Menage a Trois

An exhibition of works by 

Sieglinde Battley Robert Birch  Andrew Finnie


Thanks for dropping in.

"Menage a Trois" is a painting exhibition being held at the John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle from 13th March 2009.

Opening night is Friday 13th March 2009 at 6.00 PM.... so please come along~

 The painters  are:

Sieglinde Battley

Robert Birch

Andrew Finnie


Please click on a name to find out more about the artists. There are short biographies at the bottom of the page.



Back soon!


Andrew Finnie


A Short Biography of the Artists in “Menage a Trois”

Robert Birch grew up in the beachside suburb of Swanbourne, WA. . After a brief teaching career in Meekatharra he succumbed to his love of horses and the country and found work as a jackeroo on a cattle station.

His childhood fascination with art led him to forsake this bucolic existence and take ship for the UK, where he enrolled at the Harrow School of Art. He had work accepted at several leading London galleries but, after four years of romantic poverty, he jumped at the opportunity to teach English in the little Saudi Arabian oasis of Domet al Jandal. This lasted only a year but the experience, together with subsequent visits to the Middle East, fostered a life-long fascination with, and love for Arab culture.

Upon return to Australia he began to paint seriously and his prize-winning painting, “Oobagooma”, inspired by a visit to the West Kimberleys while he was artist-in-residence at Broome’s Shinju Matsuri, was presented to Queen Elizabeth on her visit to WA in 1981.

Robert taught painting and drawing in the visual arts department of the University of Western Australia and Curtin University, the West Australian College of Art and Design (TAFE) and the Hunter Institute of Technology, NSW.

He was appointed to peer assessment panels for the Western Australian Department of the Arts and served on the Murdoch University art acquisition committee, as well as writing art criticism for the Fremantle Review and book reviews for the West Australian. For several years he wrote weekly art reviews for the Newcastle Herald. He has illustrated a number of books.

Prior to moving to New South Wales in 1996, Robert was Senior Education Officer at the Art Gallery of Western Australia and art consultant to Telecom (WA). He now lives in the rain forest on the mid north coast of New South Wales.

Robert has held 17 solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions, chiefly in Western Australia, but also in the UK, USA, Singapore, China, Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle and Adelaide. He currently paints full time.

Sieglinde Battley trained as a graphic designer in Frankfurt, Germany. She lived and worked in West Germany, Norway, Indonesia and Iran before settling in Australia in 1978. She holds a Diploma in Fine Arts from the WA School of Art and Design and a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) from Curtin University, WA.

Since 1982 she has held 21 solo exhibitions of her paintings, drawings and original prints, with considerable commercial and critical success. Her work has been exhibited in highly regarded galleries in Germany (Cologne, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Seligenstadt) and in Australia (Greenhill Galleries, Adelaide and Perth; Editions Southbank Gallery, Melbourne; and Olsen-Carr Art Dealers and Rushcutters Bay Gallery, Sydney). Sieglinde’s work has been acquired for many public, corporate and private collections.

In recent years she was commissioned to do a series of large-scale paintings for the Globe restaurant at Parmelia Hilton Hotel, Perth, a large painting for the Commonwealth Department of Finance and Communication in Canberra and a series of paintings and drawings for the Burswood International Resort and Casino Hotel in Perth.

In 2005 The Sydney Morning Herald selected one of Sieglinde’s paintings for the cover of their special Australia Day edition and a limited edition of prints.

Andrew Finnie grew up in the Sydney suburb of Maroubra where, apart from surfing continuously, he managed to take a degree in Optometry at NSW University. A four year stint away from the surf in the western NSW town of Dubbo allowed him to pursue his interest in art.

Since moving to Newcastle in 1983 with his wife Jennifer he has studied painting at the Hunter Street Tafe, both in the late eighties and the late nineties. In the period between he studied English Literature at Armidale University.

Along with Jennifer, he is a founding member of Newcastle's well known “Seven Painters” group and has exhibited vigorously in group shows over the last ten years.

He is best known for his landscapes featuring the local Newcastle environment.

Presently he divides his time equally between the practice of Optometry, painting, animation and surfing.