 42


Derek O' Connor. 'Irregular' 2008


Derek O’Connor


Karen Woodbury Gallery

This gallery has closed.



Peter Cole ‘Elements + Memories’ at John Buckley Gallery 18th March – 9th April 2009

A decidedly underwhelming show by Peter Cole at John Buckley Gallery only redeemed by the amazing Elemental Landscape series of 64 small sculptural pieces displayed as a frieze (see below). The large free standing sculptural works fail to impress with their minimalist Ikea-esque cut out style – especially when viewed from the rear of the work. One would have thought that a sculptor, making several free standing pieces that are going to be walked around in a gallery space, would have designed the work to be viewed ‘in the round’. As it is all the perfection of the clinical front of the works is undone by brackets and screws holding the whole thing together when viewed from the flattened rump. This is pretty, surface work that lacks substance and insight, pretty shapes and cut outs and targets that allude to memory but are just stylised glossy magazine representations of it.

On the other hand the Elemental Landscape series of sculptures is just magical – playful, ever inventive, wonderfully contemporary, beautifully resolved in concept and manufacture, in their use and bending of geometric shapes, the sculptures really are fantastic when seen ‘in situ’ as a whole. Visit the exhibition just to see this work – buy some pieces and make your own elemental landscape!

Dr Marcus Bunyan


Peter Cole. 'Elements + Memories' installation views at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne


Peter Cole
Elements + Memories installation views at John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne (first and second image)
Bar 4 – Shibuya 2009 (third image)
Garden – Yoyogi 2009 (fourth image)



“In Peter D Cole’s stunning and ambitious exhibition Elements + Memories he creates a playful interactive work titled Elemental Landscape. Utilising his highly stylised modernist and reductionist technique – influenced at an early age by studies of Miro and Calder – Cole presents 64 small sculptural pieces of varying colour and shape of which the audience is encouraged to create their own compositions. Cole also presents three large-scale sculptures drawing on memories of his times in Japan.

Cole’s distinct skill of distilling the landscape and architecture into separate elements and symbols is in itself evocative of traditional minimal Japanese aesthetic and he has created a series of works which draw upon Japanese interiors and streetscapes and the gardens of the Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom festival).”

Text from John Buckley Gallery website [Online] Cited 01/04/2009 (no longer available online)


Peter Cole. 'Elemental Landscape' 2009

Peter Cole. 'Elemental Landscape' 2009

Peter Cole. 'Elemental Landscape' 2009

Peter Cole. 'Elemental Landscape' 2009


Peter Cole
Elemental Landscape



John Buckley Gallery

This gallery has closed.


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Mask’ 1994

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