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 | 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


Sophie Cape and Luke Sciberras | ACAF Residency

“Our Arts Can Do Xucun summer art center for children successfully came to an end, after close to two months of classes and residencies in Shanxi’s He Shun mountain district. All the equipment for the classes; books, papers, paints, clay, fabric and other materials were provided by Arts Can Do and its supporters and sponsors both from China and overseas. Children produced hundreds of their own paintings, drawings and photographs, as well as gained confidence expressing their own ideas and perspectives.” – ACAF

As part of the Australia China Art Foundation Fellowship Programme, Sophie Cape and Luke Sciberras taught art classes for underprivileged children in the Chinese district of Shanxi’s He Shun. Each artist was also given a studio space where they created a body of work to be exhibited at the ACAF project space in Melbourne in 2014.

Cape’s photos of their trip with the ACAF programme reveal beautiful imagery of China and its people. Be sure to click ‘continue reading’ to view more stunning photos of their experience.

IMG_0626IMG_0883IMG_0769IMG_1942 IMG_2047_2 Continue reading


John Olsen and Luke Sciberras | Frog Tattoo

John Olsen has tried his hand to tattooing with Luke Sciberras being the lucky bearer of an original iconic Olsen frog now adorning his upper thigh. Olsen’s famous imagery has been used in a wide range of mediums from wine labels to fine art editions, but this is the first time the 85 year old has taken ink to skin. Read The Sydney Morning Herald article about the event here.


John Olsen tattoos Luke Sciberras. Image by Guy Maestri


Luke Sciberras | Ai Weiwei

Another snapshot from Luke Sciberras‘ residency in China. This time with his “new best friend” and chinese art superstar Ai Weiwei. We can’t wait to hear more about this when Luke returns!

For more information about Luke Sciberras’ residency as part of the Australia China Art Foundation Fellowship Programme and other great snapshots – click here.



Luke Sciberras and Sophie Cape | China Residency

Luke Sciberras and Sophie Cape have sent through some beautiful snapshots of their trip to China as a part of the Australia China Art Foundation Fellowship Programme. The programme, which places artists in studios across China, aims to foster awareness and understanding of both Australian and Chinese culture and values. The residency will culminate in each artist exhibiting their works in 2014 at the ACAF project space in Melbourne. If these photos are anything to go by, the resulting exhibitions will be an absolute must see.