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]

Cbus Collection of Australian Art, Melbourne

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, 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)
  • Purchased from Joel’s for the Cbus Collection (advice of Joseph Brown)


  • 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 details, indicating the size as 100.5 x 78, including frame)