Category Index
Books About Big Art
  • A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932
    A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932
    by John Richardson
  • Sarah Lucas: A Catalog Raisonné
    Sarah Lucas: A Catalog Raisonné
    by Yilmaz Dziewior, Sarah Lucas
  • Grayson Perry
    Grayson Perry
    by Jacky Klein
  • Hendrik Kerstens (English and Dutch Edition)
    Hendrik Kerstens (English and Dutch Edition)
    by Pim Milo, Kathy Ryan
  • David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
    David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
    by Marco Livingstone, Margaret Drabble, Tim Barringer, Xavier Salomon, Stuart Comer, Martin Gayford
  • Vernon Ah Kee: Born in this Skin
    Vernon Ah Kee: Born in this Skin
    by Robert Leonard, Anthony Gardner, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Blair French, Glenn Barkley
  • Yayoi Kusama
    Yayoi Kusama
    by Midori Yamamura, Jo Applin, Yayoi Kusama
  • Henry Moore: From the Inside Out; Plasters, Carvings, Drawings
    Henry Moore: From the Inside Out; Plasters, Carvings, Drawings
    Prestel Publishing
  • Wall and Piece
    Wall and Piece
    by Banksy
  • Mark Rothko
    Mark Rothko
    by Mr. Jeffrey Weiss
  • Louise Bourgeois
    Louise Bourgeois
    by Robert Storr, Paulo Herkenhoff
  • Damien Hirst
    Damien Hirst
    by Ann Gallagher
Join the Big Picture

A blog that aims to spark thoughts and inspire by seeking out and sharing works of art

Historically, artists have always worked big, and nowadays those boundaries are being pushed to the limits.

Large-scale art, whether in the form of photos from the Hubble space telescope, sharks floating in tanks of formaldehyde, rooms full of dots, concrete sculptures cast from Victorian buildings or hand knitted blankets wrapped around trees, large-scale art is all around us. Join the Big Picture aims to spark thoughts and inspire by seeking out and sharing these works.

All content by Karla Thompson, an ex-pat Aussie living in East London. When not working on Join the Big Picture she is part of the backbone to the Leonhard Pfeifer brand.

Read an interview about Join the Big Picture here.


Karla Thompson
Creative Partner




Detail of Yarn Bombing UK

Entries in Australia (5)


Brett Whiteley - Australia

Brett Whiteley, Australia NSW 1939-92
Self portrait – showing seven incarnations

1970, Queensland Art Gallery
Oil, photographs, gold, cicada on composition board with glass front

He has always been a bit of favourite of mine, the lovely, talented, charming but sadly self destructive Mr Brett Whiteley. I found him particularly intriguing during my angst filled teenage years and poured through his books studying his glorious ink drawings and beachscapes. It was a very one-sided infatuation during the 90’s

Walking around the recent ‘Australia’ exhibition with a dear friend at the Royal Academy, she says… ‘You know I used to hang with Brett in Sydney for awhile… he was a friend of mine…’ Gulp.

Oh yes, he was a friend of mine too...

Happy Australia Day.


Emily Floyd at the GOMA

Steiner rainbow 2006, Two-part epoxy paint on MDF

Emily Floyd, and Australian artist born in Victoria was born the same year as me, so I know that she too will be turning 40 in 2012. I wonder if she is also dreading the event, and as a result, has started thinking about wonderful childhood memories and favourite playthings. As the name implies, her work is recalling on a popular wooden toy. A wonderful piece that my own daughter has and loves.

To quote the Goma "As a spectrum of vibrant colour, this work has considerable physical presence, unlike the natural phenomenon it recalls.... Emily Floyd took a humble object - a popular wooden children’s toy- and scaled it to adult height."

Emily's rainbow lifted my spirits and as an object, it cried out to be touched. But in the words of MC hammer, all the custodians at the gallery we quick to reiterate that you indeed, "can't touch that!" But there was nothing stopping me from getting under it. Thanks Emily. I love your work.

Emily Floyd Steiner rainbow 2006, Two-part epoxy paint on MDF. Photography by Karla Thompson.


Makarrki – King Alfred’s Country 2008

Makarrki – King Alfred’s Country 2008, Synthetic polymer paint on canvas

So, this is what it is all about. Big pictures and sharing them. This major colaborative painting at the GOMA in Brisbane is by a gourp of senior Kaiadilt women painters from Bentinck Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The work was painted by all seven artists of the group, together, along with two other pieces.

The seven artists who worked on the painting are:

  1. Birmuyingathi Maali Netta Loogatha, Australia QLD b.1942 Kaiadilt people
  2. Mirdidingkingathi Jurwunda Sally Gabori, Australia QLD b.1924 Kaiadilt people
  3. Warthadangathi Bijarrba Ethel Thomas, Australia QLD b.1946 Kaiadilt people
  4. Thunduyingathi Bijarrb May Moodoonuthi, Australia QLD b.1929-2008 Kaiadilt people
  5. Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul, Australia QLD b.(c.) 1937 Kaiadilt people
  6. Wirrngajingathi Bijarrb Dawn Naranatjil, Australia QLD b.1935 Kaiadilt people
  7. Rayarriwarrtharrbayingat Amy Loogatha, Australia QLD b.1942 Kaiadilt people

Wow. Big art and big names.

The painting is amazing. Rich with colour and texture and enormous, and shows the country of King Alfred of the late 1940’s. (King Alfred was a senior Kaiadilt law man and a major leader during a time of incredible change that saw the entire Kaiadilt population uprooted from Bentinck and Sweenrs Island to Morrington Island.)

Here I am standing beside it. As you can see, it is enormous. 

Detail of Makarrki – King Alfred’s Country 2008

Detail of Makarrki – King Alfred’s Country 2008

Makarrki – King Alfred’s Country 2008, Synthetic polymer paint on canvas. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation. Photography by Karla Thompson


Yayoi Kusama at the GOMA, Brisbane

Flowers that Bloom at Midnight © Yayoi Kusama at GOMA, Brisbane 2011.

Visiting Grandparents, friends and extended family this christmas in Brisbane, Australia, we were lucky enough to enjoy some time at the recently bulit GOMA (Queensland Art Gallery - Gallery of Modern Art) The gallery is wonderfully modern, and situated on the beautiful banks of the Brisbane river.

Whilst visiting, we had a peak at the crazy-wonderul work of Japanese American Artist Yayoi Kusama. What a lady. Working primarily on sculptural pieces and installation, Kusama became a fixture of the New York avant-garde in the 1960's.

Her Flowers that Bloom at Midnight sculptures are imposing in strong vibrant colours. Walking amongst them is like walking through a laminated childrens picture book, one that is covered in spots.

The "Look Now, See Forever" exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) running from 18 November 2011 – 11 March 2012, Australia.

Behind the installation Flowers that Bloom at Midnight 2010–11 were a selection of paintings approximaltey 1m x 1m from Yayoi Kusama's 2009–10 in ‘Look Now, See Forever’ series. Around 20 paintings hung side by side formed a colourful band of paintings framing the flowers.


From the Goma website: "Yayoi Kusama’s painterly output is vast, propelled by a compulsive relationship with the activity of painting itself. Painting is very much at the core of Kusama’s practice, with her work in other media invariably bearing the hallmarks of the medium. She paints daily, and this selection of paintings on canvas is drawn from a body of 100 works she produced as a challenge to herself over an 18-month period in 2009 and 2010 — a staggering production rate, even before the artist’s age and the intricacies of the pieces are taken into account."

Three of my favourite panels are below.

The highlight of the exhibition, for me, was the fantastic "Kusama's World of Dots Kids interactive Room" - which basically translates into "a big white room full of white furniture that you can stick dots onto". Fantastic! The installation, initially designed for children proved to be so popular that even if you didn't have kids you could still go in.

On entry we were each given a sheet of brightly coloured spotty stickers with the simply brief of sticking them where ever we wanted. Yay. Security was pretty tight to leave the interactive room, as all unused stickers had to be disposed of and all shoes had to be inspected to ensure no rouge sticker was on the sole of your shoe. Our three year old enjoyed it immensely and also enjoyed spotting all the "naughty" stickers that had escaped out of the installation room and appeared randomly on the floor.


Kohei Nawa

Kohei Nawa, Japan b.1975 work PixCell-Double Deer#4 is a mixed media piece from his wonderful Beads series. I first saw his work in 2009 at the opening of the GOMA in Brisbane and then again this year (2011) on yet another trip back home to Brisbane.

His work is intriguing, and a winner with the smaller children, who literally can not believe their eyes. "Is that really a deer under there?" was the question of the hour. "Actually, my dear, there are actually two deer's under there".

Kohei Nawa's sculpture transforms the body of two taxidermied deer, purchased through an internet auction site, by covering them with transparent glass and resin beads. Through each bead you can see the deer's fur, eyes, nose etc... Filtered through and dispatched into a myriad of individual surfaces.

A touch of creepiness mixed with a whole lot of shininess.

Kohei Nawa PixCell-Double Deer#4 2010. Mixed Media. GOMA Queensland. Photography by Karla Thompson