Modern Nostalgia – group exhibition – 02.11.18

Modern: late Middle English from Latin modernus ‘just now’.
Nostalgia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.

Drenched in Australian myth and symbolism, the female artists in ‘Modern Nostalgia’ dive into the iconography of domesticity, suburbia and the Australian landscape.

‘Modern Nostalgia’ explores identity and the multiple meanings we place on these myths, symbols, people, houses, streets, objects and artefacts.

Join us in the back streets of St Peters amongst the towering warehouse walls of Tortuga to celebrate the opening of ‘Modern Nostalgia.’

Opening night – Friday 2 November, 2018, 6pm – 9pm

Live music from 6.45pm:
Tina D Tunes
The Suburban Bukowskis
DJ: Bo Loserr

Tortuga Studios
31 Princes Highway, St Peters, NSW

Gallery hours:
Saturday 2nd and 3rd November 1- 4pm
Friday 9th, Saturday 10th, and Sunday 11th November 1-4pm
Friday 16th November 1-4pm
Closing night event Friday 16th November TBA

Our artists (in no particular order):

Jo Shand – painter

“From my earliest times I have been drawn to the lost, neglected and abandoned. A sentimentality, a romance, perhaps an admiration for the almost pagan and symbolic defiance of things that still exist as relics.

My practice reflects this lifelong theme. From the unintentionally sculptural destruction of unwanted vehicles in the rapidly disappearing hero pastime of the demolition derby to old buildings stubbornly out of place as the city transforms into a brutal metropolis devouring all in its path in the vanity of progress. Behind everything is the indifference of the natural world – we don’t really matter at all. I acknowledge what is left behind and what remains.”

Jo has exhibited at the Mosman Art Prize, North Sydney Art Prize, Salon De Refuses (S.H Ervin gallery), was a finalist in City of Sydney’s City of Villages Art Prize, and a winner of the Newtown Art Award among other credits. Her work held in Australian and overseas collections.


Ellie Kaufmann – painter

Ellie’s artworks deal with a reflection of everyday life in fibro and brick veneer suburbia exploring her very own ordinary backyard. She portrays characters that form a suburban bad girl gang: documenting real Australian women in their local surroundings. She depicts: sub-cultured youth, home wreckers, trailer trash and bored house wives who all pose in the backyards of 1950s suburbia.

Kaufmann’s work also investigates the light and colours of the suburban interior showing snippets of her life and surroundings. Her work can be described as Australiana featuring a repeated theme of kitsch and pop art colours throughout the works.

Ellie’s work is sourced from immediate situations the artist may find herself in as well as an interest in portraying a narrative using the everyday, mundane and the suburban settings she’s surrounded by.

Ellie is currently living in Canberra, she has completed a diploma of Fine Art from Newcastle Art School.



Nicci Bedson – Painter

For Modern Nostalgia Nicci has included a collection of paintings and works on paper exploring the everyday exotic.

Her works are critically observed, demanding that one takes notice, while being executed with a certain tenderness, which allows a sense of nostalgia to be present. Thematically they are drenched in Australian symbolism, domesticity and suburbia. The works are playful but bitey and invite a sense of sentimentality by being based on everyday moments from her surroundings.

Nicci studied at the University of Wollongong completing a Masters of Creative Arts in 2009 and has been exhibiting in the Wollongong area since. Her latest solo exhibition ‘Bougainvillea’ was held at Pretty Good Gallery, a newly established art space that Nicci operates in Wollongong.



Melita Rowston – painter

‘A melancholy catastrophe’ is one of the many phrases used to describe a white woman who was shipwrecked on Victoria’s coast in 1839 then held captive by local Gunai/Kurnai.

The failed rescue attempts of this ‘virtuous’ Scottish/Irish/English woman dominated newspaper headlines and the new colony’s imagination – but she never existed.

In a frightening new land, The White Woman Myth was a manifestation of white male settler’s memories and desires. She validated colonisation and frontier violence. She was proof of the power of nostalgia. She took them home.

Through a contemporary feminist lens, Melita explores the power of nostalgia, the colonial gaze, the conflation of woman and landscape, and anxiety about identity and place.

Melita (BFA – Painting VCA) is a writer, director, performer, and painter. She held her first solo exhibition at the age of 21. She put down the brush in 1997. This year she picked it up again.


Web featuring full bio:

Mirra Whale – painter

Mirra is a Sydney-based artist who explores everyday, banal and commonplace subjects and presents them from another angle.

“There is a strange seduction and repulsion to meat as subject. Beauty of flesh – deep reds, blues, subtle pinks and lardy yellows, alluring layers of fat and marbled flesh, the supple tissue and firm sinewy textures. My paintings of meat celebrate life, but they also draw upon death. There is awareness that this was once a living animal, and now removed not only as subject, but as a food and substance, a staple for human consumption.”

Mirra gained a Bachelor of Fine Art in Printmaking at the National Art School in 2003, Diploma of Graphic Design and Communication in 2010, studied at Julian Ashton College 2011 and achieved Honours at the National Art School in 2012.



Regina Botros – video art

Regina is a freelance producer. Since 2005, she has made work for ABC Radio National, researching, writing, presenting and producing documentaries, features, dramas and poetry programs. She has recorded for the BBC as well as being short-listed for Chicago’s Third Coast International Audio Festival in 2016.

Regina has directed for the stage including the Sydney & Melbourne Comedy Festival, Griffin Theatre, Seymour Centre and other Sydney theatre ventures.

Regina looks at Modern Nostalgia through memory and lost landscapes. It’s an exploration of time and the effects of time on memory and emotions. With particular attention to deserted buildings, objects and imagery, the sense of a present past is poignant as ghosts, deterioration and distortion affect the visual landscape.

Regina had her first solo exhibition in 2016 and works across many mediums including film, art, music, theatre and dance. She has a BA in dance and a Post Graduate Diploma in sound.

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