Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11am-5pm

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Observatory Hill (The Rocks)

Not The Way Home

  • This event finished on 01 July 2012

13 Artists Paint the Desert 

An Artist Profile magazine project in association with Winsor & Newton art materials.

Curated by Owen Craven.

In May 2011, 13 prominent Australian artists ventured to the Barrier Ranges in north western New South Wales, for an epic journey into the vast landscape of Australia’s arid desert.  Driving 1,100km west of Sydney, past Broken Hill and on to the University of NSW’s Research Station at Fowlers Gap, each artist responded to the landscape in their unique way.  Artists featuring in Not the Way Home  include: Margaret Ackland, Elisabeth Cummings, Merran Esson, Joe Frost, Alan Jones, Jennifer Keeler-Milne, Ross Laurie, Steve lopes, Euan Macleod, Idris Murphy, Amanda Penrose Hart, Peter Sharp and Guy Warren.

Curator of the exhibition, Owen Craven, Editor, Artist Profile and Art Almanac magazines, documented the journey along with journalist James Compton and ABC Open Producer Sean O’Brien.

“The brief for the artists was to explore the landscape and respond. While this may seem a simple task, the vast landscape of Australia’s arid desert was a new and unknown territory for many of the artists, presenting them with visual and conceptual challenges to navigate”, said Craven.

After two weeks working en plein air in the desert, the artists returned to their studios to develop works for the group show.   With a career spanning more than seventy years, Guy Warren was the most senior artist on the trip. Having travelled extensively throughout his career as an artist, Warren made hundreds of drawings which he took back to his studio to create larger scale works.

“I enjoy drawing in the landscape. Painting en plein air is for the birds. The wind blows one’s board down. Flies and mosquitoes descend in swarms.  Sand, flies and bugs stick to the paint. And finally, the weather is always too blisteringly hot, or too cold, too windy, or raining. Clearly Van Gogh and Monet and his mates must never have had to cope with these problems”, said Warren.

Sunday afternoons @ the Gallery, 3pm

Sunday 27 May      Curator’s talk with Owen Craven

Sunday 3 June        Artist talk with Peter Sharp and Margaret Ackland

Sunday 10 June      Elisabeth Cummings and Guy Warren in conversation with  Owen Craven

Sunday 17 June      Artist talk with Idris Murphy and Jennifer Keeler-Milne

Sunday 24 June      Artist talk with Euan Macleod and Steve Lopes

Sunday 1 July          Artist talk with Merran Esson, Joe Frost and Ross Laurie


in conversation with TV host Richard Morecroft over lunch and discussion of the works in the exhibition and what inspires this fascinating artist.

When: Monday 30 January, 12noon for 12.30pm
Where? S. H. Ervin Gallery
Cost? $75 full price/ $70 National Trust members