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Darren Knight Gallery
840 Elizabeth Street
Waterloo NSW 2017
Sydney, Australia   map * 
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I can still remember how to speak
by Darren Knight Gallery
Location: Darren Knight Gallery
Artist(s): Rob MCHAFFIE
Date: 3 May - 31 May 2014

In 2011 Rob McHaffie took up an Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in Malaysia, after which he lived for a period of time in Thailand, returning to Melbourne in 2013. While in Thailand McHaffie started making cut paper works influenced by shadow puppets and temple paintings. Since returning to Melbourne he has continued making these cut paper collages and they have acted as preliminary ‘sketches’ for the paintings in this exhibition. 

‘I would cut up Thai vogue magazines and recompose them to make pictures of people who struck me during our time in Bangkok. Now, the characters and scenes I paint have taken on a puppet kind of look and have become more similar to people you see around where we now live in Brighton, Melbourne.’

I can still remember how to speak continues McHaffie’s interest in portraiture of characters both real and imagined and an engagement with themes of personal healing, human relationships and the foibles of contemporary life. 

Rob McHaffie has been shortlisted for the 2014 Basil Sellers Art Prize, which will open at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne in July 2014. He has been the recipient of several awards and residencies including the Art & Australia / Credit Suisse Private Banking Contemporary Art Award (2012). In 2011 McHaffie was awarded an Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia and in 2007 he was a recipient of a Cité Internationale des Arts Residency, Paris, France.

McHaffie’s most recent solo exhibitions include Farang Mak, Brett McDowell Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand (2013) and Let’s see how we go, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney (2012). His work is regularly included in group exhibitions including, Volume One: MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2012-2014), Art & Australia Collection 2003 - 2013, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre Sydney, MOP Projects, Sydney and Newcastle Art Gallery, (2012-2013), Paintings of Steve’s Paintings, St Heliers St Gallery, Melbourne (2012), Model Pictures: James Lynch, Amanda Marburg, Rob McHaffie, Moya McKenna, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne (2011), Art for Nature, Rimbun Dahan Gallery, Selangor, Malaysia (2011) and Primavera 06 - Exhibition of Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2006). 

His work is held in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne, and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. 

*image (left)
courtesy of the artist and Darren Knight Gallery 

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