Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh, UK, Exhibition; June 1976
“Imaginative, volatile and multifarious ……paintings and drawings….a nicely obtuse image of Eve”
Edward Gage The Scotsman Monday June 14th 1976
Hill Smith Fine Art Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia, Exhibition; August 2003
“Needle’s paintings are grouped under the series title ‘Voss’ and ‘The Murray Landscapes’, but it appears there are two distinct pursuits here: one concerning Voss and the other the ‘snake bird’.
The disparity between the two approaches is quite striking, with the Voss series resolved essentially as a confluence of antipodean landscape painting and cubistic modernism, wherein the earthen toned, geometric interpretation of landscape is inhabited by Voss’s tent, an upside down representation of the first letter in the name.
There are no human figures represented here, yet the snake bird looms large in several paintings, with an eye on the Aboriginal tradition and a much larger personality than the elusive Voss himself, and couched in slightly incongruous landscapes rendered more gesturally.
The connections for the artist are outlined in his statement, but a more integrated interpretation of the ancestral connections to the landscape he depicts, and the stories to which he refers, could imbue the actual work.
…..discipline and potential of Needle’s focus”
Adam Dutkiewicz The Adelaide Advertiser Saturday August 2nd 2003
The Rainmoth Gallery, Waikerie, South Australia, Exhibition; May-June 2004
“Kym Needle…an exceptional artist of international calibre….an impressive collection of work.”
Lorraine Brock The River News Thursday May 27th 2004
New Land Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia, Exhibition; August- September 2004
“Viewing the land afresh…….Some change has rung in Kym Needle’s art after a long period away from Australia and his home state, South Australia. Misty Scotland appeared to have recalibrated his visual sensibilities. No, not really Scotland. More Britain and Europe in that European sense of responding to landscape through a self-conscious analysis form and a response to colour as a theatre of possibilities. But the landscapes depicted in Needle’s exhibition are sourced in Australia. The result so far has been a battle of wills and instincts. The rugged, primeval identity of the spectacular rock escarpments Needle encountered were subjected to some kind of filtration process, in which the exotic visual identity of multiple ‘organ pipes’ of rock and massive piles of boulders was overlaid by a cool, analytical temperament. The artist is open in declaring his sources, which include Cezanne’s compelling interest in the ‘thingness of things’ and a compulsion to look into forms to discover inner identities. Needle’s landscape had a distinctive identity; brittle, pumped- up and enervated. There was a sense of inner compression, which may have been a clue to the artist’s personal feelings about his subjects, particularly mining sites. But as emotional or critical messages they were ambiguous, neither emblems of a guttered land or reminders of time’s inexorable forces. These were passionate, in your face, re-imaginings of places seen and remembered. In their jagged, sharp-edged forms and hard surfaces, they looked ready to take on anyone prepared to stare them down”
John Neylon (the National Gallery of South Australia) The Adelaide Review September 2004
Christmas Exhibition 2013
Kym Needle captures the spirit of place with bold, striking brushwork. His chosen territory, the landscapes of South Australia, are beautifully evocative of that beguiling part of the world. This is a highly individual vision: atmospheric, haunting and quintessentially Australian. One can almost hear the birdsong; one can almost smell the dust.
Professor Alexander McCall Smith CBE, Author