A Contemporary Art Gallery located in Melbourne, Australia www.tuskgallery.com.au : e-mail art@tuskgallery.com.au

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Tusk Gallery : Expansion Plans September 2015


I’d like to share some of our expansion plans with you.

A) We’ve been in Camberwell for almost 30 years now. The current space is in Harold St which is tucked around the corner from the main thoroughfare Burke Rd. Recently the shop next door on Burke St became empty and we decided to do a pop up while we renovated our Harold St space to convert it into an exhibition space. We are currently negotiating with the real estate agent to lease both spaces and join them so we have a Burke Rd frontage. If this happens the rent is horrifying BUT it will give much greater access to many more people. If this happens we’ll knock an entry between the Burke Rd space and the Harold St space.

B) Regardless of what else happens we’ve gutted Harold St and created a great exhibition space which will be used to show the work of the many artists who we represent. This is functionable now but we are still adding the finishing touches.

C) In the back of my mind I’d love to set up an informal cafe in the Camberwell Gallery so our clients can chill out with some great coffee and a nutritious bite to eat.

D) If this works at camberwell we plan to duplicate this formula in our South Yarra Gallery. We’ll have more affordable art and prints at the front and an exhibition space at the back and once again….maybe a simple cafe for you to chill out in.

E) We have created a separate arm of the business called ArtScope Fine Art Publishing to publish L/E and Open Edition prints by selected artists. We’ve discovered that not everyone can afford original art and this is one way of offering high quality images at more affordable prices. We have leased a warehouse and showroom in Kilsyth, in Melbourne’s East. Whilst this is up and running there is a far greater potential for growth and we plan to set up a proper gallery in this location as well.

OK. So that’s a brief rundown on our plans. We need loads of money to finance all of this BUT we are slowly achieving the goals that we have set for ourselves.

Gary Collier and Georgina Berry

Tusk Gallery Directors.

Spotlight on Cheryl Petersen: Tusk chats with Cheryl about her work and creative process

Golden forest 160 x 90 2990

Cheryl Petersen, ‘Golden Forest’, Mixed media on canvas, 160 x 90 cm

Cheryl Petersen is one of the most loved and collected artists here at Tusk Gallery. Her enchanted forests, whimsical creatures and vibrant abstract work showcase her unique talent to harness together many different medias and materials to produce stunning imagery and compositions. We were so excited to have received a selection of new work from Cheryl this week that we decided to check in with her and ask her a few questions about the love of her life – painting. 

Can you take us back to the beginning Cheryl? What first kick-started your desire to become an artist?

‘I have always drawn or painted! I never consciously considered myself an ‘artist’… it’s just what I did. As a child growing up with my parents and my 5 siblings we never had a television (or a car) or even a permanent home. I went to 16 different schools, always moving around and drawing became my one constant that I took with me wherever I went. Also, always being the ‘new girl’ at school, being good at drawing was something that gave me an identity which motivated me to keep improving. I loved the whole challenge of creating something which would get the other kids crowing!’

Which artists have shaped your career the most?

There have been so many artists that have influenced me…in fact every artist in history has had some kind of impact on me. I go through stages when I am in love with a certain look and feel of a painting, so to pick out one would be impossible. At the moment I am in love with a lot of contempory artists, particularly abstract artists.’

orange rush 152 x 122 3690

Cheryl Petersen, ‘Orange Rush’, Mixed media on canvas, 152 x 122 cm

One of the remarkable things about you is the many different styles you work in and your mastery of them. Is there a common thread that links together some of your abstract work with your nature inspired pieces?

‘When I start a painting I always work off my mood. Sometimes I feel like letting go and just seeing what happens…it’s quite tricky sometimes to let yourself do that, especially if you have a brand new canvas that you don’t want to mess up. However when you produce something that is representative of how you feel it is so thrilling! It’s not relaxing, it’s exhausting but also euphoric at the same time. That’s when I do my best abstracts.’

‘At other times I just want to do something methodic, detailed and intricate, or I may want to do relaxing, calming and beautiful. I also love doing portraits. I love the way you have to look at every line and crevice of a persons face, but I always end up doing them too realistic. I only do portraits for my own satisfaction and to improve my technical skills. The only thing I really don’t like doing is traditional landscapes.’

‘I know that a lot of artists like to do the same style again and again and in some ways I admire them for their consistency, but that’s not me and if I appear to be ‘all over the place’, its because I am! I don’t want to conform to what the art world expects of artists these days, and I couldn’t if I tried!’ 

tribal encounter 120 x 120 3490

Cheryl Petersen, ‘Tribal Encounter’, Mixed media on canvas, 120 x 120 cm

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

‘The proudest moment of my career would have to have been when I realised I didn’t have to be a starving artist any more: that I can actually support myself doing something I really truly love.’

What gives you the passion and energy to create work everyday?

‘I don’t have a problem accessing my passion and energy to paint everyday. I love love love it and maybe that’s because I like to paint in different styles. I never force myself to paint if I don’t feel like it. I will never take on a commission if I know I wont enjoy it because the work always ends up looking stale, tired and lacks that certain something. Mind you, I do love a challenge! I love to be asked to do a commission on something really tricky, especially if it’s something I’ve never done before and especially if it’s really large! In fact, I wish somebody would ask me to do that!’

Lastly, what advice would you give to clients looking to purchase art work for the first time?

Well, of course the best place to go is Tusk gallery! I like to buy other artist’s work myself. I don’t buy for investment purposes, although I think it’s a good idea if you know what to look for. I buy because I really love the work and I don’t worry if it suits my house or if it will go up in value. I will buy something because I completely love it.’

my life 120 x 120 3490

Cheryl Petersen, ‘My Life’, Mixed media on canvas, 120 x 120 cm

It was such a pleasure to chat with Cheryl and hear the contagious enthusiasm and joy she has for her practice. We love that Cheryl isn’t afraid to follow her heart and doesn’t restrict herself to painting within just one style. Her passion for painting shines through her playful and experimental approach to each piece.

Come and have a closer look at some of Cheryl’s work at Tusk Gallery in South Yarra and Camberwell. We would love to chat with you about Cheryl’s work and materials!

Tusk Presents: Mersuka Dopazo

Here at Tusk, we are anxiously awaiting an upcoming exhibition featuring Spanish artist Mersuka Dopazo!

Mersuka is a largely self-taught artist, living and working in Bali with her husband and four sons. Always in search of adventure and inspiration, Mersuka lived in multiple countries around the world before settling in Bali four years ago with her family.

It was in Bali that Mersuka found inspiration for her portrait work, as she found herself immensely inspired by the charisma and beauty of Balinese women when dressed for traditional ceremonies.


True to her adventurous nature, Mersuka loves incorporating collage into her paintings and experimenting with media. “I can make a painting out of anything,” she says, “any object can inspire me.”

This passion for exploration is evident in Mersuka’s use of mixed media and colour, along with her zeal for life and letting things come as they may.

Along with her solo practice, Mersuka is involved in a collaborative project with fellow Spanish artist Teresa Calderón.


Mersuka’s work will be part of an upcoming group exhibition here at Tusk, opening in late October. Watch this space!

Tusk presents: Vicky Papas Vergara

We are very excited to present Vicky Papas Vergara – an artist and photographer new to Tusk.

Throughout her career as a hair stylist, Vicky’s passion was pampering women and making them feel wonderful, while unveiling the unique beauty that each woman beholds. This passion expanded from hairdressing to styling, painting, and photography in a shift that Vicky says was “almost overnight” at the age of 41. Her work continues to hold the aim of capturing the elegance of feminine beauty.


“I have always had a creative side, but suppressed it, only picking up a paintbrush on a rare occasion. There was always going to be a ‘one day,'” Vicky says.

After making this sudden change four years ago, Vicky has been busy taking as many photography workshops as possible to improve her skills – and improve she has! She has had great success with Australian and international photography awards in the past year, recently winning the Grand Award at WPPI Las Vegas for the Creative Division.

Vicky has worked largely in fashion photography, though recently she has ventured into art nudes – a switch that she said was largely inspired by one of her models. “Recently I booked an art nude model, Anne Duffy, who I work with often, but usually dress her. This time I wanted to create beautiful fine art nude images that I could see hanging on someone’s wall, so they had to be classic and timeless. I always loved nude photography, and had imagined a series of renaissance nudes with a lot of movement. That’s what inspired this series of images I call ‘Miss Duffy.'”


For anyone considering a change in direction to chase your passion, Vicky says, “Go for it! Be fearless in your creativity!” With any luck, you’ll end up creating work as stunning as that of Vicky Papas Vergara.

Vicky’s work will soon be available at Tusk – watch this space! Please contact us on southyarra@tuskgallery.com.au with any enquiries.

Upcoming Exhibition: ‘Semblance’ opens this week!

It’s exhibition time at Tusk and we are very proud to announce the opening of ‘Semblance’ this Thursday night at 6-9pm! Here at Tusk we are getting everything set up for this very exciting showcase of contemporary portrait work by four of our artists. The exhibition will feature work by local Melbourne Artist Johanna Wilbraham, and Thai artists Paitoon Jumee, Attasit Pokpong and Vichit Nongnual. You will be able to enjoy some complimentary food and drink, as well as live music and talks by Gallery co-owner Gary Coliier and artist Johanna Wilbraham. If you would like to join us this week for a browse, a chat and a glass of wine at the opening please rsvp to southyarra@tuskgallery.com.au.

Semblance Flyer FINAL copy

Here are some sneaky peeks of what you can expect to see in this exhibition:

Johanna Wilbraham lives and works in Melbourne, however she hails originally from the UK which is where she completed her degree in Fine Art and first started selling her pieces in London and around Europe. She uses a highly experimental process and creates her paintings by building layers of diluted oil paint up slowly, using jars and jugs to pour the paint. Johanna is interested in taking small, unseen moments and magnifying them on colourful, large scale canvases.

Jorani detail      Lucinda 120 x 150 3990

Paitoon Jumee’s serene and popular portraits examine the effect of external stimuli on the individual through the use of his distinctive dripping technique . Sometimes his portraits have eyes open, representing receptivity to surroundings, but often his subject’s eyes are closed to suggest a detachment from the external world. We have just today received new pieces directly from Bangkok from Paitoon. Do come along and check them out this week!

received_m_mid_1410846862987_c8e3c6fbfb28b56a18_0        received_m_mid_1410846865292_9350740dd661ae4815_0

Attasit Pokpong is one of Thailand’s most widely known contemporary artists and has gained recognition through exhibitions around the world. The luminous beauty of his faces, often with vibrant coloured lips, have become a very distinctive feature of his work. Attasit believes that true emotion is always expressed through the face and he explores this idea with his larger than life portraits.

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Lastly, Vichit Nongnual’s amazing and delicate new works have been huge favourites at the gallery. Some of these pieces have already been snapped up as pre-exhibition sales! Vichit has exhibited all over the world, including New York, Hong Kong and Paris. His work examines the differences between Eastern and Western cultures and express his desire to understand both.

Girl _3 140x180 7990_opt

Please join us at ‘Semblance’ to celebrate this amazing selection of contemporary portraiture by Tusk Artists. We would love to see you there!

New Artist at Tusk: Sarah Hickey

We here at Tusk are extremely excited to welcome artist Sarah Hickey into the mix. Based in Brisbane, Sarah is a woman passionate about doing what you love. Clearly a group of people of the same mindset, we know Sarah and her work are a perfect fit.

“Follow what delights you and all will be well.”

The intricacy of the details in her paintings, the layers of colour and texture, and just the sheer beauty of it all makes her artwork something that we just can’t get onto our gallery walls soon enough.

Catch Sarah’s work in our upcoming group exhibition on April 16th, “Semblance”, where she will show along with a combination of Australian and Thai artists. We’ll be posting more about the exhibition soon, so keep your eyes on this space and sign up to our mailing list for all the details!

Tusk Fine Art Publishing Website is now functional

Purple Evening JM4448 105x105cm Framed

Purple Evening JM4448 105x105cm Framed

We’ve just got our new website for the publishing arm of Tusk going live. You can check it out by clicking on John Martono’s “Purple Evening”.

This website will eventually feature all of the images we currently have in print, either as Limited Edition or Open Edition prints.

The response to the prints has been overwhelming so far and we are finding it hard to keep up. As the new year approaches we will be making them far more accessible either in our Galleries, online and in selected Homeware stores.

Tusk Fine Art Publishing has started it’s new life with prints by two of our most loved and successful artists. John Martono and Lisa Morgan.

We have been printing John’s pieces since August and we are just about to release our Lisa Morgan Collection.

To view John’s Collection simply go to the new website and click on Artists and then click on John Martono. New prints will be added as they become available.

Lisa’s Collection will be added before Christmas.

Not everyone can or wants to invest in original art, hence the birth of Tusk Art Prints. This has been a trend internationally for sometime now so we have decided to blaze the trail in Australia.

To stay abreast with the latest developments I recommend that you like our Tusk Fine Art Publishing Facebook page. We’ll be adding new pieces as they are released and keeping you up with the latest news.

That’s all for now. Talk soon………..

John Martono Open Edition Prints

John Martono

Journey To Others Code JM3613 105x105cm Framed

The images unfortunately are not all to scale. All square images come framed at 105x105cm and all rectangular images come as 95x135cm.

Purple Evening JM4448 105x105cm Framed

Purple Evening JM4448 105x105cm Framed

Dreams JM4438 105x105cm Framed

Dreams JM4438 105x105cm Framed

Journey To Happiness JM4444 105x105cm Framed

Journey To Happiness JM4444 105x105cm Framed

Journey To Others #2 JM4441 105x105cm Framed

Journey To Others #2 JM4441 105x105cm Framed

Come Up JM3620 105x105cm Framed

Come Up JM3620 105x105cm Framed

Come Up #2  JM3621 105x105cm Framed

Come Up #2 JM3621 105x105cm Framed

Wednesday Morning JM4066 105x105cm Framed

Wednesday Morning JM4066 105x105cm Framed

Happiness Song JM4063 105x105cm Framed

Happiness Song JM4063 105x105cm Framed

Lost In Happiness JM4792 105x105cm Framed

Lost In Happiness JM4792 105x105cm Framed

Essence  JM4436 105x105cm Framed

Essence JM4436 105x105cm Framed

Talk and Move  JM4789 105x105cm Framed

Talk and Move JM4789 105x105cm Framed

John Martono

Thanks To You JM4084 105x105cm Framed

Songs Of Yesterday JM4072 105x105cm Framed

Songs Of Yesterday JM4072 105x105cm Framed

John Martono

Smells Like Happiness JM4081 105x105cm Framed

Intrigue  JM4853 105x105cm Framed

Intrigue JM4853 105x105cm Framed


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Happiness Blues JM3633

Happiness Blues JM3633 95x135cm Framed

Journey Blues JM3634 95x135cm Framed

Journey Blues JM3634 95x135cm Framed

Positive Blues JM3640 95x135cm Framed

Positive Blues JM3640 95x135cm Framed

Friendship Blues JM3645 95x135cm Framed

Friendship Blues JM3645 95x135cm Framed

Happiness & Passion JM4654

Happiness & Passion JM4654

The Secret of Love JM4659 95x135cm Framed

The Secret of Love JM4659 95x135cm Framed


New highly collectable art by Attasit Pokpong : November 2014

Tusk Gallery has been lucky enough to liaise once again with Thai artist Attasit Pokpong. We have purchased three of Attasit’s paintings to show at The Singapore Art Fair which is on November 20-23, 2014.

The first of these paintings is 140x140cm and it is truly beautiful. Her skin glows and her hair has a slight wave to it. You may well have to wait another 12 months for more paintings from Attasit. He has informed me that he won’t be doing any more paintings until November 2015. We are offering a chance to purchase pre Art Fair, this gives you around 2 weeks.


Attasit is famous for his use of oil to bring beautiful portraits of Asian girls to life. His signature is also brightly coloured lips.  This piece is 120x120cm…..once again you can purchase pre fair, up until November 18, 2014. Contact gary@tuskgallery.com.au for details.


And last but not least here’s the third painting. 120x120cm, oil on canvas.


If you are interested in any of these paintings please contact me before I leave for Singapore at gary@tuskgallery.com.au well before November 17 which is when we leave for Singapore.