Avital Sheffer – Edge of memory @ Beaver Galleries

For someone who has grown up in a recent city in the era of plastic and mass production this artist inspires me. Each of these ceramics has an almost ancient look about it. Avital Sheffer is using her art to explore her Middle Eastern and Jewish Heritage and it is very convincing to me. The earthenware creations are beautifully curved with a charming surface decoration with lines and almost window-like inserts to some. The most fascinating element to me is the decoration of parts of the outside with script. The writing is in some different Middle Eastern calligraphic styled writing. I would love to know what is said. I have included below some pics of whole pots and the detailing and the flyer and gallery sheets with prices.







Remindlessness Sara Freeman and Peter Jordan @ M16 Artspace

Peter Jordan has an almost elfin like look in some of his work. The nature based ones are vital and moving with rich colours giving warmth to everything. Sue Freeman has a sense of the power of fog and blurriness in her work. Below is a painting titled Wave and standing in front of it, it is almost alive with motion, not a sense you get from my pic.








Essence of Place – Shunyam Smith @ M16 Artspace

Tapestry is a remarkable art to me. There are great skills involved in its production even in simple designs. This artist Shunyam Smith has created a set of strikingly beautiful visions of the landscape that represent it with great evocative colour and movement. I love touching texture. Wife is guardian of art works on behalf of artists so anytime we get near texture “Remember don’t touch!” is stated firmly in my ear. That happened in front of Smith’s work. Attached are a few pics. Loved her work.





Still Moving – Caroline Huf @ M16 Artspace

Lots of us have been involved in packing up and moving from house to house. This artwork works with all that background and Carline’s long history of moving. The whole thing is multifaceted and fun. It is set up in a room with removalist boxes packed in various places and using a few projectors she has movies overlaid on two of the walls of boxes. One of the piles of boxes has a rapid fire time=lapse record of her packing up a house. The other wall has a film of her writing a list of the many moves including dates and locations of the moves.
I found the thing to be lots of fun because I related to it in many ways. I used to work with a church and seemed to be constantly helping people pack up, clean up, move and unpack.

Faces of Death the last great carnivores Nayana Rathmalgoda @ M16 Art Space

This exhibition of work by Nayana Rathmalgoda is confronting as it deals with the issue of threatened species among carnivorous animals. The set ranges from tigers to dogs of different sorts. The images have blood in them but refer also to the wider debate about carnivores and extinction. I have included one below that is clearly referential to the great painting “The Scream”. I laughed in simple enjoyment at the appropriateness of that reference in this context.



Michael Riley portraits – Strength and Beauty @ National Portrait Gallery

There are 15 powerful and beautiful portraits in the small gallery off the foyer at the National Portrait Gallery from the remarkable photographer Michael Riley. All photos are in Black and white and present starkly elegant faces in an undecorated way. The National Gallery of Australia had a retrospective a few years ago but it is wonderful reminder of this wonderful body of work. The Portrait Gallery has no mention of this display on their website at present but the following pic is one of the many in Google Images that is included in the exhibition.



National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 @ National Portrait Gallery

A great event that happens every year in Canberra is the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 at National Portrait Gallery. This year before we went there had been an article in the Canberra Times about the darkness of the tone of the portraits. Now I have seen the collection I agree.

As usual the winner is a puzzle. When you look at the other ones in the room I wonder what criteria they used. There are some remarkable images in the collection – a women who has had breast cancer with tatoos where her breasts were – a woman sitting in the midst of domestic chaos naked to the waist with her young children with a crown on her head.

There are a couple of features of the exhibition that are new this year. You have to wend your way through a maze like another exhibition to get tot he real one but when you get there the great new feature is that there is a small room with a flat screen that scrolls through all 140 pictures as well as the usual great selection of finalists.

If you want to get a sense of it, there is a a great page on their website url below