Opening Tomorrow Night 6pm Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra

The Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra, in conjunction with Olsen Irwin Invites you to the opening of  ‘Return to Anzac Cove: Your friend the enemy’


This Friday 10 April 6pm

The Anzac legend at Gallipoli is engrained into the Australian psyche. The bloody theater of modern warfare proved to be the testing ground for an infantile nation. Australia, though young, stood bravely beside her brothers and sisters of the British Empire and entered the War whole heartily.

Out of the horrific events observed, not just at Gallipoli, but also, throughout the Great War, come national ideals of mateship, resolve and the “Digger”. It has been a constant subject of fascination for many Australian artists, musicians, play writes, politicians and historians.

The Great War changed everything, as put so eloquently by British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey

“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time”.

Australia lost more soldiers per capita then any other nation in the world. The cream of a generation was lost in battalions of friends, church groups, sporting clubs and workers unions. Every small town in Australia, public institution and school displays the scars of the war in the form of an Honour Roll, Memorial Hall or garden.

The Drill Hall Gallery in Canberra is displaying an exhibition that reflects on the ultimate sacrifice given by those brave young Australian men in 1915.  This exhibition portrays a landscape of tragic memory via the responses of 12 contemporary artists and features two Olsen Irwin Artists Guy Maestri and Luke Sciberras’ works,

The Exhibition was devised from two expeditions, one in 2013, one in 2014, groups of Australian and New Zealand artists set up their easels in the Dardanelles, revisiting what was once called ‘the most sacred corner of Australian soil.’ Tens of thousands of young men had lost their lives here during the 8-month campaign.

The exhibition’s title, ‘Your Friend the Enemy,’ originates in a letter written by Idris Charles Pike, the grandfather of artist Idris Murphy. The phrase testifies to an extraordinary relationship between the enemy camps.

During periodic ceasefires, Turkish soldiers would haul tobacco and papers over no-man’s-land into the ANZAC trenches, in exchange for biscuits and jam. On one occasion there was a note attached, signing off ‘from your friend, the enemy.’

The Exhibition opens Friday 10 April 2015 6pm at the Drill Hall Gallery, Kingley Street Acton.  It will be opened by Bill Gammage adjunct professor in ANU Humanities Research Centre.



Luke Sciberras, Sophie Cape, Guy Warren, Guy Maestri and Ann Thomson | The Blow-In Art Collective

More images of Guy Warren, Guy Maestri, Ann Thomson, Sophie Cape and Luke Sciberras’ painting trip to broken hill as part of The Blow-In Art Collective. Part of a group of ten, these five artists spent time creating artworks in the area, before exhibiting the pieces in an exhibition at the regional gallery, currently on show.

The images below allow for a good comparison between the kind of land these artists found themselves on and the way they decided to depict it. And while sometimes painting en plein air can be hazardous for artists (we need only refer to the picture of Sophie Cape’s bunched up paper canvas, a result of the wind) one can see here that painting in situ provides all sorts of opportunities for an artist to create an original piece of work. And to be in the company of other friendly artists provides another dimension to the process of creation. Not only have these artists produced some fantastic artworks, it also looks from these images as though they had a fantastic time producing them.

The other artists involved in the project are Steve Lopes, Euan Macleod, Kevin Connor, Peter Kingston and Dan Kyle.

The Blow-In Art Collective
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery
404-408 Argent St, Broken Hill, NSW, 2880
Friday October 10 – November 24


































Guy Warren, Luke Sciberras, Sophie Cape, Ann Thomson and Guy Maestri | Painting trip to Broken Hill

A group of five artists from the Olsen Irwin stables are currently in Broken Hill creating works of art for the Regional Gallery. Guy Maestri, Ann Thomson, Sophie Cape, Luke Sciberras and Guy Warren are part of the “Blow-in art collective,” a group of ten artists from Sydney who will be painting en plein air in the area for two weeks.

At the end of this period the fresh works will be hung straight away in the gallery. It is quite unusual for something like this to occur without the finishing touches being added to a work in the studio first. It really is something that requires quite a bit of confidence on behalf of both the artists and the gallery.

The other artists involved in the project are Steve Lopes, Euan Macleod, Kevin Connor, Peter Kingston and Dan Kyle. From the photos below (taken by Luke Sciberras) it seems the group are not only making some wonderful artworks, but are also having a fantastic time together.

The Blow-In Art Collective
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery
404-408 Argent St, Broken Hill, NSW, 2880
Friday October 10 – November 24











sophie cape




Guy Maestri | Winner | The King's School Art Prize

Congratulations to Guy Maestri for winning The King’s School Art Prize! The $20,000 acquisitive award is awarded annually to the “best contemporary artwork, created by an artist resident in Australia and represented by a commercial gallery”. The award was judged by Edmund Capon AM OBE, former Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (1978 – 2011).

The King’s School Art Prize
22 – 24 August 2014

The King’s School
7-129 Pennant Hills Road
North Parramatta NSW 2151

Guy Maestri, Landscape Painting No 4, 2014, oil on linen, 97 x 112cm

Guy Maestri, Landscape Painting No 4, 2014, oil on linen, 97 x 112cm – Winner – The King’s School Art Prize


Olsen Irwin | Melbourne Art Fair

Join us at stand E107 for the 2014 Melbourne Art Fair. Olsen Irwin will exhibit a solo showing of Guy Maestri’s new work, as well as a group show of select works.

The fair begins with a vernissage tonight, Wednesday 13 August at 6pm. The fair will then run from Thursday 14 August to Sunday 17 August. Day passes and tickets for the vernissage can be purchased here on the Melbourne Art Fair website.

View Olsen Irwin’s exhibition of select works here.
View Guy Maestri’s new works here.


Peter Booth, Drawing 2000 (man in cart and standing man), 2000, mixed media on paper, 13.5 x 29.5cm


Stephen Bird, Adam and Eve with Eyes, ceramic, 30 x 43cm


Stephen Ormandy, Look both ways, Oil on linen, 112 x 112cm


Alan Jones, Painting 122 (Dad), Acrylic on polyester, 66.5 x 56.5cm


Elisabeth Kruger, Afternoon walk, oil on linen, 51 x 41cm


Guy Maestri, Feral, oil on linen, 97 x 112cm

Olsen Irwin
Melbourne Art Fair
Stand E107
Royal Exhibition Building
Carlton VIC 3053

Wednesday 13 August 2014
6pm – 10pm
General Opening Times
Thursday 14 August 2014
11am – 6pm
Friday 15 August 2014
11am – 8pm
Saturday 16 August 2014
10am – 6pm
Sunday 17 August 2014
10am – 5pm


Archibald and Wynne Prize | Finalists

Olsen Irwin are proud to announce finalists for the 2014 Archibald and Wynne Prizes.

Finalists in the Archibald Prize include Olsen Irwin artists Paul Ryan, Alan Jones, Julian Meagher and Anh Do. Wynne Prize finalists include Guy Maestri and Robert Malherbe.

2014 marks the 11th time Paul Ryan has been hung as a finalist in the Archibald Prize. Alan Jones was also shortlisted in 2013 with a portrait of Pat Corrigan AM. Anh Do and Julian Meagher are first time finalists in 2014.

Robert Malherbe will be hung as a finalist in the Wynne Prize for the 4th time. This will be Guy Maestri’s third year in a row as a finalist in the Wynne Prize. The annual Wynne Prize is awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery, or figure sculpture.

Olsen Irwin would like to congratulate all finalists for this outstanding achievement. A full list of finalists can be viewed here on the Art Gallery of New South Wales website.


Alan Jones, Adam, 2014, Oil and acrylic on linen, 171 x 156 cm – 2014 Archibald Prize Finalist


Anh Do, Father, Oil on canvas, 2014, 244 x 200 cm – 2014 Archibald Prize Finalist


Julian Meagher, John Waters – the clouds will cloud, 2014, Oil on linen, 71 x 55 cm – 2014 Archibald Prize Finalist


Paul Ryan, Rox, 2014, Oil on linen, 240 x 200cm – 2014 Archibald Prize Finalist


Guy Maestri, East west cutting, 2014, Oil on linen, 184 x 225 cm – 2014 Wynne Prize Finalist


Robert Malherbe, The Domain after a storm, 2014, Oil on linen, 66 x 56cm – 2014 Wynne Prize Finalist


Guy Maestri | Art of Music | Sydney Morning Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald’s  spoke with Guy Maestri about his work for the charity auction event, Art of Music. ‘Are you Leaving for the Country’ by Australian band The Drones is both the inspiration and the title of Maestri’s work to be auctioned for the event. Money raised will go to Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, ‘founded in 1984 to promote and develop the understanding, training and practice of creative music therapy.’ – Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy. For the auction 11 artists were asked to create a work based on an iconic Australian song. Olsen Irwin artists Nicholas Harding, Luke Sciberras and Amanda Marburg are also contributing works to the auction.

Watch Maestri discuss his work and song choice and read the article here on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

Art of Music
Saturday 14 June 2014
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney
Performances by Don Walker, Missy Higgins and Sunny Amoreena


Guy Maestri, ‘Are you Leaving for the Country’, 2014. Nicholas Harding, ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’, 2014


Luke Sciberras, ‘The Belly of the Whale’, 2014. Amanda Marburg, ‘That Ain’t Bad’ 2014


Jo Bertini | Guy Maestri | Finalists | NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize

The Road out West. Jo Bertini . Oil on canvas. 91x91cm

Jo Bertini, ‘The Road Out West’, Oil on canvas, 91 x 91cm

Jo Bertini and Guy Maestri have been selected as finalists in the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize. The finalists’ works will be exhibited in the Fountain Court at the Parliament of NSW from 10 June to 1 August 2014. The announcement of the 2014 winner and highly commended works will be on 18 June. $20,000 will be awarded to the winner for the acquisition of the work for the collection of the New South Wales Parliament. The 2013 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize was won by Guy Maestri.

NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize
Finalists’ Exhibition
10 June – 1 August 2014

Parliament of NSW
Fountain Court
Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000


Guy Maestri, No Man’s Land, 2014, Oil on linen, 77 x 87cm



Guy Maestri | Outpost

With Guy Maestri’s exhibition Outpost officially opening at Olsen Irwin last night, we take a look at the process involved in making the stunning en plein air works and studio still life studies. Through Maestri’s instagram we see his outdoor studio set up in and around the remote New South Wales town of Hill End. Maestri examines the area’s history, emerging as a gold mining town during the gold rush of the 1850s, and the desperate and brutal life that must have faced the early settlers of that era.

“I focused on the remnants that persist in the landscape, that offer a glimpse into the harsh reality of that time, and of the slow process of regeneration.” – Guy Maestri

Guy Maestri
26 March – 13 April 2014

Olsen Irwin
Jersey Road
Woollahra NSW 2025

Guy Maestri‘s new works from the exhibition Outpost can be viewed on the Olsen Irwin website here.

IMG_7411_web Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 4.01.15 PMScreen shot 2014-03-26 at 4.00.51 PM Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 4.02.29 PMScreen shot 2014-03-26 at 4.01.48 PM Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 4.02.59 PM


Harding, Maestri, Malherbe and Ryan | Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

Congratulations to Olsen Irwin artists’ Nicholas Harding, Guy Maestri, Robert Malherbe and Paul Ryan, who have all been selected as semi-finalists in the Doug Moran National Portraiture Prize. View the selected works below.

The Moran Arts Foundation was established by Doug and Greta Moran as a philanthropic, not-for-profit organisation whose objective is to support the Arts in Australia. Since it’s inception in 1988, the Doug Moran National Portraiture Prize has been considered one of Australia’s most prestigious awards.

Harding_Paris Portrait (Anna) 2013  watercolour and gouache on paper 112x76cm

Nicholas Harding, Paris Portrait (Anna), 2013, Watercolour and gouache on paper 112 x 76cm

Harding_Rob Hirst 2013  gouach on paper 112x76cm_1

Nicholas Harding, Rob Hirst, 2013, Gouach on paper, 112 x 76cm


Guy Maestri, Les, 2013


Robert Malherbe, Miriam – Woman in a Black Camisole, 2013


Paul Ryan, Fieldsy, 2013, Oil on linen, 240 x 200cm