0401 995 983 227 Chifley Road, Dargan NSW 2786


Rhonda Castle

I am a story teller of sorts and through my art practice and skills I have developed over the years and with the use of different materials, I go on a journey of exploration. I seek to connect that moment in time. Whether it be a past experience or a present response to what I see or feel, I endeavour to convey that caption in my sculptures. The process of using materials like metal, timber or stone will give you a completely different outcome. So in the creation of a sculpture the chosen material will quite often dictate the end result, but that’s alright its part of the process and journey.

I involve myself with many of the local community events on the Central Coast along with curating Sculpture at Kooindah, Yarramalong Arts Trail, Forest of Tranquility and hold workshops focusing on Youth vocational activities. I also facilitate and support community workshops in sustainable management practice along with many collaborative works on the Coast.

Roland Hemmert

Artist Statement

Landscape speaks: for me there is mystery present within it and art making is the method by which I try to understand it.

But how do you balance the numinous along with the feel of the earth beneath one’s feet with what the eye sees? Then add to this the elements of colour and design.

The studio practice is of importance to me as an artist, but things soon fall apart if I don’t spend time in the bush. I’m not a traditional en plein air painter. Although many of my pastels are begun in situ they are usually completed away from the subject. There are practical reasons to my method. Often the pastels tend to melt as do I on a hot day.

Thus, once I have the basics of what I need I complete the work even weeks later. The memory and other elements that I have retained are then free to play within my imagination. The colour of a dust storm witnessed a few days earlier may find its way onto another sky or the softest pinks of the tiniest desert flower are strewn over a dominant mountain range. I like to turn things on their head.

I spend a lot of time on my larger oil paintings which are always done in the studio. And with them I feel I’m always trying to impart a bigger message. It’s a much slower process and less immediate compared to my pastel works.

Although I do find myself perplexed that sometimes a smaller pastel can say just as much. It happens as it happens and too much planning sometimes makes me come unstuck.

And anyway, if I were to resolve every issue within a painting then there’d be no need to do any more.

Recent Exhibitions and Publications:
• The Solitude of Places at Gallery ONE88, Katoomba

• Six Views Group Show at Gallery ONE88, Katoomba, with Sanja Zemljacenko, Victor Peralta, Lucy Dawson, Joachim Herrmann and Sam McKay
• In Hindsight: A retrospective Solo Exhibition at Gallery ONE88, Katoomba NSW

• Crossing Paths at Braemar House (Blue Mountains Cultural Centre), with Sanja Zemljacenko and Adrienne Richards

• Six Views Group Show at Gallery ONE88, Katoomba
• Pop Atelier, Katoomba, Group show with Sanja Zemljacenko, Victor Peralta, Samantha McKay, Joachim Herrmann & Lucy Dawson

• Pastel artwork incl. In art book: Luminous Colour: Showcasing Australian Pastel Artists by Linda Hibbs

Bill Hope

Bill Hope is a commercial Illustrator living and working in Sydney. Having studied at the National Art School, The College of Fine Arts and the Julian Ashton School Bill has spent the past five years working full time in the industry.

Starting out with the Drawing Book Studios Bill has worked in storyboards, editorial, live drawing, concept design and traditional practice. He is currently represented by the Jacky Winter Group in Australia and internationally, by Illustration Ltd.

His work combines a traditional approach to hand drawn illustration with an affinity for the digital sphere and the array of tools it provides. His work ranges from large scale elaborate compositions to quick sketches and cartoons. With clients ranging from CBA to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Red Cross and the NBN, Bill’s work has been of a broad scope and scale. He has held three solo exhibitions of his work, published multiple books and is the recipient of national (Julian Ashton) and international (High Art) prizes.

Artist Statement:

My drawings often start from a series of very small quick sketches where I try and experiment with an idea stretching it out so see what works best. I'll often then leave an idea for a couple of weeks to mature in my mind before starting on the final work. Sometimes I'll work on paper, sometimes digitally. My favourite tool is a very small watercolour brush for fine ink drawing. Once the line work is achieved on paper or digitally I'll begin colouring the image in photoshop. I'll occasionally finish the image in watercolour or gouache but the digital approach allows me to work in a fast and flexible manner I've come to prefer. When the image is complete I'll have it printed on quality paper with a Giclee Printer.

Howard Johnson

A man with an incredible scientific mind, Howard was director of a psychiatric clinic in Newcastle for most of his working life; he never wanted to take up private practice. In his very limited spare time, Howard ventured into all sorts of artistic endeavours – sculpture, painting, fine wood working, print making, wood block, silver smithing, photography and more.

Over the years he has passed on so much knowledge to Henryk – who will be forever grateful. He provided much guidance to Henryk in his technical craft and art endeavours. More importantly, during numerous visits to Newcastle, Henryk’s Australian red wine appreciation began – cheers Howard.

Philippa Johnson

Philippa Johnson studied at East Sydney Technical College (now National Art School) and was awarded the Art Certificate (Sculpture and Drawing) in 1991.

From 1996-2007 she formed the creative business Art is an Option, with Henryk Topolnicki. Together they designed and created many pieces for corporate and private clients, including large-scale metal public art works which were made in their Blue Mountains studio.

Last exhibition - ‘Shared Vision’ 2017 at Sheffer Gallery in Darlington - sculptures of copper and tin, and pencil drawings. (Combined exhibition with Ruth Johnson (photographs), and Howard Johnson (monoprints)).

Artist Statement:

Shared Vision body of work: The sculptures 'Window', 'Decay', 'Urban Weeds' and 'Garden' are made from recycled copper, copper, brass and tin. I form each element individually, and each sculpture is unique. They were part of my 2017 body of work Shared Vision, exhibited in Sheffer Gallery April 2017.

The sculptures embody things which catch my eye as I walk to and from the station each day. I see the same landscape elements anew every time, and re-imagine them differently again when sketching and creating the metal elements. While creating my sculptures, I layer my varied interpretations, to create symbolic expressions of my experience.

Habitat Series: I am currently working on the Habitat series of sculptures. These combine found ceramic pieces with recycled copper, copper, brass and tin. The ceramic pieces come from power and telegraph poles. Contrasting fragments of the man-made landscape with elements of the natural world is the focus of this series, and a recurrent theme in my work. In 'Habitat', my interpretations of plants and insects are placed in relationships with man-made elements. These sculptural conjunctions illuminate the fluid and adaptive relationships of man-made and natural elements occurring in the real world. Habitat is defined by the living things which survive in it. My imagery is drawn from the habitats I see in the landscapes around me.

Stephanie Lisa

Stephanie was born and raised in Sydney. Working part time in retail design store West Elm, Stephanie is also working as a freelance artist from two studios, in Blackheath (Blue Mountains), and Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Stephanie has undertaken post graduate studies in Art Therapy, which has provided her another wonderful dimension to the application of art.

Artist statement:

I like to create, play and explore different medias, depending on what beauty I wish to capture. My mission is to create artwork that uplifts the soul, inspires hearts and minds, giving the world some zest and vitality.

I have been making art since I can remember. All I know is it’s in my blood and I love to do it! I studied art and textiles all through school then went to University to study Art at COFA. Throughout the years I have exhibited and collaborated with other artists and have had many commissions and have been involved in community projects. The future is exciting and I hope to never stop producing.

My art is a channel of my creative energy, love for life and expression of beauty, femininity and sensuality. I have been drawing ever since I can remember; fascinated by the lines and shapes I could create, as well as the spectrum of colours at my reach.

I am inspired by creation, by flora, fauna, people, cultures and nature.

My process starts with an inspiration, images, photos, and colours. I then create drawings and paintings. I love incorporating various mediums within one work, developing and working with layers and textures until I am satisfied with what emerges on the canvas.

I have experience in many mediums, although my preference is in painting with acrylics, watercolour and oils and drawing with pens and pencils, as well as portrait, nature and fashion photography.

Keith Rowe Glass

Glass has driven me for nearly 40 years. Without it my life may have been less active.

Making glass keeps me physically and mentally alert. My inspiration comes from all that surrounds me from the large landscapes to the small intimate objects that appear. I never have a problem with finding new works as there is so much to choose from. It is about colour and form.

Philip Spark

My first experience of commercial metalworking was in the mid 1980s when a friend and I set up a workshop to build custom bicycle frames. Frame building is a very precise and unforgiving affair and I began to stray into hot metal forging for its creative freedom.

Fabrication goes hand in hand with the forge - tools have to be made and larger structures built. Some of my bigger sculptural works have no forging in them but I always try to include a little bit when I can.

My workshop, which was built in 1918, has a strong industrial atmosphere and is a major influence on my work. I am interested in industrial objects and structures as things of beauty in themselves and have done a lot of Harbour Bridge and steam machine influenced work.

But then there is the plain old beauty of a well proportioned forged scroll, with an aesthetic history of many hundreds of years.

Henryk Topolnicki

I am a practising artist who develops works completely independently and in response to private, public, gallery and competition commissions.

After completing a teaching degree in Poland I migrated to Australia in 1982 with no skills relevant to employment in this country.

A typical migrant story then followed. Numerous jobs in factories, farms, foundries, fruit picking (notice it all starts with an F). A stint at the State Library's exhibition section and also various theatre equipment companies also exposed me to a range of skills and trades that I didn’t even know existed. I really enjoyed this exposure. I relished the challenge of actually making things, the tactile aspect, the complexity and even the physicality of it. I was no longer the book worm I used to be. In the midst of all this, working more than full time, I managed to complete a sculpture course at East Sydney Technical College. This set my path for the future. By 1996, trying to combine all the skills I had accumulated over the past few years, I started a designer-maker’s business with my then partner, Philippa Johnson.

From 2000 this business became a primarily art focused enterprise. Dozens of successful public art commissions followed. At the same time I was pursuing other avenues such as interior design, landscape art and commercial space fit-outs, which allowed me to build a dedicated client base and I am carrying out commissions for many of these clients to this day.

However, after nearly two decades of being out there and being in the public eye, the time has come to focus on myself. I want to concentrate on a more personal way of doing art.

I have the comfort of fully equipped studio workshops, both for metal and wood working. This gives me total control of the whole artistic process and ensures that the original intention does not “get lost in translation”.

So many incarnations - one can always learn in any environment. It's just all about the passion to learn and explore.

I’m looking forward to see where Gallery H will take me.

Inga Topolnicki

Inga is an artist living and working in Sydney.

Having grown up in the Blue Mountains, much of her work is influenced by the Australian landscape and its native flora. Inga works using a variety of mediums however, she prefers working with natural fibres, paper and watercolours. She has done several collaborative projects with illustrator, Bill Hope and artist, Henryk Topolnicki.

Todd Whisson

Todd Whisson has been a successful exhibiting Australian Impressionist Artist for more than 28 years. He pursued and developed a passion for the alla prima and plein air approaches, creating a very loose and spontaneous style to his work.

In 2011, Whisson embarked on a tertiary education into contemporary art through TAFE Qld. In his first year Whisson was awarded the highest achievement, acquisition of his series’ Hidden Secrets’. Whisson went on to a sell-out student exhibition and achieved the acquisition prize for his ‘Scar Tissue’ series in his second and final year.

Continuing his education, Todd completed his Bachelor of Visual Arts in 2015 through QCA (Griffith University), achieving academic excellence along the way. In addition, Whisson was individually selected by Brisbane City Council to showcase his work in King George Square as a representation of QCA graduates.

Whisson’s recent work has developed markedly, taking an abstract approach which continues to reflect his skill in traditional techniques yet has enabled him to communicate more than a visual representation, and has elevated his passion and vision to another level of skill and perception.

Whisson’s work is represented in galleries, private and corporate collections in Australia and internationally.

Edward Wray-bliss

I use industrial wire, paper and wood in my sculptures, refashioning these quotidian materials into objects that express aesthetic, emotional and ethical moods. Sculpting with wire allows my finished pieces to simultaneously encompass both lightness and strength. These qualities lend themselves to the subject matter I typically explore - wings, the human form, emotion, movement, resiliently fragile nature - and they also resonate with the underlying ethos of my artistic practice: that of treading lightly, compassionately, but with a purposeful spirit. Combining wire with wood - whether that of the plinth or incorporated into the sculptural form itself - introduces a natural warmth, an organic liveliness, to the pieces, enabling them to elide the industrialism of the wire's origins.

Prior to my artistic career I was an ethical philosopher, educator and writer working at universities in Australia and overseas. Though I still publish philosophical writings - and several of my works incorporate text or motifs drawn from my philosophical life - my artistic practice enables me to engage more viscerally and succinctly with abiding concerns around ethics and meaning in modernity. Working in an artistic medium also enables me to speak to these concerns while fashioning objects of beauty. This marks a shift from a philosophical career that was often preoccupied with an examination of the abject, the ugly, and the violent aspects of our human condition.

I make my works at my studio, which is located at my home in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, where I live with a sweet but feisty, mini-fox terrier, named Daisy.