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Australians in Italy: Contemporary Lives and Impressions


Bill Kent [editor]; Ros Pesman [editor]; Cynthia Troup [editor]

  1. Download this book
  2. First page
  3. Cover; Copyright and Contributor Information; Table of Contents
  4. Preface
  5. Presentazione
  6. Acknowledgements
  7. Introduction
  9. Ch 1. Australians in Italy: The long view
  10. Ch 2. Twentieth-century diplomatic and trade relations
  11. Ch 3. Some facts and figures
  12. Ch 4. Gaining a foothold: Australian cultural institutions in Italy
  13. Ch 5. Arthur Dale Trendall: A memoir
  15. Ch 6. More than a love affair: Australian writers and Italy
  16. Ch 7. A great tradition revisited
  17. Ch 8. Funghi, family and fables
  18. Ch 9. ‘Everything else in Italy’: A journalist in Rome
  20. Ch 10. Australian artists in Italy: Residencies and residents
  21. Ch 11. Donald Friend: An Australian artist’s affair with Italy
  22. Ch 12. Drawing on Italian art
  23. Ch 13. Rinascimento through a contemporary lens
  25. Ch 14. Australian clergy in Italy after Vatican II
  26. Ch 15. Rome: My two cities
  27. Ch 16. Rediscovering Rome
  28. Ch 17. ‘Unevenly buried’: A personal topography of Rome
  30. Ch 18. Elusive landscapes: Australians and the Italian garden
  31. Ch 19. Educational tourism – cultural landscapes
  32. Ch 20. Carrara: Landscape of stone
  33. Ch 21. Imagining and experiencing Italy in the 1980s and 1990s
  35. Ch 22. Reflections and refractions: An Italian perspective on Australian Studies
  36. Ch 23. Australian cinema in Italy: Sguardi australiani
  37. Ch 24. Remembering Bernard Hickey
  39. Ch 25. Italian Australians in Italy
  40. Ch 26. Washing faces, cleansing hearts: Who am I?
  41. Ch 27. The returned migrants: The Associazione Nazionale Emigrati ed ex Emigrati in Australia
  42. INDEX

Chapter 10

Australian artists in Italy: Residencies and residents

Judith Blackall

Judith Blackall is Head of Artistic Programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney. She works on MCA exhibitions, off-site and touring projects, collection development and education programs. Among the exhibitions she has curated is Arte Povera: Art from Italy 1967–2002, a collaboration with the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin. Prior to joining the MCA in 1997, Blackall lived and worked in Italy for 15 years. She was coordinator of the Australia Council studio residencies at Il Paretaio until 1990. She has also worked in contemporary art galleries in Milan and Florence, the Museo Pecci in Prato, and was exhibition coordinator of the first Biennale di Firenze, Il tempo e la moda held in galleries and historic buildings throughout Florence from September to December 1996. The following year she travelled to New York with the principal exhibition Art/Fashion, which was presented at the Guggenheim Museum Soho.

Australia’s artists have been journeying to Italy since at least the middle of the nineteenth century. Yet it was not until the 1960s that Italy became a significant place of longer-term residence and work. There are many contemporary Australian artists whose work has been variously influenced by Italy, its artistic heritage and its contemporary art scene. Rather than attempting a general survey, the present article presents a brief history of the project that became the Australia Council studio residency at Il Paretaio, and profiles four very different artists and a collaborative duo who currently live and work in Italy.

The studio at Il Paretaio

In the early 1970s, Arthur Boyd bought and restored a large, two-storey traditional farmhouse called Il Paretaio. Situated on the crest of a hill and surrounded by fields and olive groves, it is some five kilometres from the village of Palaia in the province of Pisa, Tuscany. An artist of much generosity, throughout his life Arthur Boyd encouraged and helped young artists, musicians, writers and actors. In 1977, for example, he offered the use of his Tuscan farmhouse to the young Australian sculptor and painter Joel Elenberg, who lived and worked at Il Paretaio for several months with his wife, Anna, and their young daughter, Zahava. Anna, today Director of Anna Schwartz Gallery in Melbourne, later described the experience:

One evening, at dinner at Anne Purves’ Robin Boyd house in Kew with Arthur and Yvonne Boyd, Joel was lamenting the lack of a sculptural peer group in Australia – not to mention the difficulties of securing the stone he wished to begin carving and the appropriate tools and technology to set about it.

Arthur immediately asked whether Joel might do him the favour of living in his uninhabited house in Tuscany, not far from the stone quarries of Carrara. After a few days in Rome en route, […] and the extraordinary achievement of buying a tiny Fiat (with the help of Australians John and Joan Drake who worked with the UN there) and finalising all the necessary documentation in one day, Joel installed himself at Casa Paretaio in the rolling, muscular hills of Toscana. He procured blocks of Carrara ordinario [common marble] and then the prized staturario [statuary marble], transported them to Palaia, and made his first serious pieces in the garden of Paretaio over the summer of 1977.

Joel was able to establish very close working relationships with the great artisans at the sculpture studio SGF; these sustained him for the rest of the three remaining years of his life, and his work for much longer. Our little daughter attended the local asilo, pre-school, and learned to speak beautiful Italian.

Friendships were established with people in the village. Often the art teacher, the butcher and others occupying the various social strata there would find themselves mingling at dinners and parties at the house. Many friends from Australia came to stay: Brett and Wendy Whiteley; Ross Phillips, a philosopher from La Trobe University; Louis Green, the historian from Monash University specialising in Lucca; and Gary Foley, the Aboriginal activist, were some. We introduced other Australian sculptors to the studios of Carrara: Akio Makigawa, Tony Pryor and Peter Schipperheyn.

We had too little money to take advantage of the central heating in the house during winter, and slept on a mattress on the floor in front of the fire of the large downstairs room, previously used to accommodate the animals in the freezing Tuscan winter. We cooked the local game and chestnuts on the fire, and I learned the Tuscan practice of washing the unglazed terracotta floor tiles with milk to give them a lovely sheen. We installed a wire fence around the swimming pool to protect four-year-old Zahava, and bought rose seedlings from Pistoia. Today there is a 30-year-old rose hedge around the pool.

It was a beautiful and precious time. The best of Joel’s works could not have been made without it.1

It was as a young art student that I met Arthur Boyd and his wife Yvonne in Sydney in 1981. On learning of my aspirations as an artist, and of my interest in Italy, Arthur generously extended an invitation to stay at Il Paretaio. I suggested to him that we approach the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, and thereby source support to establish a studio for Australian artists in residence at the farmhouse; my role would be that of project coordinator. Boyd and his family agreed to the suggestion. In late 1981, the Australia Council approved a grant for the establishment of a studio for artists as part of the Visual Arts Board artist-in-residence overseas program. As a result, the period 1982 to 1990 saw the Australia Council and Arthur Boyd working together to provide grants for Australian artists to live and work at Il Paretaio.

The Australia Council was established as a statutory authority in 1975 under the Whitlam government; part of its agenda was to promote Australia’s cultural profile overseas. Among its early initiatives was the acquisition of spaces for creative Australians in a number of countries, in order to provide them with an opportunity to live and work overseas at relatively low cost. When Il Paretaio was established as a residency, the Council was already supporting studios for Australian artists in Italy: one in Venice; another in the village of Besozzo on Lago Maggiore, managed by expatriate sculptor Rod Dudley. These were in addition to studios in London, Berlin, New York and Paris. In the late 1980s, another residency in Italy was offered to visual artists at Verdaccio studios, near Castellina in Chianti, Siena. Subsequently, from 1992, the Literature Board of the Australia Council offered two six-month residencies each year at the B. R. Whiting library in Rome. The residency program at Il Paretaio ended in 1990 when Arthur Boyd and his family decided to spend more time in Italy themselves. Currently there are two studios in Italy supported by the Visual Arts Board – one each in Milan and Rome.2

I arrived at Il Paretaio in February 1982 and the first recipient of a studio grant took up residence two months later. By 1990, 28 artists and one writer had spent periods of three or more months at Il Paretaio.3 If not all found their time in Tuscany important, many artists produced exciting new work, which they exhibited in Italy,4 or showed on their return to Australia. Sydney artist Janet Laurence arrived at the studio during the first autumn in 1982 and embraced the opportunity with characteristic enthusiasm, exploring the Tuscan countryside and local village life. She ‘rugged up’ and ‘buckled down’ as it were, working with sheets of handmade paper from the Magnani paper mill in nearby Pescia. Perceiving the veils that shroud the landscape in winter – the layers of history and memory she felt were recorded in every stone – Laurence collaged organic and readily found materials gathered from the immediate environment, from the forested hills and valleys surrounding the house, or from the locals such as the shepherd who each day brought his sheep around the house to graze. She produced works which she exhibited in Italy and, in the following year, they were brought together for exhibitions in Adelaide and Melbourne.5

Offering extraordinary views from every window, the studios at Il Paretaio were sparsely furnished with little more than a large work table and tall walls for pinning sheets of paper or canvas onto. Lacking central heating, in winter the airy spaces could be cold, but generally the spaciousness of the house allowed artists to open up, experiment and explore. The best results usually occurred when artists slowed down and approached their Paretaio residency with a degree of flexibility, taking time to discover the local towns; the countryside; the galleries and museums in Florence, Volterra, Siena or further afield. In this way they could absorb and enjoy the unique experience, and develop their ideas by sketching and experimentation, rather than seeking to realise grand, complete, new works.

Artist Domenico De Clario was born in Trieste and immigrated to Australia with his parents when he was nine years old. He has always felt a sense of displacement, and returning to Italy has invariably aroused mixed emotions, a struggle of cultures. Arriving at Il Paretaio with his young family in the spring of 1984 granted De Clario an opportunity to settle for three months and enjoy the season in the Tuscan countryside. The extraordinary light, the sensuality of everyday life and the spaciousness of the house were conducive to an engagement with painting again; he produced a body of large and vibrant paintings. A native Italian speaker, he made enduring friendships in the local community and for a season played as part of the village football team. These days De Clario affirms that the people, the countryside and the proximity of Florence and other cities were extremely stimulating. It was an experience that ‘awakened me to the specificity of the culture I had abandoned, or was forced to abandon in order to survive’ – an experience that has remained with him since.6

Rosslynd Piggott occupied a studio at Il Paretaio in autumn 1987. She remembers her time there as an extremely happy and productive experience, both personally and professionally. She says, ‘At the time l was very interested in Piero della Francesca and other painters from the early Renaissance through to the Quattrocento – Cimabue, Giotto, Simone Martini, Fra Angelico [...]. To be living in such a beautiful and complete environment – somewhat similar to occupying a landscape of many of these paintings – and then to be able to travel a short distance […] to see these works in situ was like aesthetic heaven to me.’7

As coordinator of the residency project at Il Paretaio, I considered that my task extended beyond looking after the artists-in-residence, to include cultivating contacts between Australian and Italian artists; making Australian art and artists better known in Italy, and furthering opportunities for the exhibition of Australian art in Italy. I made contact with a group of artists associated with a non-profit, artist-run space in Florence called ZONA, and in mid 1983 we presented an exhibition of Australian artists there, titled A.U.S.T.R.A.L.I.A. Later that year, also at ZONA, we organised a series of screenings of independent Super 8 films with Sydney artist and filmmaker Mark Titmarsh. In 1985 a more ambitious selection of work by contemporary Australian artists in Venice was shown at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, in an exhibition called Isolaustralia. This exhibition included works by Tony Clark; Juan Davila; Domenico De Clario; Bill Henson; Janet Laurence; John Nixon and Jenny Watson. Both the prominent Italian critic and curator Achille Bonito Oliva, and the young Australian critic Paul Taylor, contributed to the catalogue of this exhibition.

Through my nine years at Il Paretaio, I had become closely involved with a European network of artists and curators, and was keen to stay in Italy. I worked in two contemporary art galleries, one in Milan and another in Florence, and in 1993 joined the Centre for Contemporary Art/Museo Pecci in Prato. In 1996 I joined the organisation of the first international Biennale of Florence, Art/Fashion. As exhibition coordinator I worked with the artistic directors Germano Celant, Luigi Settembrini and Ingrid Sischy on a major exhibition presented at Forte di Belvedere above Florence, which afterwards travelled to the Guggenheim Museum SoHo (New York). After 15 years working in Italy, in 1997 I moved back to Australia, to take up a position in exhibition management at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. To this position I brought the professional networks and the knowledge of the Italian contemporary art world developed during my many years of involvement with European and Italian artists, curators and critics. The cultural intersection that can occur between contemporary artists in Australia and Italy is ongoing.

* * *

The reasons why certain Australian artists have chosen to live and work in Italy rather than Australia are rarely straightforward and invariably personal; therefore, generalisation is problematic. Beyond their Australian nationality, and the frequent travelling they undertake for their work, it can be observed that the artists have little in common with each other. They move in separate circles and rarely cross paths professionally. I have chosen to identify a group of very different artists who currently, and variously, live and work in Italy: Jeffrey Smart; Stephen Roach; Tony Clark, and the collective A Constructed World (ACW) that comprises two artists, Jacqueline Riva and Geoff Lowe.

Jeffrey Smart

Jeffrey Smart is widely acclaimed as one of Australia’s greatest living painters. In writing about him for the present context, I wish to acknowledge the work of Barry Pearce, Curator of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and author of a well-written and insightful monograph on Smart.8 Pearce describes Smart’s enjoyment of his life of over 30 years at his home – Posticcia Nuova near Pieve a Presciano, not far from Arezzo – and how the painter is ‘drawn by qualities both spiritual and material [...] the simple pleasures of the landscape, the food and proximity to the highest measures of European culture’. He describes ‘the constant reminder of a profound tradition of art, sublime landscapes of antiquity that defy a modernist reading […] and a social network that must be managed, year in, year out through the seasons.’ But ‘the epicentre of Smart’s existence is his studio. Ultimately all the pleasures and intrigues of these distractions are secondary to the routine he has established there, at the hub of his practice as a painter’ (Pearce 2005, 11–23).

According to Pearce, Jeffrey Smart could not have found a better environment to inspire his practice than that at Posticcia Nuova – close to the masterpieces of Piero della Francesca, whose meticulous realism has been a point of reference for the artist. It is perhaps more accurate to cite Piero as a reassurance for Smart, as distinct from an influence. The subject of La Baracca (2003) is found near Smart’s home on the road to Arezzo. It is an abandoned shack; the artist was interested in the old Volkswagen stored there. He first made a drawing at the site, and then a watercolour, as he does for many of his paintings. When reflecting on the process of painting La Baracca, Smart has noted that the latitude as well as the time of day are vital for his work; also that he always prefers a side light, that of early morning or late afternoon. He says he favours Italy ‘because usually it is not a windy country’; he favours winter light when it is ‘clear and not hazy’. Through preliminary studies Smart can examine those aspects of a subject that first engaged him, and work them into his canvases (Pearce 2005, 7).

Stephen Roach

A photographic artist who has been living and working in Italy for more than 25 years, Stephen Roach grew up in Sydney in the 1950s and 1960s, and began to exhibit his photography as early as 1978. In 1979 he left Australia to live in Japan, and then The Netherlands. Finally in 1982 he moved to Milan, where he worked from a studio located in the very centre of the city, on the seventh floor of a building overlooking the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

Stephen Roach married Fabrizia Baldeserra; they now have two teenage daughters. He lives and works in the countryside near Castellina in Chianti, and recently dug his roots into the Tuscan subsoil by investing in, and renovating, a sixteenth-century stone farmhouse with a tower. The family moved from Milan to the Chianti region in 1987. Roach notes that the move to the country with a young family was tough; that it took him several years to successfully bring the experience into his artwork. He set up his studio in an old stone barn without heating, and at times it was so cold, and he needed to wear so many layers of clothing, that he could not bend his arms to work.

Stephen Roach has always presented his photographic work in series that he prefers to develop slowly, sometimes taking years to complete. His approach is open and easy-going yet thorough; he explores themes and subjects in everyday life, always strongly felt, that relate to his personal situation. The people photographed have invariably been friends or family. His work includes elements from the sensuous to the psychological; from beauty to disquietude; from narrative to cinema; from dream and enchantment to the totally ordinary. Often he juxtaposes two or three contrasting images within the same frame – such as a detail of a fresco contrasting with a clear sky taken through an archway – thus bringing into correspondence themes of culture versus nature, interior and exterior, high and low.

Commissioned projects also formed part of Stephen Roach’s body of work. In 1999, for example, he was invited to work in an area between Caserta and Naples where beautiful historic villas have been left in a state of abandonment. The villas are threatened with destruction because of housing redevelopment, which is often linked to underworld land deals. Roach’s series of 15 works, Baroccocontinuo (1999), and an exhibition, set out to raise awareness of the magnificent legacy at stake. Dronero (2001) is another project commissioned by an arts organisation in Piedmont. Roach photographed the small baroque city of Dronero, his series of 20 photographs being shown as part of a series of exhibitions called Landscapes/Paesaggi.9

Tony Clark

Tony Clark is an Australian painter who has lived for much of his life in Italy. He grew up in Rome’s outer suburb of EUR and attended school in Rome. We first met in 1984, when Clark was working on a series of paintings titled Sacro-Idyllic landscapes, which feature classical temples located in imagined landscapes. Painted in browns, pinks and blues, the landscapes are reminiscent of neoclassical scenes in Europe. Over a career spanning nearly three decades, Clark has exhibited widely in Australia and Europe. A major retrospective exhibition of his work, Tony Clark – Public and Private Paintings 1982–1998, was held at Melbourne’s Museum of Modern Art at Heide in 1998, and his work was included in Documenta IX in 1992 and the 1995 Australian Perspecta.

In 1999 Tony Clark purchased a house just a three-minute walk from the cathedral, in the heart of Syracuse, on the island of Ortygia. He first visited Sicily in 1975 and has spent part of each year there since 1996. According to Clark, Syracuse has had a distinctive influence on his work, especially because ‘the upside of being relatively isolated is that you are less inhibited about your work, you are less “answerable” to anyone or any perceived “spirit of the times”’.10 He adds that ‘in Siracusa you can choose the zeit of your geist, and at present I am happy for that to be around 1693, the time of the earthquake that devastated Southern Sicily.’ For Clark, the broader experience of Sicily has been a very positive and stimulating encounter. Although Syracuse has been described as ‘the New York of the ancient world’, it is now a small Sicilian city making the transition from quaint baroque relic to full-blown resort. Clark says it is the ‘historical’ town par excellence and its citizens live that history in daily and domestic life. For over 2000 years there has been a house on the spot where he now lives.11

Tony Clark chooses his subjects from a broad range of art history; from so-called ‘low’ genres such as the decorative arts, and the imagery of popular cult figures – including his friend Nick Cave – to the ‘higher’ genre of formal portraiture, exemplified by his portrait Peter Porter (2004).

The portrait of Peter Porter was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, which was actively seeking to work with artists who were not necessarily associated with portraiture. Tony Clark was very keen to pursue his recent interest in the genre – he had begun with a portrait of King Charles I. He says:

Rather than choosing a personality I thought at the time that I would choose from a range of occupations – as found in ancient Roman portraiture – occupations such as philosopher, boxer, actor [...] and poet. So Andrew Sayers, Magda Keaney and I settled on the poet Peter Porter. He agreed, and we met in his flat in London and we talked a lot. I really liked him, especially for the fact that having left Australia 50 years ago he still hadn’t quite ‘got over it!’ He was great. I did some sketches, which were not very useful; took some photos which were ok, and went off and painted the picture.12

Clark has mentioned that on a formal level the portrait relates to his Jasperware series, images intended as representations of hypothetical sculptures. The portrait of Peter Porter and those he has done since, including self-portraits, are intended to connect with the tradition of the decorative architectural mask. The colour scheme is comprised of the pink, blue, raw sienna and black that the artist has used exclusively since 2002.13

Clark travels a great deal, preferring to work unattached, unencumbered. He spends several months of the year in Syracuse, alternating time in Germany or London with visits to Australia.

A Constructed World

A Constructed World (ACW) is a collaboration between two Australian artists, Jacqueline Riva and Geoff Lowe, who made their base in Turin in 2003. When the artists arrived in Turin they had no contacts, and knew no-one. Moreover, they found a dearth of artist-run spaces. They worked from their apartment, and, together with curator Charlotte Laubard, initiated a series of events – meetings with interaction and performance – which they ironically titled More Fools in Town (MFIT). The artists describe MFIT as an impulsive, low-tech, hi-energy project that seeks a wider audience. So far they have organised six editions of this work, bringing together work by artists from Australia, China, USA, Italy, France and UK. The idea is to have an artist from afar – from Australia, or China, for instance – exhibiting with someone from much closer to their home – Milan or Turin. MFIT provides an opportunity to invite and meet other artists and people to ‘explore informality together with strangers’.14

Since 2003 the artists comprising ACW have attracted an astonishing amount of critical attention in Italy, and they continue to be very active there. Their work has been represented in exhibitions such as the Emergency Biennale (touring 2005–07), Tirana Biennale (2003) – for which the artists of ACW were chosen to represent Italy – and in On Air: video in onda dall’Italia organised in 2004 at the Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemporanea di Monfalcone, an exhibition which also toured. Earlier on they participated in Arte all’Arte organised by Galleria Continua in San Gimignano (2000). They have held two solo shows at Careof space in Milan, two at Centro per arte Isola, Milan, and have been included in exhibitions in Turin, in Bologna, and in the municipality of Berchidda, Sardegna. In 2007 they presented an exhibition at N.O. Gallery curated by Ilaria Bonacossa, held in four private apartments around Milan. Together with the apartment hosts, they selected the works, performances and events, collectively entitled Schifanoia. In 2007 they held a major solo show at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne. Their work was selected for inclusion in the exhibition Green Washing at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin in February 2008 and as a major project at CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux in August 2008.

The practice of Jacqueline Riva and Geoff Lowe thrives on energetic collaboration and participation; on working with one another, and with other artists, situations and contexts. It can take the form of live events – such as performances and live or online discussions – as well as painting, video, drawing and interactive artwork. Riva and Lowe have also facilitated and presented workshops and laboratories at Bergamo’s Cararra Academy, and, in Turin, at the Academia Albertina, and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. Inviting communication and connection around the world, the artists build and manage websites and blogspots. SPEECH web magazine is another ongoing project encompassed by ACW. Since 2005 this forum has been publishing reviews, interviews, texts and comments, enthusiastically seeking contributions and widespread engagement.

Jacqueline Riva and Geoff Lowe declare that no matter how long they remain in Italy, they continue to be called ‘gli australiani’ – ‘the Australians’. They find that it has been an interesting part of their research, consciousness and practice to live tra and fra – among and between – different worlds. They enjoy the openness and warmth with which they and their work have been received; the art world they move in has consistently welcomed them. Though more recently they have been working intermittently in Paris, they continue to consider Turin to be a home base.


1 Anna Schwartz, email correspondence with the author, October 2007.

2 Further information on international studios can be found on the website of the Australia Council for the Arts,

3 Recipients of Visual Arts Board artist-in-residence grants for Il Paretaio were as follows. In 1982, Graham Blondel; Jutta Feddersen; Janet Laurence. In 1983, Pollyxenia Joannou; Mary Moore and Ted Snell; Janine Burke, Elizabeth Gower and John Neeson. In 1984, Domenico De Clario; Augustine Dall’Ava and Anthony Pryor. In 1985, Jonathan Cockburn; Ann Thomson. In 1986, Janenne Eaton. In 1987, Angela Cavalieri; Clive Murray-White; Rosslynd Piggot. In 1988, Craig Gough; Heather Durrough; Anton Hassell and Georgina Hilditch. In 1989, Stephen Birch; Jillian Kempson; Stephanie Valentin. In 1990, Andrew Wright-Smith; Tony Clark, Michael Graf and Joanne Ritson.

4 For example, the work of Janet Laurence was exhibited in a group show at Galleria Schema (Florence) in 1983; Domenico De Clario held a solo show at Galleria Lillo, Mestre (Venice) in May 1984; Augustine Dall’Ava and Tony Pryor exhibited Due Scultori Australiani at Galleria Schema from late 1984 to early 1985; Domenico De Clario performed a sound work during Oh, De Pisis! – a group exhibition held at Il Paretaio in the summer of 1985 that included works by international and Italian artists. Works by Tony Clark, Janenne Eaton and Janet Laurence were exhibited in Milan for Arte Fiera 1986 in Tutti Frutti, a project featuring Australian and Italian artists and designers.

5 Janet Laurence presented two solo shows in 1983 following her residency at Il Paretaio: Toiana at South Australia’s Adelaide Festival Gallery, and The Madonna in the Stone has a Memory at Melbourne University Gallery. For further information, see

6 Domenico De Clario, email correspondence with the author, 23 January 2008.

7 Rosslynd Piggott, email correspondence with the author, 22 January 2008.

8 See Pearce (2005), which was published on the occasion of a major exhibition of work by Jeffrey Smart held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, from 25 September to 15 December 2005.

9 For further information and images see

10 Tony Clark, email correspondence with the author, September 2005.

11 Tony Clark, email correspondence with the author, September 2005.

12 Tony Clark, email correspondence with the author, 24 November 2007.

13 Tony Clark, email correspondence with the author, 24 November 2007.

14 Jacqueline Riva and Geoff Lowe (ACW), email correspondence with the author, between September 2005 and November 2007.


A Constructed World. [Jacqueline Riva + Geoff Lowe]. 2004. ‘More fools in town’. Accessed September–November 2007. Available from:

A Constructed World. [Jacqueline Riva + Geoff Lowe]. 2005. ‘SPEECH: A site for reviews interviews, projects and your comments’. Accessed September–November 2007. Available from:

A Constructed World. [Jacqueline Riva + Geoff Lowe]. 2007. ‘aconstructedworld’. Accessed September–November 2007. Available from:

Andrea Meislin Gallery. 2007. ‘Stephen Roach’. Accessed September–November 2007. Available from:

Art Gallery of New South Wales. 2007. ‘Australian Art. Paintings. Jeffrey Smart’. Accessed September–November 2007. Available from:

Australian Galleries. 2007. ‘Jeffrey Smart’. Accessed September–November 2007. Available from:

Conny Dietzschold Gallery. 2007. ‘Stephen Roach’. Accessed September–November 2007. Available from:

Pearce, Barry. 2005. Jeffrey Smart. Sydney: The Beagle Press.

Roach, Stephen. 2007. ‘Stephen Roach photo/graphy’. Accessed September–November 2007. Available from:

Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. 2007. ‘Tony Clark artist profile’. Accessed September–November 2007. Available from:

Seippel Gallery Köln. 2007. ‘Tony Clark’. Accessed September–November 2007. Available from:


Figure 10.1: Jeffrey Smart, La Baracca (2003)

Watercolour, 27.5 x 38cm.

Private collection

© Jeffrey Smart


Figure 10.2: Stephen Roach, Float (2005)

C type digital print (edition of 10), circa 50 x 140cm.

Collection of Peter Klein, Germany

© Stephen Roach


Figure 10.3: Tony Clark, Peter Porter (2004)

Synthetic polymer paint and permanent marker on canvas.

National Portrait Gallery, Canberra. Purchased with funds from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2004.

© National Portrait Gallery, Canberra


Figure 10.4: A Constructed World (Jacqueline Riva + Geoff Lowe), Come Vuoi (2004)

Installation, part of the exhibition Campo Neutro #1 (curated by Roberto Pinto), Assab One, Milan.

© A Constructed World (Jacqueline Riva + Geoff Lowe)


Figure 10.5: A Constructed World (Jacqueline Riva + Geoff Lowe), Leviathan (2006)

Still from a dvd loop, shown in Increase Your Uncertainty, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, also Schifanoia N.O. Gallery, and private venues,

Milan 2007.

© A Constructed World (Jacqueline Riva + Geoff Lowe)


Publication information

This chapter is from Australians in Italy: Contemporary Lives and Impressions, edited by Bill Kent, Ros Pesman and Cynthia Troup (Monash University Publishing: Clayton, Melbourne. 2010). For more information about this book, or to purchase print copies, please go to

Australians in Italy: Contemporary Lives and Impressions

   by Bill Kent [editor]; Ros Pesman [editor]; Cynthia Troup [editor]