Sunday, March 24, 2013

James Dorahy Project Space - Stephanie Monteith

Never seen in my life a painting of a blow up doll especially one that has been painted so well, it’s perfect, but there is two, one that is inflated and one that is not. Both painted to perfection to the point of giving life.

‘Sunbaker’ oil on linen is quite wild with it’s real life plastic fantastic, this is what a blow up doll that’s been deflated and lying on a beach towel looks life. Careful skin tone and a beautiful rendition of detailed perfection. Does ‘Pump’ oil on linen remind you of anybody with it’s oh so 80’s look. I love the sweat band at the base of the pineapple’s green bit and the use of hot pink and red together. So cool.!

From past show’s Stephanie has proved to us she can paint a skeleton very well and now she is painting real life people too but she doesn’t need to prove anything to us as we all know she is great painter. Really love the wistful gaze of ‘Waiting with Neil Evans’ oil on linen, his hair and checked shirt bring his beautiful skin tone out for all the world to enjoy, this one is a real beauty.

Does the white ‘Carnation’ oil on linen mean new friendship, hasn’t it always meant a new beginning for two lonely people or am I just kidding myself, this little painting is really lovely, a good choice as an introduction to a wonderful show.

Fleur MacDonald

26th February - 24th March 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A - M Gallery - Louisa Chircop

Last year I was very fortunate to have my portrait painted by Louisa for her Archibald entry, sadly it wasn’t hung but it did make it to the second selection. That painting is now hanging in my lounge room and so far it is the best painting anyone has ever done of me. It’s not about vanity as every time I look at it I see something different, it’s the way it’s been painted, thin oil washes that reveal the depth of each gossamer layer.

I know I am no oil painting but this painting is, Louisa has a wonderful innept understanding of colour and perspective, he current show ‘A Scattering of Pages’ show’s us at her best at creating and wielding a fine web of intrigue devulging stories from her family history and her nightly dreams.

‘The Grand View’ held each other’s hand as well as mine and maybe not just mine, it created a wonderful story within it’s snow covered pine peaks while sitting on a bench holding hands.

‘Skip’ is a gust of hot air held in stasis, it’s quickening to a quiet approach is impressive, where does Louisa live in her head and can I go stay there.

Where does one yield a close proximity to sane and insanity lie, on the edge of a canvas. I love her brain and I love her work, oh Louisa do not stop, do not ever stop painting.

Fleur MacDonald

6th March - 23rd March 2013

Edwina Corlette Gallery - Jessica Geron

Jessica Geron's  latest solo at Edwina Corlette Gallery is a bold break from her previous work which has predominantly referred to pop culture.  These more personal images draw from the artist's own experiences, many of them inspired by a recent move from Sydney to Brisbane and her response to the different architecture - raised houses, and semi-tropical lushness of the landscape.  Jessica says that she thinks this is very much reflected in her palette which is bolder, less self–conscious and almost garish.   

“Moving to a new place brings a certain sense of isolation and I think this helped me to be brave about my painting decisions,” says Jessica.

“The landscapes all come from holiday snaps or drives around Brisbane, getting to know the area and looking at real estate. Looking for a new home provided me with some interesting material.  The houses were made to look glamorous for the inspections and I felt I gleamed a lot in those five minute visits about suburban identity and aspiration.”

At first glance the works could be mistaken for collage.  However they are skillfully composed oil paintings, full of texture and energy – a must see.

Amy Clarke
Guest Reviewer

5th March - 23rd March 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chrissie Cotter Gallery - Kath Fries

Situational shows artist Kath Fries response to her time as artist in residence at Bundanon.  Her work takes the form of site responsive installation, usually of an ephemeral nature and often using delicate materials.

The first time I came into contact with Fries' subtle and delicate installations was at Artscape in 2010, using masses of feathers in the trees.  Currently Fries uses thistle from the area plus also found rock and wood from the site.  She has combined this with photographic documentation and video projection.

The way the exhibition has been installed not only evokes her responses to the surroundings at Bundanon, but insinuates itself into the unique fabric of Chrissie Cottier Gallery, making it doubly "responsive".  Delicate tufts of thistle emerge from the cracks in the wall, then wander down string to collect and nestle on the floor in a corner.  Tiny rocks collected from the site become grand statues evocative of animal and sacred place icons by their framing inside a nook cut out of paper hung in from the ceiling to the floor.  Behind them the fading light of the late afternoon into evening, allows us experience what Kath describes as her favourite time of day during the residency.

This exhibition is part of Art Month Sydney and MOST (Marrickville Open Studio Trail) and ends on 17 March 2013, with an artist talk at the Gallery.

Match sure you catch this show before it fades with the day.

Pamela Lee Brenner
Guest Reviewer for Sydney

7th March - 17th March 2013 
Chrissie Cottier Gallery, Pidcock Street, Camperdown, NSW, Thursday to Sunday 11am - 5pm

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mils Gallery - Ida Lawrence

Bloody Woop Woop is a great name for an exhibition, it’s one of those saying’s that you don’t hear much anymore and it’s one of the greats.

Barmedman, as I’ve never heard of it, sounds a bit like my home town of Rockhampton, I get that it’s always dry and usually looks like a dust bowl but these places have character and lot’s of stories to tell.

This series of paintings also tells lot’s of stories, they also come across as works created by a seasoned professional, I could say they have traces of Colin McCahon and Imants Tillers as there is a text overlay but as Ida is quite young and is making a mark for herself, I believe there is no need to reference her work to anyone else as this show stands alone.   Strength and power with paint and word is a powerful medium and even more powerful coming from someone who understands there own landscape and family history.

Go forth young lady and re-educate us all.

Fleur MacDonald

27th February - 10th March 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Catherine Asquith Gallery - Amanda van Gils

Twice Removed

I have been an interested observer and admirer of the works of Amanda van Gils for a number of years. Her moody and atmospheric works have the ability to transport the viewer to the place and time where the image was based.

So, on a warm Victorian day more reminiscent of Northern Queensland, I travelled to Melbourne to view van Gils new works on show at Catherine Asquith Gallery in Collingwood.

On entering the Gallery you were in no doubt that this was van Gils work the brush strokes that characterize her work were there, the atmosphere that denotes the time of day were there but, there was something different… this series of work, which continues van Gils exploration of landscape in contemporary life filtered through the lens of a camera were visually stronger. The colour palette utilized in this body of work was more vibrant and possibly truer to the place where the image was taken, this may be due to van Gils use and choice of images for this body of work.

This series unlike previous works utilizes photographs from friends and acquaintances, which takes van Gils disconnection with the landscape one step further. Interpreting another person’s image can be difficult at the best of times but, as van Gils prefers to work with the ‘blurred’ image taken in motion these works are made more difficult in their production by her having no tangible relationship with what she is seeing.

Having recently returned from Canada, I was personally drawn to the work ‘David – Yosemite National Park’ although not set in Canada it exuded the qualities of light and atmosphere that I had experienced in the Canadian landscape, ‘Vito – North of Brisbane’ transports the viewer to those grassy dunes that dot the coastal landscape of the Eastern sea board.

Overall I think the viewer has been rewarded with a strong body of work that is still evolving and morphing into a true 21st Century landscape. I would urge people in Victoria to view this show and for those in the other states to keep an eye out for future shows in your area.

Debbie Hill
Guest Reviewer from Victoria

19th February - 9th March 2013