Zhang Peili From Painting to Video @ Australian Centre on China in the World

27 August – 15 November 2016

This exhibition is built around one of the last paintings done by Zhang Peili before he took his practice into video. The painting which was given to the Australian Centre on China in the World in 2014 by a close friend of the artist. It features a helicopter which speaks of the military, movement, surveillance and technology.

The exhibition is built around a set of video installations created by the artist. As the show is on till mid November there is lots of time to get in and see it. Below is the gallery sheet and some pics.

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The Big Shave – Frazer Bull-Clark @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Braddon

26 Aug – 1 October 2016

Some art is based around a clever creative decision. Frazer Bull-Clark’s work called The Big Shave is a great pastiche of film scenes of men being shaved in the midst of scenes that were not filmed for shaving. The artistry is the pasting together clips from remarkably different films both in era and in style. The scenes which were often significant in the original films become something quite different in this work. Film fans would have quite a different take on this work than those of us who rarely watch film.

I have included below a shot and the gallery sheet.

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Scorsese @ Australian Centre for the Moving Image

I have loved the big exhibitions I have seen at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. I am not a big cinema fan but they do a great job of educating me even when I know little.

The current exhibition features the remarkable work in film of Martin Scorsese. I have only seen a few of his films and know he is not my favourite. The exhibition was a surprise in the way it played to the context in which I saw it. Migration has been a big part of my life even though my direct lines arrived by the1870s. I feel distressed about the reversal in our national enthusiasm for it in the last couple of decades.

Scorsese had grandparents who arrived in the USA and spoke no English and lived in Italian communities in New York. All of Scorsese’s family and community feed the films he has created which reflect the contribution of Italians to the fabric of mainstream life in the 20th century.

As I walked through and read all the materials it led me to reflect on what an enormous contribution this migrant community has given to its’ wider society. Who could have known when they arrived? Our society is giving several newly arrived different cultures a hard time but who can guess the contribution they will make?

I love it when people judiciously collect stuff. There was something marvelous in seeing the set of storyboards the 11 year old Scorsese created for a film he wanted to create.I loved several gorgeous costumes and lots of the ephemera that is generated in film making. If you are a fan of cinema this would build a deeper understanding of a champion in the field.

The great ACMI website for Scorsese is below. I have included some phone pics as well.


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A film of One’s Own – Louise Curham @ Huw Davies Gallery

22 Oct – 15 Nov 2015

A film of One’s Own, the exhibition by Louise Curham is a filmic reflection on fifty years of the Super 8 format. It includes pictures of actual strands of the film laid out and actual super 8 film refilmed on 16mm.  People my age grew up with family history being recorded on this stuff and well remember its jerky versions of our past. I was happy to be reminded of this through Curham;s work.

Sample pics and the gallery sheet are below

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INK REMIX: Contemporary art from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong @ Canberra Museum and Gallery

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












Tropfest 2014

Trop fest 2

One of my favourite events every year is Tropfest. Spread out on picnic blankets with friends in Commonwealth Park in Canberra. The light fades and we get to watch 16 finalists in the short film festival Tropfest.The films are quirky and fun. I missed last year because I forgot they moved the date six week earlier.

This year the crowd was very small – I guess this a result of the fact that it is now broadcast live on SBS2. The relaxed open space was enjoyable and the weather in Canberra was wonderful. My favourite among a good set was Twisted – a western with inflatables.

The finalists and their details are listed on the website below:


A SMH news story is on this link:



Jessica Dorloff Stop. Motion @ Huw Davies Gallery

Playing around with images is at the heart of what is enjoyable about the arts of photography. Jessica Dorloff has produced a collection of black and white prints and a video that shows the interaction between film, motion and the individual print. The print are striking in their grainy, blurry finish that speaks to motion.
I have included the handouts and a couple of prints taken in the gallery.





Colour Music @ ANU Drill Hall Gallery

Often I walk towards a gallery thinking “What on earth is this going to be about?” If I have done no pre-reading and am not familiar with the topic or artist that is the best I can do. Approaching the Drill Hall Gallery in the rain today that was exactly what was going on in my head.

What a powerful surprise awaited me.A colour and sound explosion in vital and energetic forms is in that building right now.These artists were intrigued with the possibility of representing sound visually. Some screen savers on early computers tried that and must have been influenced by these artists.

At heart this exhibition straddles two sets of artists past and contemporary that use painting, film, light and music To me the star of the show is Ludwig Hirschfield Mack. There is lots of his work and it is exciting, colourful and playfully musical. Of the modern group Cathy Blanchflower’s marvelous musical looking large flowing works are a delight. John Aslanidis has other great interwoven images that cry out a musical background.

Gallery Three has a wonderful video musical creation on multiple screens that are immersive and invigorating to sit amongst. It has been created by an audio-visual performance group called Botborg. The performance is called Neural Luminance Amplifier.

Below are a few pictures and the hand out. I was surprised by how exciting I found the art on the wall and all the other forms of representing music visually.

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Remains – Digital Video/ 3D Scan – Peter Bailey @ M16 Artspace

I have a love/ hate relationship with video art. Some of it has been engaging an thought-provoking other efforts have been tedious and seemingly pointless. Lots has been in the middle. I love the fact that M16 has a room set up especially for these contemporary art forms.

Peter Bailey has created some living things from digital objects using gaming technology. The objects move and are backed by sound but make no attempt to look real. It is an interesting experience to watch these objects emerge from the shaddows in black and white. My phone camera does not work adequately in a space like this so I have just attached the gallery sheet from the exhibition space.


Intimate Spaces Revealed @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Braddon

When you approach an exhibition titled like this it is done with trepidation however it turned out to be lots of fun. One was a set of white helmets with sound, sitting ethereally on a photo light table, another was a set of blue teapots on upended blue flowerpots accompanied by a flatscreen video and the other one was a video of a woman performing yoga practices. The fun one to me was the collection of half a dozen people standing in a line using blue teapots to perform the old yoga practice of nasal irrigation. They looked like they were keeping a straight face but it was fun to watch.

The fourth element of this was an amazing cloak created from Possum skins by Carol McGregor. It tells some amazing stories on the non fur side and give the vibe of being a remarkable device to keep one warm and comfortable.

There some pics below and the gallery sheet:

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