Blue Mountains Portraits

3 February – 18 March 2018

Blue Mountains City Art Gallery is celebrating the Blue Mountains community with a major portrait exhibition of local personalities and community members. Over forty artworks in a broad range of styles and media such as painting, photography, drawing, collage and mixed media will be exhibited together with a selection of local students’ work.

A Blue Mountains City Art Gallery exhibition

GRAHAM MCCARTER Peter Rushforth 2012, photographic print on Hahnemühle photo rag paper, 43 x 26 cm. Courtesy the artist

Public Programs


Listen to an emerging artist, a mid-career artist and an established artist in conversation with their subjects as they discuss their approach to creating a portrait and why they selected their subjects.

RSVP appreciated at Reception or 4780 5410.

Julie Paterson

Cloth: From Seeds to Bloom

9 December 2017– 28 January 2018

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Cloth: From Seeds to Bloom traces 20 years of work from one of Australia’s most influential textile designers and local Blue Mountains resident, Julie Paterson.

Drawing inspiration from the Australian bush, Paterson’s stunning fabrics are a riot of colour, floral forms, and patterns. Achieving commercial success through design excellence, her designs are highly prized and sought after, with short batch productions quickly snapped up by avid collectors, interior decorators, and commercial clients.

The exhibition will focus on nine key textile groupings – the first called Seeds and the last one Bloom. Contemporary textiles commonly sit at the practical end of art and design. Cloth: Seeds to Bloom is comprised of Julie Paterson’s domestic textile objects, which take the viewer on a journey from the humble seed through to the luscious bloom.

An Australian Design Centre touring exhibition

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Julie Paterson, Cloth: From Seeds to Bloom installation view. Image courtesy the artist and Australian Design Centre.


Heidi Axelsen & Hugo Moline

The Visitors

9 December 2017– 14 January 2018


The Visitors explores alternate means of encounter and exchange between the human and botanical worlds. Rather than simply using plants to do things for us, could we work for them? The exhibition investigates the potential of this ‘Plant agency’ in Katoomba and its surrounds.

Plants mostly seem to recede into the background, the base and stage for the lives of faster moving creatures like us. Yet we depend entirely and absolutely on the lives and labours of the plant world. We are here because they are here.

If we are their guests, we are rather inconsiderate ones. We farm them, we garden them, we prune and transplant them. We harvest them and process them. We eat them and wear them. We use their bodies to house ourselves. Like unwanted visitors we depend much on our hosts to support our endeavours and we take much more than we return.

Inhabiting a single site for a lifetime, plants seem incapable of paying any visits of their own. Perhaps if we expand our timescale beyond a singular plant we can see the way plants move not individually but across generations. Is it through their seeds that plants pay visits? Exploring new terrain and flourishing or perishing according to the conditions in which they germinate; continuing or terminating their journey accordingly.

This project explores the possibility of finding other, less extractive modes to engage with the plant world. Instead of just doing things to plants could we do things for them, or even with them. Could we become agents for plants? Real estate agents? Travel agents? Secret agents?

The exhibition comprises an investigation into the kinds of methods which may be required to make this shift. The work is envisaged as a kind of mobile training camp containing various devices to assist in the practice of ‘plant agency’.

Heidi Axelsen and Hugo Moline work across architecture, installation, social process and situated public art. Through an interest in modes of mobility, occupation and ownership, their work engages with specific places and asks if the social, political and ecological relationships could be re-framed or re-arranged.

They make objects, shelters, vehicles, tools and devices not as end products in themselves but as ‘props’ to gather together communities of concern and catalyse the formation of new relationships within a particular place or process.

A Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exposé Program exhibition


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.






HEIDI AXELSEN & HUGO MOLINE The Visitors 2017, digital C print, 198cm x130cm. Image courtesy the artists


Moving Histories // Future Projections

20 January – 11 March 2018

Artist : John Glover (England; Australia, b.1767, d.1849) Title : Natives on the Ouse River, Van Diemen s Land Date : 1838 Medium Description: oil on canvas Dimensions : Credit Line : Purchased with assistance from Mr and Mrs J K Bain 1985 Image Credit Line : Photographer Credit : Jenni Carter Accession Number : 48.1985

Moving Histories // Future Projections brings together some of Australia’s leading female contemporary artists working across screen based media including Mikala Dwyer and Justene Williams, Amala Groom, Deborah Kelly, Kate Blackmore and Jacinta Tobin, Joan Ross, Soda_Jerk, Angelica Mesiti and Caroline Garcia.

Curated by Kelly Doley and Diana Smith of collaborative artist group, Barbara Cleveland, the exhibition explores invisible pasts, forgotten narratives and repressed memories, reminding us how history is fractured by race, class and gender.

A dLux MediaArts exhibition toured by Museums & Galleries of NSW




JOAN ROSS Colonial Grab 2014, digital animation, sound, 7.38 min. Animation and sound by Josh Raymond. Courtesy the artist and Michael Reid Gallery


Picture Gallery: Contemporary Australian Children’s Book Illustrations

30 September – 19 November 2017


Blue Mountains Library and Blue Mountains Cultural Centre are pleased to showcase this fun collection of original artworks presented by WestWords and the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

As part of the Sydney Writers Children’s Festival of Moving Stories, WestWords and the SWF present an exhibition of a selection of works by renowned contemporary Australian children’s illustrators. Featuring Andrew Joyner (from Too Many Elephants In This House, The Swap), Tony Flowers  (including works from Saurus St), Cheryl Orsini  (including Pom Pom, Where Are You?), Judith Rossell  Wormwood Mire (the follow-on novel after Withering-By-Sea), Shaun Tan (from Tales From Suburbia), Chris Nixon (from Meet Captain Cook) and Liz Anneli  (from Howzat).

On display at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Seminar Room. Entry is free.

A WestWords touring exhibition presented by Blue Mountains Library and Blue Mountains Cultural Centre


Photo Elements with David Brazil


16 September – 21 October
10:30am – 12:30pm
$210 / $195 Insight Members
Bookings essential at reception or by calling 4780-5410

This 6 week photography course is designed to help individuals hone their creative vision to produce better images while also getting the most from their digital camera. With a focus on nature-based photography, the techniques learned can generally be applied to portraiture, travel and photojournalism. Key areas explored in this course include: Camera craft – focus on creative control, understanding photographic equipment and techniques, image processing, editing and printing, and publishing, review and exhibition. This course is for anyone with an interest in photography, no prior experience is needed, however basic computer skills are assumed. Students are required to bring their own cameras. A digital camera capable of manual settings and at least 8 megapixel resolution is encouraged and DSLR’s are recommended, a tripod and laptop is also recommended. David Brazil is a photographic artist and educator based in the Blue Mountains. David has extensive experience working commercially as an event photographer and has exhibited locally and as part of the HeadOn Photo Festival.

David Hockney

Words & Pictures
14 October  – 3 December


Drawn from the British Council Collection, the exhibition presents four major suites of artists’ prints produced by David Hockney from 1961–1977. United by their reference to historical works of literature and art, these prints were produced during the first two decades of Hockney’s career when he established his international reputation as a Pop artist.

A selection of Hockney’s more personal works from the private collection of his brother John Hockney will accompany the exhibition.

Blue Mountains City Art Gallery is proud to present this major international exhibition in partnership with Tweed Regional Gallery. The exhibition will premiere at Tweed before travelling on to Katoomba.

A touring exhibition by the British Council, presented at Blue Mountains City Art Gallery in partnership with Tweed Regional Gallery

Image from: David Hockney: Words and Pictures
DAVID HOCKNEY  The Old Guitarist from “The Blue Guitar” 1976 – 1977, etching, edition of 200, 52.5 x 45.7 cm © David Hockney

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Public Programs

John Hockney Floor Talk and Film Screening


Come along to hear John Hockney share insights on the David Hockney: Words & Pictures exhibition as well as personal stories from his recollections of David’s life. The talk will begin with an illustrated presentation in the Workshop Room, followed by a 30minute break and then a film screening of “David Hockney: The Bigger Picture” from 12.30pm – 2.30pm.

Entry to the Gallery will be free on Saturday 18 November. 

Painting and Mixed Media with Tim Allen


11 October – 29 November
10:30am – 1pm
$310 / $290 Insight Members 
Bookings essential at reception or by calling 47805410

This workshop will focus on a fresh and bold approach to observational painting and drawing. Tim will demonstrate a range of techniques in ink, mixed media, acrylic and oil painting, offering new skills and ideas for both beginners and experienced students. An understanding of mark-making and layering techniques in each of these media will then help the students respond creatively to a range of observational subjects; these will include still life, interiors and landscape. There will be also plenty of individual feedback as students develop their own unique approaches and styles.

Artist Biography:
Tim Allen has been exhibiting his work professionally for over 20 years. He has been a finalist multiple times in many of Australia’s leading art prizes, including the Wynne Prize, the Dobell Prize, the Kedumba Drawing Award and many others. In 2014 his work was featured in Artist Profile magazine. He exhibits with Defiance Gallery in Sydney and NockArt Gallery in Hong Kong. Tim is also a very enthusiastic teacher, having taught for many years at TAFE and at art workshops around Australia. Tim lives and works in the Blue Mountains.


19 August – 8 October 2017

Julie Harris_ Blue Pentaptych#1 (detail)_2016_acrylic on polyester_Photo Asia Upward

For this exhibition Julie Harris combines recent abstract paintings and sculptural pieces all referencing the same motif: the strip or ribbon. Harris has intuitively incorporated this linear element in ever increasing ways over the last three years, layering it onto a more organic ground. The motif signifies her immediate environment in its most basic form – whether vertical or horizontal the strips describe features such as: her studio louvre window, musical scores, birdsong, garden elements and the weather. This motif also references Harris’ process of stripping back any recognisable imagery or formalist structure from the canvas and allowing the paint residue to create the final work.

Harris is influenced by the Japanese aesthetic concept of Wabi-sabi which looks at the beauty of imperfection and impermanence especially with regard to the natural world. With this in mind she paints intuitively allowing her physical surrounds to flavour the work: she is directly influenced by the seasons, her studio, the music she chooses and sounds from outside. Harris has a long history of non-intentional painting, she allows the substance of the work to reveal itself without a predetermined outcome in mind. The colours and texture of the paint find their own form, in this way her paintings are a collaboration with the natural environment.

A Blue Mountains City Art Gallery exhibition curated by Rilka Oakley

JULIE HARRIS TSS #4 (Blue Pentaptych) (detail) 2016-2017, acrylic on polyester, 80 x 900 cm. Photo by Asia Upward.

Leahlani Johnson

However late it may seem
9 August – 8 October

Leahlani Johnson_detail_Hazelhurst


Leahlani Johnson’s However late it may seem is an exhibition of new, site specific installation work that combines ceramics, painting, plant material and moving image to investigate the paradoxical nature of time.

Johnson juxtaposes various mediums within her installations to reveal the opposing durational qualities of stillness, temporality and flux. She explores different forms of timekeeping, with the ceramic elements revealing gestures of everyday objects within a static form; the moving images convey a sense of compressed time; and the  plant works,  created through a labour intensive process, will change with time and alter colour, shape and texture. The combination of these diverse mediums allow time to be re-imagined from a linear formation into a more malleable substance.


 LEAHLANI JOHNSON Petal work 2015, paper daisy petals, dimensions variable. Image Zan Wimberley