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!

Rita Rogers
Guest Reviewer from Gunning, NSW

14th April - 4th May 2013

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