Friday, July 27, 2012
WOW!! I found myself a little gobsmacked and enthralled by most of the works in this war infused body of work, with the story of the Japanese Midget submarines being the main influence and it is after all a surprisingly good story which has made an indentation on Australia’s war history. Although I must admit I was a little hesitant to review this show when first suggested but upon reading about the attack and seeing the work I wanted more.
A brilliant plan by Mosman Art Gallery to commission local artist Ken Done to make this body of work, after all Ken has a long standing relationship with Japan.
Ken has produced some fantastic abstract representations which will hopefully help cement him into Australia’s contemporary Art world. The paintings express and reveal in detail the narrative of what those Japanese submariners came upon in Sydney Harbour back in 1942. He has dived deep into those lost souls and created an overwhelming sense of being there as witness to what unfolded.
‘The Plan’ oil and acrylic on canvas command respect in it’s boldness of colour depicting the suggested route to Sydney Harbour. ‘Farewell’ oil and acrylic on canvas is surprisingly sensitive revealing the sadness and at the same time stoic appearance of the Japanese wife.
‘Caught in the Net’ oil and acrylic on canvas, has to be my favourite as you can feel the tension of the explosion, the richness of the dark blue night time ocean, the sense of loss and was it all worth it. ‘The Attack 1 & 11’ oil, acrylic and oil crayon on canvas is an explosion of colour, a battle on canvas, lights, sirens, fire and blood blasting the painting off the wall.
As I was never a big fan of Ken’s work over the years, seeing this show has now made me ‘a fan’ and proves to me he can paint and I’m putting him on the same pedestal as I have placed painters the likes of Elisabeth Cummings, Louise Hearman and Peter Gardiner.
19th May - 8th July 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
After a much needed hiatus and relocating the Sixtoeight office to the Blue Mountains I get to start a new chapter in my life with this clean clear mountain air and I have a studio for the first time in decades to really spread my wings and start a new body of work for my next show.
Not The Way Home: 13 Artist’s Paint The Desert was the brain child of Artist Profile Editor Owen Craven, he and Windsor & Newton packed up 13 painters, sculptors and drawers from their everyday routine and transplanted them into the arid unforgiving landscape of Fowlers Gap. Each and everyone of them had been placed here for the sole purpose of extracting their immediate response to this desolate landscape.
It would have been really interesting to have been a fly on the wall during dinner or hovering around the Artist’s while they made their art. A wonderful experiment in understanding what the Artist process is and what comes out of it.
As I wandered through the exhibition I could sense the intensity of that dry landscape as it leaped off the numerous canvas’s and works on paper.
Margaret Ackland, Elisabeth Cummings, Merran Esson, Joe Frost, Alan Jones, Jennifer Keeler-Milne, Ross Laurie, Steve Lopes, Euan MacLeod, Idris Murphy, Amanda Penrose Hart, Peter Sharp and Guy Warren have created a diverse narrative in revealing to us their wonderful take on the most harshest of surroundings.
If I wore a hat I would take it off to Owen as this Art world needs more people like Owen Craven.
25th May - 1st July 2012