23 April – 2 July 2022

Boroondara’s Town Hall Gallery will present the exhibition Expanded Canvasa collection of works challenging the possibilities of scale, form, colour and gesture. The artworks will reveal the continually evolving nature of the medium when fused with other disciplines and materials, showing 23 April – 2 July 2022.

Expanded Canvas will showcase the ideas and aesthetics characterising painting practice today. Artists replace traditional grid and two-dimensional picture planes with modern surfaces, including drop sheets, sign vinyl, virtual space, and the gallery itself. Pigment and brushwork are combined with elements from design, sculpture, animation and textiles to create vibrant and unexpected three-dimensional, virtual and ephemeral artworks. The exhibition features works from six artists: David Harley, Lara Merrett, Judy Millar, Tom Polo, Bundit Puangthong and Huseyin Sami.

David Harley progressively incorporates the use of digital technologies into the generation and development of his artwork. In the 2000s, David experimented with animation in the form of ‘moving paintings’ and introduced soundtracks into his work. David’s featured works in Expanded Canvas including ‘ReturntoGreen’, 2021, (pictured right) are what he describes as ‘moving paintings’. They were created with the aid of a VR headset, which allows the artist to be situated in the midst of the work while creating it.

Lara Merrett will exhibit a new iteration of ‘Time after time (a compendium of gestures)’, a three-dimensional site-specific work. This large-scale painting utilises the humble drop sheet or painter’s cloth, as material from which to create an immersive environment of colour. Merrett has used a variety of applications of paint — spraying, brushing and pouring — to create a vibrant palette to experiment and play with.

boroondara arts explores the dynamic nature of contemporary painting in expanded canvas

Bundit Puangthong is a contemporary Thai artist based in Melbourne (pictured left). His artistic identity fuses his training in traditional Thai art with a modern arts practice, utilising a range of techniques, from detailed brushwork to stencilling. His works on canvas incorporate a range of mixed media including acrylics, oil sticks, spray paint, and can be characterised by their size. Bundit’s formative experience working as a sign writer, painting billboards in Thailand as a teenager, combined with a background as an art director on film sets, has manifested in a natural inclination to work on a massive scale.

Bundit has been commissioned by the Town Hall Gallery to create a new artwork for Expanded Canvas drawing on his large-scale, public mural painting practice. He will undertake a three-day mural painting performance at Town Hall Gallery at allocated times between Friday 29 April and Sunday 1 May 2022. Visitors are invited to watch Bundit as he paints directly onto the gallery walls to create a mixed media artwork that explores the Thai Ramakien Story. Please note, bookings are not required for this performance.

New Zealand artist Judy Millar’s featured artwork ‘Double Hand’ is a billboard without a message. ‘Double Hand’ includes full scale linear marks that stretch out across the surface forming and reforming themselves into suggestions of letter forms or hinting at primeval figures. Millar is fascinated by the double existence we inhabit; on one hand a mental world consisting of illusions, fantasies, and dreams that live within us, and on the other hand the physical world of solid materiality that we live within.

Tom Polo uses painting and painted environments to explore how conversation, doubt and gesture are embodied acts of portraiture. Polo frequently incorporates texts and figurative elements into his works and draws upon acute observations, absurdist encounters, personal histories and imagined personas. Propped up by theatre backings often used for set pieces on the stage, on display are three large canvases posed like ‘actors’ in a scene, each leading the viewer through passages of potential meaning.

Huseyin Sami’s practice circumvents new questions and strategies toward the making of paintings, engaging a repertoire of pictorial codes and devices such as pouring, dripping, rolling, stretching and cutting household paint to present the possibility of opening up a new creative space. On display are three works from his recent series of ‘Skin’ paintings.

Town Hall Gallery features a diverse range of contemporary public programs, curated exhibitions and exhibitions drawn from the Town Hall Gallery Collection, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the City of Boroondara. A member of the Public Galleries Association of Victoria, Town Hall Gallery supports local, national and international artists at varying stages of their careers and offers a space for local artists and community groups to exhibit professionally in a gallery environment. Town Hall Gallery is now open to the public with a COVIDSafe Plan in place. For the latest information and opening hours, visit boroondara.vic.gov.au/arts.

Expanded Canvas:

23 April – 2 July 2022

Town Hall Gallery

360 Burwood Road, Hawthorn



Image Credit:

  1. David Harley, video still from ‘Return to Green’, 2021, ‘moving painting’ animation, image courtesy of the artist and Charles Nodrum Gallery.
  2. Artist Bundit Puangthong. Image courtesy of the artist.
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