Friends Events Program

Upcoming Events

Friends’ End of Year Celebration

Steven Harvey Finn’s Raft (Ever and Ever) 2007-08, oil on polyester, 184 x 145 cm, Private collection Install image: Rob Little


Please join us for our final Friends’ Night of the year as we wrap up the program with joy and merriment.

Please bring along a share plate of your favourite festive dish!

Lucky door raffle supported by Clonakilla Wines.

Tickets are available at the door for non-members
$5 students / $10 General


Previous Events

Friends’ wine tasting excursion to Clonakilla

Sunday 3 November 2pm

Image: Clonakilla

Sign up for the Drill Hall Gallery Friends’ group visit to Clonakilla Cellar Door in Murrumbateman NSW. The group will meet at the Cellar Door at 1:45pm.

Please email Lucy to RSVP:

October Friends’ Night with Paul McGee and Russell Smith: The fuss about Finnegan’s Wake Friday 25 October 5:30pm-7:30pm

Join us for another wonderful Friday evening with old friends and new. Paul McGee and Russell Smith will join us as special guests and give us insight into all the fuss about Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce.

Finnegan’s Wake is widely regarded as an epic, unreadable masterpiece of English literature. As such, it has gathered the committed obsession of many scholars in their attempts to unravel the text and assign meaning amidst the lyrical semantic flux. Paul McGee and Russell Smith are some such scholars! Reading any passage from Finnegan’s Wake is a dream-like journey best travelled with friends. We invite you to join us for a reading from Paul and Russell and a recap of the hilarious antics from their Bloomsday event earlier in the year which celebrated the Wake.

“It was in Dublin that Mr. Joyce learned how to let language run away with him in an attempt to set down the only life he has ever come to know. It would seem that every sight and sound and word of Dublin must go on releasing itself as in a river of memory flowing, and that every device of language must be employed to get the immense joke that it is for him out of his consciousness. To name but a few of these we have rhyming slang, analogical formation, onomatopoeia, puns in seven languages, spoonerisms, mergers, echoes and a great deal of pure nonsense; but the essential material of all, no matter what language they may flow into or out of, is Dublin.” – Review of Finnegan’s Wake, June 3rd, 1939. Source: The Irish Times. Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 13:40.

Paul Magee studied in Melbourne, Moscow, San Salvador and Sydney. He writes poetry, experimental prose and humanities scholarship — the latter ranges from the study of poetic composition across to the philosophy of knowledge and critiques of neoliberalism.

Russell Smith is a lecturer in English literature at The ANU who specialises in English and Irish modernist literature. Russell’s most recent research focuses on the work of Samuel Beckett.

We have a monthly nibbles potluck on Friends’ Night, bring a share plate if you can and come boast about your recipe!

Lucky door raffle supported by Clonakilla Wines.

Tickets are available at the door for non-members
$5 students / $10 General



September Friends’ night with Miroslav Bukovsky and surprise accompaniment Friday 27 September 5:30 – 7:30pm

Join us for our next monthly Friends’ get together in the gallery with wine, food and engaging conversation.

Miroslav Bukovsky and guest artist will engage and enthrall you in wondrous sounds of jazz in the Drill Hall’s superb acoustic environment surrounded by the seminal artworks of Savahndary Vongpoothorn . Miro will be bringing a surprise guest accompaniment on the night for us.

Miroslav was instrumental in forming Ten Part Invention with John Pochee and Roger Frampton in 1986 and is still active as a composer and a player in this band. He formed Wanderlust in 1991. In 1999 he joined the Jazz faculty at ANU School of Music where he has taught trumpet, composition, arranging, and improvisation.

This is a night to catch up with old friends and new. We are looking forward to seeing you.

We have a monthly nibbles potluck on Friends’ Night, bring a share plate if you can and come boast about your recipe!

Lucky door raffle supported by Clonakilla Wines.

August Friends’ Night with guests Chaitanya Sambrani, Rebecca Blake and exhibiting artist Savanhdary Vongpoothorn Friday 30 August 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Join us for an evening of good conversation on Savanhdary Vongpoothorn’s survey show – All that arises. On this night we will launch the September Issue of Art Monthly with an in depth discussion between the curator Chaitanya Sambrani and art writer Rebecca Blake whose piece will be published in this issue.

We have arrange a special offer to our Friends’ Members on this issue of Art Monthly.

We have a monthly nibbles potluck on Friends’ Night, bring a share plate if you can and come boast about your recipe!

Lucky door raffle supported by Clonakilla Wines.

Tickets are available at the door for non-members
$5 students / $10 General

Friends’ Night with special dance performance by REVEL Friday 26 July 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Join us for an evening of dance and interpretation as Canberra Dance Theatre’s Contemporary Performance Group REVEL present their response to the performative paintings of Ildiko Kovacs in The DNA of Colour.

Revel dance Group from the Canberra Dance Theatre present a special performance titled ‘ripple’, for members of the Drill Hall Gallery Friends Group. Ripple is a response flowing from the paintings in The DNA of Colour.

“The DNA code is a metaphor for the way these paintings unfold and move with colour, sparked by an excavation of inner feelings and intuition…Rippling is a term that scientists used to describe the movement of gravitational waves first discovered as ‘ripples in the fabric of space-time’ by Albert Einstein in 1905-08.” – Sioux Garside

REVEL was established in 2017 under the leadership of Jacqui Simmonds. There is a strong focus on working inclusively, collaboratively and with much merriment, as participants explore a range of starting points for movement generation and manipulation. Group members come from diverse backgrounds. Some have been dancing since childhood, others have discovered the pleasures and benefits of dance in later life. Most recently REVEL performed at Art Not Apart, exploring some of New Acton’s walls, stairs and walkways.

Since 1978 Canberra Dance Theatre has taught, shared, created and performed dance in Canberra. CDT’s origins lie with Graham Farquhar who formed the National University Dance Ensemble (NUDE) at the ANU in 1970. In 1978 a new organisation was created, Canberra Dance Ensemble, with Stephanie Burridge becoming the first Artistic Director. In 1989 the name was changed to Canberra Dance Theatre to better reflect the house theatrical style. CDT currently offers a range of dance classes and performance opportunities for ages 16+. CDT is the home of GOLD (dancers 55 years+) and the CDTeens (a group of young people with special needs).

We have a monthly nibbles potluck on Friends’ Night, bring a share plate if you can and come boast about your recipe!

Lucky door raffle supported by Clonakilla Wines.

Tickets are available at the door for non-members
$5 students / $10 General

Friends’ Night Friday 28 June 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Special classical guitar recital from ANU School of Music graduate Sidney Brian.

Join us for a wistful and wondrous evening with a classical guitar performance from ANU School of Music Alumnus Sidney Brien.

A passionate young performer, Sidney Brien’s goal is simple – to share the joy of music with audiences through intimate, captivating performances. A graduate of the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where he was the first guitarist to ever be awarded the Helen Court Award for ‘most outstanding graduating musician’, he is now based in Canberra, having completed Honours (first class) in performance under Timothy Kain at the Australian National University.

Friends’ visit to Oscar Capezio’s solo exhibition Sunday 23 June 3:30pm – 5pm

Join us for an exclusive artist talk with our Oscar, at Tributary Projects. Oscar Capezio is the ANU Art Collection Assistant Curator and part of our team here at the Drill Hall Gallery.

Please join us for closing drinks of his solo exhibition in Gallery 2 at Tributary Projects Artspace, at the Molongolo Mall, Fyshwick. Some of you may already be familiar with this small artist and volunteer run space, however here is some information about the space.

Real Classy

Real Classy is an exhibition of new paintings by Oscar Capezio. These large-scale abstract works capture an inspiring vantage of the contemporary landscape, providing breathtaking views dotted with scenes of artistic sensibility and style. Complete and value-packed, these paintings offer a modern well-built surface that is sleek in minimalist styling and a subdued palate. Catering to the most discerning viewer, every detail of this property has been considered and reconstructed in line with its original character, providing peace of mind for those looking to invest in something truly special. Real estate like this speaks for itself – your answer to convenient living in one rectangular form after another. A rare offering of paintings that must be inspected to be genuinely appreciated… Unique Investment Opportunity! We encourage you to see it for yourself before it’s too late.

Oscar Capezio is an artist/curator and painter who labours and lives in Canberra. He makes exhibitions and objects to trace about the dilemmas of being an artist in the world, playing the viewer and staying warm. Oscar completed his studies at the ANU Centre for Art History and Art Theory in 2015 and was awarded the Janet Wilke Prize for Art History. Recently, he curated ‘Painting amongst other things’ at ANCA Gallery and was an ANCA Critic-In-Residence in partnership with Art Monthly Australasia, and has presented two exhibitions for Tributary Projects: ‘Bubble Economies – Luke Brennan’ (2019-G2) and ‘Sometimes things that look awful on the outside look different when you get up close’ (2017_G1). Oscar Capezio is a board-member and volunteer handy-man of Tributary Projects.

Looking forward to catching up at this special event for our members.

Friends’ Night Friday May 31 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Canberra artist Leeanne Crisp will be giving a talk at the May Friends’ evening on her most recent work.

Image: Leeanne Crisp, Immanence, 2018, acrylic on marine ply,1225 x 1220 cm

Leeanne Crisp has been working as a visual artist in Canberra since 1975.  Her work has been a process of composing with elements of the seen world and elements drawn from her experiences.  Themes include place and belonging, the body and sexuality, and colour and meaning. The painter Tim Johnson, described her as a psychological realist.

Career highlights include being in the Dobell, Archibald and Portia Geach Prizes and her work can be seen in the National Portrait Gallery (Marion Halligan and Gay Bilson) and the National Library of Australia (artists books for Judith Wright and Kate Lewellyn). She has won the ANU drawing prize, the Tuggeranong Art Prize and the BDAS Watercolour Prize.

Leeanne has taught at the ANU School of Art (now ANU School of Art & Design) since 1975 until a few years ago and spent time in education with the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery. In recent years she focused on mature aged students entering study in the visual arts.

Some of the issues Leeanne will discuss with the friends are

1. Why draw and paint? What happens? Discussing the ideas of intuition, seeing and recognition.

2. Painting and Poetry. Can they share the same impulses?

Friends’ Gallery Outing 12 May 2019 3pm

Friends of the Drill Hall are invited to meet us for a gallery outing at Tributary Projects to view the latest exhibition and get to know this exciting artists space initiative in Canberra. Enjoy a glass of wine and exclusive artist talks with exhibiting artists Meg Driver and Kael Stasce.

Friends’ Night FRIDAY 26 April 2019 5:30 – 7:30pm

In appreciation of trees with special guest speaker Peter Kanowski

Image: Elizabeth Cross, Monumental Moreton Bay Fig, Botanical Gardens, Sydney, 2009-10, pencil on paper, 66 x 75.5 cm. Collection of the artist.


Friends Night FRIDAY 29 MARCH 2019 5:30 – 7:30pm

With special guest speakers Ruth Waller and Dr David Hansen

Hassall Collection

First Friends Night FRIDAY 22 FEBRURARY 2019 5:30 – 7:30pm

With special guest Geoff Hassall and music performance by Miroslav Bukovsky

Image: 1. Jon Molvig, The Bridesmaids (detail) 1956, oil on masonite, 152.4 x 122 cm. 2. Photograph, The Australian 2015

Festive Friends evening  FRIDAY 30th NOVEMBER  6 – 8pm

Those who are naughty and those who are nice are invited to our 2018 Christmas Party 


October Friends evening FRIDAY 26 5.30 – 7 PM
Please join us for what will be a unique encounter with TWO JUDITHS!

Dr Judith Ajani

Earlier this year, Judith Ajani returned from a semester exchange at the China Academy of Art’s Department of Chinese landscape painting. In this talk, illustrated with her work and photos, Ajani will present a smorgasbord of cross-cultural learning anecdotes. Over her five months in China, she reproduced a painting by Juran, a 10th century Buddhist monk. Ajani spent three weeks outdoor sketching with the Academy in the Cangyan Mountains (Hebei Province), walked in the yellow Mountains (Anhui Province), and visited the Mogao Caves. Judith Ajani will share the compositional elements, and ink and brush techniques she developed in relation to the Song Dynasty. Ajani will present on her introduction to the philosophy embedded in Chinese landscape painting.

Dr Judith Ajani recently graduated from the ANU’s School of Art and Design (painting).

Image 1: Judith Ajani, Study 3, 2018, Ink on paper, 32.5 x 40.0 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Judith White 

One of the best selling books last year in the Drill Hall Gallery’s book shop was Judith White’s Culture Heist. Some Friends of the gallery were so impressed they bought multiple copies to share with other friends.

We are very excited that Judith White will be returning to our Friends evening this Friday, one year after the launch of this brave and very disturbing analysis of the culture wars in our national institutions and she will bring us up to date on subsequent developments.

Don’t forget the Kingsley Street car parking station will be available for you to park between from 5 – 8 pm.

AND SAVE THE DATE – FRIDAY 30 November is our last Members evening for the 2018 & our CHRISTMAS PARTY!

Image: Culture Heist by Judith White

September Friends evening FRIDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 5.30 – 7PM

In 2017 architecture students at the University of Canberra’s Faculty of Arts and Design were set a project, requiring them to design an extension to the ANU Drill Hall Gallery. Their brief was to enhance the precinct, to establish a dedicated space for storage and display of the University’s art collection, and to provide spaces for functions and educational activities. This month enjoy a talk by UC Architecture Student Flynn O’Shaughnessy.

“An extension of the Drill Hall Gallery that evokes human curiosity and interaction. The notion of a stacked gallery experience that does not encroach on the site with a large footprint. A glowing thin tower that captures the sunlight throughout the entire day. A curved stair case that resembles an exaggeration of the Drill Hall’s curved brick interior walls, allowing people to circulate up and down the building. Inside, one experiences views of the University campus and surrounding areas at various levels. A stacked program that is adaptable depending on the needs of the gallery. An opposing negative resides next to the tower, where a tiered water element invites people to enjoy and gawk at this new spectacle.” – Flynn O’Shaughnessy September 2018

Join us for a glass of wine as Flynn explains his unique vision for a new and most innovative gallery space for the Drill Hall Gallery precinct.

August Friends evening FRIDAY 31 AUGUST 5.30 – 7 PM 

Meet your friends and enjoy a musical interlude featuring AJ America.

AJ is a performer, conductor and creative producer. She grew up in Sydney as a member of the Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Voices and has toured nationally as well as across the USA, Canada, China and New Zealand. AJ has recorded for a number of Australian film soundtracks, including as a soloist for PJ Hogan’s Mental and Baz Luhrman’s Australia. In 2012, both her vocal performances and choral composition were nominated for Encore. In 2017, AJ completed her PhB with Honours in History.

AJ performs regularly as a soloist and an ensemble singer and has conducted multiple high-achieving community choirs. She is the Artistic Director and founder of the Luminescence Children’s Choir, and is currently the Musical Director of Canberra Community Chorale. AJ also teaches Vocal Ensemble Studies H-Course at the ANU School of Music, and in her spare time, works as a sessional academic and research assistant at the ANU School of History.

July Friends evening  FRIDAY 27 JULY 5.30 – 7 PM

Our scheduled events, due to unforeseen circumstances, have been cancelled or postponed, so for the July Friends monthly event (Friday 27 July 6pm ) Terence Maloon has offered to step into the breach and re-present a lecture he recently delivered at the Art Gallery of South Australia on July 13. This lecture was related to an exhibition of Impressionist Painting coming from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, currently on show in Adelaide and closing 29 July.

Terence’s lecture was very well received and will appeal to all lovers of Impressionist painting.

Pissaro The Climb, Rue de la Côte-du-Jalet Pontoise 1875 Oil on canvas 54 x 65.7 cm. Collection Brooklyn Museum

June Friends evening  FRIDAY 29 JUNE 5.30 – 7 PM


Discover the Rome of Antiquity with Terence and Friends 


May Friends evening Friday 25 May 5.30 – 7pm


My central interest is in the interaction of anthropogenic environments and human beings. Through a broad range of media, with a focus on experimental material processes, I make work that questions the artificial landscapes and interior spaces we are encouraged to accept as standard.

As a maker who deals in human-scale objects, not office towers, I have no power to directly alter this environment; rather, I propose alternatives. Through speculative, materially ambiguous, often slightly unsteady objects I ask why the homogenous, textureless, sometimes inhuman facades of contemporary cityscapes should be considered normal, when the materials and forms common to them can result in such diversity.

Nyx Mathews – Artist Statement, 2018




In 2017 architecture students at the University of Canberra’s Faculty of Arts and Design were set a project, requiring them to design an extension to the ANU Drill Hall Gallery. Their brief was to enhance the precinct, to establish a dedicated space for storage and display of the University’s art collection, and to provide spaces for functions and educational activities. Nine of these projects have been selected for exhibition at the Drill Hall Gallery.


April  Friends evening  Friday 27 April 5.30-7 pm


Andrew Litten makes art that does not  appear ambitious or aspirational. He  challenges the idea of creating art as a potential commodity. So, he chooses humble, unartlike domestic materials often drawn with a biro on note paper or old envelops, shopping bags, cardboard boxes, irregular bits of wood and furniture, to represent the transient incidental moments of life.

Updated:  7 November 2019/ Responsible Officer:  DHG Director/ Page Contact:  Drill Hall Gallery