The Art Diary: 8 outstanding shows on view now in Australia

Jenny Orchard
Bush Of Ghosts
Despard Gallery, Hobart
Until 1 May

They are the playful happenstances of our interconnected planet, where diversity, curiosity and art collide.There is however a darker side to the works as we say goodbye to the species we have destroyed whilst creating our new Anthropocene. These creatures peer back at us from their extinct status in a Bush Of Ghosts.

Balancing Act
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

This exhibition attempts to showcase works of art that reflect the depth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture, with other aspects of the Aboriginal condition.

Brendan Huntley
Without Within
Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Until 15 May

This series depicts a spectrum of transformations…They sprung from a year of isolation, as I slowly built my own community of butterfly and moth people to celebrate the hope of emerging transformed.

Michael Cook
Natures mortes
Andrew Baker Art Dealer, Brisbane
Until 1 May

In this new series, Michael Cook moves into the art-historical tradition of still life, while continuing to explore the devastating impact of colonisation on Australia’s First Nations peoples.

Mervyn Bishop
Mervyn Bishop: The Exhibition
National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra
Until 1 August

His love for photography stems from a chance encounter with its development process, when a schoolfriend’s father showed him how an image could appear, as if by magic, on a sheet of paper in a home darkroom.

Khadim Ali
Invisible Border
Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
Until 5 June
Visit, or enjoy the Digital Exhibition Guide here

Hazara artist Khadim Ali explores the normalisation of war and the experience of refugees through a series of poetic installations and textile works.

Steve Lopes
San Souci
Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney
Until 1 May
Read our interview with the artist here

I try not to do the most obvious pose. It can affect the electricity or the charge in the work. I have studied a lot of the older painters like Goya, Salvatore Rosa, del Francesco, the Italian school. If you look at their works there might be a tiny finger out of place, a toe pointing upwards, or a figure tipping over.

Hayley Millar Baker
There we were all in one place
UTS Gallery, Sydney
Until 4 JuneRead our interview with the artist here

For the sake of storytelling and taking stories outside of their eras, environments, in order to make them somewhat relatable on a universal level, I blend time and place by using both film and digital photography, both archival material and new material, and erasing colour.

Captions: Jenny Orchard, Ammit and Bes 2020 earthenware clay and glazes 50 x 35 x 35 cm; Richard Bell, One more hour of daylight 2017-2019, (detail) Synthetic polymer paint on linen, three parts: 240 x 180 cm each; 240 x 540 cm (overall). State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia. Purchased through the Art Gallery of Western Australia Foundation: TomorrowFund, 2019. © Richard Bell, courtesy Milani Gallery, Brisbane; Brendan Huntley Untitled (moth) 2020, oil pastel, dry pastel, oil and graphite on archival paper, 61.5 x 42 cm (framed); Michael Cook, Nature Morte (Aliment) 2021; Mervyn Bishop, Cousins, Ralph and Jim, Brewarrina 1966 © Mervyn Bishop; Khadim Ali, Sermon on the Mount (detail), 2020, tapestry, embroidery and acrylic, 553 × 400cm. Photograph: Carl Warner. Courtesy the artist, Milani Gallery, Brisbane and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Steve Lopes, Unnamed Wood & Figure, 2021, oil on canvas, 30 x 60cm. Courtesy the artist and Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney and Hayley Millar Baker, (Untitled 2), I’m the Captain Now, 2016, 20 x 20 cm, inkjet on cotton rag