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Bert Flugelman retrospective opens at UOW Library

Exhibition displays variety and scope of renowned artist

A new exhibition, developed by University of Wollongong Library, moves beyond the monumental public works that Bert Flugelman is arguably best known for, to explore his multi-faceted character and constant evolution as an artist.

Wry ARTificer features many items from UOW Archives, the UOW Art Collection and private collections that display the variety and scope of Bert’s artistic practice. Included are early paintings and sketches from the 1950s and 1960s, an example of Bert’s maquettes, Double Spiral, and the ceramic work, Lady Pot, from 1993, alongside exploration of his performance art, installations and Earthworks.

The exhibition was officially opened on Saturday 10 November with Federal Court judge The Hon Justice John Edward Griffiths and artist Ken Orchard, both long-time friends of Bert and his family, speaking at the launch.

Bert’s relationship with UOW began in the early 1980s, when he was engaged as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Creative Arts. He was instrumental in establishing the University’s sculpture studio and there are a number of his works installed in and around the University grounds.

UOW Archives holds a significant collection of records created and collected by Bert Flugelman, along with many items from a more recent donation by the Flugelman Estate, following his passing in 2013.

More than 2000 of these items can now be viewed via UOW Library’s Archives Online, which also includes a number of specially commissioned 3D models of prominent local sculptures, created for this exhibition and providing a new way to view and engage with these works.

“The affinity continues through this collection, connecting and contextualising the artworks proudly displayed and installed across campus,” said UOW Archives Manager Grant White.

UOW Library Services Director Margie Jantti said the Flugelman Collection at UOW Archives documents a significant Australian artist both personally and through the development of his practise over time.

“The archive is comprehensive both in terms of the time period covered, but also in relation to the breadth of materials, including photographs, correspondence, diaries, sketches and drawings,” Ms Jantti said.

UOW Library Exhibitions Coordinator Phillippa Webb curated the exhibition and has conducted extensive research of publications and historical accounts, conducted interviews with many of Bert’s past colleagues, collaborators and students, and worked closely with the Bert Flugelman Estate, primarily Bert’s daughter Kay, to deliver substantial collective insight into Bert’s artistic mind.

“There are so many aspects of Bert’s life and art to explore. In this instance we have focussed on his early works and development, aiming to provide a broader context for the latter large scale public sculptures, as well as rich insight into Bert as an artist beyond these well-known works,” Mrs Webb said.

Main photo above: Bert Flugelman's widow Rosemary, The Hon. Justice John Griffiths and artist Guy Warren in front of Warren's Archibald Prize winning portrait of Bert. Picture: Paul Jones, UOW

Flugelman exhibition - collageScenes from the opening of the Wry ARTificer exhibition at the UOW Library's Panizzi Gallery. Pictures: Paul Jones



Exhibition: Wry ARTificer is on show at the Panizzi Gallery, University of Wollongong Library, until 31 March 2019. Open 10am to 5pm daily excluding Monday 24 December 2018 to Tuesday 1 January 2019 during Christmas closure period.

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