Illuminations – Alicia Mozqueira @ Beaver Galleries

Some artists have a gift for getting the sense of place in their work. Alicia Mozqueira gets the Snowy Mountains with a striking clarity. The exhibition at the Beaver Galleries called Illuminations has lots of close ups of alpine vegetation, topography and skies that evoke the density of the vegetation, the roughness of the terrain and the turbulence and power of the skies. The paintings have a tactile look at them that has you wanting to touch remembering the feel of the alpine plants in the mountains. Below is the flyer, gallery sheet and some pics.
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Action Stations @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Braddon

Two artists are in this show. They both love colour.
Peter Maloney creates large brightly coloured textual creations with seeming newsprint mixed into the panels.They are strong, eye-catching and thought provoking.
Louise Paramor creates art that I have been talking to friends about in the days since I saw the exhibition. It consisted of remarkable, what the gallery sheets call found plastic assemblages. Ms Parmor has found lots of bits of plastic that are parts of toys and household paraphenalia (inflatable bed pumps, balls, clothing racks etc) and has interwoven then into a set of truly delightful colourful sculptures. I loved every one – they were cheerful and fun. She matched them with striking acrylic on polyester artistic representations of the sculptures morphed and combined into new on the wall artworks. There was something about them that were happy and enjoyable to look at.
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Women Together Conflict courage and Hope – UNHCR @ Nishi Gallery New Acton

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IMAG0009Some photography is art – some is powerful messaging. The photographer Thomas Mukoya is in the later category. In the Nishi Gallery for the next week there is a stirring exhibition of large format colour photographs of women who are surviving in the “most dangerous place on earth to be a woman” The Democratic Republic of the Congo is riddled with war and all sorts of social disfunction and violence. These photographs tell a story of violence and victimisation and the use of sex to control and terrorise women and girls.
The photographs tell a story of hope and courage as the women face and deal with life in the presence of conflict, oppresion and systematic violence. The women work with education, health care, food supply and every other necessary part of life with cooperation and care.
I have attached the brochure with donation details and some of the images from this powerful exhibition.

Resist and Reveal @ ANU School of Art Gallery

This exhibition by Melinda Heal and Amy Kerr-Menz has an attractive beauty to every item. Ms Kerr Menz has a set of gorgeous hand cut Katagami stencils. Some have an attractive geometric configuration to them while others are beautiful pictures of elements of realist parts of day to day life. Melinda Heal has produced shimmering multi-layered scenes using translucent fabrics called silk organza and silk pongee. These creations are so engaging because the fabric moves with wind and they have distance between them which gives a sense of depth and movement as you stand in front of them. Both artists are influenced by traditional Japanese art techniques.
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Jam Factory 40 Year Retrospective @ ANU School of Art

Over the last couple of decades certain places have built an almost mythic status in my art mind. The Jam Factory is one of them. In lots of exhibitions there are inclusions of people who work from the Jam Factory and the calibre of the work is usually very high.
This exhibition at the ANU School of Art is gorgeous. They have curated samples from maybe 40 marvellous artists working in lots of design and craft media accompanied by a blurb and often a Qcode linked interview. As you move from person to person the marvels of creativity just keep unfurling. The materials, the colours, the forms all range across a side spectrum from the expected to the novel.
It was exhilarating to be exposed to such concentrated beauty.
Below is the flyer and some samples from half a dozen of the artists. At the exhibition you can buy a wonderfully published catelogue and on the wall there is a brief history time line covering all forty years of the great work of the Jam Factory.

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Greg Healey Link figure
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Stephen Bowers – White cockatoos
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Takeshi – East chair
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Frank Bauer – Grey Litchfield #063

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Vipoo Shrivilasa – Peace flower 1 and 2

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Michelle Taylor – Jewellery pieces
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On Men @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Braddon

Daguerreotypes make fascinating images. There are several among the items in this exhibition. The Cube space has four images by James Tylor of Maori men that look like that style of product in a bright red shimmery finish. Out in the gallery space there are a set of fun creations.
One I loved was Cause and Defect by Will French. It is an appropriated map in which they have shifted Australia to sit where the North Atlantic usually sits. The title and fact of this map is a delightful thoughtful piece of art. I will have the gallery sheet and a couple of pics below. Very enjoyable exhibition.
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Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize 2014 @ National Archives of Australia

This art prize was named for the first director of the South Australian Museum. In my view it is consistently the best annual art event coming to Canberra (now Ranamok is ended). Every year the exhibition brings a great range of media and styles and the creativity of their approach to the natural world is so enjoyable.
As with all art the stuff that appeals to me is often not the judges favourites. I will just feature here the four or five that I loved. If you go they have an awesome catalogue that features many more of the entries that did not come to Canberra. This exhibition is just the commended finalists in all the categories.
The categories have painting, works on paper, sculpture, youth and some others.
One I loved was a big web of black paper cut over a whitish background. It focussed on the at risk fauna in the Morton Bay area near Brisbane. It is by Nicola Moss called Priority Species.
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Another one that I loved because it played around between subject and materials The object is a representation of one of those hundredths of a second photographs of a drip landing in a glass of milk. The fun thing is that the materials used are white marble. The work is One by Sally Wikes.
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Sophie Carnel’s Introduced Species is a fun thing. Based on those thousands of racks in homes of souvenir spoons Ms Carnel has come up with an elegant set of spoons with the head usually celebrating a visit to Oodnadatta transformed into a finely created metal representation of a plant that has been introduced to Australia and has presumably become a problem. The elegance and richness of its cutural references was very enjoyable for me.
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The final one I will include is Their lives in our hands by Wendy Jennings. You know the finger shadow puppets people do infront of projectors. Ms Jennings has created nine delightful representations of presumably at risk fauna build around hand shadow puppets. It is beautiful and powerful while being playful at the same time – great.
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