2020 Blacktown City Art Award

I am so happy to have my sculpture The Guardian accepted as one of the 135 finalists in the 2020 Blacktown Art Prize from 660 artists & 893 artworks. A personal milestone as I spent first two years art teaching at Blacktown Boys High in the late 1980s returning to attend openings at Blacktown City Arts Centre when my friend and ex-Artbank colleague Ingrid Hoffman was Gallery Director. I remember then being so impressed then in the cities transformation from semi-rural to a vibrant multi-cultural hub.

The Guardian.A.19.webThe Guardian.B.19.web

Experiencing The Art Vault Residency Mildura

Like spending a month alone at Fowlers Gap, desert stone country in 2006 the height of the millennium in desert stone country, I was unprepared for my emotional response to the experience of my The Art Vault Residency, in March the country then still racked by drought and summer’s hellish fires.

The phrase ‘Water is life’ became a reality for me leaving Sydney driving across the great divide with it’s great tracks of burnt blackened trees. The especially across the arid zones red dust filling the skies with few signs of wildlife to reaching Mildura and sighting the Murray Rivers treed riverbanks, a living oasis in the desert.

Daily I walked across the Murray River to Lock 11’s lock island to draw its ancient red gums survivors of flooding, fire, lightening to return to the comfortable recluse of my studio to make art, engage with other artists in the studio complex and supportive gallery staff. Near the end it rained and I was able to witness its redemptive power on the river system, renewing life to desert and bush.

At The Art Vault Gallery living, working viewing the art exhibitions, stock rooms, I felt privileged to be among a list of previous high caliber residency artists. I was so impressed by the active participation, dedication and generosity of the Directors and the staff in creating such a creative artistic hub in a regional City that has links throughout Australia and beyond.

1.Desert drive.web2.Murrary Mildura.20.web3.Lock11.trees.web3.Lock11.trees.web5.TAVRstudio.web

2020 Fisher Ghost Art Award

Excited to be in this years 2019 Fishers Ghost Art Award with my allegorical sculpture Gaia Waits 2020. It’s been one of my favourite art events over the past few years to be at the opening with artist Rox De Luca and dedicated group of supportive friends. Last year this also included five fellow SQ1 artists. Lada Dedic’s woven sculpture also has got into the award.

 Gaia Waits.B.20.web Gaia Waits.A.20.web

The Glover Prize 2020

Gabrielle Courtenay at Glover Prize 2020

Gabrielle was invited to include a work in the 2020 Glover Prize. see the work and statement below.

Tasmanie et La Mer

My practice explores the connection between all living things and man’s subliminal relationship to the environment in a world increasingly impacted by climate change. 

In 2013 using Tasmanian symbolic and historical themes, newspaper clippings and imagined imagery I created L’Homme et la Mer, a 2D Wunderkammer or ‘cabinet of curiosities’

The work explores the concept of the exotic, loss, power and historical displacement for the indigenous people and the potential marine loss for Tasmanian waters in a time of competing interests for its finite resources.  

In 2019 distressed by the lack of action over climate change and the inevitable fate of a future of rising seas and loss to marine life, mainland species and forests due to rising temperatures I returned to the L’Homme et la Mer. Casting it’s symbolic imagery into a sea where past and present are re-imagined, re-naming it Tasmanie et La Mer.


NEWS 2019

Illness slowed me down in the start of this year but also has been full of good news. I was contacted thru my website by The Art Vault, Mildura Victoria to see if I would like to participate in an Art Residency at the gallery in 2020. A gallery I had visited and liked in 2010 staying in Mildura returning from the Lake Mungo National Park. The gallery has a yearly policy of offering 3 artists whose work they feel is different a residency. Unnamed imagery of work is presented to the Board for consideration. Mine came from an add placed in Art Collector 2008 for my EDGE show at Charles Hewitt Gallery, Tales of splendour and dust#5,


Devoting more time to my art practice I now have a studio space at SQ1 creating work amongst a family of other artists. Great to be one of Five Artists from SQ1 in this years 2019 Fishers Ghost Art Award, Lada Dedic, Sarah Edmondson, Charlotte La Brocque & Kai Wasikowski whose intriguing photograph won the Photography Prize. My sculpture I see you, 2019  got in.

I have also been selected as a Semi-Finalist in this year’s 2019 KAAP Art Prize with my Path to Infinity, 2018. Look on www.kaaf.org.au to see all the 43 Semi-Finalists works & statement chosen from 600 artists.

It was also a privilege to again being in the Mission to Seafarers Victoria’s 2019 ANL Art Prize on the theme of Man and the Sea. 


New Show TRACES 16-27 May at ARO


        16-27 May 2018 at ARO

 My new exhibition at ARO in William Street, Sydney will feature work from my recent September TRACES exhibition at Jan Manton Art, Brisbane and new works. It will continue themes explored in recent shows and my further exploration of working with found materials and my ongoing fascination with the symbology of religion, love, birth, death, creation and renewal. Organic materials, symbols of transformation, fire - ash, forest – wood and flotsam from the sea; are altered to evoke universal themes that connect the planet and cultures over time and space.


Look forward to seeing you at the gallery.

Gallery Hours 

 Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 12 - 6.30 pm           Saturday & Sunday 12 - 5 pm 






Fishers Ghost Annual Art Prize

Fishers Ghost Annual Art Prize is one of my favourite art events of the year. The gallery goes into party mode packed with a wide range of really interesting works across many mediums, a triumph of thoughtful installation, showcasing our multi-cultural society. Lead by the Director Michael Dagostino, the opening ceremonies are warm, embracing Campbelltown’s indigenous population. This year I have a sculpture as well as a painting in the Prize.



The William Hotel


I have been working with Warren Livingstone on the colours for his new The William Hotel and here I am working on a wall commission for Jessies Bar/ Function Space on the First Floor , this will be The Osprey Room.

gc int2

gc int1

As the Wheel Turns, 2017

Following my show TRACES in Brisbane at Jan Manton Art . My work As the Wheel Turns, 2017 has been selected as a finalist in the Korea-Australia Arts Foundation Prize,KAAf 2017. Show opens on 24th Nov at the Korean Cultural Centre in Sydney till 25th January 2018.

 As the Wheel turns.17 web








As the Wheel Turns 2017 for KAAF Art Prize 2017 Nov-Jan 2018
Spiritwalker, 2017 for Fisher Ghost Art Award 2017 Oct-Dec 2017
Dragons Breath, 2016 for Fisher Ghost Art Award 2017 Oct-Dec 2017

TRACES 6-30 September 2017

My new solo show TRACES will open at Jan Manton Art in Spring Hill QLD at 2-4 pm on Saturday the 9th September with the Indonesian Australian artist Dadang Christanto. My website will have images of the works soon. If you are in Brisbane please come and see the works.

I am currently part of SYDNEY STORY FACTORY CHARITY ONLINE AUCTION If you can tell a story...... View all the artworks online or see the exhibition from Wednesday 30th August at BackStage, behind Conny Dietzschold Gallery, 99 Crown Street, East Sydney (entry via Crown Lane) till 2 Sept.16

The show features artworks donated by more than 50 of Australia's leading artists, including Del Kathryn Barton, Fiona Lowry, Reg Mombassa, Jasper Knight, Tony Albert, Belinda Fox, Euan Macleod, Bronwyn Bancroft, Locust James, Mitch Cairns, James Drinkwater, Abdul Abdullah and many more. See my donated works ‘Day and Night in the Celestial Garden’ on their website or in my 2015 Exhibition images.

News 2016

While I have been spending this year making new works experimenting with drawing on plywood and making new sculptures that will go into a solo show in 2017. I have been most fortunate in being selected as a Finalist in the different Art Prizes below throughout Australia with so many artists entering the prizes


Lotus 2016 for Fisher Ghost Art Award 2016 Oct-Dec 2016

Rift in the Heavens #2, 2015 for The Mission to Seafarers Victoria 2016 Art Prize, 7 Oct - 21 Oct 2016.

Infinity and the Finite, 2015 for Redlands Art Awards 2016, QLD 10 Oct-28 Nov 2016.

Rift in the Heavens #3, 2015 for Bruny Island Art Prize 2016, TAS 24 Sep- 2 Nov 2016

Looking at the Moon thinking of the Sea, 2016 for the Sunshine Coast Art Prize, QLD 1 Sep-1 Oct 2016

Floating Worlds, 2016 for the John Leslie Art Prize 2016, NSW. 3 Sep- 2 Nov 2016

As Blue Boy sings, 2016 for the 39th Alice Art Prize, NT, 15 April-13 June 2016


NEWS 2015


invite 5 aug


Antiques Dealer and Interior Designer Ian Hadlow has opened a new antiques and contemporary art space, the William Street Studio* and Phosphoresce will the name of the opening solo show. The Title alludes to the vibrant energy emmitted from the paintings and will focus on a collection of my work from 2013- 2015, mixing painting and sculptural works constructed out of pumice, bone and bronze.

Images and details on the works as well as a catalogue essay by Queensland Curator Charlotte Tegan will be on this website by 22 July.




METRO ARTS 14-30 August 2014

Positive response to the works in the Exhibition. The Arts Page, The Sunday Mail 24 Aug written by Fiona Purdon

Sunday Mail 24 Aug 14XXX


In the third installment of the Platform series from Jan Manton Art, Michael Doolan, Stephen Hart, Gabrielle Courtenay & Merete Megarrity come together in an unlikely aesthethic combination. Platform 2014 showcaseslinks between the artist's deeper observations of & explorations into the notions of cultural literacy & human understanding.

Excerpt- Courtenay's paintings in Platform 2014 demonstrate a curiosity with the idea of the mythical, juxtaposing symbols and scenery form the Australian environment, classic tales of mythology and astrological explorations to create subtly startling new works that delve further into the themes of connection and interaction'

Read essay on Metro Arts website.


Please go to this link to have a look at images of the Opening night





'Navigating Dark Waters'

26 Nov-21 Dec 2013

Anita Traverso Gallery

7 Albert Sreet Richmond, VIC, 03 9428 7557 



The Conversation

Please look at Exhibitions 2013 to see other paintings & prints that will go into the show and an explanation of the ideas behind the work then Click on 2013 on the Menu Bar.


            NEWS 2013

  • Unravelling Self, 2013 in The Fishers Ghost Art Award 2013 2 Nov-16 Dec. It was also selected into this year's Doug Moran Semi-Finalist.

Unravelling Self


   As well as painting this year has been a busy varied art based year with various projects.

  • ARTOLOGY REMIX performance opens at THE AGNSW Sat July 13Inspired by Picasso’s landmark masterpiece Les demoiselles d’Avignon, the young artists have translated the work’s ideas into visual art, music, literary works, film and choreography. Jackie Dunn & I worked together as Visual Artists for 10 days helping the students create the artwork for the show. Amazing talent in these young performers, such a privilege to meet them and the Artology team of Lyle Chan & Anna Cerneaz, Cathy Miliken great to learn from.
  • In May Anti-Slavery Australia a highly worthwhile organization doing much for vunerable people here had its inaugral Freedom Dinner at White Rabbit Gallery. Organized by Beau Neilson it was an a great success and my little painting 'In the Labyrinth' . was in the auction.


  • The Balmain Hotel this was my 3rd project as Design Consultant & collaborator with Warren Livingstone the creative inspiration behind a young group of Hoteliers, The Riverview Hotel was our 2012 project. Aim was to make The West End Hotel a run down, rabbit warren, underperforming heritage hotel once owned by Abe Saffron into a young vibrant hub. Unable to make any structural changes paint, new tiles, murals, plants and fabrics, lighting, furniture decoration and a great team of workmen, Different Strokes painting team under Mehmet transformed the space. I painted the walls of the Palm Room (go to Wall Art images) and my friend Dianne Hoath the large Pacific Portrait in the Restaurant. The picture below shows our back La Boca color scheme and it's success at the opening..


  • Chinoiserie Screen An exciting challenge to create this large piece 2.8 mH x 5m W based on early French 1850's wallpaper incorporating early Australian Bird images. screen_web.jpg
  • 2012 Finalist The 61st Blake Prize in November & Talk at SH Erwin Gallery

Imagine, 2011_ from my Colliding World series was selected. I was honoured to be able to talk on the work on one of the Gallery's Artist Talks with Saif Amurayati who won The Human Justice Prize. Probably as while the painting deals with the search for spiritual meaning in a global world it cofronts the problems of patriarchial dogma & orthodoxy/ intolerance confronting the main spiritual traditions and its implications on the lives of women and the planet. 

Finalist Portia Geach Memorial Award 2012 at SH Erwin Gallery 27 Sep- 7 Nov

'Self Portrait- The Sum of Parts' has been selected for this Prize which is so exciting fo me as I have never entered a Portraiture Prize before. 

Print Show in Melbourne at Block Projects_Wunderkammer Series

   mages/stories/4c_strange_island_web.jpg   images/stories/6f_self_portrait_web.jpg 


Block Projects in association with Anita Traverso Gallery will be showing from 26 August to 15 September my new range of digital prints on matt paper suitable for home and commercial settings. They will be affordable so that people can arrange their own collection or ' 2D Cabinet" like in the original work in a line or hung in a massing on the wall. The editions of prints on matt archival paper come from the individual panels that make up the work Journey to 'no man's land'. There will also be one large 110cm x 110 installation documentation print of the whole work.

Per Ericson Art.Archive.com.au documented the artworks for the prints and they were printed by Cam Neville Photography, QLD.


James Dorahy Project Space_ 15 August- 9 September 2012

One of my new prints can also be seen in the group show 'SIX YEARS OF PROJECTS 2006-2012 (Part B) 

at James Dorahy Project Space & on his website.


July- 25 August _Finalist 2012 Mosman Art Prize

Colliding Worlds was short listed in this Prize . 

May- June _Finalist R & M McGivern Art Prize 2012

Great Wall meets Rabbit Proof Fence Series was selected for this Prize and the work is now back at the Anita Traverso Gallery in Melbourne. The galaxy of small painitngs was hung next to the winner Rosslynd Piggott.

Wunderkammer Series_Journey to 'no man's land'

The Project Wall_ James Dorahy Project Space_ Opening Wed 28 March_22 April

Suite 4, 1st Floor, 111 Macleay St. enter in Orwell St. Potts Point  02 9358 2585. Tues-Sat 11-6 Sun 1- 5

* Refer to Exhibitions 2012 to see an image of the work 'Journey to ' man's land'  3m x 3m acrylic on canvas panels, and an explanation of the work




Finalist Charltan Ink Art Prize 2011_ Exhibition 29 Sept-16 Oct

Carlton Arms Hotel, 160 East 25th Street, NYC

So excited Colliding Worlds, 2011 has made it into the 25 Finalists for the Charlatan Ink Art Prize 2011 from 975 International entries.

Winter Vogue Living Cover_2011

My little Salt Bush painting was on the cover of this copy of Vogue Living which featured  Chrissie & Richard Bank's apartment.


  • Under Grey Skies #2 is in the 10000 Lethbridge Small Scale Art Award 2011

Great Wall meets Rabbit Proof Fence # 2 is in the $10,000 BSG Small Works Prize 2011


Colliding Worlds 8-19 March 2011, Depot 11 Gallery, Danks St. Waterloo

Fleur Macdonald reviewed the show on www.sixtoeight.net/ and you can see a video of the opening, photos and a review. Here is an installation shot of the show.


CHINA 2010


Exciting to spend March in China with a Red Gate Residency in Beijing at Beigao 1Studio, working and meeting Chinese and artists from different countries, visiting galleries and attending openings. My work went into an Open Studio Exhibition at the end of March in one of the Red Gate Studios. Then I went traveling in China, ending up in Shanghai to visit the contemporary art galleries there.




  • Heed the Hesperides was a finalist in Tidal: City of Devonport Award 2010
  • 'Self Reflection' got into the Redlands Art Award 2010
  • 'For the Rustle of Leaves' in the Lethbridge 10000, opening May 22
  • 'Prophesy' in the 2010 City of Albany Art Prize_ March 27-April 18


NEWS 2009


  • 'For the Rustle of Leaves' in the 2009 Stan & Maureen Duke Gold Coast Prize
  • 'Flight of Gaia' in 2009 The Manning Art Prize
  • 'Ephemeral Tales of Gaia #X11' in Mount Eyre Vineyards Art Prize 2009
  • 'Whispers Within' in Prometheus Visual Arts Award


NEWS 2008

I was privileged to be asked by Beyond Empathy to participate in their '6 x 6 Artists Connecting Community Project' at Mooree, NSW. Where a group of urban non indigenous artists spent a week working a local indigenous artist, engaging in the local community and making a collaborative artwork for an exhibition that was held in the Mooree Plains Regional Gallery 2009 and later at Nicky Ginsberg Gallery, Sydney. My partner was Aunty Paula Duncan. Our final painting is in the right hand corner of the photo, we spent each morning with David Larwill, Aunty Margaret Adams and Ken McGregor with the inspiring young students from Mooree Public School, their dedicated teachers. The other urban artists were Garry Shead, Ian Marr, Adam Rish, Luke Sciberras, Johnathon Throsby, Greig Waite and William Yang. The other local indigenous artists were Aunty Ellen Draper, Uncle Bilo Priesley, Uncle Brent Beale, Aunty Joy Duncan and Aunty May Finch. Our time there was documented by photographer Wendy Kimpton and film maker Anna Cater.



  • 'Walpa' in the 57th Blake Prize
  • 'Windsong' in Sunshine Coast Art Prize '08
  • 'Tempest # 2' in The Mosman Art Prize 08
  • 'Tales of Dust and Splendour # 4' in the Corangamarah Art Prize
  • 'Tempest' in 35th Alice Art Prize