News and Events
2019 was another very busy year for our studio, with Tony’s work in acrylic fast catching up to his international success as a highly skilled and original painter in watercolour. Art critics, curators, art scientists and others have noted his application of centuries-old watercolour methods to create contemporary acrylic effects without precedent in either medium. This year he was a finalist in Hadley's Art Prize, Australia’s richest competition for landscape, and Highly Commended by the judges, who called his canvas, Tao Sublime 5, "…expressive (and) dreamlike, (portraying) weather, atmosphere and a very particular sense of place in an intriguing medium, combining the holistic qualities of Taoism with a Turneresque sublime romanticism."
We were then pleased to show a number of Tao Sublime Series canvasses at ACAE Gallery in Canterbury, Melbourne within a privete exhibition, hung under gallery lighting and the most recent watercolours on tables, matted for framing, as well as a range of Carmel’s recent works. These included her most recently painted meditation books. Carmel is now extending her practice in screen-painting and to images in sprayed paint, inspired by the late-career works of Sidney Nolan in the same medium. In 2018 and then again in 2019 Carmel took two of our exhibitions overseas, to Hong Kong and then to mainland China, where both Tony and Carmel were part of a group show of Chinese and Australian artists curated by Tony Scott, director of China Art Projects, who also commissioned Carmel to provide art for the rooms and suites of a hotel in China. Meanwhile, Tony Smibert is now increasingly focused on bigger works and looking forward to his retrospective survey exhibition at Tasmania’s Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery (QVMAG) now re-scheduled due to COVID. It will now run from December 2021 through to November 2022
ACAE Exhibition, Melbourne, November 2019
Drinking Tea on Flower Street Exhibition, Xiamen, China October 2019
OUR BUSY STUDIOS
With all of this activity, we make active use of all four of our studio spaces at Deloraine. Upstairs, Tony's studio is always set up for watercolour, and is where the majority of illustrations for books are photographed. Below this, our downstairs studio is reserved for Tate research, the research library, collection of historic materials and storage and viewing of boxed watercolour collections. Carmel’s studio, alongside this is actually used by both artists and can be quickly set up for printmaking or acrylics. Outside, what we call The Farm Studio (a lovely old timber building) is reserved for the biggest acrylics. We have five acres and original farmhouse in the middle of a farm called Keanefield, and this fourth studio is actually on the farm-side of the fence, yet our neighbours, like their predecessors have generously allowed us to use this building as if it were our own. Tony loves it and should you have a chance to visit our gallery someday will certainly take you through the fence to see not only the latest canvasses, but also the heavily painted floor and spattered walls that are a consequence of action painting and reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s famous studio on Long Island, NY.
OVERSEAS TRAVEL AND PUBLICATIONS
Tony’s travels in 2019 took him to Europe twice, the Middle East, Britain, WA, NSW, Victoria, SA and Qld.. and in 2020 will take him to Europe, New Zealand, Malaysia, Britain, Japan, most states of Australia and who knows where else. Having just contributed to Joyce Townsend’s most recently published book, How Turner Painted (Thames and Hudson 2019) and completed his own Turner’s Apprentice: A Watercolour Masterclass (also for Thames and Hudson scheduled for publication in January of 2020), he has recommenced work on a book he started some years ago, Art from Aikido, which we may publish privately (but will notify here, in future).