Radicals, Slayers and Villains @ Ballarat Art Gallery

Dr John Ord Poynton has blessed generations through his donations of art.The exhibition Radicals, Slayers and Villains at the Ballarat Art Gallery is curated from a collection he donated to the Baillieu Library at the University of Melbourne. The thing I love about an exhibition like this is the age of the material and the insight it gives me into the methods, styles and ideas of say the 1500s. Below there are three pics that are taken from the three sections of the show. All were produced in the 1500s. I still am in awe when I stand in front of an art work in great shape that is 500 years old. I have also included some pics of some of the informative wall text that is with the exhibition.
A Radical is embodied in
Heinrich Aldergrever Martin Luther 1540
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A Slayer is embodied in
Giovanni Battista Scultori – David Cutting the head off Goliath 1540
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A villain is embodied in
Albrecht Durer – A Coat of arms with a skull 1503
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Youth – Artwork by young people across Wyndham @ Wyndham Art Gallery

I always love getting to see exhibitions that feature school student art. The exhibition at the Wyndham Art Gallery features art created by both primary and secondary students in the area. Their work ranges through photography, drawing, painting and sculpture. The skill set exhibited ranges from ‘developing’ through ‘competent’ and on to ‘skillful’.
It is great to look at work that is generated in primary and secondary school and see skillful execution and creative ideas. I have included some pics below.
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Chinese whispers @ Goulburn Regional Art Gallery

A children’s game is the integrating idea for the current exhibition at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery (GRAG). Most people are familiar with Chinese Whispers and the curators applied that in getting these Chinese artists to create their work for this exhibition. The product that is on the walls is an exuberant colourful set of works that delight the eye and stimulate the “grey cells”.
The artists are all of Chinese origin which adds a layer to the exhibition. Kevin Chin, John Deng, Fan Dangwang, Li Cui, Tracy Luff, Kaye Mahoney, Pamela Mei Leng See, Guan Wei, Jason Wing, Huihai Xie, Louise Zhang, and Tianli Zu have participated in Chinese Whispers.
Let me include a few examples of the works on exhibition
Fan Dongwang – Dragon in water
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Guan Wei – Watching
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Huihai Xie – Impact
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Tianli Zu – Masks
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Kevin Chin – Touch up

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EIKON: Icons of the Orthodox Christian World @ Ballarat Art Gallery

The Christian form I am involved in is not really into art, creativity and religious representation – plain walls no decoration of anything. The exhibition at the Ballarat Art Gallery is an exhilarating experience for me. It consists of religious objects of worship drawn from Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East.
Each of the objects has a religious purpose, a religious context and tells a deeply religious story. Some of the pictures are of the great characters and stories of the Christian and Hebrew scriptures. Other pictures weave the stories of the great characters and heroes of the Eastern Orthodox Church. There is a whole room devoted to mother and child portrayals.
These icons are majorly made of egg tempura paint on wood. The representations are fairly flat and have little depth of field. They are created to aid people’s devotion. They are at the heart of controversies between several branches of the Christian movement during the middle ages.
The exhibition is beautifully laid out on red walls with dim lighting and a fabulous set of textual boxes explaining the history and background of each icon. The whole set is supplied by a single Sydney collector and is accompanied by a remarkable hardback book that includes lots of the icons and plenty of background information.
Here are a few pics to give a sense of the set.
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Ballarat Society of Artists: Director’s Cut @ Ballarat Art Gallery

This exhibition is a selection by the Director of the Gallery from 72 works submitted for consideration by the members. There is a great range of styles and media used in these works. For me some stood out and others were pretty ordinary but the beauty of Societies of Artists is that they foster adventure and skill development of a big range of artists. This exhibition is a fine group of paintings and have been carefully chosen to make a good exhibition.
Here are some I liked.
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46th Ballarat National Photographic Exhibition @ Ballarat Art Gallery

Photographs abound on the internet. It is nice to see quality prints in large format on walls in a gallery. This exhibition has 172 prints selected from 631 entries from all over Australia. The competition is in half a dozen categories and the gallery is beautifully set out to cluster each category on specific wall. I loved the creativity of the photographers and have included some phone shots below. They all suffer from reflection as all the photographs are under glass.
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The Sculpture program @ Ballarat Botanic Gardens

I remember in some connection when I was young, hearing that the gardens of the Palace of Versailles had sculptures of great people installed throughout its vast areas because the nobles did not want to be lonely in the gardens. Tha Ballarat Botanic Gardens has a collection of sculptures installed in the gardens. The explanation is spelt out on a charming glass and corrugated iron pavilion. The collection is basically a gift from Thomas Stoddart and James Robert Thomson. Some are scattered among the trees and shrubs. The set I was most impressed with is in a pavilion. In the centre Flight from Popmei. Around the edges are four statues, Rebecca, Susanna, Modesty and Ruth. The Flight from Pompei has marble reliefs set into the base. The sculptures are part of a heritage that seems a little antique today but fun to look at.
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