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ARTISTS | Ian Friend


From his studio in Ipswich, Queensland, Ian Friend creates subtle and evocative works on paper using pigment, ink and gouache. With a fascination for alchemy between materials and an obsession with hand-made art papers, sourced worldwide, Friend’s works are made from the finest materials and developed using techniques which have been refined over many decades. Though materiality is an integral part of his practice, his works also reflect a rich engagement with jazz, poetry and architecture. Friend has developed work in response to contemporary poet Jeremy Prynne, and with composer Martin Freidel, among others.

Born in Eastbourne, England, Friend migrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1985 and has since lectured in drawing and painting in several Australian universities while maintaining his art practice and exhibiting in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Friend is represented in numerous international public collections, among them The British Museum and Tate Gallery, London, Arts Council of Great Britain. Within Australia he is represented at the Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Australia and the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston plus a host of university and regional galleries around the country.



Musica Callada | Ian Friend

Musica Callada. Silent Music. Quiet Music. Secret Music. Shy Music. Circumspect Music. Music Without Sound “La Musica Callada, la Soledad Sonora” “Silent Music, Resonant Solitude” San Juan de la Cruz
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Gallerysmith launches its 2023 exhibition program with a group exhibition which celebrates 15 years of gallery operations. This exhibition features works by more than 50 artists who have shown at the gallery between 2008 and 2023....
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The Days Run Away | Ian Friend

In Friend’s works these have been variously described as windows; as auditory membranes; as acknowledgements of architecture; as responses to literature and to life itself. These fluid expanses of muted muteness invite interpretations of liminality. The equivocal nature of their forms insinuates processes of becoming as well as those of dissolution. - Pat Hoffle AM, November 2020
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In this time like no other, Gallerysmith has brought together a curated selection of artists' experiences of 2020 with this online exhibition 2020 (REAR) VISION. This exhibition draws artists from both within and beyond Gallerysmith and aims to provide a snapshot, as a social history record of a most unusual and challenging time. It contains work which is reflective, responsive, reactive and importantly, honest.
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Blue Silence | Ian Friend

Ian Friend’s work reflects a rich engagement with jazz and classical music, poetry and architecture. Blue Silence pays homage to poets and artists, composers and musicians including those as diverse as Elena Kats-Chernin, Edward Elgar, Sol Gabetta and Piet Mondrian.
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Ian Friend Angel Song install image

Angel Song | Ian Friend

With a career spanning four decades, Ian Friend's new paintings on paper encapsulate many of the artist's longstanding concerns. Friend's work conjures his current thinking on political and social issues while also being developed in response to music, poetry and literature.
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Ian Friend, Ghost Milk III, 2011, Casein, pigment, gouache, graphite and crayon on Hahnemühle paper, 75x165cm

Ghost Milk | Ian Friend

Ian Friend's initial encounter with quality fine art paper was courtesy of his first art teacher, Miss Phyllis Johnstone (a fellow student of Henry Moore) when the young student was ten years old. In the decades since, Ian Friend has maintained his love affair with paper....
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Catherine Nelson, Mareeba Wet

Out of the Darkness: a group exhibition | Gallerysmith

When shadows lurk in the darkness, senses heighten, sound is amplified, the pulse races, unease escalates. While light allows us…

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Ian Friend, Here Love Ends, 2010-2011, oil on linen, 120x240cm

But These Things Also | Ian Friend

Poetry has been a constant source of inspiration for Ian Friend throughout his 35 year career. The title of this exhibition is drawn from poetry by English poet Edward Thomas (1878-1917)…
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Ian Friend
born 1951, United Kingdom, arrived Australia 1986


1973–75     Higher Diploma of Fine Art (Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London, England)
1970–73     Diploma in Art and Design (Birmingham College of Art, England)
1969–70     Pre Diploma Foundation Year (Exeter College of Art, England)

The British Museum, London
Tate Gallery, London
Arts Council of Great Britain, London
Cleveland Museums Service, UK
Museum of Contemporary Religious Art, St Louis, USA
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston
Australian Embassy, Washington DC
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, NSW
New England Regional Art Museum, NSW
Deakin University Library, Melbourne
La Trobe University Gallery, Melbourne
Monash University Gallery, Melbourne
Griffith University, Queensland
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
University College of Central Queensland, Rockhampton
University of Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
University of Tasmania, Hobart
University of Western Australia, Perth
Artbank, Sydney
Janet Holmes à Court Collection, Perth
Redcliffe City Art Gallery, Queensland
Brisbane Boys Grammar School, Brisbane
Geelong Grammar School, Victoria
The Hutchins Foundation, Hobart
Australian Paper collection



Taking its title from the poetry of Sappho, Come Close is a group exhibition at the University of the Sunshine Coast…

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