Greg Johns Greg Johns

Local Adelaide Hills artist Greg Johns’ sculpture Wavering Circle is a focal point at the entrance to Appellation and The Louise.  Greg Johns is an accomplished and well-known sculptor who has been exhibiting solo work since 1980 both here in Australia and worldwide.  Although influenced by Celtic art, physics, Zen Buddhism, New Guinea art and sculptor Constantin Brancusi, Johns is dedicated to displaying sculpture that reflects the Australian landscape. Wavering Circle, made from Austen (corten) steel to rust naturally in its outdoor environment, is what the artist calls a “fractal form.” The circle is not only a cultural symbol found in the art of the Celts, but also central to the intellectual disciplines of physics, geometry, cosmology and mythology.  Greg Johns’ sculpture can be seen in public and private commissions in Bahrain, Japan, New York City, England, Spain, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as in Adelaide and at the Palmer Sculpture Landscape established by Johns in the Adelaide Hills in 2001.

Deb Jones Deb Jones

Deb Jones is currently the production manager at the Jam Factory Contemporary Craft and Design Studio in Adelaide, having earlier served as commissions manager. Her relationship with Jam Factory dates back to 1992 when she started as a design associate. Deb worked closely with the owners of The Louise to conceive, execute and install the 28,000 individual pieces of glass that make up the visual aspect of the runnel water feature in the property’s courtyard. Approximately 20,000 of the “glass rocks’ were machine finished, while Deb and a team of six Jam Factory apprentices individually blew and shaped by hand the remaining 8,000 clear stones. The entire team arrived in Marananga in late July 2006 to personally install the glass into the newly completed runnel. Comments on her most recent exhibition work “Some things are better said in another way. I like that objects are silent and I like that glass has a depth you can’t touch”.

Diana Laidlaw Diana Laidlaw

Adelaide Hills artist Diana Laidlaw imaginatively interprets the age-old tradition of mosaic, giving the medium an unusual twist that often redefines an outdoor landscape. Her signature poles make strong and thoughtful, individual statements.   Diana hand paints many of the tiles she then cuts to size in her former shearing shed in the Barossa.  With these tiles as well as glass, metal, mirror, minerals and found objects, she builds unique mosaic poles that create a special sense of place.

Catherine Fitz-Gerald Catherine Fitz-Gerald

Catherine Fitz-Gerald is a prominent Adelaide artist recognized for her masterful skill in handling the colour and luminosity of food, particularly fruit.  Her vibrant oil paintings celebrate the inherent beauty of food throughout the seasons.  Kate’s compositions invite viewers to find joy in the lush abundance of the harvest and elicit memories of family gardens, favourite recipes and changing seasons.  They serve as a reminder of times when we stepped from sizzling summer to dappled shade and, on tiptoe, plucked fruit warm from the sun.  That first luscious bite with juice dripping down your chin; the memory of which can make your mouth water even now, is a celebration of the simple joys of life.  Kate has participated in many group and solo exhibitions to great success; her work held in private collections in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Los Angeles.  Her most recent series “Before the Wine” celebrates the rich winemaking heritage of South Australia.

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Kristel Britcher Kristel Britcher

Kristel completed an Honorary degree at the University of South Australia in 2007 and since graduating has been developing her art practice. Her current work explores the notion of place within the context of spaces and the way in which we encounter and respond to space. Through sculptural blown glass forms Kristel explores the effects of tone and surface texture to represent depth and distance. Kristel’s work has pride of place in Appellation – ‘Cumulus Lucis’ or cloud of light – a collection of 84 glass blown bulbs, is suspended aglow from the ceiling, enchanting diners and visitors.

Click here to see a video of the ‘Cumulus Lucis’ being created, with a commentary by Louise owner Jim Carreker.

Shane Pickett Shane Pickett

Shane Pickett was one of the foremost Nyoongar artists. Combining his deep knowledge and concern for Nyoongar culture with a confident and individual style, Mr. Pickett created paintings that resonated with a profound but subtle immediacy. Balancing innovation with tradition, modernity with an ancient spirituality, Pickett created a complex visual metaphor for the persistence of Nyoongar culture against the colonising tide of modernity. “The six seasons hold all the important values for the Nyoongar people in more ways than the imagination can probably envisage.” The six seasons are a central subject matter for Pickett, who believed that understanding them is an opportunity to promote, represent and embody cultural knowledge as it relates to country and self. Unlike the European calendar which divides the annual rotation of the Earth around the Sun into four seasons, Pickett has translated the understanding of the Nyoongar people of Australia’s outback into visual imagery of their weather-dominant celebration of six seasonal cycles of the year.

Nick Mount Nick Mount

Nick Mount, one of Australia’s pre-eminent glass artists, has been a leading figure in the studio glass movement since the early 1970s.  Initially employed to assist American glass artist Richard Marquis, who had worked at the renowned Venini factory in Murano, Mount was fascinated by the unknowable nature of glass and challenged by the degree of skill required to work with it.  In a career spanning four decades, his work has combined virtuoso technique with a keen instinct for design.  His “Plum on Corten,” displayed prominently in Appellation restaurant, is an example of Mount’s practice of freely adapting traditional Venetian decorative styles to his own distinctive sculptural approach.  With each new series, Mount continues to realize new levels of technical and individual artistic achievement.  His work is represented in many major public and private collections, including state galleries and the National Gallery of Australia, and he is recognised for his commissions, teaching and exhibitions in Australia, Europe, South America, the United States and Japan.

Rod Schubert Rod Schubert

A collection of graphics on loan from renowned South Australian artist Rod Schubert is hung in Appellation. Born in the Barossa in 1946 and a descendent of original Barossa settlers, Mr. Schubert has spent a lifetime painting and working in the beautiful hills above Tanunda. He initiated the Queen of Clubs corporate logo and art series labels for Peter Lehmann Wines, whose Eight Songs release was adapted from a suite of Rod Schubert paintings depicting England’s “Mad King,” George III. Since commencing full time painting in 1970, Mr. Schubert has participated in nearly one-hundred solo and group exhibitions in London and across Australia, and is represented in more than seventy corporate and private collections across the globe.

Brenden Scott French Brenden Scott French

An accomplished South Australian artist working in glass whose work has been included in exhibitions across Australia, French has written that he finds the craft of hot glass working an incredibly humbling and fulfilling practice.  “To work with molten material that cools rapidly once out of the controlled atmosphere of the furnace,” he writes, “requires direct and quick thinking.”  French investigates random, rotational and horizontal colour in pieces that are increasingly innovative and complex.  Engine – the crossing, 2008, the kiln-formed, wall hung piece in Appellation, demonstrates in abstraction a drive through the landscape, capturing fragmented memories of the journey.  The patchwork effect is carefully layered and assembled to develop a distinctive pattern and form.  Careful consideration of medium and technique is characteristic of the artist’s work, with a lively interplay between formal technical elements and expressive painterly effects.

Kate Briscoe Kate Briscoe

Sydney-based artist Kate Briscoe, born in England in 1944, has an impressive exhibition CV, exhibiting consistently throughout Australia over the last four decades with more than thirty solo shows and over seventy group exhibitions to her credit. She has been a finalist in both the Blake and Wynne Prizes and her work is held in numerous collections including the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, NSW Government House, and Parliament House in Canberra. Ms. Briscoe continues to explore the limestone rock walls of the Geikie Gorge at the edge of the Kimberley. This is a landscape of weathered rock, tall cliffs and fault lines forced by the harsh geography of the region. Her work has always been concerned with textures, layers of history and the land. Hers is not the landscape of leafy trees and ephemeral beauty; but the harsh geology of bedrock that is weathered and worn, blasted with the winds and rains of time. This way of seeing the land is getting down to its very essence, knowing the real character of a place without the visual distractions of flora and fauna. Briscoe’s tribute to this sublime, harsh beauty is seen in paintings that are richly textured, built up with thick pigment which has then been scrubbed back, as though buffeted by the elements and by time…just as the land itself.

Erin Keys Erin Keys

Appellation’s dining room alcove features a wall-mounted, black powder-coated metal sculpture by Sydney artist Erin Keys that guests can visually enjoy from varying angles.  Erin graduated in Jewellery and Object Design from Enmore Design Centre and established her practice in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.  She has exhibited nationally while working as a production assistant for Sydney based contemporary jewellers, including Dinosaur Designs.  After travelling in Eastern Europe, taking up residence for a time in Bosnia Herzegovina, Erin joined the Metal Design Studio at the Jam Factory in Adelaide in 2008.  She explains that her drawings for jewellery, from which the Appellation sculpture was adapted, transform into contemporary sculptural forms that reference movement and mark making.

Matthew Curtis Matthew Curtis

England born artist Matthew Curtis currently resides in Sydney. He is a 2003 winner (the only artist working with glass to be so considered) of the National Sculpture Prize awarded by the National Gallery, Australia, and a hot glass instructor as well as production artist. Matthew Curtis began his career in glass blowing under the guidance of renowned artist Robert Wynne in the early 1990s. He continues to explore the techniques of blowing glass and cold working the surfaces in current work that includes constructed bowls, segmented structures and grid vessels. Curtis explains, “The subtlety of the surface, rich in tonality and opacity accentuates both the form and minimalism of the piece.” The crisp lines of his work highlight his skill in creating glass pieces with immediate impact. More than a decade of practice has seen Curtis produce work of the finest craftsmanship and finish. He has earned a reputation in the contemporary glass field as one of Australia’s most exciting and committed artists.

Brian Hirst Brian Hirst

Sydney-based artist Brian Hirst combines various techniques for working with glass including casting, blowing into a mould, free-blowing, gilding, cutting, engraving and acid etching to produce forms reminiscent of ancient ritual vessels.  Typically citing a historical reference point, Mr. Hirst includes his own symbolic imagery to develop works in a contemporary context.  A leading figure in the Australian studio glass movement, Brian Hirst creates distinctive hand-blown pieces deceptively simple in form, but with extremely rich graphic surfaces.  The galleries in New York, Europe and Australia that exhibit his work are aware of the historical and cultural material that informs it – the history of studio glass, organic objects, and Japanese aesthetics.  His use of gold and silver lustres resembles the iridescent surfaces of classical Roman glass.  This surface technique is well illustrated in the vessel displayed at Appellation.

Jane Lovett Wells Jane Lovett Wells

Professional artist and teacher, Jane Lovett Wells sketched and photographed throughout the Barossa during the summer of 2005 in preparation for a body of work commissioned for guest suites at The Louise. A personal friend of the owners, Ms. Wells holds a BFA in studio art from the University of Texas, USA, and continues her dual careers as painter and art teacher. Ms. Wells frequently takes her camera, sketchbook and canvases out into the bright Texas sunlight in order to paint ordinary scenes transformed by that light. “As you can see in my paintings, I am attracted to simple structures casting long shadows from the afternoon sun. As a painter, I am a visual communicator, and it has always been a challenge for me to translate the quality and purpose of my paintings into words.”

Jo Wilson Jo Wilson

Creator of one-of-a-kind timber bases, focusing on solid natural materials, clean lines and the basic fundamentals relating to structural elements found in sculpture. She seeks in her work to raise the spirit with uniquely textured and contoured pieces, as no two are the same. Her bases enhance the rawness of the wood grain surface; natural splits and weathering of the material. Hand finishing and detailing strengthen their timelessness. Each work is unique; hand finished and made of solid Australian timber. She uses predominantly recycled timbers sourced from old wharfs and construction sites. The champagne cork shaped bases placed in guest suites at The Louise and in the lounge bar at Appellation are made of Blackbutt, a very hard native wood found in abundance throughout Australia.

Mark Thiele Mark Thiele

Glass artist Mark Thiele continues a growing tradition of great South Australian glassmaking. Growing up in nearby Murray Bridge, South Australia, he has stayed connected to the Adelaide area for his entire career, even though his works are exhibited the world over. His production vases, bowls and platters are sold through the Jam Factory in Adelaide, Thiele notes that his inspiration comes from the rich, striking colours found in the rugged outback of Australia. He has strong interest in the environment and has participated in exhibitions focused on community responsibility and compassion in the context of the Australian socio-political climate.

Catherine Aldrete-Morris Catherine Aldrete-Morris

A visual artist in glass with a diverse background of professional development including Alternative Medicine and Pattern making in the Fashion Industry, graduating from the University of South Australia in 2002.  Catherine has been awarded several arts funding grants in support of her art practice in creating kiln formed glass sculpture, which has enabled her to exhibit and attend glass conferences and workshops internationally and undertake a residency in Milan in 2008. Catherine’s glass forms are steeped in abstraction. The objects have evolved from flat-ware; bowl-like vessels, sculptural verticals to the current representations. It is Catherine’s intention to produce structures that invoke an emotional response. The aesthetic is predominantly block patterned colour, texture and multiple layers, which counter pose the simplicity of the object.