THIS month, a weather-scarred boulder weighing more than a tonne will take centre stage at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney. It will have made its journey there on the back of a truck driven by an obliging property owner on behalf of artist Peter Sharp after having been prised from its resting place at Fowler’s Gap, 140km north of Broken Hill in far western NSW. Clustered around this monolith will be small sculptures made from sticks, leaves and other natural ­materials, alongside a weathered 5.5m wooden sculpture bleached silver by the elements.

“I’ve been drawing this place for 25 years or more, and I decided I wanted to bring a witness back, an artefact,” Sharp says in a phone call to ­Review on his way to the Jacaranda Drawing Award in Grafton. “And if we have enough money, I want to take it back at the end of the show and put it back in exactly the same place.”

This rustic tableau of built and found objects, along with a group of charcoal drawings, represents Sharp’s exhibit in the inaugural Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial, the replacement for the Dobell Prize for Drawing held annually at the AGNSW. First awarded in 1993, the acquisitive prize was initiated by the AGNSW and the trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation — established from the estate of the Australian artist — to encourage excellence in drawing and draughtsmanship. 


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The PDF version of the article on The Weekend Australian (Review) can be downloaded HERE

John McDonald, SMH 5 December 2014

One cannot travel very far in any discussion of drawing without coming across a famous statement from the great neo-classicist, Jacques-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: "Drawing is the probity of art." 

"Probity" means both "correctness" and "goodness", but also "moral integrity", which allows us to imagine Ingres was saying: "to thine own self be true".

This Shakespearean motto could be applied to any of the artists in Drawing Out, the inaugural Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial at the Art Gallery of NSW. Curator Anne Ryan, has taken landscape as her theme, and it's an appropriate starting place. Landscape is one of the few areas in which Australia may be said to have contributed something original to modern art's global patrimony.


Recorded live at National Art School inside the exhibition.

Interview with Paula Latos-Valier, Art Director of the Foundation. The interviewer is Maisy Stapleton.

Broadcast on Thurs 26 Sept. 2013 on Eastside Radio 89.7FM, Sydney.


Listen to the interview