Kiama artist Auguste Blackman to co-host 'Memories of Mermaids' exhibition

A renowned Kiama artist will feature in an upcoming Sydney-based exhibition. 

Kiama Heights resident Auguste Blackman has had work exhibited widely throughout Australia and is featured in a number of private collections nationally and internationally.

Auguste and his Sydney-based sister Christabel, a figurative artist, will co-host an exhibition at Bondi. 

“We’re having a show together for the first time in 25 years,” Auguste said.

“She was living in Spain, but recently relocated back to Australia.”

Their father and renowned artist Charles was famous for his signature Alice in Wonderland series from the 1950s.

According to Auguste, their new Memories of Mermaids exhibition is about the Blackman family experience of Bondi; the surfers, swimmers, sunbathers and family scenarios spanning across the decades and several generations.

He said that Bondi Beach played a particularly poignant role in his sister’s upbringing, “as the family spent entire days there, from dawn till moonrise, engaging in picnics, body-surfing, beach walks and invigorating swims”. 

“This rich imagery and pictorial magic is captured in the paintings, offering enriching emotional responses that stir up deep warm feelings in the spectator,” he said. 

“Christabel belongs to one of Australia’s most creative families.

“The Blackman legacy is apparent in her flamboyant colour and sensitivity to subject matter.

“Her paintings create an imaginary world anchored in memory, a safe and comforting place. The figurative and narrative way of painting has become her own unique and highly personal pictorial language.”

Auguste said the exhibition is extended to showcase the work of other family members, including his own tributes to sea life.

Christabel’s daughter Pepa Blackman paints dancing mermaids with “swirling gestures and choreographed spinning cascades of hair”.

Some examples of works by paternal maestro Charles Blackman will also be on display.

“His images have carved their memory into the Australian psyche, helping to forge the cultural identity that we all now cherish close to our hearts,” Auguste said of his father. 

Memories of Mermaids will be showcased at Bondi Pavilion Gallery, located on Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach.

The exhibitions runs from March 21 to April 2, with the gallery open seven days, 10am to 6pm.

The official opening night is on Wednesday, March 22 from 6pm-8pm. 

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