Dull Home 1998 [W/P]

Synthetic polymer paint on paper, 75.5 x 55.7 [acc.to Joel’s]

Signed, dated and titled on reverse: ‘For Kenneth with love Howard ’98’ ‘Dull Home’ [as cited in Cbus catalogue]

Collection unknown [last auctioned July 2022]

This work was first documented when it was sold at auction by Leonard Joel in August 2000 (as “Suburbia”). In the Cbus collection book (Nainby & others 2009), the verso inscription is noted, indicating both the correct title, and an earlier history.

In her Cbus catalogue essay, Zara Stanhope suggests that the work “simultaneously denigrates and rejoices in the ugliness of Australian suburban culture” (Nainby & others, 2009, p.17). The grey line-work and softened colour scheme are typical of Arkley’s late style. The composition, first used in horizontal format for Our Home (1986), later became the basis for a series of works in the present configuration, beginning with Spray Veneer (1994); see also B/W Veneer (1995) [W/P], Colourfield House (1996) [W/P], and Untitled 1999 [House] [W/P], the last two noted both being closely comparable with the present example.


  • Gift of the artist to Kenneth Pleban, 1998 (see inscription)
  • Auctioned by Leonard Joel, Melbourne, 8-9 August 2000, lot 135 (as ‘Suburbia’; 75 x 55; sold for $22,000 plus buyer’s premium)
  • Cbus Collection of Australian Art, Melbourne: acquired from the above on the advice of Joseph Brown; subsequently on loan to the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, NSW (prior to 2006), and then to the Latrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria
  • Auctioned by Deutscher and Hackett, 27 July 2022, lot 59 (est.$25-35,000; sold for $73,636, inc, B/P; as 76.0 x 55.5 cm; with additional provenance details)


  • Benalla Art Gallery, 19 Feb.-9 June 2016 (‘Colour and Movement’)


  • Nainby, Bryony, & others, The Cbus Collection of Australian Art: advised by Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE, Melbourne: CBUS, 2009, pp.17, 175 (ill.) and 212 (catalogue entry)