Friday, May 24, 2013
Walking into the exhibition For the Love of Vermillion is like entering a kind of delicious visual twilight zone. The works shimmer and ooze, going in and out of eye shot and focus while the viewer circles the room. They pulsate with color and energy, teasing with a kind of essential life essence.
On leaving the gallery I found myself searching – and finding – pattern in everything. It could be as simple as a row of cushions in your home. You constantly glance at them, consciously or unconsciously, and they register, time and time again, as a visual trigger for not only home, but community, culture, taste and warmth. We depend upon these patterns, these colors, to anchor us in some way - to our family, our routine and our identity. Like the patterns and colors of the seasons, or the architecture in the country in which we live, or the summer dresses our mothers always wore. Pattern as a recognizable visual can represent comfort and familiarity. Pattern as an unrecognizable visual can represent disconnectedness, unfamiliarity and perhaps even discomfort.
'Little Rocket' consists of a kind of arched patterning in varied hues of red. It has a subtle air of nostalgia, which is mysterious at first, until you realize that the repeated pattern evokes the tin rocket ship toys from the 50’s and 60’s. 'Inside' is the kind of work you feel you could fall into. It has a magnetic quality, appearing almost three-dimensional. Each square ‘space’ in the pattern is marked by four red squares, like columns viewed from above, flagging the multiple entrances like a visual version of a perpetual state of flux or confusion.
For the Love of Vermillion is a slight deviation from previous exhibitions Buret has produced, although the visual component – i.e. geometric color-filled patterns – remains a constant. In 2010, in the series Stolen Geometry form the Gardens of Love, Buret worked with map fragments, weaving them into her pattern work in order to explore displacement and the search for refuge. Shredded and reconstructed government documents such as visas and passports were used for her 2008 exhibition, Portraits of the Unknown, with the intention of bringing to light current international debates on border protection and refugees.
For the Love of Vermillion as a body of work is less political but more soulful. It resonates on an innate level, tapping into the subconscious, before urging a slide toward the conscious, slowly and gently - like dawn or dusk – enabling the registering of repeated and often emblematic patterns, which eventually leads to contemplation of the bigger picture.
Guest Reviewer for Sixtoeight.net
30th April - 25th May 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Traveling to the Jamison Valley in the new Scenic Railway with it’s fifty two degree incline was a bit of a hoot, took me back to my roller coaster days. Well not really but it was comfortable and a wonderful novel way to travel down the side of a mountain.
It was the opening of the Sculpture at Scenic World and a couple of my friends were exhibiting and I’d never been to Scenic World before except for the meet and greet the Artist’s dinner in April. So in total I have been there three times in one year. The opening with lashings of refreshments was a little warmer than we had anticipated, clearly we thought the weather was going to be a little more brisk and had rugged up too much. We rsvp’d for five pm to catch the last train to the valley floor and see the exhibit, sadly the light changed too quickly and my camera is not made for night time pictures.
Made a date with a friend to return before the closing date and managed to get some shots and footage, we had hoped that turning up early we may avoid the tourists, school excursions or families with small children but sadly no, which made filming a little difficult and missed taking some footage.
There are thirty five finalists in this exhibition and I think I may have missed some, but at the same time saw some great work and can only guess in awe how they were brought down the mountain.
The Winner Daniel Kojta with his ‘Reflect Phi (a moment)’ highly polished stainless steel played whimsical with the sloping location where this work was placed, the birds and wildlife took a fancy to it and interacted to the delight of the onlookers.
‘Resting Place’ knitted tinned and enamelled copper wire, stainless steel cable by Greer Taylor was a delight to view from below, a hanging enclosed tightly knit cage of wonder, just drifting in the the canopy minding it’s own business.
‘Ex/Enclosure’ moving image installation by Sarah Breen Lovett, one of my favourites was located inside the Miner’s Hut and offered a historical reference of a time gone by before Scenic World came to be. This work was thought provoking but at the same time quite relaxing with it’s sound and light projection. Sarah has the wonderful ability to extract ethereal remnants from the past and interweave them into the present.
‘Tiga Tiga’ vinyl inflatable sculptures and block digital printing by Dr Lisa Anderson is my other favourites, I love how this wonderful woman thinks as this work is perfectly fitting for this location, it floats between the trees and although it is a quiet work it’s very heart beats loudly as the legacy of the Thylacine is once again bought back to life. Extinction is a cruel word, it’s also a word that the majority of people take for granted that it wont happen, I feel with this work that Lisa is trying to remind us to not push, to take some time to think about what we are doing to our environment, to realize that our native flora and fauna are dangerously close to that very word and we all need to take a step back and reconsider our actions. Before the meet and greet in April I filmed Lisa talking about her work so make sure you watch that video too.
‘Apparition’ ply, mirror perspex, steel, exterior acrylic by Dale Miles is a window to the soul of the mountain hovering in one spot for you to catch it’s reflection. ‘The Brides’ recycled plastic bags, nylon fabric, wire, thread by The Winged Collective, like three brides gliding down through the trees, their dresses wafting in the breeze waiting patiently for their betrothed.
Christmas came early with these wonderful over sized Christmas decorations ‘Elimatta’ sealed glass vessels by Ann Russell dangling from a small tree, each telling a story of their own little worlds. ‘Serosa’ copper pipes by Darragh O’Calloghan blends in beautifully with the surrounding vines and tree scape, it just fitted perfectly.
At first we thought it was just found chains but on closer inspection discovered these ‘Left Behind’ by Penny Philpott were actually all ceramic, brilliant and well made.
Hoped on the Scenic Cableway and watched slowly as we climbed higher and higher back up to the top of the mountain beneath us disappear until next time.
24th April - 19th May 2013
Sunday, May 5, 2013
St. Luke Artist Colourmen is a unique art materials store that specialises in professional Artist's materials. A serious place yet run with a good sense of humour as the owners and staff are all practising artists themselves. One night in 2008 over beers they were discussing how they could thank their loyal customers. In a Cliff Richards voice someone yelled out "Let's put on a show!"
They wanted it to be fun. Then they thought let's make it kitsch and fun. Let's take the cultural icon of an artist that seems almost redundant today and get everyone to make it into a work of art. There was only one rule everyone agreed with- There Are No Rules! Thus The Exquisite Palette Show was born. That was way back in 2008. This year marks the fourth show. Every year artists do the most crazy beautiful works- never having two the same- all unique. This year brings a a mix of Sculpture, painting, knitting , embroidery and even cremation. The artists range from top end galleries artists to first time exhibitors.
Two artist prizes were given out this year. One to Soula Mantalvanos for her beautiful puppet like self portrait palette that tells of her long on going recovery from chronic pain, you can read all about it here, http://www.pudendalnerve.com.au
The other prize went to Simon O'Carrigan for his genteel approach of a palette within a palette, you can see more of his work here, http://www.simonocarrigan.com.au
Other stand out I would have to say is Noel Hourigan's hilarious wax sculpture titled "After The Opening." Dennis Chapman's "Lab Rat" brings back memories of art school, or is it a comment on today’s art market?
Ros Atkins diorama speaks of environmental issues with her beautifully put together work Titled "TIIMMBERRR!" "Bouquet." By Patricia Holleley conjures up images from spring in another time and place. Painstaking craftsmanship is invoked here. You just want to dive into it and have a nice cup of tea.
Robert Owen's "Palette" brings colour theory back into focus. As it should be. "The Bower birds Palette." by Deb Mostert is what I imagine an artist would collect if one was a bird. I'm sure many studios have these wonderful objects in them.
One of my favourites is the bunny palette by Kyoko Imazu titled "Surge." The most beautiful water colour I've seen for ages. Mark Ogge pulls out another great work from his on going circus theme "Half Man Half Woman." Nice to see rich dark colour paint, midnight blues deep reds, mmmm. Once again Dave Hagger produces something ingenious. He burnt his palette down to ashes and put them neatly into a tiny glass jar- where the hell do people get these ideas from!
I could go on and on as this year they have 178 palettes on display. All are for sale too. Price range is from $100- $500. What a great way to start that art collection you've always wanted! Hey, I just bought three!
Guest Reviewer for Melbourne
10th April – Mid May 2013
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
'Accident prone' is a clever title for an exhibition in a pop up salon within a Doctor's surgery. As a title for Diablo Mode's recent exhibition it also suggests a process of making in the studio informed by the wise intuition of the happy accident in a prolonged dialogue with rich, natural and man made materials.
If you are familiar with Diablo's work then you are probably already a devotee or a collector of it. It has a kind of magnetism that pulls you in. The works traverse a territory between the naturalistic bounty of strange fruit one might find on a forest floor and of sacrosanct reliquaries celebrating the sacred and divine.
Within this exhibition the artist maintains his vocabulary of materials, a delicate use of Casuarina and Chir pine needles, bound with coloured threads and copper wire and Sydney Black Bean seed pods pierced with screws and metal tacks. 'Accident prone' boasts Mode's most impressive series to date- of refined works created with coloured variegated nylon rope, again bound and constrained using plastic cable ties. All the works share an understated kinky aesthetic, in which their binding is both a kind of domination and willing submission, as the artist and material shift in a power play of who has the upper hand.
'Mood swing II' and 'Pisshead' pictured on the exhibition invite, exploit a colour palette of reds, oranges and yellow, which works in combination with the spiraling and binding to unite the two strands of work of plant materials and of rope. 'Mood swing II' visually refers to the infinite, and of creation, of cycles, of rising and falling, unfurling and closing up. It is characteristic of a certain species of Diablo's forms, which feel like spiraling avian creatures about to take flight. 'Pisshead' is aptly titled, with intricately bound spirals of yellow and red rope surrounding an antique urinal rosette. This work triumphantly embodies the subtle, or at least restrained homoeroticism of Mode's work. In 'Pisshead' one could argue that a whole branch of fetishism of piss, watersports and piss play is played out through the spirals of devotion focused around the rosette to create a new kind of flower.
Found materials operate as a kind of disrupt across the exhibition, whilst in the individual works each evoke the poetics of form and material, as if the artist could not resist to see what this or that might do. This is a practice rich in play and discovery. 'Goddess' incorporates a Tanzanian figurative hair comb, bound and woven with jute and copper wire and an antique quoit. This strong figuration is unusual outside of Mode's drawings and on reflection 'Goddess' is one of the most compelling and accomplished works in the show, the curve of the quoit forming arms for the figure and echoed in the bound Casurina below, which grounds the piece. 'Scorpio' is brought to life with the inclusion of two dark metal callipers, becoming deadly pincers whilst a cluster of silver spoon heads within 'Feast' form a kind of armour plating that punctuates the base of the work.
In the room sheet The artist says of the work: "The sculpture in this show represent moods, memories, habits and routines of the artist. As baskets, they are stripped of their function and exist purely for decoration. Their purpose isn't to hold fruit, car keys, coins or anything else that gets thrown in a bowl, but rather emotion and ideas." He references his passion for the etchings of Ernst Haeckel who produced the divine visual tome 'Artforms in Nature' and Albertus Seba 'Natural curiosities.' This influence is visible in the work through a shared "inspiration from the mathematics of nature" and a curiosity and making that both honours natural form, whilst pushing it beyond the boundaries of experienced reference points. Mode's works extend our imagination of the natural world, creating forms which invite contemplation and inspire awe and visual delight.
The opening was characterised by the handsome crowd, friendly atmosphere and a consistent orchestra of 'Ooohs' and 'Aaahs,' the sonic reverie released from our pleasure centres when stopped still in an encounter with beauty!
Lionel Bawden, 23rd April 2013.
Lionel Bawden is an artist, a peer of Diablo Mode and collector of Mode's work and Guest Reviewer for Sixtoeight.net
East Sydney Doctors
102 Burton St, Darlinghurst. (Entry via corridor central to building.)
Exhibition runs for 8 weeks, Monday to Friday 9am- 5pm from April 23rd 2013
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The Picture House Gallery & Bookshop - Local Eyes Photography and Gyan 'Bear in Mind' performance and book launch
There’s an exciting new gallery/performance space in Gunning NSW nestled between Canberra and Goulburn, that is the brainchild of artist Margarita Georgiadis and actor/artist Max Cullen.
Originally The Coronation Theatre circa 1937, Max and Margarita have renamed their venue “The Picture House Gallery & Bookshop”. They have spent the last ten years setting up a performing arts bookshop in the original cinema foyer and recently extended the shop to include a fabulous gallery that boasts high cathedral ceilings; the interior of the old cinema. Beyond the gallery are Max and Margarita’s studios (once a 500 seat theatre), which also includes a raked proscenium stage, perfect for intimate performances and events. The first exhibition at the gallery opened on Sunday 14 April and showcased four local photographers, each with a keen eye and appreciation for the surrounding landscape of Canberra and the Southern Tablelands.
Jeremy Thompson is an ABC journalist living in Canberra, with a lifelong love of photography. Jeremy has taken photographs from all over the world, often illustrating his own articles with photographs and video. Jeremy was a finalist in the 2011 Australian National Portrait Prize, with a photograph of journalists interviewing Kevin Rudd, this brilliant work is featured in the exhibition, along with Jeremy’s stunning landscape and nature photography; namely of the Simpson Desert.
Kirsten Jeffcoat is a painter, printmaker and photographer living in Goulburn, with an extensive artistic career teaching at the Sorbonne University in Paris, Education Officer at Goulburn Regional Gallery and the NGA. Her lithographs are included in the National Gallery of Australia collection. Kirsten has exhibited in Australia and France, her photographs in this exhibition are from her travels to the Pilbara, water reflections from the Kimberley, ice crystals of Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain, the salt pools of Malta and terracotta tiles in the French Ardennes. Kirsten’s work explores fragments and memory of time and place, she captures these elements masterfully within the detail and patterns of the places she has visited.
Renee Andrews from Dalton is inspired by the vast mountain landscapes and changing weather conditions of southeastern of NSW. Renee is a member of the Australian Photographic Society and has been involved in online folios, submitting a nature photograph weekly. Renee was a finalist in the Goulburn Regional Art Award in 2012. Her photography is a spectacular portrayal of the sometimes violent and dramatic landscape and weather conditions of the Southern Tablelands. Renee’s photographs are a celebration of the ‘epic’ where she finds and delivers the beauty of the vast rural hill-scapes and dramatic clouds in the open country sky, often from her doorstep!
Mary Butt has lived in the Crookwell area for 18 years and been a shearers cook and shed hand for the last 11 years. Mary travels with her husband Matt, who is a shearer. They travel to remote NSW outback areas including Burke, Brewarrina, Cobar, Hay, Booligal, Ivanhoe and in and around the Crookwell area as part of their work. Mary’s photographs capture our great Australian landscape and local history. As she often travels to remote areas, her photographs are haunting glimpses of long forgotten or neglected shearing sheds, abandoned cars or dilapidated historic homesteads. Mary’s work takes the viewer into the secret, silent places of the outback, with an eye for the beauty of abandonment and decay.
“Local Eyes” is a stunning exhibition by four very talented photographers, it is a celebration of landscape, bird life, the outback and the micro life we so often don’t get a chance to stop and observe in our busy, fast paced lives. It is the perfect debut exhibition for a venue nestled between Sydney and Canberra, where all the beauty captured by these photographers of the Australian countryside and nature resides.
After the exhibition opening, guests were invited into the theatre/studio for a performance and book launch by the enigmatic, world renowned, Byron Bay based singer/songwriter/author, GYAN. With an ARIA award and platinum sales for her self-titled debut album in 1990, Gyan moved to the UK, then the USA where she signed to Universal working with Ricky Martin, Leanne Rimes and producer Desmond Child. Last year, Gyan performed at the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Recital Centre with Leunig and was the voice of hope and redemption in director P J Hogan’s “Mental”.
Gyan’s performance at The Picture House was outstanding to say the least. The intimate audience was mesmerized by the hauntingly beautiful music and voice of this exceptional artist, who sang from her various albums and performed a few of her tiny poems. Audience members received a free signed copy of Gyan’s book of tiny poems “Bear in Mind” at the end of the show and all, including Gyan, were taken by the brilliant acoustics of the venue. It was indeed a very special afternoon of art, music, poetry and performance in Gunning.
Max and Margarita are thrilled with the success of their first event and exhibition at their picture house, and are planning more for 2013 and into the future.
Watch this space!
Guest Reviewer from Gunning, NSW
14th April - 4th May 2013