Caitlin Kosman has a set of double sided works of photography and painting on display at Canberra Contemporary Arts Space Manuka. She has worked the photographs through processes such as sanding and other abrasive materials. Most images are abstract even when they have reference to pre-existing photographs. Ms Kosman is working through issues connected with silences in our interactions.
Collaborations in art are often rich. That fact is demonstrated in a beautiful set of works by the Painting with Parkinson’s Group currently on display at the Belconnen Arts Centre. The bulk of the works are abstract works in watercolour on almost blotting paper type of surfaces. Many of those works are intriguing and point in beautiful ways to various types of landscapes and other subject material.
The collaboration is with the Calligraphers. They have taken a few dozen of the paintings and added apposite quotes to compliment the artwork in gorgeously adapted calligraphy to produce another type of artwork. For these works there is a published book available in the gallery that has each of these works reproduced. It is delightful.
This is a small cabinet exhibition in the space leading up to the Collections Gallery at CMAG. It is a charming collection of artifacts hat came into the possession of Ray Edmondson during his work with Memory of the World activities he was involved in in Asia. The artifacts range from beautiful inlaid Japanese lacquer panels to beautiful documents in elegantly executed calligraphy. The display is a personal add-on to the larger Memory of the World exhibition in the main gallery.
17 Sept 10 Oct 2015
Upstairs at the Civic Library there is a marvelous exhibition of work by the ACT Bookbinders Guild. These remarkable crafts people have created a set of book like constructions that display remarkable artistic ability in choices of fabrics, end papers and structure. There are multi volume sets, concertina fold outs and lots of other art forms bookbinders work up.
Photos below give you a range of the work they do.
The website blurb says “Contemporary ink art has emerged as one of the most important artistic trends in recent years in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It has attracted significant attention internationally, and this is the first exhibition presented in Australia to respond to developments in ink art from across this region.”.
What they have set up is wonderful. Grand scale multi-panel works mix with tiny detailed intricate objects. The media used go from tiny engraved coin like disks to large digital screens. There are ink works decorating knee high boots. Politics and history are included. Some of it is funny and some of it is sombre. The thing I loved most about this that in an Ink exhibition every work was stimulating and engaging. I love this exhibition and will go back.
A note: If you go and see the video of city and waterfalls in the back left hand corner stay to the end – it is well worth the wait.
Below are some of the works that entertained me. Some are not here as due to their video format being difficult to capture on my phone. There are a set of panels where a trained dog interacts with philosophical calligraphy in a marvelous way – so many levels to this art.
A Canberra Times article is helpful http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/ink-remix-art-from-china-taiwan-and-hong-kong-opens-at-canberra-museum-and-gallery-20150702-gi2khs.html
8 Jul 2015 – 27 Sep 2015
As a parallel supplement to the Victoria and Albert show there is an Australian decorative design show in the next room in the exhibition space. This room draws on several threads of Australian design over time. There is a delightful section that takes a tour of the use of the Koala in the graphic arts over time. Another section does a similar historical survey of the use of the waratah. Another delightful section was a collection of models and drawings of the Sydney Opera House combined with lots of examples of the use of the design in product. http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/exhibitions/2015/aus_inspiration/index.html
The Gene & Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection
14 May 26 July 2015
“Wow! That was great!” Go East created that response in me as I was leaving “This collection of provocative and compelling works weaves a rich tapestry of different histories, speaking to one another of co-existing, often times colliding worlds.” is the great line off the flyer.
The work that dominates the space is the Zhang Huan’s Family Tree. Nine truly massive face shots displayed in a semi-circle track the work of three calligraphers writing on his face over one day transforming it from unwritten to blacked out with written stories. There is an explanation on the wall from the artist but as with most art it lays our a great range of readings. I will play around with this one in my head on and off for some time.
I love what I think of as multi layered art. There is lots of that in this space. One of my favourites is the piece by the Aquilizans I will include the four pics I took and the label. I love it on so many levels.
A great exhibition is one that has your grey cells interacting with the art long after being in the room. That is still happening with me and I am thankful to the Shermans for their wonderful collection.
8 Jul 2015 – 27 Sep 2015
A global hotspot for the visual and decorative arts is the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The State Library is host to a delightful exhibition which using items from the Museum’s School of Art library collection walks through the development of visual and layout features in books and publications over the many centuries. The curators have built a fascinating case including materials from all around the world. There are religious books from the 1400s, Nazi and Communist Chinese “educational” materials and Charles Dickens manuscripts.
The Museum was established in the mid 1800s and sought to be a source and record of the visual arts. They collected and referenced a vast body of inspirational and developmental material to support the British creative classes. This exhibition is an engaging tour of a quirky and fascinating collection. The display is made all the richer by the use of tablets which allow the visitor to scroll through books that have been digitised. I loved it. http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/exhibitions/2015/inspiration_by_design/index.html
Canberra being such a recent arrival on the planet and the fact that I have lived in this young town for most of my life builds a sense of awe in the presence of old stuff. The current exhibition at the National Library of Australia centres on manuscripts that are half a millennium old.
Revealing the Rothschild Prayer Book c. 1505-1510 from the Kerry Stokes Collection is an exhibition centring on a remarkable book with a fascinating provenance. The exhibition has some historically interesting accompanying text and other documents around the walls and in cases. The heart of the exhibition is a large flat screen on which in high definition page after page of the book are projected in large format. It was a marvelous experience to see such gorgeous creative beauty that had been generated over 500 years ago.
A no picture taking rule applies in the gallery at the National Library so I have no shots but there is a good web page for this at the link below
The ANU School of Art Gallery has often included art with a connection with Asia in its exhibition calendar. This set is a rich collection of works drawn from several SE Asian countries presented in a complex set of styles and using varied media. Discussions about various national styles of art are a bit beyond me but many of the works have Asian subjects in their landscapes and people. Some of the content is religiously linked and has Buddhist and Islamic influences. There are sculptures and some gorgeous woven fabrics included.
Some pics and the gallery sheet below.