Thursday, September 25, 2014

Curve Gallery - Jane Lander

The east end of Newcastle was alive with activity last night; unprecedented considering the commotion and turmoil that abounds in regard to our political arena.  It’s a positive mood obviously attracting the crowds with hip cafes, bars and now an art precinct.

Pared back and minimal structurally the new space Curve Gallery occupies is classy.  The move is a step in the right direction piercing the heart of the hipster hardcore.  Proposing to act as a gallery for the established artist is also promising.  With a hell of a lot of average out there it’s to be sure this channelling will provide strength and direction in art form that may not always be accessible to the average Joe Blow but will be welcome relief for the buff.

The art aficionados of Newcastle know Jane Lander as a strong presence. “The Dais” her body of work now showing at Curve affirms her existence in this realm.  The platform at Newcastle baths, a nucleus for the promotion of youthful exuberance, is examined and scrutinised by the artist to produce a sophisticated insight into adolescent impermanence. Drawing with charcoal becomes a passage into animation.  South African artist William Kentridge is the practiced professional when it comes to telling a yarn with this medium.  However it’s still welcome to see this contemporary art form filtering into the region.

Proving popular were the skilfully executed charcoal drawings however for me the elegance of her oil paintings became a meditative embrace.  Edges seeped inconspicuously into washy backgrounds while silhouettes stood firmly occupying a surreal world.

Lately I have a predilection for comparison and I can’t help linking Lander’s spontaneous oil images to that of Chilean/Australian artist Juan Davila.  His exhibition “The Moral Meaning of Wilderness” adopts a technically similar response to the medium where oil is layered and appears thin and transparent allowing brushed forms to exist.  While Davila presents more detail in his environment the existing similarities permeate.

Lander’s exhibition at Curve Gallery is on exhibit until 27th September.  Curve Gallery is newly located at 61 Hunter st Newcastle.  Also open after a lengthy hiatus is The Lock-Up just over the road. And this month Timeless Textiles will be moving into Hunter st.  An art conglomerate!

It’s a welcome relief to witness this transformation in the east end and it is to be hoped it filters further westward.  The regeneration of Newcastle is in full swing despite the deleterious naysayers out there. 

Kerri Smith
Guest Reviewer

6th September – 27th September 2014

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