Gestures of Goodwill: official gifts @ Australian Parliament House

Unique exhibitions are usually fun. This one is that. Governments and their representatives give each other gifts on all sorts of occasions. Some of them are kitch and others are great works of art. This exhibition in the upstairs gallery at Parliament House contains over fifty well chosen examples of gifts given to the Australian Government on certain occasions.
The objects range from beautiful small ceramics to large modern rugs. There are delightful wall hangings and, statues, jewellery and works of art. These works of art include a portrait of Ms Gillard done in coffee beans and a pencil sketch of Mr Abbott. Lots of the gifts reflect the culture of the giver and others of a global culture. One wall has a set of plates from lots of people and places on which their picture, their name and or their city or location is imprinted.
It is a small exhibition but was fascinating and was in the right place for this type of material. Enjoyable.

http://www.aph.gov.au/Visit_Parliament/Parliament_House_Art_Collection/Exhibitions
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Ozquilt Network Inc @ Queanbeyan Arts Centre

The only sad thing about this exhibition was that they did not let me take pictures. This is an exhibition of artistically created quilts in a 30 x 30cm format. The beauty of the creations were spectacular. The variety was superb. The range of subject matter and approaches were charming. One had a red background and using gold thread created a powerfully vivid picture of an Australian farm field in the midst of a drought.
There is a great website where you can go and see lots of samples of these artists beautiful work.
The Ozquilts network web site is at
http://www.ozquiltnetwork.org.au/
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Chuck Close @ Museum of Contemporary Art

Occasionally an exhibition leaves you with a sense of awe. The art created by Chuck Close could do that by itself but with a well informed guide the experience was almost overwhelming. The guide called Jill talked us through the history, the processes, the ideas, the influences and the life of the man as we stood in front of his striking work.
Why artists put themselves through truly torturous labour to create great images is a bit beyond me. I am always thankful for their attention to detail.
In this exhibition the curators have brought together sets of works that show the steps from conception to final product of several of the media that he uses. In one room there are a set of carved out print blocks for different colours. In another room there is a set that show production methods showing the stages of preparation. There are paintings, tapestries, a carpet, close to papier mache and several other ways that Close created his striking and usually large images.
I had seen Bob often in the National Gallery in Canberra but this show was a revelation of the scope and complexity of his vision and creativity. I love it and walked out of the gallery exhilarated by the work of this artist and thankful for a well informed guide.

http://www.mca.com.au/exhibition/chuck-close-prints-process-and-collaboration/
Below are some samples:
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Efflorescent A contemporary Take @ Goulburn Regional Art Gallery

The blurb on the website about this says @Efflorescent is definitely not just about a vase of flowers.  A contemporary take on a floral exhibition, it looks at the many ways artists are moved to create works from their connection with flora, whether it is a literal representation, a borrowing of an organic form or the use of plant materials as a medium.” The works on exhibition range from still life to items created out of flowers themselves and include pottery and other sculptural forms. It is a stimulating collection of styles and forms which include fabrics and glass works. I have included a selection of pictures below that I took to give a sense of the collection.

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Essence of Place – Shunyam Smith @ M16 Artspace

Tapestry is a remarkable art to me. There are great skills involved in its production even in simple designs. This artist Shunyam Smith has created a set of strikingly beautiful visions of the landscape that represent it with great evocative colour and movement. I love touching texture. Wife is guardian of art works on behalf of artists so anytime we get near texture “Remember don’t touch!” is stated firmly in my ear. That happened in front of Smith’s work. Attached are a few pics. Loved her work.

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