Incinerator Art Space

2 Small Street, Willoughby, NSW 2068


No exhibitions scheduled at this time. Please check the homepage for all open and upcoming exhibitions.


29 March – 23 April 2017

Officially Opened by Babette Forster Gomme

29 March – 9 April, 2017

The Sculptors Society Japan Exchange Show 2017

Visiting Artists: Mariko Tamura, Hitomi Murai, Naoe Okamoto, Reiko Yashiro

Harbour Sculpture Exhibition - Music Notes
Harbour Sculpture Exhibition – Music Notes

Our intrepid Vivienne Lowe has done an enormous job in bringing about our inaugural Japanese Exchange Sculpture Show to coincide with our Incinerator Exhibition for 2017. It will certainly go down as a memorable highlight of our sculpture year.

Our special sculptor guests, arrived on 27 March and were greeted by Vivienne and Sinan Revell. It wasn’t long before they were installing their work the next day. Forget the jet lag! They were off on a whirlwind tour of the sites of Sydney including the Opera House, Sydney Harbour, the Botanical Gardens and Art Galleries, Blue Mountains, Luna Park, Bondi and of course, just a little bit of shopping along the way.

Vivienne and her husband Michael welcomed our Members to their beautiful home on Friday 31 March for a sumptuous dinner and we had the good fortune to relax and enjoy the company of our Japanese guests. The next day, 1 April, was the Official Opening at the Incinerator and our ladies stole the show, each giving a candid insight into their work. With only a small amount of English translation needed along the way, the Japanese ladies showed us their varied and most skilfully created sculptures using materials from fragile, delicate paper, hand spun and died wool to large Opera installations. Their work demonstrated their insight and connection with nature and the human spirit. Each, in their own right were very well recognised, having had numerous exhibitions and representations in Japan, across Europe and Asia, yet they were deeply humble of their impressive achievements.

On Saturday 8 April both they and we were honoured by the presence of the Japanese Consul for Culture, Isao Omae who came to view and enjoy their work.

All good things must come to an end and we said farewell on 10 April, with the expectation that we will reconnect our special link in the future.

Many thanks go to Vivienne Lowe, Sinan Revell, Rhonda Lunn and Dave Upton for their hard work, support and hospitality for our special guests.

Mariko Tamura: Sculptor & Jewellery Designer

Mariko Tamura“Art for me is to embody my consciousness and sensitivity.

A form has to be composed momentarily and instinctively, in order for me to free myself.

My creative activity originated in word sketches.

A form sprung up in me is nothing but the one and only existence of myself at the time.

Looking down on the expression of my philosophy and sensibility in an accomplished work brings me the enormous energy to live into the next stage.

It is my bliss in life to have had that sensibility.”

Mariko’s two sculptures exhibited were part of her series of work titled ‘Embody’. They are made of wire mesh, Japanese paper, Indian Ink & wood glue.

Hitomi Murai: Sculptor

Hitomi Murai“My perspective is that art represents a collaboration between artist and viewer. The artist brings an idea or vision and endeavours to express it tangibly. In the process, the artist is challenged and changed by the art which transforms into the artwork it is meant to be. 

At some point, people come to view the result of the artist’s efforts. But they are not spectators; rather, by interacting with the art, the people enliven it. Whether they seek to understand the piece or interpret it, touch the piece, or pose with it, their presence animates and even completes the artwork.” 

Hitomi’s work titled ‘And.. Something is Beginning’ is also part of a series. Her work exhibited in the Incinerator Art Space was created specifically with the glow and colours of Australia in mind. The images of her work demonstrated how in her exhibitions worldwide, viewers became involved in her work, enlivening it.

Naoe Okamoto: Sculptor & Designer

Naoe OkamotoNaoe gave us insight into her work by recounting her background as a textile designer for car interiors at Nissan and her time living in England where she found inspiration in spring growth after long, cold and bleak winters. 

Her series of works HoHo  derive from revitalisation of plant matter, the movement and change from the seasons giving rise to “feet” on her sculptures – as if they were stepping out of the cold and into new growth and new beginnings.

Naoe has made a play on words with her HoHo titles even demonstrating that “Ho” in Japanese means ” Step”. So, HoHo  is step, step.. creating movement, change in beings and indicating growth from the earth and the careful steps taken along the way. 

At the gallery, Naoe exhibited HoHo V- a large bulbous form with “baby” feet creating a playful and likeable work made of hemp and wool meticulously stitched together. Her two smaller forms HoHo VI have wire “chicken – like” feet and are coloured green like new plant shoots. Together, with their “open-mouthed expressions” , they give life and character to their forms. These are also made of wire, hemp and wool. 

Naoe also designed a series of large tapestries, masterfully created from felting, spinning, dyeing and weaving to form irregular monumental hanging shapes, a relief capturing the colours and textures of the rugged and rainy landscape of Harris Island in Scotland.

Rieko Yashiro: Sculptor & Designer

Rieko YashiroRieko impressed us all with images of her work as a stage designer for NHK – Japan’s national broadcaster (equivalent to our ABC broadcaster) and her sculptural works made independently using various materials such as paper and fabric. She has worked as a well established sculptor set designer with NHK for many years, prolifically creating artworks and producing many award winning works.

The sculptures Rieko exhibited were from her series titled “The Cycle of Reincarnation”. They were made of recycled cotton and wire. She explained her father owned a factory with machinery which manufactured towels. She noticed there was a lot of cotton waste product and decided to recycle this waste material in her sculpture creating a three dimensional work with angles and light and shadow.

13 April – 1 May, 2016

Opening Event and Artist Talks on 16 April, 2 – 4pm

Artist Hands On Demonstrations on 23 and 30 April, 2 – 4pm

Exhibition Hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10 – 4pm

Enquiries and Sales:  Eva Chant 0418 250 456    Feyona van Stom  0408 226 827

Willoughby Council is gratefully acknowledged for provision of Incinerator Art Space

15 April – 3 May, 2015

23 April – 11 May, 2014

About Incinerator Art Space

The Willoughby Municipal Incinerator is located along Small Street, in the northern suburb of Willoughby.

It was designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Eric Nicholls and built in 1934 in the art deco architectural style.

It housed the Australian-patented system of vertical top gravity feed (followed by drying prior to burning) incinerator developed by the Reverberatory Incinerator and Engineering Company (REICo).

By the 1960s the Incinerator was closed and was saved from demolition following an active campaign by community groups. In 1982 it was converted to a restaurant and then in 1989 it was converted to office space.

After it was damaged by fire, conservation works to restore the incinerator building began in 2008 with reuse as a community hall, artist studio and cafe.

2 Small Street, Willoughby, NSW 2068