Variation and change take place, exploring movements of our times. In this urban landscape we trace memories and the attention to those effects on inhabitants of these times within our communities.

Reflecting on a sense of strength, humour and humanity is the late Frank Watters (1934-2020), whose gifts following the closure of Watters Gallery in 2018 have marked Australian art and academic institutions in Sydney with a formidable influence.

Since opening in 1964, Watters was interested in contemporary artists and recent arrivals from London Pat and Richard Larter were supported by their determination to challenge viewers. Richard Larter went on to become a significant Australian painter and his work is an identifiable contribution to pop art (1929-2014).

His wife Pat was often his subject however; Pat was much more than his muse. She was a force of her own expressionism, challenging conventions of the male gaze inventing the feminist mail art term, ‘Femail Art’. A visual artist she also engaged in performance art and made art films.

Three years after her death from Lymphoma disease in 1996, Richard gave the Pat Larter archive to the AGNSW.  The result is the first solo exhibition of her work spanning over 30 years, Get Arted, on until March 2021.  It explores her provocative, humorous art making and her formidable political perspectives of anti-establishment.

Another artist that deserves to be better known is Australian–American modernist sculptor Margel Hinder (1906-95). AGNSW is presenting a retrospective, Modern in Motion, that opens at the end-of January. Hinder’s larger outdoor creations are some of the more enduring and engaging Australian public art works.  Her abstractions were concerned with movement, light, space and time.  Not unlike Pat, Margel married a prominent Australian modernist artist Frank Hinder.  He went on to become the Head of Art at the Sydney Teachers College.

The Future is Humanity, is a response to the art making processes, the emotions and spiritual engagements of more than 40 Australian and international artists. Opening at the end-of January at Sullivan+Strumpf in Sydney, the group exhibition is set to feature new and selected works including Australian Chinese artist Lindy Lee.

Lee’s major survey exhibition brings forth the spirit of humanity; Moon in a Dew Drop is at the MCA until the end-of February. Drawing on her experiences living between two cultures, the exhibition is host to 70 works using a variation of mediums.  It explores personal themes of identity through Buddhist philosophies and the cosmos.

Cover image credit: Sullivan + Strumpf.