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BNE November/December 2016 |




at flowers

Look closely at Michael Zavros’ latest still life

paintings and you will soon see they are more

than detailed renderings of beautiful blooms

– the fin and its reflection of a Great White

shark, a Stegosaurus playfully reimagined

in a dish of fruit and flora, a phoenix rising

majestically from palm fronds. Creatures

large and small feature in the collection – a

rabbit (hydrangea), a swan (lilies), a jellyfish

(hyacinths), a lobster (mixed bouquet), an

octopus (gladioli), a Brontosaurus (roses) –

and while they appear whimsical recreations,

they are perhaps an ironic reflection on

fleeting youth and beauty as each one has been

painstakingly prepared, photographed then

painted by the artist.

It’s a body of work Zavros has been working

on over the last two years and it will be part

of his first exhibition in his home town of

Brisbane (or Australia for that matter) for

three years. It has been a time-intensive

process for Zavros who says the works have

taken much longer to create than anything

he has done previously and there was often a

time imperative to manipulate his models into

their final tableaux before they expired in the

Brisbane heat.

The Phoenix is the largest and most

imposing work, standing more than two

metres high, which took almost three months

to complete. It was commissioned by the Art

Gallery of South Australia for the Adelaide

Biennial of Australian Art earlier this year,

the only one of the works so far acquired for

public display – however many others already

have been snapped up for private collections

between Brisbane and Los Angeles. So it will

be a rare treat to view more than 20 of the

works, as well as some others Zavros has been

working on, at his solo exhibition at Philip

Bacon Galleries, Fortitude Valley, from 15

November to 10 December. See




When new restaurant The Croft House Town

Kitchen & Bar wanted to design its interiors to

be compatible with the heritage of its site, once

farmland, and its focus on fresh and sustainable

produce they turned to local artist Kirralee Robinson

for simple but exquisite wall sculptures that hold fresh

and continually growing greenery.

Robinson had been a florist for almost a decade

before she turned her hand to creating sculptural

hanging vases to complement the plants and flowers

she worked with every day, particularly the single

stems she came to appreciate as her own tastes leaned

towards a minimalism. But her designs are not

just visual works of art, they are also influenced by

sustainability and she works with husband Ash to

create vessels from recycled and reused materials. In

fact, her first designs were fashioned from chairs that

were gifted to them, the natural curve of the wood

providing the key to the designs.

The pieces are practical and versatile too; plants or

flowers can be changed to suit seasons or décor; the

vessels commissioned by The Croft House contain

plants that grow in water so they only need topping

up to ensure a perpetual living sculpture.

Some of Robinson’s designs will be part of the

Meet the Makers show at artisan, Fortitude Valley,

from 29 November to 24 December

and she will be at the gallery on

6 December to talk about her

work. See

and see

Great White


The Phoenix