Stonington Stables Museum of Art, Deakin University

Stonington Stables Museum of Art, Deakin University

The Stonington Stables Museum of Art will feature exhibitions of significant artworks, principally by established professional artists, for the pleasure and education of the University and the broader community. The gallery will provide a focus for scholarship and research into the visual arts, together with a range of recreational and educational attractions for a wide range of visitors. The Stonington Stables provide a remarkable example of the work of the renowned architect Charles D'Ebro and are one of the largest built in metropolitan Melbourne during the late nineteenth century. They are considered unique for their U-shaped configuration and are noted as one of the few surviving examples of an extensive stables complex. The stables and grooms' quarters are well designed around a brick paved court with an impressive arched entry gate facing the main house. In keeping with its Classic style, this feature comprises two fluted pilasters, pediment and two consoles on the outer sides which are decorated with lotus and acanthus. The structure is designed to be viewed from the West and North, as these are the aspects seen from the front driveway. The gatehouse and stables are built from brick on a slope of bluestone, forming a horizontal line from which their stucco elevations rise. The hay loft above the stables on the west side of the court has two quite different ceiling heights and shapes. These are a result of the treatment of the west fatade with its three decorative arches and two attics. The louvred fleche provided ventilation to the hay loft and adds to the interest of the view from the west.

Address: 
336 Glenferrie Road, Malvern, VIC
Tel: 
0392445123
Hours: 
Tuesday to Friday 12.00noon - 4.00pm, Saturday 2.00pm - 5.00pm
Admission: 
Free entry
Facilities: 
Ramp access to the ground floor gallery.
Collection: 
The Deakin University Art Collection contains more than 1,000 important and diverse art works, reflecting Australian and International artistic and cultural endeavour. This structured and well balanced collection ranks among the most prestigious and well represented of Australian University art museums and represents work by principally Australian artists in a wide range of mediums.
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Items

Painting

Creator:
Ellis Rowan
Description:
Ellis Rowan, Untitled (Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne) c.1890 -1900, Watercolour on paper, 27.7 x 65.4 cm, Museum purchase 1994.
Date:
C.1890-1900
Item Id Number:
1994.2

The distinguished Australian artist Ellis Rowan was born in Victoria, and later travelled extensively studying and painting birds and wildflowers throughout the world. Her prolific output was mainly confined to watercolours, ranging from the large, boldly coloured and carefully-detailed flower studies through to small, more intimate garden scenes and bird studies.

The charming watercolour of Government House, Melbourne, with recent plantings of the Botanical Gardens, is a fine example of the artist's ability to accurately observe and depict her environment's strangeness and beauty. This unique work is unusual for its depiction of a Victorian landmark.

Image 4

David Denby
Leaves 1996
Oil on linen laid over board
24.2 x 24.2 cm
Deakin University Art Collection

David Denby trained at St. Albans School of Art and Walthamstow School of Art, prior to completing a postgraduate degree at the Royal Academy between 1968 and 1971. In 1970 he won the Royal Academy portrait medal, as well as the Leverhulme, R.A. and the David Murray Scholarship a year earlier. He is currently practising in Suffolk, England and regularly exhibits in London.

Denby is highly regarded for his finely executed still life paintings. Leaves is an exquisite example of his extraordinary work within this genre, employing striking juxtapositions of texture and rich colours. The floating curled leaves are suspended in a delicate pictorial balance reflecting the fragile charm of the beautifully rendered subject matter.

Print

Figure on Beach

Figure on Beach
Creator:
Graham Fransella
Description:
Graham Fransella, Figure on Beach 1994, Etching, 176.8 x 144.0 cm, Museum purchase 1997, four panels.
Item Id Number:
1997.6.1,6.2,6.3,6.4

During his formative years as an artist in the urban landscape outside London, Graham Fransella developed his interest in the figure, finding people more interesting and engaging than his environment. His subjects are ruthlessly pared down to a mere outline, stripped of personality yet carrying indications of primitive humanity. The often stark, linear and vivid depictions form grand gestural images which are driven towards the edge of abstraction, forming the minimal template that binds his work together.

Fransella delights in the volatile and seductive nature of the etching process. He demonstrably gains satisfaction from the results of copper plates being immersed in an aggressive acid bath, often until they hurt. Many of his plates are reworked to the point where portions are eaten away, allowing serendipitous "mistakes" to occur in a free and spontaneous manner. Through this over immersion, a speckled and pockmarked patina is encouraged to develop, providing a grounded rusty backdrop to the often stark imagery of the subject.

The use of the sugar lift technique to describe his linear form provides a relatively small window of opportunity when striking the initial composition onto the plate. This physical process allows no time for correction. The artist must have a strong conception of the image in his mind's eye, and possess a fearless determination towards its realisation. Once this formal framework has been established, Fransella permits time to reflect and for the initial surge of creativity to mature. Having confidence in the certainty of the form, he is now at ease to revisit and rework his plates, pushing the image into unforeseen territory. In a manner not unlike the British abstract expressionist artist, Roger Hilton, Fransella enjoys unsettling his imagery. He observes that the plate having been bitten, now has memories, and that he is reinvoking and trading with these thoughts from the past.

The dramatic linework in Figure on Beach I 1994, is powerful and potent. It traces the heavily rendered figure across four large panels, displaying considerable skill, concentration and nerve; given the daring scale of this work. Long limbs extend past the edges and the giant truncated figure is scarcely accommodated within the four dissected full-size plates.

Painting

Leaves

Leaves
Creator:
David Denby
Description:
David Denby, Leaves 1996, Oil on linen laid over board, 24.2 x 24.2 cm, Deakin University Art Collection.
Date:
1996
Item Id Number:
1996.27

David Denby trained at St. Albans School of Art and Walthamstow School of Art, prior to completing a postgraduate degree at the Royal Academy between 1968 and 1971. In 1970 he won the Royal Academy portrait medal, as well as the Leverhulme, R.A. and the David Murray Scholarship a year earlier. He is currently practising in Suffolk, England and regularly exhibits in London.

Denby is highly regarded for his finely executed still life paintings. Leaves is an exquisite example of his extraordinary work within this genre, employing striking juxtapositions of texture and rich colours. The floating curled leaves are suspended in a delicate pictorial balance reflecting the fragile charm of the beautifully rendered subject matter.

Sculpture

Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel
Creator:
Inge King
Description:
Guardian Angel 1995, Painted steel, 310.0 x 138.0 x 78.0 cm, Museum purchase 1997
Date:
1995
Item Id Number:
1997.42

Inge King was born in Germany in 1918, and having studied at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts from 1937-38, Royal Academy Schools, London in 1940, and the Glasgow School of Art from 1941-43, she emigrated to Australia in 1951. Having been influenced by New York Abstract Expressionism in the late 1950s, welded steel became King's medium. Minimalism during the sixties helped fashion the artist's oeuvre, while figuration later provided the catalyst for a new era of forceful and dynamic, streamlined sculptures.

Inge King is now widely recognised as a leading Australian sculptor whose work has had a significant effect on the development of modernism in this country. In 1984 she received an AM (Order of Australia) for her services to the arts, and in 1990 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from Deakin University, with which she has had a long association.

The artist has a particular interest in the integration of sculpture and architecture, and appropriately Guardian Angel 1995 has been recently acquired by the University for its innovatively designed and redeveloped Burwood campus. The work has since become an integral feature of this lively environment, strategically situated amongst impressive modern building projects, challenging viewers from various points of observation.

Guardian Angel emerges from a series of angels the artist was producing, characterised by their prominent outstretched wings. According to Inge King, this work is the largest of this series, the most serious and more architectural in shape. Striking in its inspirational geometric simplicity and smooth sensual surfaces, its formal vertical assemblage with disc motif has a sombre, defined edge. It assumes the role of sentry, forever watching. Representing a quasi human life form, it suggests a modern adaption of a primitive icon. The colours red and blue create an intense expression of youth and joy.

Painting

Portrait of a Young Lady

Portrait of a Young Lady
Creator:
George Bell
Description:
Oil on Masonite, 40.7 x 30.5 cm, Deakin University Art Collection
Date:
1955
Item Id Number:
1986.29

George Bell had a seminal influence on modern art in Australia in his varied roles as painter, teacher and critic from the 1920s to 1950s. He studied in London and Paris for many years, exhibiting at the Royal Academy, London, and in Europe and America. In 1932 he co-established the Bell-Shore School in Melbourne. Of the many students who passed through the school, several were to become significant artists, some of whom are represented in the University's Art Collection, including Russell Drysdale and Fred Williams.

His style reflected his interest in French and English Post-Impressionism, and his intellectual and logical approach emphasised the importance of the formal elements of design. Portrait of a young lady gracefully depicts the sensuous curves and the serene charm of the sitter, her sideward glance providing an element of composure and elegant poise.