Canberra Centenary – what’s so great about it? @ Belconnen Arts Centre

Using a set of five artists artists from here and elsewhere the curators have created a profile of Canberra that it thought provoking and engaging.
Barak Zelig created some delightful invented landscapes. There was one with that ghastly cheap 19 story block of flats in the middle of Woden Town Centre plonked down in a normal suburb. Another is with a sky scraper in the midst of a burnt out forest and a third with suburbs right down to the shore of Pine Island. James Passakos created several versions of our wonderful large roundabout. Carolyn Canty produced a set of reflections influenced by the work of US artist Grant wood to convey the various roots and functions of Canberra. Angela Coombs Matthews produced some abstract landscapes focused on the Cotter Dam development. Theo Tremblay had some great prints print hangings celebrating the different urban looks of Canberra.
Again here was a small exhibition which through careful curation brought together some deligtful perspectives of Canberra during its hundredth birthday. I thoroughly enjoyed the point of view in each of these artist’s work. I have included a phone pic of a sample of each artist in the exhibition they are in the order I have mentioned them.





Grayson Perry on Art @ BBC Reith Letures

I listen to heaps of podcasts on lots of topics. This week I have heard three parts released so far of the annual BBC Reith Lectures. The great lecturer this year is the artist Grayson Perry. His lectures are on art – its standards, its place in the economy, its gatekeepers and its funny idiosyncrasies. His focus is on contemporary art and he is a wonderfully funny and well informed imbedded commentator.

I had never heard of him before I heard the lectures but he has  large body of work especially in the field of pottery. The lectures began with a discussion of the frock shoes and make up he was wearing so I Googled it and have attached a link to some stuff on him.  If you can try and get the lectures – they are fun and very engaging.

The podcast is at:

The frock competiton

The art at Saatchi

Punk in Canberra @ Canberra Museum and Gallery

The Cabinet of Curiosities at the Canberra Museum and Gallery is one of my favourite spaces in the City. It is a small room in which people are invited to show their collections of various interests.
Right now the exhibition is Head Full of Flames Canberra Punk and Beyond. This is a show full of clothes, shoes, videos, ephemera and other elements of the Punk approach to life. I was not into punk but it was very influential and it is worth a visit to see the local manifestations of this fascinating movement.

Splinters @ Canberra Museum and Gallery

I love the way the Canberra Museum and Gallery does it work. Right now there is an exhibition of the history of an experimental theatre group called Splinters. I have lived in Canberra most of the last 60 years and I had never heard of them but it was fascinating to see and read of their long period of work. Beginning as I recall in the seventies they created great events both inside and out. The exhibition has empemera, videos and props drawn from its history.
It is in the gallery upstairs and I have included a photo of a remarkable prop that is on display

The Art of Australia with Edmund Capon on ABC 1

I love art and I love hearing about art from people who love art. Edmund Capon was the head of the Art Gallery of New South Wales AGNSW for over two decades until recently. He knows his art and he has created a three part exploration of the history of Australian Art called the Art of Australia which is on ABC 1 TV. I missed the first one but saw the second and enjoyed it especially for the range or woeks and styles he covers. I don’t thing he is the most amazing TV persona but his love of art comes across in a knowledgeable analysis of his chosen works.

A great anecdote I loved was when he spoke of a previous head of the AGNSW being the first director of a major gallery to buy a Sidney Nolan painting. His board of governors were so shocked that they required him to gain their permission for all future art purchases. The third episode will be on at 7.30pm next Tuesday on ABC 1.

Nexus – Reflections and Interpretations @ Tuggerenong Art Gallery

The current display in the main new central gallery space at the Tuggerenong Arts Centre is a delightful exhibition of artists with roots in South America. The range of material and approaches that are included in this exhibition are wonderfully stimulating. There is jewelery, there are mobiles of double sided digital postcard prints, there are fabrics, photography and feathers – a delightful curation of a range of styles.

Maria Fernanda Cardoso contributed two large works created largely out of Emu feathers, Fernando do Campo has a developing set of geometric shapes first in crayon then in paint and then in corrugated coloured cardboard. Ceretha Skinner has some delightful geometrically designed silk screen fabrics on the wall. Sarrita King had a great white and blue snake type form that evoked Indigenous and Chinese roots.It is a great exhibition and I was glad I popped in.
Sarita King

Ceretha Skinner

Maria Fernanda Cardoso

Fernando de Campo

Rodrigo Munoz

Antarctica Emma Varga @ Canberra Glassworks

Another great exhibition of a remarkable glass artist Emma Varga is on at the Canberra Glassworks. She has created 40 beautiful predominantly ice inspired works of art and a set of gorgeous digital prints of astonishingly beautiful locations in the Antarctic. It amazes me how creativity can emerge in very similar media to evoke different senses of a place. Each of the works use different aspects of glass –  colouring, internal texture, external surface working and shape and size. The overal impression is a great insight into the cold beauty of the remarkable Antarctica.  I will be going back.  I have attached a couple of shots of what struck me as the most remarkable work in the exhibition – a work inspired by the Neko Harbour Glacier