One of the truly great annual exhibitions in Canberra is the Members Exhibition at Craft ACT. The members submit a piece or two to the exhibition and auction. CraftACT is a local collective of creatives who all seem to aspire to leadership in their various craft disciplines. Some craft skills I do not understand and some I like little but in this show you never see anything that is not worthy of exhibition.
Glass, furniture, fabrics, pottery, sculpture, metal, jewellery and other craft styles abound and demonstrate the creative potential of each approach.Most objects seem to be available for purchase If you have not seen this display it is only on till Tuesday December 14 2021 – It is well worth the visit.
I love the role of curators. This weekend saw the opening of an exhibition devoted to arguably Australia’s first career interior designer – Ruth Lane-Poole. The display is at CMAG because the biggest and most significant contributions she made to Canberra was to design the interiors of the two grand residences of the captial in the 1920s, Government House and the Lodge.
The curator, Margaret Betteridge has pulled together a gorgeous collection of related artefacts to tell the story of two significant buildings set in an era and intertwined with the story of a creative, courageous woman. Lane-Poole was emerging from a creative family to influence the visual elements of interior design in her generation and in many ways each decade since. Betteridge has told the complex tale effectively.
This show has lots of what I love in exhibitions. The artefacts range from a garland with fabric flowers used in Lane-Poole’s wedding through to a two metre carved timber table. The story is fascinating, the layout is easy to following and the intertwining of history with the personal lives of the participants is engaging.
The exhibition is on till Saturday 2nd October 2021
This is an exhibition selected from a large group of artefacts donated by Trevor and Christina Kennedy and their family. Trevor Kennedy began collecting artefacts connected to Australian history while he was living in London in the 1960s. His collection became enormous as his vision sought to fill a gap he saw in collections of Australiana.
This exhibition is a small example of a personal collection of furniture, home wares, domestic objects, and jewellery. The quality of the selected items is great. I look forward to lots of further exhibitions from the collection.
This exhibition will continue till October 10 2021 Opening hours Mon to Sun 9am-5pm Website:
A recent exhibition at Craft exhibition featured the extraordinary metal art of Christian Hall. The works included furniture, jjewellery light fittings and other useful objects. The metal is exquisitely cut and designed and draws the eye to empty space and gorgeous geometry. The sample pics and gallery material are below
Icons and iconography is an on going discussion in our society. It is fought over and keeps changing. The Sydney Powerhouse has an exhibition of objects that the curators think will facilitate the discussion of icons around six themes – luxury, celebrity, status, spirituality, value and genius
Under those themes they have included inventions, clothing, furniture, toys and many other categories. The diversity of the choices is delightful to get viewers to think through this issue. There is cultural and historical diversity within the objects. I have included some examples from the exhibition below.
Some exhibitions make a remarkable point with few objects. Dean Cross memorialised the demolition of the Canberra Hospital with basically four objects – one was a door covered with stickers another another was a collection of steel reinforcing rods and there were an antique set of upholstered chairs. The starkness of the objects drew you into the destruction.
This exhibition draws on a world that does not exist in Australia. If you walk through large public buildings in Australia you mainly see understated and sleek. The French Louis era was the opposite – over the top bling encrusted grand scale in everything.
The National Gallery has some disadvantages as an art space but when you bring in grand scale works it comes into its own. There are tapestries that seem to be the size of the house I live in right now. There are rooms in the display that are almost the scale of the palace at Versailles itself.
The choice of objects to come to Australia are varied – ranging from a large fountain and grand scale paintings and tapestries to statues and furniture and crockery. As you would expect there is nothing in the space that is not gorgeously and elaborately designed and decorated. A thing I love about this exhibition is the context of housing these objects inthe NGA which is unfinished concrete and glass brutalism.
Over 100 works of art chosen for display from the work done in eight northside Canberra Colleges during 2016 have been on display for a month. It is awesome to see the skills and creativity on display and the range of media was fun to behold.
There is abstract and realist, there is functional and fun, there are multi part and recycled works of art. Some students have several works on display and it is helpful that the gallery supplies a sheet with the names and schools of each work on display.
There are lots of works with social comment embedded in them and others are a huge display ofskill and artistry with specific media.
I have included some pics and gallery material below.
Radford College is a big school and this exhibition reflects a big group of developing artists. The exhibition has a great range from fashion to woodwork, pottery photography and painting. The students demonstrate high levels of skills and creativity. Below is a selection of pics from the different types of creativity that was on display.
Friday night November 26 saw an awesome art event at the ANU. The school opens all its sections to house an exhibition of graduating student’s work. The main gallery has an exhibition that picks a few works from most of the artists and then when you cruise around the school you get to see glass in the glass workshop furniture in the photospace and so on and you get to immerse yourself in a bigger range of art from the students.
The event is so much fun as because the crowds are huge and there is wine, and food as you wander around the spaces. I have put some pics below. There is a great catalogue available and the prices on the works for sale seem reasonable.