The Radical Familiar reinvigorates the traditions of still life and interior portrait with a fresh, dreamy and intimate collection of works by five contemporary artists: Anna May Henry, Jordy Kerwick, Eytan Messiah, Shanti Shea-An & Thomas John Whelan. Drawing on traditions rich with history and symbolism, each artist interprets the conventional approaches to still life and interiors in alluring and innovative ways.

Exhibition Dates: 16 – 26 May 2018
Opening: Wednesday 16 May 2018, 6 – 8pm RSVP


There is something familiar and inviting about the works in The Radical Familiar, but also uncertain. They satisfy the audiences need for home, belonging and comfort, but also challenge their expectations of a recognisable world. From the abstracted, flattened areas in Shea-An’s interiors to Messiah’s “simulated indoor spaces” – it is unclear whether they have drawn from a living moment or a distant dream.

The Radical Familiar opens on Wednesday 16 May, 6 – 8pm and continues until Saturday 26 May 2018.


Anna May Henry
Born 1995, Nowra NSW
Lives and works in Sydney, NSW

Anna May Henry is a promising recent graduate from the National Art School, Sydney. Henry’s practice centres on still life painting from an observation-based studio practice. Her paintings focus on native Australian flora and reflect her interest in the unique aesthetics, sense of identity and symbolism of the Australian landscape. Her paintings play with mark-making and a diversity of paint application that negotiate the fundamentals of painting.

Jordy Kerwick
Born 1982, Melbourne, VIC
Lives and works between Daylesford and Melbourne, VIC

Jordy Kerwick has captured the attention of art dealers, collectors & curators across the world. In the last 2 years, Kerwick has exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Connecticut, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Cologne, Hamburg, Brisbane and his hometown of Melbourne.

Kerwick attributes part of his success to the power of Instagram, where he has a substantial following – and it’s growing daily. It’s there that he’s connected and made friends with other artists which has fuelled his love of painting with the exchange of images and ideas.

Raw. Worn. Beaten, but loved. Life, stripped bare. Amid the chaos of family life lies a feeling of safety and comfort that I try to replicate in my work. Drawing on my collection of imagery of cultural markings and people, places and things, I like to explore beauty in its most organic and real state; stripping back the layers to reveal a subject in its most truthful state. – Jordy Kerwick

Eytan Messiah
Born 1981
Lives and works in Sydney, NSW

Eytan Messiah on his art practice;

“My art practice has generally seemed to loiter around the same material and aesthetic compulsions; relatively impatient mark-making, clumsily trying to echo some sort of meticulously crafted object. I’ve never strayed too far from painting, printmaking and hand-built ceramics. This collection of paintings converges at an exploration of the simulated indoor space. A stage set of sorts with props instead of furniture or maybe something like the feeling of walking into a display home. The objects in the rooms are interchangeable and dreamy and nothing is fixed.”

Shanti Shea-An
Born 1993, Adelaide, SA
Lives and works in Canberra, ACT

Shanti Shea-An graduated from the Australian National University School of Art and Design in 2016 with first class Honours where she studied painting. Since graduating, her work has centred around a range of pictorial and metaphorical concerns within the practice of painting, including the tension between figuration and abstraction, personal versus public space as well as the role of flatness within representation. Her work often looks to interior spaces, still life arrangements and portraiture as a way of considering these questions and how they can be used to interrogate not only her individual experience of the world but, more widely, cultural perceptions surrounding intimacy, interiority and narrative within images.

Thomas John Whelan
Born 1991, Sydney, NSW
Lives and works in Sydney, NSW

Thomas John Whelan is a Sydney based artist working primarily in painting and drawing. In 2015, Whelan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the National Art School, Sydney.

At the core of Whelan’s current practice is capturing intimate moments in his Lavender Bay studio. In Whelan’s paintings, the honey glow of summer, the glistening harbour and Wendy Whitely’s garden enter the space by windows and doors left slightly ajar. Through the harmonious dance of rich, warm colours his works joyously reflect the light and tranquility of summer mornings, when the outside world encroaches on the interior stillness.


The Radical Familiar opens on Wednesday 16 May, 6 – 8pm and continues until Saturday 26 May 2018.

Feel free to contact us on (02) 9660 7799 or [email protected] if you are interested in seeing all available work by artists in The Radical Familiar.

The Radical Familiar is proudly sponsored by Tanqueray


Anna May Henry
, Dried banksia on milk crate (2018), 
Oil on canvas, 
91.5 x 71cm
Jordy Kerwick, Left - Johnny #1 (2018), Acrylic, charcoal and enamel on canvas, 60 x 50cm  Right - Hybrid Inca lily (2018), Oil, enamel, charcoal and acrylic on board, 60 x 50cm, Image courtesy Ruby Castagnet
Eytan Messiah, Gadjo dream II (2018) Acrylic, gouache, ink and pencil on paper, 56 x 76cm
Shanti Shea-An, Sporadic ritual (a window or a picture) (2018), oil on canvas, 90 x 80cm
Thomas John Whelan, Blue canary (storm sequence) (2018), acrylic on Arches paper, 76 x 56cm
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