Capturing the Moment

‘It is the artist’s quest to transform impressions into satisfying, honest artworks. It is the achievement of this that separates good, real art from sentimental illustrations or cold technical exercises.’ – Sonia Legge 2007*

On Wednesday night I went to an opening of two exhibitions held concurrently at the Watters Gallery in East Sydney both of which brought to life Sonia Legge’s quote; Tony Tuckson’s Figures and Paul Bacon’s Sculpture. The exhibition runs until September 10th.

Although Tony Tuckson (1921 -1973) exhibited rarely in his life, describing himself as a ‘Sunday painter’, he is now widely recognized as one of Australia’s foremost Abstract Expressionist artists. Some of his paintings have a Picasso-esque quality, but they are all striking and draw you in, holding your attention. In some of the works, the vivid colour reminded me of a Pierre Bonnard, others were muddier, brooding. It was an absolute pleasure to see such an extraordinary collection.

gouache over oil c 1953

Seated Woman - 1953

Three Reclining Nudes 1952 - 1956

Paul Bacon is a Sydney-based sculptor. His work is abstract and the materials are steel and wood. His work is masculine, thrusting and erectile, but there is also a lightness and beauty to the forms.My favourite piece in this collection is Avalon Sea Pool No.4. It has  distinctly feminine curves, reflecting the crest of a wave breaking over the sea-pool tucked into the southern end of Avalon Beach. Or perhaps a woman diving into the deep end.

Avalon Sea Pool No. 4 - 2011

Forsaken - 2011

The Stock Agent - 2011

We have 3 of Paul’s smaller pieces at home, but I have a strong hankering to bring home one of his larger pieces.

'The Private Collection'

Visiting Sydney’s private galleries is always fascinating. You will see the work of established and emerging Australian artists that you will seldom see at the large institutions. And even if you can’t afford to buy a piece of art, I still think visiting the galleries is supporting local artists.I recommend a gallery crawl, they’re usually grouped in convenient clusters. Now is the perfect time of year to go for a wander on a Saturday  around Paddington or East Sydney and why not add in a pub or two?

As a writer I love looking at how artists capture visually, what I try to express with words. For me, thinking about and drawing on images is incredibly important not just for my writing, but for the sheer pleasure of enjoying beauty.

For more information on Tony Tuckson visit here.

Paul Bacon has his own website –

*Sonia Legge, Watters Gallery  109 Riley St East Sydney.

For a comprehensive list of Australian Galleries, including addresses & contact details, visit Art Almanac.

Images courtesy of The Watters Gallery.


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