modern art projects


Image: Tobias Richardson, Relics Salvaged Debris: A Remnant Collection of Art 1992 - 2015 (ongoing) Mixed media Various dimensions but small enough to fit into 8cm x 2.5cm plastic vials

Image: Tobias Richardson, Relics Salvaged Debris: A Remnant Collection of Art 1992 – 2015 (ongoing) Mixed media Various dimensions but small enough to fit into 8cm x 2.5cm plastic vials



PORTAL TO K-TOWN, is an exhibition guest curated by internationally renowned contemporary artists Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro in an art-deco house designed by Donald Thomas Esplin with Paul Sorenson garden named Copper Beech in Katoomba The Blue Mountains. Many thanks to the buildings current owner Richard Norris opening his home for the exhibition, and to the guest art makers that  inhabited the building for a day to present a unique dialogue in response to the architecture and provenance of a building that eclipses earlier art deco styles and modern functionalism. Artists include: Damian Dillon, Mark Gerada, Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro, Martin Kirkwood, Tobias Richardson, Joan Ross, Suzann Victor and Hayley West.

MORE ON THE ART: Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro’s title for the exhibition, PORTAL TO K-TOWN, is a malapropism that takes its cue from the circular portholes that are present within the architecture of Copper Beech: reminiscent of the portholes found on ships, these windows offer a view out to the Sorenson designed garden. The idea of portholes or portals of individuals’ personal vision is carried through in the works that are presented throughout the house. The idea of “vision” is juxtaposed against the reality of K-town: sister city to Wenty, Hazo, Bleakheath and Mount Vic. Katoomba’s morphing in K-town is indicative of the ironic vision offered by the luxury of living on the fringe, looking in. This vision is either a grand entryway that is a portal to another world or the narrow view offered by a porthole.

MORE ON THE ARCHITECTURE: Copper Beech, built in 1948 for a retired sea captain, whom was then the Katoomba City Engineer, was designed by Donald Thomas Esplin whose other works include the renowned Astor building in Macquarie Street, Sydney. The historic dwelling features a garden designed by renowned Danish landscape architect Paul Sorensen. The name of the property, ‘Cooper Beech’ comes from the type of tree featured in the front of the property overlooking into the Jamison Valley. The Sorenson designed gardens were originally planted around 1948 and there remains many original tree planting and dry stone walls and pathways. Contrary to the typical home of the period, this centrally heated brick rendered home allows the residence to be both drenched in light. The imaginative floor plan of the residence incorporates a lower level self contained area, which was originally part of the servants quarters includes a large bedroom, a bathroom, plus a kitchenette. The upper level comprises a large living area, an additional three bedrooms, the original master bedroom with original built in dressing table and wardrobes, the main bathroom, a powder room as well as the ensuite for the main bedroom, plus eat in kitchen. There is also an original full brick single room servants quarters located in the garden. The original garage has a viewing platform with views over the Jamison Valley.

This Project is Supported by the Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust Cultural Grants Program 2014.