Tasteful Modern Art in Mullumbimby

Nadine Abensur is well known for her excellent taste. As an international cookery writer she has made her name creating gourmet vegetarian recipes – delicious, 'foodies' food without the meat. But there is more to Nadine than the tastes she creates in her cookery books. Her latest business venture is a contemporary art gallery and here you will find a whole new take on taste.

Tucked away in the little town of Mullumbimby, not far from Byron Bay on the North cost of New South Wales, Art Piece Gallery is a treasure trove of beautiful contemporary art. The Byron Bay area is a haven for creative people and although she includes guest artists from all over Australia in her exhibitions Nadine represents local artists exclusively in the gallery.

Hilary HerrmannAs you walk through the large glass doors of Nadine's gallery you will be greeted by a veritable feast of visual delights:

Bangalow based Hilary Herrmann is making a name for herself in the Australian art scene for the immediacy and rawness of her paintings. Her abstract expressionist work is "a strangely compelling cocktail of innocence, whimsy, longing and menace."

John Turton's landscapes portray Australia's beauty and scale, its shape and spaces, its light and energy. His bold and dynamic views of ocean, sky and surrounding hill have delighted art lovers since the '70s.

John_gieseJohn Giese, on the other hand, is new on the Australian visual art scene but has already made quite an impact with his direct, engaging dog and horse paintings. These works are address issues of maleness and are decorative and individual with a strong physical presence.

But there is more at Art Piece than art to hang on your walls. In November the gallery hosted the launch of Darren Jackson's stunning new range of jewellery designed with inspiration from the teachings of Zen philosopy and drawing on techniques derived from ancient Japanese sword craftsmanship. The fusion of ancient skills with modern technology creates unique expressions of beauty, handcrafted with love and designed to endure through the ages.

Originally all Melissa Hirsch's work was made entirely from plant fibres but it she has now expanded her materials repertoire to include metal, fishing line and glass. She creates and constructs objects and installations based on environmental themes. Her work is intricate, simple and appears to be fragile. It is enhanced by Melissa_Hirschshadow-play, negative spaces and movement.

And in the ceramic art category Suvira McDonald creates both functional and sculptural works. The functional forms incorporate contemporary design and classical surfaces, giving new life to ancient glazes. The sculptural forms are drawn from a universal store of imagery and archetypal motifs and evoke the timeless qualities of landscape, the constant cycles of decay and renewal, and an interplay of natural elements.

Art Piece Gallery is housed in the newest building in the high street of Mullumbimby. A picturesque little country town, Mullumbimby is just five minutes from the Pacific Highway and well worth a detour. Especially when you can drop in to the gallery and enjoy some of the best art that Australia has to offer.

And if you can't make it to the gallery in person you can view the art works online. Art Piece Gallery's website has a clean, fresh feel, is easy to navigate and features galleries for all the artists and each new exhibition. You can subscribe to the Art Piece newsletter and receive invitations to exhibition opening as well as news of new artists and other tit bits from the North Coast Australian art world.

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