Archives for category: photography

A selection of work from the Blake Prize is showing at Wangaratta Art Gallery until 8 January 2017. Highlights for me were 1. a marble sculpture by Robert Hague, ‘The Messenger’ which depicts a severed head veiled in drapery. It is reminiscent of funeral monuments and quite beautiful, and also a bit creepy. A small bird is carved the figure’s throat.
2. ‘Kenosis’ by Yardena Kurulkar, which won the prize. A series of photos showing the disintegration of a terracotta heart. The heart is a replica of a human heart and is shown in stages of weathering until it dissolves. An interesting and powerful concept.
3. ‘Kurtal’ by Tom Putuparri Lawford. I thought this looked like a cross, a traditional looking indigenous object with a black body and white feathers sticking out from the top. It’s made from human hair among other things, and is actually a headdress to be worn during rain bringing ceremonies in the desert.
4. A collaboration between an Australian and a Balinese artist. I didn’t take note of the name of the work or the artists, and I haven’t been able to find it online. The work is dominated by traditional Balinese paintings of the nine gods that protect the island. Small paintings of tourists have been added, basically ‘partying’ and exploiting the native population in their search of a good time. It shows the ugly side of Australian tourism to Bali, but it looks like a beautiful tapestry until you start looking more closely.

The Blake Prize was started in 1950 to encourage religious art, and conversations about faith, spirituality, religion, hope, humanity, social justice, belief and non-belief. The entries are not restricted to works related to any faith or any artistic style, but any work entered must have a recognisable religious or spiritual integrity.

The Messenger -- Robert Hague

The Messenger — Robert Hague


Kenosis -- Yardena Kurulka

Kenosis — Yardena Kurulka


Kenosis -- Yardena Kurulka (detail)

Kenosis — Yardena Kurulka (detail)

2_art_show_sign4A couple of weeks ago, I approached a local real estate agent about some empty shops in my local area. I’d been thinking they would be great for a pop-up art show. I was thrilled when he agreed to let me use the space for a reduced rent.

I called my artist friends and said ‘We’re having a show! in Yarraville!!’ One friend immediately asked ‘What’s the theme?’ to which I replied ‘We’re not from the VCA*! We don’t need a theme! We’re having a show! Bring your work!!

The show is opening on Friday night, and about one third of the work is at the space. Now comes the challenge of curating – deciding which works to put together in which rooms. The space is large and there are 18 artists involved, most of whom I met while studying Visual Art at Victoria University. It’s difficult to get a show when you’re an emerging (unknown) artist, so this is a great opportunity to show our work. It’s so exciting!

Lo-fi: new art collective is at 130 Gamon Street, Yarraville from 1–4 August, opening 6pm on Friday 1 August. Everyone is welcome to come and have a glass of wine and celebrate with us at the opening!

*VCA = Victorian College of the Arts

On my last trip to my home town of Wangaratta, I visited the Albury Art Gallery for the first time.

A few things caught my eye: a lovely crayon and ink drawing by Charles Blackman from the Alice in Wonderland series, an early Fred Williams watercolour of the You Yangs, and some sumptous photographs by Richard Janson.

But my favourite work was really unusual and 3D. I’d not heard of the artist Frank Hinder (1906 – 1992) before, and he made this ‘luminal kinetic’ in 1968 using timber, glass, metal, and electric motor and lamp. The parts inside slowly moved, giving a hypnotic effect. It reminded me a bit of watching a lava lamp. Beautiful!

Frank Hinder, Silver – white, 1968, luminal kinetic

Last year I took photos on my way home from the studio. I’ve been meaning to post them as a series for a while now, so here they are…

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traces of time_M_PowellTraces of time, 2012, pigment ink on cotton rag

Today I visited Vestige II by Melissa Powell at Anita Traverso Gallery.

I met Melissa last year when visiting my artist friend Mars in Natimuk, so I was curious to see her work. It was absolutely amazing! Beautiful aerial photography of the landscape, mainly in the Wimmera. Paddocks of canola embellished with curving plough lines like a yellow plush carpet. The mineral colours and abstract shapes of a salt lake. The traces left on the earth by farming, mining, erosion, fire and flood. And Droughtbreaker, a dark photograph of the delicate tracery of dead trees contrasting with dark flood water. Her photographs have a beautiful meditative quality and give us a bird’s eye view of the land.

Droughtbreaker_M_PowellDroughtbreaker, 2011, pigment ink on cotton rag

Last week our class visited a survey exhibition of photographic artist Pat Brassington at ACCA. Brassington uses photographs and photo collage to produce her images. Her work is influenced by surrealism, Freud and the language of dreams.

Recurring motifs in her work include interior and domestic spaces; carpets and wallpapers, furniture and curtains, figures with obscured faces (by masks or coverings), bodies (often cropped) and legs and feet. Themes are sexuality, domesticity, repression, for example images of taped and fabric-filled mouths, and deformity. Untitled VI, 2002, inkjet print, shows a young boy standing against a wall, his mouth taped up, and lines of tape crossing his body, restraining him. In my mother’s house, 1994, is a grainy photo of a young boy with his head tilted back to display two large goiterous lumps in his throat.

By the Way, 2010, pigment print, shows a woman walking away from the viewer, her head covered by a tall hat-like piece of pink fabric. The figure is very large and is walking along a path or road. Her clothing, a long skirt, jumper and sensible shoes, suggests a disapproving mother. The Secret, 2010, pigment print, is a black and white close up of a young girl’s face, her right eye crossed, and her mouth covered what looks like a piece of blue tape. A strand of hair like a rope hangs around her neck. It’s implied that her ‘secret’ has been censored.

I liked Untitled, 1989, a large triptych of black and white silver gelatin photographs, one showing a pre-Raphaelite looking woman with long tangled hair blowing in the wind, and a draped dress, the second palm trees on a beach bending in a gale next to a wild ocean, and the third a nude woman covering her face with her arms. There is a sense of drama of mystery about this and the feeling of some obscure narrative.

Brassington’s work is both disturbing and sinister, with its grotesque nudity, vulva-like wounds, and stretched tights. Her photographs blur the boundaries of the real and imagined, and have the strange logic of dream or fantasy.

http://edmundpearce.com.au/category/past/

Last night I went to an opening at Edmund Pearce in the Nicholas Building, Melbourne city. EP has only been around a few months, but I am mightily impressed by 1. the free drinks, 2. the quality of the work and 3. the charm and friendliness of the lovely Directors.

Anyway, this is their best show yet, IMO. Annalisa Feleppa’s gorgeous flower ‘still lifes’, Rory Fink’s mirrored landscape installation, and Jacqui Henshaw’s spooky hedges. Check it out! Five stars from me…

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