Sunday, May 5, 2013

St. Luke Artist Colourmen - The Exquisite Palette Show 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,

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, 

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!

Louise Blyton
Guest Reviewer for Melbourne

10th April – Mid May 2013

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