College Creative @ Tuggerenong Arts Centre

College art students get some great opportunities to exhibit their work in public.This show curated by the Tuggerenong Arts Centre brings together a selection of the best art from College students in the region for this year. The show includes many styles and still a range of skill levels

I am always thrilled to see these exhibitions and the budding quality on display.  I am also rapt that the students get to have their work displayed in full public galleries.

Sample pics below.

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Messengers 15 @ Tuggerenong Arts Centre

There is a vibrant early intervention program for high school students at Tuggerenong Arts Centre called Messengers. Each year the Arts Centre has an exhibition of works created by students as part of their work.

The art has a direct strait forward approach to representation The colours are bight and the combinations are bold. There is a street art look to many of the works. I enjoyed the art and am glad they are putting this exhibition on each year.

Samples below.

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Gifts to government (Part 2) @ Australian Parliament House

I popped into Parliament House and found that the objects in the exhibition of gifts to  government have nearly all been changed over. Amazing but not surprising. No doubt the stock of these objects is large and it was a surprising treat that the curators have put many more out on display.

I am sure Malcolm Frazer was bewitched by a life size bust of himself with a shiny gold reflective surface. Being off the farm I am sure he would have been more at home in a hand made Churro saddle and bridle ensemble from Mexico.

There are heaps of handicrafts and national symbols, there are statuettes and models, There are paintings and plates – more variety than I can represent here. One of the most surprising stuff was the jewellery. Lots of gold and precious stones in either national or historical traditional designs. Although much of the material is kitsch it gives an insight into national cultures and the way governments relate to each other. I was glad I got to see round 2.

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Celestial Empire – Life in China 1644-1911 @ National Library of Australia

Occasionally I make a point of going to the first day of an exhibition. I have been looking forward to this one since I first heard about its coming maybe six months ago. A comprehensive exhibition on the Quing Dynasty from 1644- 1911 drawn almost exclusively from the resources of the National Library of China would be hard to make a mess of.

Walking into the crowded space today immediately confirmed my expectations that this would be exhilarating. The first object was a huge blue and white map on fabric that must have been 12 sq mtr. Around the corner there was an abundance of hand drawn maps and story books, maps, building plans, rich, beautifully coloured illustrations and massive paintings of 3D map like paintings on silk scrolls.

In the centre of the gallery there is one of those fun glass topped touch screen map devices. I spent 20 minutes on it. There were translations of documents, information flags on map locations, historical photo collections and exquisite painting reproductions linked to elements of the main map. I guess I got less than half way round and will go back for more.

I plan to go back for several more visits. I was almost shocked that it was free. The quality of the objects exhibited and the helpful amount of detail in the text was enjoyable. As there is a photograph ban in the gallery I have included the webpage link and a picture of a horse drawn carriage from the foyer of the Library.

It was a privilege to view this material and chatting with several Chinese visitors I got some insight into some of the untranslated text. Thanks NLA staff – it was awesome.

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The World is Beautiful – Photographs from the collection @ National Gallery of Australia

A great new exhibition at the NGA features a rich collection of photographs from the huge collection held in their vaults. The photographers included included work by Michael Riley, Diane Arbus, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bill Henson, Robert Mapplethorpe, Man Ray, Cindy Sherman, Edward Weston and many more. Hundreds of images mostly in black and white tell the story of the development of a mindset for recording and  interpreting the world we live in. The choices in making pictures through lighting, development processes, filters and other technologies.are visible on the walls as you walk through such a comprehensive display. The curators have built a mix that includes people, places, landscapes and a wide range of topics from everyday life.

If I have a criticism of the NGA in the past has been an inadequate coverage of photography.  This exhibition shows the strength of the collection and the capacity to create rich shows with it.

Samples below and the NGA web page

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College Express 7 @ Belconnen Arts Centre

The latest exhibition from the schools with year 11 and 12 students is on at the Belconnen Arts Centre. Some of the works are stunning. It will be on display till the end of January.

These exhibitions are full of potential. The styles vary and the talent levels are clearly at different stages of maturity. I have included a sample of pics below of some of the ones I liked the most.

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Ken and Julia Yonetani @ National Gallery of Australia Contemporary

Ken and Julia Yonetani have created remarkable artefacts to draw attention to nuclear issues and the destructive effects of salinity.

The core work in this exhibition is a long white banqueting table staggering under the weight of a abundant food from many generations. The food includes abundant fruit, grains, meat,bread and vegetables laid out is visually exciting ways.

The two strange elements of this abundance are that everything is white and all the objects are made of solid salt. Apparently salt is very hard to use to create such objects and the exhibition  results from a residency the artists had in the Riverina (an area greatly affected by salinity.

The other half of the exhibition is a set of remarkable chandeliers. The designs are not all that novel but the fact that the glass is day glo green is unusual. The set is to point to nuclear issues and the colour linked to light is very thought provoking.

Pics below

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Sideshow Alley @ National Portrait Gallery

This show shifts the recent focus of exhibitions which have been largely modern to a rich historical past. The wall colours, the connecting arches with their rich red curtains and the abundance of daguerreotypes combined with death masks tells you we are learning about a past era.

The curators have brought together a fascinating collection of women and men out of Australian history. There are crooks and villains. There are social leaders and ordinary folks who have an interesting angle to their lives.

Even though this is a paid for exhibition I plan to go again because the historical background and biographical detail is so much  that it is too big to take in on one visit.

As a Portrait Gallery exhibition this seems to me to be core business with a rich insight into lots of fascinating people out of our historical past.

Some pics below show the vibe.

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Outer Space @ Casula Powerhouse

Outer Space as a cultural focus changes over times often linked  to what is happening out there or what is being generated in cinema. The exhibition at Casula Powerhouse uses several artists who portray aspects of space embracing aspects of earthings relationship with space and actual cosmic matters,

One section focused on cloud seeding another on UFOs over cities, there is a timely set of Star Wars storm troopers in unusual poses then other sections on technology and its impact on us all. My favourite works were the striking images of Adam Norton. There was a sort Japanese aesthetic of his work and they are all visually engaging.

Some pics below give the sense of the range.

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Imagine Me @ Casula Powerhouse

Some exhibitions stop you in your tracks because of the insight they convey. Imagine me is a set of creations in which people with disabilities imagine an alternative them by combining other cultural icons to express their hopes.

The images produced are touching and visually arresting. Let me put several below to show what the exhibition looks like. I grew up with grandparents who had a print of The girl with the pearl ear ring on the wall. These works are the product of a series of workshops under the title Don’t Dis My Aility which gave people with disability to creatively express their aspirations to educate the community about their issues.

See the pics below:

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