Images Redeemed – James Rowell @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

3-13 August 2017

James Rowell creates images using rich layered thickly applied acrylic paints in vibrant colours. He starts with a pre-existing image and sets out to reimage it in a new creative way. His images are identifiably anchored in other images but are distinctively a Rowell image. Several images include text quotes stenciled into the paint. I found the explanations from James in the gallery helpful.

Below are pictures and gallery materials.


Booksmart – Josh Owen @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

30 Mar 2017 to 9 Apr 2017

Occasionally I stand with one artwork for fifteen minutes. The work Booksmart by Josh Owen at Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka was a case in point.

There is a projection on the wall of spines of Encyclopedias of various ages that are scrolling right.. There are small electric fans on the floor below the screen pointing in the direction of the viewer. There are 99 volumes of encyclopedias laid out open on the floor in rows. At the viewer’s feet there are fans pointing towards the screen. In the centre there is a data projector aimed at the screen and a speaker with an audio track playing.

As you stand there the fans blow the pages back and forth in unpredictable ways but the weighty tomes never move themselves. The sound track is a definition of encyclopedia and other linked material spoken in a delightfully “Hal” like voice. Two things happen over time. The scrolling on the screen gradually speeds up until the images on the screen become an indistinguishable blur and the delightful soundtrack also speeds up until it also becomes an incomprehensible babble.

Josh was in the gallery and it was great to be able to discuss the layers of comment and insight this work gives to modern knowledge access and transfer. I love the work – it is a great contemplative device and I have discussed it with several people in the week since I saw it.

Hannah Beasley – Shapes of Doubt @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

4 – 14 August 2016

Vibrant intertwining almost geometric patterns are at the heart of Hannah Beasley’s art. . In the small space of the gallery she has hung a small number including one that has been created on the surface of a sheet of lino flooring.

The artist’s statement shows that Beasley is influenced by Islamic geometry and it is evident in each of the works.  The web page for the exhibition is below and some sample pictures.

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Hayley Lander The foundations of Place @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

Hayley Lander has created a set of artworks that draw on timber and nature. Most of the works are on bare grainy timber that her works weave into the appeal of the works. Several are beautiful renderings of lichen covered twigs. The one I loved the most was of a Eucalypt branch with a backing from which emerges string that flows through the branches and back. Both my wife and I at different times tried to establish if the string was real it had such a 3D look about it. The exhibition includes an installation composed of sandstock bricks that tie the rest together.

It is an attractive set of works and I have included some phone pics below.

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Julia Thwaites Blue Christendom @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

I see lots of exhibitions and it is rare that anyone explicitly addresses issues to do with Christian faith. Julia Thwaites created a set of Monotypes in which she explores “the materiality of faith juxtaposed with that of broader contemporary culture.” The magic of this exhibition was its focus on the male experience of faith of a Christian type. Thwaites weaves into her work Latin banners that engage with issues of Christian faith but on one level great an exclusion. I found it fascinating to reflect on the lack of this topic from the art production in a society which has been deeply grounded in Christian thought, heritage and values.

Below there are some sample pics.

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Painting in Paris Kirrily Humphries and Yioryios @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

15 – 25 October 2015
The two artists in the current show at CCAS Manuka bhave both done residencies in Paris. Kirrily Humbphries has on the walls eight works including two paintings and six graphite minitures. Every one of these works ooses Paris, its buildings, its street life and its people.Yioryios has a set of acrylic painted swirling sculptural object smade of aluminium. They are sweeping and swirling and strikingly coloured.
below is the gallery material and some pics from the show








Self Help – Ruby and Gweda Green @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

3-13 September
An exhibition of painting of paintings and ceramics
Here you have a mother and daughter exhibition in which one does pottery displaying antique proverbs in vivid pictures on the surface of tough pottery objects and the other does paintings of wise women. The proverbs are profound and the pictures are fun. The paintings are interesting and have a autumnal colour tone.
Below are the pottery objects and the paintings followed by the gallery hand out material.













Memories and Rust @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

Josh Darcy and Nigel Dobson share the CCAS exhbition space at Manuka in a show called Memories and Rust. The material in the exhibition is hard steel and photographs Both Darcy and Dobson create in metal and but Dobson has created a great set of memories arranged in panels of prints and selected large format black and white photographs. There is a hardness to much of what is on display. Many of the black and white photos have a cold isolated look to them but the coloured photos have lots of fun and enjoyment in them as memories always do.
The metal varies from rusted large scale angled plate metal to delightful, flowing, coloured, enamelised creations. The space was a bit crowded but there was lots to engage.
Attached are some pics to give the sense of it all and the gallery sheet etc









Andy Mullens – Three @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

June 11-22 @015

The current exhibition at Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka consists of a set of 15 delicate fascinating artworks that surprise and engage. They explore the Vietnamese heritage of the artist. Many of the works have an ephemeral almost intangible aspect to them.

One titled Almost was three parallel lengths of gold thread. The fascinating feature of it was that at times as you looked at it, the thread seemed to disappear. I checked with Andy and she reassured me that it was no trick and there was no change of colour in the thread it was an interplay between the light and the thread and the background.

Many of the works were in threes including three red wax molds of a soda can made of prayer candle wax. This work played in my head on lots of levels. Below is the gallery sheet and a set of pics along with her website which is wonderful and the CCAS page for the show.






Scab – Jacob Potter @ Canberra Contemporary Art Space Manuka

Jacob Potter has created some fascinating works for tis exhibition using unusual materials and surfaces. There are works that are painted on surfaces made up of parallel yarn, flyscreen materials and other translucent surfaces. The artworks have a surface element a material element and a see through back lit element. I wondered about the title of the exhibition “Scab”. It could have been that the surface of the works are set up in a scabrous way but that is my best guess.
Pics and gallery sheet below