top of page

Mighty Small

- curated by Olivia Welch, 2013

22 April to 17 May

Robert Boynes, 'Summer 1' 2012, acrylic on board, 25 x 25cm

Janet Tavener, 'Star Fruit' 2013, coloured resin - two pieces, 10 x 6 x 6cm each

Tanmaya Bingham, 'Almost Animal 4' 2013, graphite pencil on paper, 7.5 x 7.5cm (image) - unframed

Kelly-Ann Lees, 'Right-handed Snub Cube' 2013, copper and silver braising, 6 x 6 x 6cm

Exhibition Install - 'Mighty Small' 2013

Leslie Oliver, 'Up'n up'n up' 2013, painted brass, 23 x 27 x 19cm

Clare Toms, 'Fleet of Wing' 2013, oil on board, 15 x 20cm

Peter Tilley, 'Memories of Times Past #2' 2013, found objects, lead, painted timber, 21.5 x 21.5 x 5cm

Tanmaya Bingham, 'Almost Animal 14' 2013, graphite pencil on paper, 7.5 x 7.5cm (image) - unframed

Todd Fuller, 'baggage I' 2013, oil and pigment on terracotta, iPod playing 'adrift', 12.5 x 14.5 x 5.5cm

Exhibition Install - 'Mighty Small' 2013

Lezlie Tilley, '90 pieces of gravel on a blue/black ground' 2013, rocks and pencil on paper (framed), 15 x 14cm - paper size

Janet Parker-Smith, 'Sitting Pretty no.4' 2013, deconstructed book and digital print, 14 x 13.5 x 8cm

Mylyn Nguyen, 'Bombus' (install) 2013, watercolour + ink on paper, fibre on plastic film + acrylic, 10 x 4 x 4cm each variable

Janet Tavener, 'Jelly I' 2013, coloured resin, 7 x 6 x 6cm

Lezlie Tilley, '132 pieces of black gravel' 2013, rocks and watercolour on paper (framed), 15 x 14cm - paper size

Bianca Chang, 'Form in white (Squares)' 2013, paper in acrylic box, 20 x 16.5 x 2.5cm

Exhibition Install - 'Mighty Small' 2013

Emily McIntosh, 'Mitosis' 2002 - 2013, blown and lathe worked glass, wooden box, 45 x 35 x 14cm

Walter Brecely, 'spine 3' 2013, recycled cutlery, stainless steel, sterling silver, 25 x 45 x 4cm

Will Coles, 'Combat Hero II' 2013, cast resin, 6 x 5.5 x 1cm each edition of 10

Irianna Kanellopoulou, 'Delish I' 2009, multifired ceramic, glazes - unique, 7 x 7 x 7cm

Anne Penman Sweet, 'Macro/Micro' 2013, oil on gesso panels - 58 panels, 10 x10cm each

Jim Croke, 'Round Peg - Square Hole' 2012, steel, 13 x 15 x 15cm

Exhibition Install - 'Mighty Small' 2013

Bianca Chang, 'Form in white (Gradients II)' 2013, paper in acrylic box, 20 x 16.5 x 2.5cm

'Mighty Small' was conceptualised after rifling through Brenda May Gallery's archives and finding an invitation to a previous exhibition entitled 'Small' and an image of an art vending machine from the early 1990's made by a group of students. Adopting the tiny scale of 'Small', I curatorially aimed for the works in 'Mighty Small' to not only be little in size, but rely on this scale as an integral part of the work's desired impact. The organisation of the vending machine was definitely a labour of love, inspiring artists to make wonderful miniature works accessible in price and available to be purchased in an exciting and interactive way.


Artwork on an immense scale often enthrals and consumes, whereas smaller works captivate on a much more intimate level, drawing the viewer in for closer inspection. This exhibition was not simply concerned with works that are little, but works that defy the very notion of small meaning less or denoting an absence. It  presented work that is compact, but is in every way just as powerful, notable and spectacular.


Often viewers find ample satisfaction in giving works of art a simple glance, spending only seconds with the piece. Many of the works in Mighty Small demanded time and a close examination, particularly in the case of Mylyn Nguyen’s installation of intricately hand crafted and painted life-sized bumblebees that seemingly hovered in their swarm formation. Todd Fuller’s film ‘adrift’ playing from a pint-sized terracotta suitcase, Lezlie Tilley’s shells, rocks and stones impeccably arranged in grid formations, Clare Toms' intensely detailed paintings exploring texture and form, as well as Bianca Chang’s meticulously cut paper works, all captivated on the intimate level of intrigue. The Mighty Small Vending Machine Project, featuring around 300 specifically made artworks, proved to be amazingly popular and enticed many gallery-goers to purchase an original artwork for a 'mighty small' price.



Images courtesy of the Artists and Brenda May Gallery, Sydney



Filthy Children filled the airwaves with their eclectic sounds on the opening night.

'Mighty Small' - installation view

'Mighty Small' - installation view

'Mighty Small' - installation view

BMG Vending Machine Project supported by Smiths SnackVend.

'Mighty Small' - installation view

Lezlie Tilley installing her ephemeral work "676 shell and coral fragments arranged according to the laws of chance"


Wolff, Sharne. 'Mighty Small', The Art Life. July 19 2013. Online.

Fitzgerald, Michael. 'Open Gallery - Mighty Small'. The Sydney Morning Herald - Spectrum. 20-21 July 2013. p 13. Print.

Gorman, James. 'Brenda May Gallery plays host to Sydney's smallest art exhibition', 23 July 2013. Online.

Gorman, James. 'Mini-works Create Huge Appeal'. Central Magazine. 24 July 2013. front cover, p 7. Print.

Time Out Sydney. 'Mighty Small'. 28 July 2013. Online.

bottom of page