Artists Of The Month March 2021: Artists Exhibiting at the Be Brave Art Space - two exhibitions; 

The Nature of Things and Artful Reflections

Tina Berkeley, founder of the Be Brave Art Space at the Gallery on Saturday February 26th, 2021

A J Guesdon photo

Be Brave Artspace is a community based art gallery that showcases original art by emerging and established artists. Established in 2017 and located in Avalon, its conception came from an idea that grew out of a love of all things creative.

The space hosts one or two new exhibitions each month of the year. 

On street level is a light, spacious gallery delivering dynamic exhibitions of local and other Sydney based artists. Downstairs is an extension of the gallery plus a workshop and studio for creators to teach and to come and be bold and fearless.

This is a space where artists can exhibit, create, connect and be inspired.

After a Summer hiatus, impacted by Covid lockdowns, Tina Berkeley, founder of the Be Brave Art Space reopened the doors on Saturday February 27th.

The gallery and studio will host two Exhibitions through March, The Nature of Things, February 27th to March 14th 2021, and Artful Reflections, March 20th to April 5th 2021.

The Nature of Things features works by Peter Porteous, Tony Hooke, Robyn Biviano and Russell Carey.

Artful Reflections  is a group exhibition by three artists – Dianne Bradley, Anna McClure and Anne Kearne.

All Artists works may also be viewed online at the Be Brave Art Space website:

Opening hours: Mon-Wed Closed | Thurs/Fri 11.00-3.00 | Sat/Sun 10.00-4.00

The gallery is located just past the main Avalon shops. Travel north along Barrenjoey Road, and turn right at Careel Head Road (turn just past the small set of shops on the right). You will see the signs for the gallery, not far from the main corner.

5-7 Careel Head Road, North Avalon.

The Nature Of Things

The Nature of Things features the works by four incredible artists who come together to explore the nature of things.

Peter Porteous

Peter was born in Sydney and has lived there for most of his life. He is a full-time artist and writer. He has been a soldier and educator and is now a casual academic with a Sydney university. 

Peter attended Meadowbank TAFE graduating with majors in painting and drawing. His teachers were Jocelyn Maughan, Robin Norling and Michael Kempson.

His work includes figure studies in pencil and crayon. His major works are landscapes and figurative works in oils and acrylics. Peter has drawn from his extensive travels and varied life experiences to shape his work and has exhibited widely in Australia. His work is in collections in Australia, Europe and the United States.


Red dawn, 46X61 -oil on canvas by Peter Porteous                                                                      Moonrise, 99X68 oil-on-canvas by Peter Porteous

Peter’s use of negative space and the dissonance of his line work draws the viewer into his conversation about the Australian landscape. In his lyrical deconstruction of those uniquely Australian forms he attempts to develop a deeper understanding of the mystical and spiritual objects found in the bush. His use of colour compliments the elemental shapes found on his canvases and places him in the great tradition of Australian abstract expressionists.

Tony Hooke

These works are largely based on my wanderings around an area of bushland north of Goulburn where I established a studio a few years ago.

A particular focus has been the Turrallo Creek and its path through the surrounding tussock flats and woodlands.

The works reflect an ongoing fascination with the landscape under low light as it accentuates its abstract qualities and creates a heightened sense of mystery. 

The romance of the waterhole, a jewel in the landscape, is a recurring theme. 

Highland Stream by Tony Hooke

Golden Pond by Tony Hooke

The medium used is egg tempera.

The concept of making my own paint as required for each work with a natural binder, such as egg yolk, and mostly naturally occurring pigments is a satisfying one. 

It seems right that many of the pigments used in these works are soil derived.

Other examples of my work can be found on my web site

Robyn Biviano

Robyn studied at the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW and has a Bachelor in Art Education. 

As an artist who loves the immediacy of drawing with charcoal, the group of works exhibited in “The Nature of Things” came from a change in direction prompted by the disruption of 2020.

Change to routine meant that there was time to experiment with new ways of drawing. The search for new ways to make marks led to using claybord and scratching lines through glazed layers of acrylic paint for tonal variation. Repetition of line is also explored using acrylic paint pens over painted layers in the floral works. Enjoying fluid lines and looking for the negative space.

The subject matter comes purely from the backyard because as many of us have experienced this year, we had to get very familiar with our immediate surroundings. These include chickens, moths and flowers, all looked at with a slow, studying eye. 


                                                         Chrysanthemums by Robyn Biviano                                                                                                               Ancona Feathers by Robyn Biviano

Robyn has been a finalist in the Hornsby Art Prize (Highly Commended 2017), Hunters Hill Art Prize and won the Hornsby Art Society Figurative Prize in 2016.

Robyn currently runs Art classes for children after school, gives private classes in her studio, coordinates Epping Life Drawing Group and wrangles her own 3 high school aged children.

Russell Carey

With this latest body of work I have moved away from my usual, slightly disturbed figurative images to experiment with some new materials and the well worn genre of flower painting. 

The positives from Covid, especially for artists has been an opportunity to pause, evaluate, take stock and contemplate future directions.

Let’s hope those with more power and influence are doing likewise.

Rose, 430mm-x-550mm, oil-paint-and-metallic-leaf-on-aluminium-composite-panel by Russell Carey

Lillies, Oil-on-hardboard, 1220x670mm by Russell Carey

Education and Experience

1990-present Scenic artist, Scenografic Studio, Sydney

2010-present Contributing artist/designer, Simcox Design

1998-2001 Tutor in Scenic Art National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Sydney

1990 Artist in Residence, Cobblestone, Dublin

1988 Artist in Residence, Barunga, NT

1986-1990 Trainee-Scenic Art with Opera Australia and Rod Clarke, Scenografic Studio, Sydney

1983-1986 Diploma in Fine Art (Painting, Photography and Printmaking), National Artschool, Sydney

1983 Trainee-Screenprinting with Michael Callahan, Redback Graphics

1983 Certificate Photography, Jalapa, Vera Cruz, Mexico

1978-1982 Trade certificate in signwriting, Sydney