India Mark and Egg & Dart Gallery from Northern Illawarra are very happy

Figurative painter India Mark, represented by The Egg & Dart, with her artwork 'Still Life with Tangerine'. Picture: Peter Braig
Figurative painter India Mark, represented by The Egg & Dart, with her artwork 'Still Life with Tangerine'. Picture: Peter Braig

Thirroul artist India Mark has been named one of “five artists to watch” at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair by it's director Barry Keldoulis.

While The Egg & Dart (which represents Mark) was one of 87 galleries from Australia, New Zealand and south-east Asia to be handpicked by the fair’s advisory council to exhibit at Carriageworks exhibition – which is on until Sunday.

Trivial Matters by India Mark. Photo: Egg and Dart Gallery

Trivial Matters by India Mark. Photo: Egg and Dart Gallery

"It's a tremendous shot in the arm for artists and galleries," Keldoulis told Fairfax Media.

The fair originally launched as a biennale in 2013 and has generated $40 million in sales and attracted 75,000 local and international visitors. Last year alone attracted 26,500 visitors to the event.

Aaron Fell-Fracasso, co-owner of the The Egg & Dart gallery in Thirroul. Picture: Adam McLean

Aaron Fell-Fracasso, co-owner of the The Egg & Dart gallery in Thirroul. Picture: Adam McLean

The nod by Keldoulis is another notch in Mark’s expanding belt which also includes a Foundation for Visual Arts Scholarship from the ANU School of Art, selection as an Archibald finalist this year and in 2016, as well as being on the short list for this year’s Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship.

“It’s great for her as an artist, great for [us] as an emerging gallery with a strong stable of mid-career and early-career artists,” said Egg & Dart co-owner Aaron Fell-Fracasso.

Fell-Fracasso has been a strong advocate for showcasing work by young, up-and-coming Illawarra artists and has curated the Here & Now exhibition currently showing at Wollongong Art Gallery.

“I’m a painter and I love painting … and i love art,” he said.

“I never went in thinking ‘I’m going to work with emerging artists’, I saw there was a lot of talent in our area.

“There seems to be like a micro-renaissance that’s happening in our area, I saw that was developing so decided to run it.”

Here & Now also showcases works by India Mark, Chris Zanko, Jessica Cochrane, Tex Crick, Ebony Eden, Misha Harrison, Paige Northwood and Nick Santoro. It runs at at Wollongong Art Gallery until November 25.