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Rob McHaffie, After Hours, Opening @ Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney Australia

Opening 8 October 4 - 6 pm
Please join us for the opening of Rob McHaffie's exhibition After Hours on Saturday 8 October from 4 - 6pm. The exhibition continues until 5 November. 


Queenie and I take a walk down Church St 2016, oil on linen, 77 x 57 cm. Photo Matthew Stanton

Queenie and I take a walk down Church St 2016, oil on linen, 77 x 57 cm. Photo Matthew Stanton

Rob McHaffie lives with his Thai-born wife and two young children in a small rental unit in a conservative, well-to-do suburb of Melbourne. The personal life within this small private space and his wry observations of life in the suburban streets beyond are the inspiration for the paintings, drawings and porcelain sculptures in After Hours. Applying an imaginative mind and eye to his surroundings and the personalities that wander through it, McHaffie’s world is one of quotidian observations and fragmented portraiture.
A plump man in a pink polo top walks proudly with his small black lap dog down Church Street, Brighton. A lady boy waits serenely in the heat to sell temple flowers to passers-by at a train station in Bangkok. An expectant couple practice birthing exercises together in their lounge room. There’s feeling love, waiting for love and growing love. There’s here and there, invented and the observed, closeness and distance overlapping and carrying equal weight.
Recently McHaffie’s paintings have been composed using a collage approach. However, for this body of work McHaffie has relied on memory and imagination, referring only to journal sketches to render his characters. With After Hours McHaffie continues to make the case for contemporary portraiture and painting itself, standing at the nexus of encounter, gesture and imagination.
Rob McHaffie has been the recipient of several awards and residencies including the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize (2014) and the Art & Australia / Credit Suisse Private Banking Contemporary Art Award (2012). In 2011 McHaffie was awarded an Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia and in 2007 he was a recipient of a Cité Internationale des Arts Residency, Paris, France.
McHaffie’s most recent solo exhibitions include Busts, Brett McDowell Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand (2015); I can still remember how to speak, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney (2014); Farang Mak, Brett McDowell Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand (2013) and Let’s see how we go, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney (2012).  His work has been included in group exhibitions including Sirens (I Heard Voices In The Night), Gertrude Glasshouse, Melbourne (2016); Shots off the Dices, Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Melbourne, curated by Rhys Lee; Beg Borrow Steal, Incinerator Gallery, Victoria; 2015 Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize, Melbourne (all 2015); Incidents Above A Bar (part 3): I Probably Don’t Like You, The Alderman, Melbourne; Schoolhouse Studios, Melbourne; Flowers, St Heliers Street Gallery, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne; Basil Sellers Art Prize, Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne (all 2014); Volume One: MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2012-2014), Art & Australia Collection 2003 - 2013, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre Sydney, MOP Projects, Sydney and Newcastle Art Gallery, (2012-2013), Paintings of Steve’s Paintings, St Heliers St Gallery, Melbourne (2012), Model Pictures: James Lynch, Amanda Marburg, Rob McHaffie, Moya McKenna, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne (2011), Art for Nature, Rimbun Dahan Gallery, Selangor, Malaysia (2011) and Primavera 06 - Exhibition of Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2006).  
His work is held in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; Michael Buxton Collection, Melbourne; City of Stonnington Collection, Melbourne, Bayside City Council Collection, Melbourne and the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.

840 Elizabeth Street
Waterloo NSW 2017
Sydney Australia
Tel +61 2 9699 5353


Rob McHaffie was previously featured on The Nice Niche in April 2014...