The Beardsley exhibition in Februrary at M16 Artspace was a confonting and strangely beautiful display. The centre of it is some almost life size human forms lying on the table. the strange thing about it is the abundant clear impressions of the deep movement of gingers to form these human like forms. There was an energy and almost a violence about the construction of these figures. Although they had dried I had a great sense that I felt like reaching out and squeezing the pottery.
Jacob Potter – Side A is an exhibition of works that show Potter’s enthusiasm for works in stages of construction and deconstruction created largely out of found objects. The works are very tactile and full of blunt colour.
The recent Lynda Edridge show at M16 Artspace demonstrated her love of faces. There were 35 water colour portraits in 25×20 format and each of them told a story. She painted people who looked close to death and others in the fullness of youth. Every portrait showed sympathy to the variety of the human face.
The current exhibition at the National Arboretum is titled Celebrating a Living Collection. The panels allow you to see a photographic exhibition of the history and progress of the National Arboretum Canberra, as well as some of the plans and designs for the future. It is in the Village Centre 9am-4pm seven days a week. As a fan of the Arboretum from the beginning it was a marvelous wide ranging set of informative panels.
The exhibition illustrates the stories behind the design concept, forests, buildings, landscape and people. Ten panels of photographs focus on lots of aspects of the life at the Arboretum. Below are a selection of pictures taken from the panels.
To coincide with the exhibition ‘Celestial Empire‘ at the National Library of Australia, the Australian Centre on China in the World (ANU) presented a selection of rarely seen photographs of 1930s China taken by Stanley O. Gregory, printed in large-format for the first time, from the original negatives now in the NLA Collection.They present a unique insight into a world passed by in a rapidly developing nation.
The vitality of the portraiture in the 2016 National Photographic Portrait Prize is wonderful. Portraits can be a bit predictable but this set has some adventurous items and some that capture an inspiring moment. The set embraces an amazing diversity of age and ethnicity in the subject material. Styles range from simple face shots with plain backgrounds to complex contrived compositions that tell a range of stories through the objects within the photograph.
My favourites include a black and white image of nine cousins in a group on a field in which every member is revealing rich developing personality traits.
There are several pictures of children in their various play and fantasy worlds.
There are celebrations of the newcomers
The prize winner is a highly constructed mix of lace, nudity and gnarled tree.
I love it when artists bring to the fore elements of our world that we prefer to keep silent about. The US government created black sites in part of their over reaction to the attack on the twin towers and the Pentagon. Bits sneaked out and then were forgotten. Jess Higgins has portrayed the anonymous brutal nature by puting up on the wall large charcoal sketches that are indistinct enough to convey the de-personalised nature of the program.
I love Bonsai.- this show is exclusively Australian Native plants done in Bonsai traditions. There are heaps of identifiably garden variety Eucalypts and other types of trees and shribs in miniature pots and shapes. The skills that are needed combined with patience produce artifacts of remarkable beauty. The pics below give the look.
The biggest single art show I have seen in the last several months is the Blake Prize show at the Casula Powerhouse. The displays cover all the gallery spaces and as a religious ideas prize the content and styles are awesomely wide.
There are a large group of cut out bright outlined cardinals. There is a display that takes mugs from ornamental isolation on shelves to smashed rubble returning to the ground..There are portraits, there are mythical style creations and a delightful pair of spray bottles that are bigger than I am.
The range and diversity of styles in this exhibition includes a large carcass of meat. There is a great installation that uses hats and flat screens that tie together the celebration of a birthday. I usually only get one visit to these and in this case I wish I could get back. It was an inspiring set of art works.
Below is a set of snaps taken on the phone in the gallery.
Ashley Jameson Eriksmoen creates fun objects from bits of left over bits of furniture. The objects in this exhibition range from the ornamental to the functional. Some look like flora or fauna but all of them draw you into examine the ingredients in an attempt to see the reuse.
The thing I love the most is one called Modenism gone to seed. It has split a very plain functional table and embedded into the middle a gorgeous set of brightly coloured fronds created from furniture legs and arms. It is beautiful and fun. The rest of the objects have this great sense of fun recycling. I loved this and you can see the gallery items and and pics below.