2017 Exhibitions

Wendy Black: Figuratively Speaking
15 November - 14 December 2017

This exhibition is a collection of my favourite figurative works, created over the last 15 years. The most recent being ‘Margaret Olley’ and the oldest ‘Jackie’. I have a particular fondness for portraiture, as you can see by the number of portraits in this exhibition.

Wendy has explored a number of artistic avenues, about 25 years ago she discovered sculpture. Her first foray was into ceramic sculpture but after seeing Tom teaching the life class on Burke’s Backyard a year or so later, she began what has turned out to be a fantastic journey into the world of sculpture and a 22 year relationship with the Tom Bass Sculpture Studio. Firstly as a student and since 2005 as a teacher.

Wendy likes to explore different media, including carving and wire. She has been a finalist in the North Sydney Art Prize 2015, awarded the Belle Property Award at Harbour Sculpture 2015 and won a number of people’s choice awards for her wire creatures.

Allison Garoza: Nature's Shadows
12 August - 1 September 2017


Nature captures our attention from a young age. We see anthropomorphised animals in our storybooks, we watch them on television, and with luck we see them in the wild. At some stage we’ve all dreamt of their abilities. 

If only I was as fast as_____.  

I wish I could jump like_____. 

If only I could fly. 

As we age, we tend to loose this fascination, and those of us still interested in them learn the darker side of nature, often of our own creation. We learn about endangered animals, species that we’ve wiped out, animals that need our help. We become daunted by their struggles, and weswitch off. 

I make sculptures inspired by nature, to remind us of nature. I hope to capture the behaviour and form of the animals that captivated us as children and reignite our desire to see and protect them.

Allison Garoza creates sculptures inspired by nature, to remind us of nature. As a filmmaker she strives to capture the movement of the animals she films, and follows this same method in her sculpture. She bends wire to capture the strength, grace, and beauty of animals, building their form before details, to express the inward personality of each animal. She hopes her sculptures remind us of the natural world, and inspire us to protect it.

Adventure's in Stone: a group exhibition
5 July - 2 August 2017


A group exhibition featuring limestone sculptures by students and teachers of TBSSS including: Claire Bradford, Rhonda Cooper, Christine Crimmins, Rhonda Cooper, Noriko O'Leary and Tim Roberts.

Meri Peach: Auxlang
24 May - 25 June 2017


An exhibition of fibre sculpture and basketry by Meri Peach, incorporating telephone wire, plastic, and other products of the digital media age. 
Despite communication barriers among cultures, some things reach back from the present day into the distant past that unites all humans. Hands, gestures, weaving, counting. Sculpture is one kind of auxiliary language (auxlang) allowing communication between people with different first languages.

Since I was a small child, I have always been equally interested in art and nature, and couldn't decide whether to be an artist or biologist when I grew up. After leaving school I completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts, and worked for several years as an artist, illustrator and photographer.  I felt, however, that the more analytical side of my personality was not being satisfied.  In 1993 I returned to university to do a Bachelor of Science and PhD in biology, and then worked as a marine biologist in academia, government and the private sector.

I first experimented with basket making and fibre sculpture in 2002, and in 2004 I left full-time academia to resume my artistic practice.  I continued to work as a casual environmental educator and biology consultant for several more years, but since 2011 I have been a full-time artist and teacher of sculpture and basketry workshops. Like many contemporary basket makers, I learned from a variety of teachers as well as being self-taught. My first teacher Virginia Kaiser had a big influence on my practice. It is due to her that I often call my pieces ‘baskets’ even when they are clearly sculptural and not intended for practical usage. There is still a ‘containerness’ and ‘basketness’ about them; they may have a distinct inside and outside, and many woven elements, and whatever form they take, they contain my thoughts and artistic intentions, as well as whatever the viewer wants to imbue them with.

Basket making is a joyful and compulsive process that connects me to the natural world and to my ancestors.  I work with plant materials, which I mostly grow myself, and also with reclaimed synthetic materials such as plastics and telephone wire. I make both functional and sculptural work, and I tend to place equal value on these avenues.  Although basketry methods are time-consuming and disciplined, the process confers a mental freedom I have not found in other art forms. My mind often roams wildly during the making, and the ideas eventually infiltrate my work. My background in biology is a continuing influence. I am inspired by many structures produced by other animals, including nests, cocoons, shells, spiderwebs and the exoskeletons of invertebrates.  My work often references human relationships with and impacts on the environment. Recently, though, encouraged by my collaborations with other artists, I am delving more into personal realms, exploring my own memories and emotional life.

Carved: A group exhibition
18 April - 17 May 2017


A group exhibition of marble and alabaster sculptures by sixteen students and sculptors: Nik Ballingal, Carla Browne, Michael Christie, Arthur Cowley, Terence Cole, Byron Comninos, Carol Crawford, Christine Crimmins, Sam Eller, Margaret Fitzgerald, Jonathan Foley, Kim Hart, Victoria Kitanov, Anerys McMahon, Anthony Mitchell and Arielle Morris.

Tony Wong Hee: Outside looking in
11 March - 7 April 2017

For many years I have held an interest in the complexity of the Middle East - its culture, people, geopolitics - and in recent times, I have focused my creative attention on the harsh reality facing the Palestinian people.

This current exhibition of sculptural objects develops the theme of Home Land, my 2016 show that explored the dichotomy facing Palestinian families in the West Bank: that of being both locked in to an oppressive life under occupation, and locked out of home, land and a normal life.

For me, each object holds a story that cannot be seen, but imagined.

Based in Sydney, Tony is a visual artist who works in a range of art forms – sculpture, art objects, painting and works on paper.  His work is primarily concerned with the human condition expressed through a subtle layering of meaning and emotion.

Elisabeth Thilo: Rhythm and Form
12 December 2016 - 14 February 2017

The ebb and flow of life, the continuous expansion of the universe, microscopic atoms, all vibrating at their own rhythm. Nothing is static.  Yet when we see objects and forms, they appear still, their inner rhythm concealed. When reproducing these forms and endeavouring to capture their essence, is their true nature really expressed? What is it about an object that makes it recognisable, even from a fleeting glance? Its shape, its texture, its attitude, its position, its presence? Why do some things appear soft and others hard? Is it the way the form moves and expresses itself? Are our expectations influenced by experience or by that object’s inherent structure?  Each one of the works explores these questions of fluctuating form.

As a small child, in the Congo, Elisabeth covered her concrete bedroom floor with chalk drawings, the genesis of her creative journey.  Extensive travel throughout Africa, the Middle East and Europe has since informed her art.  She developed a fascination for flow and movement that she captures in all her work. After a successful career in scientific research and education, Elisabeth turned to her passion for sculpture. She has been associated with the Tom Bass School since 2005 and was invited to take master-classes with Tom in 2009, where she was encouraged to experiment and develop pieces kinaesthetically as well as visually. Since then, she has attended numerous workshops and has received a number of Director’s Awards.

Experimenting with variety of media, Elisabeth explores the relationship of light on form, and its effect on the creative outcome. She has developed her practice in studios both in the United States (alabaster) and in Italy, working alabaster from Voltera as well as Carrara marble and travertine.