Monday, December 03, 2007

Congratulations to all NAS prize winners for 2007!

FONAS Art School Ball Prizes for Drawing ($500 each)
Blankcanvas Award (materials to the value of $500)
FONAS Prizes ($500 for outstanding 2nd yr student in each Dept)
Global Materials Award – $500 worth of materials for outstanding 2nd yr (Painting)
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Awards for 2007, totalling $4,800.
2008 Onslow Storrier National Art School Paris Studio
Ana Anderson Honours Painting
Lauren Murphy Honours Printmaking
Catherine Bailey Painting Alumnus 05
Kim Spooner NAS Painting staff
National Association for the Visual Arts Ignition Prize for Professional Development


The Australian Ceramics Directory Award
The Journal of Australian Ceramics Award
The Ceramics Art & Perception Prize
The Janet Mansfield Ceramics Award
N.E. Pethebridge Award ($500 for research in ceramics for an Honours student)
N.E. Pethebridge Award ($500 for research in ceramics for 3rd Year Student)
The Inner City Clayworkers Gallery Student Award
Sabbia Gallery Exhibition Prize for an exhibition in December 2008
Sydney Olympic Park Residency – Ceramics
ADFAS Award ($1,000 for an outstanding 3rd year student)

FONAS Art School Ball Prizes for Drawing ($1,000)
The John Olsen Prize for Figure Drawing ($2,000)
The Clive Stanbridge Prize ($2,000)

The Kayell Award (voucher for $500)
The PhotoKing Award ($1,070 photographic printing voucher)
Wina Jie
The Joel Corrigan Memorial Photography Award ($1,000)

The Stella Downer Printmaking Award ($500)
The Akky Van Ogtrop Printmaking Award ($200 towards materials)
Sydney Olympic Park Residency – Printmaking
The Australian Galleries Works on Paper Exhibition Award

Australian Casting Prize (value of $700 towards bronze casting)
Sydney Olympic Park Residency – Sculpture
The Julian Beaumont Sculpture Prize ($5,000)

Chroma Paints Award ($500 of painting materials)
The Sydney Art Cooperative Studio Award (Use of a studio for 6 months each)
Sydney Olympic Park Residency – Painting
St Vincent’s Xavier Exhibition Award
Parkers Sydney Fine Art Supplies Award ($1000 for materials)
Parkers Sydney Fine Art Framing Award ($1000 for framing)
St. Vincent’s Public Hospital Painting Collection Award ($2,000, plus acquisition of work)
William Fletcher Foundation (prizes totalling $9,000)
KIM FASHER ($1000)
The Reg Richardson Travelling Scholarship ($2500)
The Paris Studio Residency
Clitheroe Foundation Scholarship ($20,000 for a 3rd year student to assist in studying Honours)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

NAS Honours Grad wins SOYA07

Congratulations to Joan Cameron-Smith on winning the Qantas Spirit of Youth Award for photography! This award was won in both 2005 and 2006 by another NAS Honours graduate Josh Heath. Find out more about Joan's win here.

Congratulations also to Honours graduate Mitch Cairns, who was highly commended in the Visual Arts category. See the SOYA website for details.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

National Art School awarded federal Community Heritage Grant

The National Art School has been awarded a $14,410 federal Community Heritage Grant to fund a Significance Assessment and Preservation Survey of the National Art School and Darlinghurst Gaol Collection and Archive, and to rehouse some of the collection in archival storage.

The grant was announced at the National Library of Australia, Canberra, on Tuesday 13 November. Deborah Beck accepted the grant on behalf of NAS from Jan Fullerton, National Library Director-General.

In addition, Deborah Beck, lecturer and archivist at the National Art School, attended a three-day intensive preservation and collection management workshop held at the National Library, the National Archives of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.

Deborah said the grant was important in supporting the effort to preserve the National Art School Archive at the grassroots level. “The grant provides the funds and the workshop the expertise to help us protect our collection and make it accessible while it remains in the local context,” she said. “Over the next year it will be possible to employ an historian and conservator to assess the collection and provide advice on the preservation of the documents, photographs and art works in the archive. We will also be purchasing painting racks, plan drawers and display cabinets for the collection.”

In announcing the awards, National Library Director-General Jan Fullerton said the program, which began in 1994, had surpassed expectations. “It has been taken up by groups throughout Australia, ensuring the longevity of nationally significant collections and that the collections stay in the community where they belong.

The program is managed by the National Library. It is funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, the National Archives, the National Film and Sound Archive, the National Museum and the Library.


Bernard Ollis, Director of the National Art School
invites you to the opening of the DEGREE SHOW 07

Celebrating the experience of 3 years of intensive studio practice by final year students majoring in ceramics, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

To be opened by acclaimed artist, alumnus and former lecturer Tim Maguire
on Thursday 29 November 6-9pm in the Cell Block.

The event includes the presentation of end of year prizes.
Exhibition continues until Tuesday 11 December
Monday - Saturday 10am-4pm

Open studios Thursday 29 November 6-9pm
continuing through to 1 December 10am-4pm daily.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

David Horton wins Sculpture by the Sea

National Art School staff and students continue to win Australia's major art prizes.

Congratulations to David Horton!

David Horton, currently undertaking his Master of Fine Arts at the National Art School, has today been awarded the 2007 Sculpture by the Sea Prize.

David has been awarded $30,000 for the acquisitive prize. His winning work Yesternight will be placed on permanent public view after the exhibition's conclusion.

David is also currently lecturing in the Sculpture Department at the National Art School.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Bernard Ollis, Director of the National Art School
invites you to the opening of the

Featuring works by 22 National Art School Honours students majoring in ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

To be opened by John Firth-Smith
on Thursday 1 November 6-8pm
National Art School Gallery

Exhibition continues until Tuesday 13 November
Monday - Saturday 10am-4pm

Gallery talk, 2 November, 1pm FREE
Join National Art School Honours students as they discuss their work and the process of undertaking this rigorous program of study.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Nathan Hawkes wins 2007 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship

Winner of the 2007 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, Nathan Hawkes, Icebergs 2007 oil on canvas, 42 x 76cm .

National Art School student Nathan Hawkes is the winner of the ninth Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship for his work Icebergs 2007, oil on canvas.

One hundred and four entries were received from around Australia, of which 21 are included in the finalists’ exhibition at the Brett Whiteley Studio.

Twenty-six year-old Hawkes is currently completing his third and final year at the National Art School in Darlinghurst, where he is studying for a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in painting. He was included in the National Art School Drawing Week show in 2006, and earlier this year was awarded the St Vincent Xavier Art Space Prize.

In 2004 Mrs Beryl Whiteley was awarded an OAM for the creation and endowment of the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship. The inspiration for this annual scholarship was the profound effect of international travel and study experienced by her son, Brett Whiteley, as a result of winning the Italian Travelling Art Scholarship at the age of 20. Nathan has been awarded $25,000 and a three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, which is administered by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The judges this year were artist, Aida Tomescu, Art Gallery of New South Wales Director, Edmund Capon and Barry Pearce, the Gallery’s Head Curator of Australian Art. Aida Tomescu said that Nathan’s work showed a very considered and thoughtful approach to his subject and she was interested in the way each image changed as it evolved into a new identity.

Finalists’ paintings will be exhibited at the Brett Whiteley Studio from Saturday 15 September to 25 November 2007.

Information courtesy press release, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

56th Blake Prize for Religious Art

Shirley Purdie, Stations of the Cross, winner, 56th Blake Prize for Religious Art.

Jumaadi, Whisper, John Coburn Emerging Professional Artists Award.

Rodney Pople, The Last Supper, Highly Commended, 56th Blake Prize for Religious Art.

The National Art School is proud to be the hosting partner of The Blake Prize for Religious Art for the second year. Since it’s inception in 1949, The Blake Prize has stimulated a fascinating dialogue between art and religion. Named after the British artist and poet William Blake (1757-1827), the Prize aims to present perspectives from all religious backgrounds, encouraging artists to explore concepts of belief and truth.

The Blake Prize recognises entries related to any faith or artistic style. The work must be made within two years of the submission date and unlike many other prizes there is no restriction on media. This combination generates a dynamic exhibition in which myriad styles, ideas and values sit parallel, and where conservative religious art forms are challenged. This year also saw the awarding of the inaugural John Coburn Emerging Professional Artists Award which honours the memory of the late Australian artist, John Coburn, long associated with the Blake.

The Blake Prize and John Coburn Emerging Professional Artists Award were judged by a panel comprising of Tongan born religious writer and critic Rev. Dr Jione Havea, author and curator Jennifer Isaacs AM well known for her work with indigenous art, and the nationally and internationally renowned artist Lindy Lee, whose Chinese background informs her practice.

The winner of the Blake Prize for Religious Art 2007 is Shirley Purdie, an indigenous artsist for her painting Stations of the Cross. According to the judges: “The winning work by Shirley Purdie is simply delicious in colour, texture and feeling. It is a marvellously realised painterly journey that recreates the stories told to the artist in childhood of the Stations of the Cross in Warmun country using a breathtakingly beautiful natural ochre pallette made from the earths eroded from the very Kimberley rocks whose mobile shapes enclose and frame the vignettes of story. A solidly honest, confident, and true painting it becomes a meditation on travelling within the artists country following a remembered and cherished biblical journey of suffering and pain towards redemption, and perhaps as well asks us to reflect on loss, pain and the journeys we all need to make towards each other.”

National Art School lecturer Rodney Pople was Highly Commended for his work The Last Supper. The judges commented that, “Pople is a great painter of luminosity – energised light. This painting burns slowly and gathers intensity the longer the viewer stays with it.”

Whisper by Indonesian artist Jumaadi was awarded the Inaugural John Coburn Award for Emerging Artists. For the judges, Jumaadi's work was “like a broken- up and laid out manuscript. Evoking the multiplicity of experiences and giving vignettes in the confusing lives of its actors, it references much in art as it does in life which causes one to pause, consider, and yet enjoy its street -wise comic -book illustrations, as well as its deft intelligence. Viewing this work, like judging the Blake prize itself, was like sitting in a gallery of restless stories.” Jumaadi is a Masters of Fine Arts candidate at the National Art School.

Further information on the exhibition is available from the Blake Society at

The 56th Blake Prize for Religious Art is on display at the NAS Gallery 30 August – 29 September 2007, Monday – Saturday 10am - 4pm. Please note the NAS Gallery is closed Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Paul Thomas discusses Drawing Breath

In this video from the British Council Paul Thomas discusses works from the exhibition "Drawing Breath: 10 years of the Jerwood Drawing Prize /A Survey Exhibition of Contemporary British Drawing" held at the National Art School Gallery 22 Feb - 13 Apr 2007.

Picasso said, “You should put out the eyes of painters as they do chaffinches so that they can sing more sweetly.” Artist and Jerwood Prize co-founder and judge Paul Thomas explores how great British artists represent the world through drawing and asks, “Why do we all draw so much as children and so little as adults?”

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

NAS students win Dymocks Art Prize

Congratulations to Elizabeth Eastland and Fiona Edmeades, who both won prizes in the recent Dymocks Art Prize.

Elizabeth Eastland came first in the painting section with Little Farmers Cay (below). Fiona Edmeades came second in the drawing section with her work Old Friend. Both had their works displayed in the windows of the Dymocks stationery store, George St, Sydney.

Image: Little Farmers Cay by Elizabeth Eastland

NAS and Darlinghurst Gaol on ABC Radio

ABC Radio National's social history program ‘Hindsight’ is doing a one hour documentary on Darlinghurst Gaol and the National Art School called ‘Penned in Sandstone’(Henry Lawson’s words).

This program will air on ABC Radio National AM576 on Sunday 29th July at 2pm. It will be repeated on Thursday 2nd August at 1pm. It will also be available on CD from NAS Library.

The program includes interviews with Margaret Olley, Norman Hetherington ( Mr Squiggle), Deborah Beck, Christopher Allen, Colin Lanceley and others.

To subscribe to the podcast or download the audio, go to

Thankyou to Deborah Beck for passing on this information.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Congratulations to Emily Portmann and Joan Cameron-Smith

NAS Honours graduate Emily Portmann has won the John & Margaret Baker Memorial Fellowship. This is an award for an emerging artist of less than five years experience and part of the 2007 NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE, CONSTRUCTED REALMS: Photography as Theatre

Emily 's work will become part of the Albury City Collection and the work of recent Honours Photography graduate Joan Cameron-Smith was also collected.

If you're in Albury, the exhibition continues until July 8.

Kabul Revisited, photos by Eleanor Dearin

NAS Photo Graduate Eleanor Dearin has been living for three months in Kabul, Afganistan and is exhibiting the resulting photographs at Customs House, Circular Quay, Sydney

The images focus on the daily lives of people rather than images of warefare favoured by the western media.

Here is a link to some of the images,22056,5024052-5010140-1,00.html

Exhibition runs from 12 July 2007 to 29 July 2007 (Free entry)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Capitals Project: Works On Paper From Seoul

Friday 29 June – Saturday 28 July 2007


A Cultural Response From Sydney To Seoul and Back Again

The Capitals Project is a collaborative project established by the Printmaking Departments of the National Art School, Sydney, and Hong-Ik University, Seoul. The exhibition represents the third stage of this ongoing exchange, which began in 2004 between these two major institutions. The partnership stimulates an important cultural dialogue between eminent and emerging artists from these two cities.

The Capitals Project builds on the success of two previous collaborative enterprises Interchange 1 and Interchange 2 initiated by Simon Cooper, Head of the National Art School’s Printmaking Department, and Professor Song Dae Sup, Head of Printmaking Department, Hong-Ik University. The Interchange project is the direct result of artists working in two distant locations, seeking to establish a dialogue that extends beyond their own cultural boundaries and serves to reinforce the communicative capacity of the shared language of printmaking.

Printmaking’s capacity to generate multiple images represents an enduring power to disseminate ideas and images to a broad and diverse audience which is so specific to this medium. Within this area of the visual arts, printmaking also has the capacity to embrace a diversity of media and techniques that utilises traditional methods and the latest technology, from etchings, lithographs, silkscreens, to web-based projects.

This third collaborative project involves 70 participating artists (staff, students and alumni) from each institution who will produce a print based art work in response to photographic images of the capital city that is the geographical home to each respective institution. The images selected range from tourist kitsch to historical documentation. The source images are supplied by the participating artists in each city and represent an act of self-portraiture that is offered for re-consideration by their counterparts.

70 artists from Sydney will produce artworks in response to 70 images of Seoul which will be exhibited in Seoul / 70 artists from Seoul will produce artworks in response to 70 images o Sydney.

The Capitals Project provides a forum for cross-cultural dialogue within the more specific context of the visual arts and seeks to identify a convergent contemporary vision and understanding in the Asia Pacific region that draws upon two significantly different visual arts heritages.

In a contemporary sense printmaking represents a language in a state of continual development where many of the time honoured crafts of a cultural tradition are preserved not simply for their historical curiosity but rather for their inherent ability to continually reflect and address the concerns of a contemporary community.

THE CAPITALS PROJECT is an important international event at the National Art School Gallery and will open to the public on Friday 29 June and run until Saturday 28 July 2007.
Public Programs

Artist Floor Talk 7 July, 2pm
Christopher Hanrahan and Nigel Milsom’s conversation around painting, drawing, sculpture and video continues in this forum providing audiences with the opportunity to discuss aspects of the exhibition with the artists.

Exhibition Talk, 21 July, 2pm
Organised in connection with The Capitals exhibition on view in Gallery One, Rachel Kent, Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, will consider the various modes of contemporary portraiture that are articulated in these two exhibitions.

Living On Luck: Christopher Hanrahan and Nigel Milsom

29 June – 4 August May 2007

Living On Luck: Christopher Hanrahan and Nigel Milsom examines the connections between these two artists who share many aesthetic and conceptual concerns though their work is separated by form and material. The exhibition, which will consist of paintings and drawings by Milsom and an installation work incorporating sculpture, video, sound and drawings by Hanrahan aims to demonstrate how our understanding of each artists’ practice is enriched in proximity to the other.

Living on Luck combines the work of Hanrahan, a former National Art School student, with one of his artistic peers. Working concurrently critiquing and occasionally collaborating, Hanrahan and Milsom’s material differences have served to feed their continued artistic conversation. Their shared interest and ongoing communications about process and the thematic presence of portraiture in their work stimulated the idea of staging this collaborative project. The works are made individually by the artists, however the collaborative aspect is experienced through questions of representation, metaphor, the use of materials, and the use of the gallery space to create narrative structures.

The exhibition examines conventions of portraiture and its engagement with literal and non-literal representations of the self and subject. Part psychological, part expressive Hanrahan and Milsom propose a series of questions that elucidate the dichotomies inherent within representation. Their work considers the complex mechanisms through which our personal and public identities are constructed.

Hanrahan’s practice focuses on a type of self-portraiture that mines his personal archive utilising drawings, prints, sculpture, text and video. Hanrahan’s displays place an emphasis on proliferation and incorporating materials that are generally perceived to have little or no value such as plywood and household lamps. Christopher Hanrahan attended the National Art School in 2002 receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In 2003 he received a BFA (Honours, First Class) from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.

Working as a figurative painter and drawer, Milsom is not unaware of the history he is working from. The challenges of painting today are a vital area of exploration for the artist. The paintings are often tightly cropped, expressionist in style and composed with a limited colour palette. The images emerge out of dark backgrounds and are muted and distorted creating psychologically powerful portraits. The drawings also focus on a singular subject, but portray buildings that represent physical spaces that have had a profound impact on the artist. Nigel Milsom received a Master of Fine Arts in 2002 from College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales.
Public Programs

Artist Floor Talk 7 July, 2pm
Christopher Hanrahan and Nigel Milsom’s conversation around painting, drawing, sculpture and video continues in this forum providing audiences with the opportunity to discuss aspects of the exhibition with the artists.

Exhibition Talk, 21 July, 2pm
Organised in connection with The Capitals exhibition on view in Gallery One, Rachel Kent, Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, will consider the various modes of contemporary portraiture that are articulated in these two exhibitions.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Five NAS students awarded William Fletcher Foundation Grants

Congratulations to National Art School students Steven Benwell, Kim Fasher, and Shannan Sainsbury (each awarded $1000). And to Alesandro Ljubicic and Kevin McKay (each awarded $3000).

The William Fletcher Foundation (formerly known as The William Fletcher Trust) awarded thirteen grants totalling $22,000 for 2007. Since 1988 a total of 280 grants have been awarded by the Foundation.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Richard Lewer ARTFORUM lecture

Artist Richard Lewer who has been installing a huge drawing directly on the walls of the NAS gallery (see last post) is discussing his earlier works at 1pm, BLACK theatre, Wed 2 May - tomorrow. All welcome

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Richard Lewer: It starts as an idle thought grows into an obsession

Richard Lewer
Snowtown 2007

Richard Lewer is gaining a reputation in Australia and New Zealand as one of the foremost contemporary artists who has chosen drawing as his primary medium. His drawings cover a variety of unexpected surfaces including gallery walls, Formica tabletops, peg boards, aluminium sheets, venetian blinds as well as paper. The thematic presence of sport, illness, suburban life, crime, and urban myths make many of his subjects familiar with a personal, local context. These narratives explore the darker side of antipodean culture, unveiling both tragedy and an absurd comedy and revealing a type of anti-heroism that plays with notions of good and evil.

It starts as an idle thought grows into an obsession is a large-scale, site-specific wall drawing that explores society’s fear and fascination with crime and delves into the National Art School’s history as the former Darlinghurst Gaol. This work, the largest Lewer has ever created, will be installed directly on to the walls of the first floor of the Gallery. This will be Lewer’s first solo show in a public gallery in Sydney and the first NAS Gallery commission. The exhibition includes works on paper that relate to infamous Australian crimes and the social impact of the crime on the families and wider community. His wall drawing will focus on the transport ships that brought British criminals to Australia in the 18th Century.

The project also aims to open up the artist’s process by inviting the public and student community at the National Art School to meet with the artist and observe the actual creation of the wall drawing between 27 April and 2 May. The exhibition opening is on 3 May, 6-8pm.

Born in Hamilton, New Zealand in 1970 and currently living in Melbourne, Australia, Richard Lewer has exhibited widely in both countries. His recent exhibitions include Zonal Marx, VCA Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne (2007), Someone shows something to someone, Canberra Contemporary Art Centre, Canberra (2006) and Game on! Sport and contemporary art, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne as part of the 2006 Commonwealth Games Arts Festival.
Richard Lewer: It starts as an idle thought grows into an obsession
NAS Gallery
27 April – 26 May 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

NAS Graduate Leslie Rice wins Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

An Honours gaduate of 2006, Leslie Rice painted Self Portraiture 2007 on black velvet and was yesterday awarded the $100,000 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize for the work.

Congratulations to Les and also to NAS sessional lecturer John Beard, winner of the 2007 Archibald Prize.

Thursday, February 15, 2007



A fantastic opportunity to hear dynamic and diverse perspectives on drawing and its role in contemporary practice and art education

Register for the Drawing Breath Symposium now!
contact 02 9339 8745 or email for details

$150.00 standard $100 NAS Staff $75 NAS Students

Registration includes private viewing of the Drawing Breath exhibition and reception on Thursday, 29 March, refreshments, lunch, organised tours of the recently refurbished National Art School historic campus (site of the old Darlinghurst Gaol), open studios, and access to Freestyle: new Australian design for living, a collaboration between Melbourne Museum and Object Gallery, on view at the National Art School.

Professor ANITA TAYLOR RWA (UK): Artist, Head of College and Professor of Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art, University of Arts, London & Director, Jerwood Drawing Prize

Professor STEPHEN FARTHING RA (UK): Artist, Author & Rootstein Hopkins Professor of Drawing at the University of Arts, London

A critical overview of the Drawing Breath exhibition will launch discussion on the relevance of drawing in contemporary practice, the importance of drawing as an educational resource and for artists, curators, educators, critics and writers to bring together current national and international opinions on the subject. Guests include:

BERNARD OLLIS (NSW): Artist & Director, National Art School
PAUL THOMAS (UK): Artist, Author & Co-Founder, Jerwood Drawing Prize
HENDRIK KOLENBERG (NSW): Senior Curator of Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours at the Art Gallery of New South Wales & Curator of the Dobell Prize for Drawing Professor
TED SNELL (WA): Chair of the Visual Arts Board, Australia Council & Dean of Art, Curtin University of Technology, Perth
MERRIN EIRTH (VIC): Artist & Head of Drawing at Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne GEOFFREY CASSIDY (NSW): Director of Artbank, the national contemporary art rental service from the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
MARC PASCAL (VIC): Artist & Product Designer featured in Freestyle: new Australian design for living
ANNE LOXLEY (NSW): Director of Penrith Regional Gallery, Writer & Critic
GREG CREEK (VIC): Artist & Lecturer (Sculpture) at RMIT, Melbourne
SIMON COOPER (NSW): Artist & Head of Printmaking, National Art School
WENDY SHARPE (NSW): Artist, Writer & previously the Australian Official Artist attached to the Australian Army History Unit in Dili, East Timor

Monday, January 29, 2007


A Survey Exhibition of Contemporary British Drawing
Thursday 22 February – Friday 13 April 2007

Media Release
Monday, 29th January, 2007

Marking ten years of the Jerwood Drawing Prize (Britain’s distinguished annual open drawing exhibition), Drawing Breath provides a rare opportunity to view a collection of drawings from a range of artists currently working in the UK. This stimulating survey exhibition demonstrates the eclectic nature of subject matter, materials, composition, media and approaches that contemporary drawing practice embodies. The works on view reflect emphatically how the drawing medium offers an endless range of possibilities and a certain immediacy and intimacy.

The exhibition comprises 80 works selected from the Jerwood Drawing Prize from 1994-2006, including works by eminent artists such as Jason Brooks, Stephen Farthing RA, Dr Yvonne Crossley, Ken Currie, Adam Dant, Eileen Cooper, Tom Phillips RA as well as the best of emerging talent.

The National Art School runs a unique educational program in which drawing is a core subject in all years. The National Art School has partnered with the Wimbledon School of Art (now part of the University of the Arts, London) to present this anniversary exhibition. Both art Schools share synergies and emphasise drawing as a founding discipline in the study of visual arts.

“In the beginning there was drawing, and drawing is the basis for our civilisation and culture and for the young child drawing comes first. To paraphrase Picasso why is it that, we as adults hesitate whenwe are told to draw a chair but not when we speak it? The young child draws it without hesitation!” Bernard Ollis, Director NAS December 2006.

DRAWING BREATH is an important event on the National Art School Gallery’s 2007 international exhibition calendar and will open on Thursday 22 February and run until Friday 13 April 2007. The National Art School Gallery is the exclusive venue for DRAWING BREATH in Australia.

Accompanying the exhibition is a lively Public Program of lectures, floor talks and a symposium:

Exhibition Talk, 24 February 2007, 2pmIntroduction to the exhibition with Prof Anita Taylor and Paul Thomas, Co-Curators of Drawing Breath, free admission

Lecture, What Drawing May Be, 12 March 2007, 6pm Catherine de Zegher, Curator and Art Historian (former Executive Director of the Drawing Center, New York), free admission. Presented in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

Symposium, 29 - 31 March 2007, 10am – 5pm
Bringing together artists, academics, industry professionals and the public to explore a range of issues concerning drawing in contemporary practice today. Bookings essential.

High School students will be encouraged to visit the exhibition and participate in the associated public programs.

Location: National Art School Gallery National Art School Forbes St Darlinghurst
Dates: Thursday 22 February – Friday 13 April 2007
Opening: 6:00pm Wednesday 21 February 2007
Times: 10:00am – 4:00pm (Closed Sundays & Public Holidays)
Phone: 02 9339 8744

Media Contact: Katie Dyer, Curator/Gallery Manager T: (02) 9339 8758

1. ABOUT THE NATIONAL ART SCHOOL: The National Art School is the longest continuing art school in Australia and has impressive alumni of acclaimed Australian artists including John Coburn AO, Fiona Hall, Colin Lanceley AO, Jeffrey Smart AO, Margaret Olley AC, AO, John Olsen AO, OBE, and J Martin Sharp.

Located in the historic sandstone surrounds of the old Darlinghurst Gaol, the National Art School offers Bachelor of Fine Art, BFA Honours, Master of Fine Art (Research) and short courses in the visual arts.The NAS Gallery is housed in the former A-Wing of the old gaol. Originally built between 1836-41, the building was refurbished and opened to the public in 2006.

The NAS Gallery encourages appreciation and critical perspectives of art and its role in society through direct engagement with artists and original works of art. NAS Gallery Opening hours: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm.

2. PROFESSOR ANITA TAYLOR RWA Drawing is fundamental to Anita Taylor's practice as a painter. She has exhibited widely in Europe and Australia and is the Director of the Jerwood Drawing Prize, which she initiated as the Open Drawing Exhibition at Cheltenham in 1994. She was Artist-in-Residence at Durham Cathedral, Cheltenham Fellow in Painting and Artist-in Residence in Drawing at the National Art School Sydney. Awards include the Malvern Award for Drawing, the Hunting Art Prize, the Hunting Art Prizes Award for Drawing and the Major Award in the Cheltenham Open Drawing. She is Vice Principal andProfessor of Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art, a member of the AHRC Peer-Review College and sub-panel 63 for Art and Design in the RAE2008.

3. PAUL THOMAS RWA Paul Thomas is an Artist and Co-founder of the Jerwood Drawing Prize. His art practice is far-reaching, having exhibited in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland and Australia. Paul has extensive experience in art education, most recently as the Head of Painting at the University of Gloucestershire. Paul is the author of artist’s books such as The Millennium Bestiary and The Iliad & The Odyssey, he co –authored the textbook Drawing (with Anita Taylor), and his drawings feature in academic textbooks published in the UK, France and USA.



Wednesday, 24 January 2007


Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt today announced the NSW Government was terminating the Expression of Interest process for the transfer of the National Art School (NAS) to a university

“A taskforce will be established to provide advice to the Government on options to maintain the integrity of the School’s artistic and educational philosophy and enhance its long term financial viability.”

“Securing the School’s future will be the taskforce’s priority,” Ms Tebbutt said.

“The Government is committed to the NAS and its important role in providing first class training to future artists.

“This unique institution has a proud history dating back almost 150 years, providing an environment where artists of international renown have honed their skills and talents,” Ms Tebbutt said.

The Task Force will investigate and report on:

  1. Options for securing the ongoing financial viability of the National Art School;
  2. Options for the National Art School’s future governance arrangements including the possibility of establishing the National Art School as a stand alone educational institution;
  3. Options for the use, including commercial use, of the under-utilised or unoccupied buildings on the site, having regard to the site’s heritage value.

The Task Force will be led by Sandra Yates AO, Chair of the Sydney Writers Festival and Chair of the NSW TAFE Commission, and include representation from the NAS as well as relevant government agencies, including Arts NSW.

The Taskforce will report on options for the future of the NAS by the end of the year.

“I am sure that students, staff and the artistic community will continue to support and promote this outstanding and unique institution,” Ms Tebbutt said.