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Under your skin: IAVA at Bulli presents ‘Slivers of Difference’

 An exhibition of art by four members of the Illawarra Association for the Visual Arts (IAVA): Liz Jeneid, Deborah Redwood, Mary Wingrave and Judy Bourke.

SLIVERS OF DIFFERENCE

  

For the month of July, the upstairs Gallery at Beach Art Bulli is hosting those who’ve been journeying a while and intend further exploration. All four artists hold in common a reverence for the nature of things, as well as a hard-won confidence in their practice. There’s no whiff of calcification here though: each artwork is a record of lively engagement.

Deborah Redwood’s sculptures and installations are now nationally recognised. Earlier this year she was a Finalist in Cottesloe’s Sculpture by the Sea and is a regular in Sculpture at Scenic World and other major exhibitions around the country. Dedicated to imposing a new order onto post-industrial materials, her works range from playful to sober, with ecological and social justice concerns a frequent theme.

Black death references the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. Modestly sized, it comprises a cylindrical section from a large drill spearing through the figure of a fish described in metal. Stressed wood is a wall-mounted piece of silky oak, bearing the wounds of cutting and sawing. The blades of sawing tools have been left in the cruel incisions and threaten the viewer’s space. Given a little more room to breathe, this piece could bring to mind a crucifixion image.

Other pieces in the show simply demonstrate her fascination with materials –the surface finish, size and shape. I prefer the pieces where rhythm is most prominent, for instance Nothing to say where a length of copper tubing creates a meandering line through the air, with each end terminating in a small flared bell. This is a visually satisfying and fun piece which might bring to mind the voices raised in the recent election hubbub.

 

Mary Wingrave’s works are incredibly alive. The artist cherishes all aspects of the natural environment, and her works reveal a deep desire to share and celebrate this with the viewer.

Autumn impressions comprises small-format monotype prints of firewheel blossoms (a favourite subject of Australian printmaker Margaret Preston’s) presented in a snug grid formation. The variety of surface treatment and the consideration given to colour and tonal rhythm is masterfully handled. Wingrave tells me she’s has been wary of colour for many years, but this exhibition demonstrates a colour sense that’s both sophisticated and restrained.

She’s included three larger still-lives in mixed media, full of the generous curves of pumpkins, bottles and leaves. There are also some encaustic works focussing on the form of the cicada. The surfaces are the colour of bees wax and reminiscent of both ancient scientific documentation and human flesh.

 

Judy Bourke’s art always strikes me as being the thing she does to survive: as natural and necessary as breathing. Consistently prolific, she works on bookmaking, textiles, printmaking, sculpture and drawing. I admire how after knowing her for 15 years, I still can’t always reliably pick her work.

For this show she’s included artist’s books of drawings of the NSW North Coast. Influenced by the style of the late Australian printmaker Bea Maddock, these are coastal descriptions using simplified forms in ink on paper, presented in a concertina format 5cm high and several metres long. These are beautifully observed and understated.

There are also small free-standing figures created from industrial packaging. The styrofoam shapes that originally protected electronic goods in transit have been carefully covered with hand-made Nepalese kenaf paper. The artist has worked this surface with multiple layers of coloured stamp imprints.

At first glance these figures may seem light-hearted, but there’s an underlying concern in Bourke’s practice with issues of waste. She’s keen to honour the natural resources utilized in industrial processes as well as the human labour that goes into each item, often invisible to the end-consumer. Considered in this light, the pieces, embellished with tiny parts gleaned from industrial discards and covered in the precious paper brought back from Nepal in the artist’s luggage, take on the aura of reliquaries.

 

Liz Jeneid travels widely and often. The pieces in this show are the fruits of a residency in the south of France at Peyriac-de-Mer, an area populated with lakes that for centuries produced salt as an economic mainstay for the village.

Despite the titles locating them geographically, Jeneid’s plein air works read as altogether out of time and place. The stronger of the two suites of work is a series of ten modestly sized square-format paintings on paper using watercolour and gesso.

The lakes are serene and still as a mirror, surrounded by warm-toned, simplified landforms and reflecting a quiet and empty sky. There is a delightful Japanese aesthetic at work here: the simplicity of the forms, the careful consideration of negative space and the delicacy of touch are classic Jeneid and go straight to something deep that we all too often overlook. Maybe it’s soul.

In a nod to straight description the gesso surface is scratched in places to indicate vegetation. The overall feeling though is that we are looking at somewhere that may well be the interior of Jeneid’s head more than some literal observation of place.

There’s a quiet confidence about this whole show. Go take a look and consider your time well spent.

 

 

Upstairs at Beach Art Gallery, 233 Princes Hwy, Bulli
Open: Tuesday – Friday 9.30am – 5pm & Sat 9.30am – 3pm
Contact: (02) 4285 4111

Opening Event Saturday 9 July @ 2pm.

Exhibition runs for the whole of July.

 

 

Drawing at Clifton School of Arts and exploring the spiritual at Dombarton

 

July is shaping up as a busy month. I’m delighted to be part of  Drawing the Linea showcase of drawing practices in the Illawarra.

 

 

DrawingtheLineposter_web

 

 

I’m in good company: artists include Paulineke Polkamp, Jackie Cavallaro, Gillian Day, Alannah Dreise, Gabrielle Freer, Harry Gale, Lesley Goldacre, Karen Hook, Liz Jeneid, John Kennedy, Moira Kirkwood, Kathryn Orton, Hal Pratt, Nick Santoro, Lara Seresin, Sue Smalkowski, Julia Stepjanovic, Leonie Watson, Vyvian Wilson and Diana Wood Conroy.

Drawing the Line

Opening Event: Friday 8 July @ 6.30pm, to be opened by cartoonist David Rowe

Exhibition open 11 – 4, 8 July – 17 July 2016

Clifton School of Arts, 338 Lawrence Hargrave Drive Clifton

ALL WELCOME

Then there’s Insight – exploring the spiritual in art, an exhibition running over a weekend that includes not only visual art but singing bowls workshops, Argentinian drumming, tai chi and walks through the beautiful landscape of Hillside Farm Dombarton.

INSIGHT FRONT_500

Everyone involved with this exhibition is in some way expressing their spiritual selves through their artwork. The gallery space is a meditative and beautiful spot looking out over the valley. Artists include  Robert Reid, Sr. Veronica Chandler, Greer Taylor, Kate Stehr, Wendy Dening, Shining Rainbow, Liz Jeneid, Lorraine Allen, Mardijah Simpson, Rosa Daniela Diaz, Libby Bloxham, Alena Kennedy and myself.

Exhibition Opening: Friday 15th July 6 – 9pm

To be opened by Mitchell Reese

Exhibition open Sat & Sun 10 – 4

 

PROGRAM OF EVENTS

Saturday 16th July

10:30am: Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls performance with
Elizabeth Brandis. Bring mat, cushion & blanket.

11am– 12noon: Alchemy Crystal Singing Bowls
workshop with Elizabeth Brandis. Bring mat,
cushion & blanket.

12noon– 1pm: Lunch (contribute a plate or
bring your own lunch if you are attending).

1pm– 2pm: Inspirational walk on Hillside Farm
(15mins easy to medium grade walk followed
by 30mins relaxing/quiet time on the hill).
Wear clothes &s hoes suitable for a bushwalk.

2pm– 3 or 4pm: Creative artmaking or writing
workshop: choice of writing; mandala drawing
or collage; or 3D sculpture construction.

Sunday 17th July
10am– 11am: Tai ChiWorkshop with Rusel Last

11:30am–12noon: Argentinian Drumming performance
by Illawarra’s OWN Heartbeats

12noon– 1pm: Lunch (contribute a plate or bring
your own lunch if you are attending).

1pm– 2pm: Argentinian Drumming workshop
with Barbara Malcolm from OWN

2pm– 3 or 4pm:This time is available for another
walk onHillside Farm and/or creative work in
art or writing.

All welcome, but if you’re thinking of coming along to a workshop please let us know. RSVP to me on 0400 374 362 or Alena Kennedy on alena@alenakennedy.net.

SIDE BY SIDE II – new works by Martin Ison & Moira Kirkwood

SIDE BY SIDE II_FRONT

 

SIDE BY SIDE II_BACK

 

It’s taken 5 years, but at last the two of us are exhibiting again to show our contemporary art pieces. We’re getting excited about it now…there’s nothing like having a body of work up on the wall to see, all together. It provides a different perspective  that way.

There will be no Opening Event as such but we’ll be making (leaf) tea and (plunger) coffee along with sweet treats during the whole 5 days of the show. Drop in and say hi!

 

The divine order

The divine order, 2015, fineliner pen on paper, 39 x 27cm, AUD $300 framed

Martin’s work couldn’t be more different from mine in approach, generally comprising beautifully observed  figures drawn with fineliner permanent markers. He will be showing some delightful nudes as well as new works in his ongoing ‘Renaissance Rip-offs’ series. These are works not necessarily from the Renaissance at all, but well known and recognised masterworks from any century which are appropriated for his own fell purposes.

 

Structures for a hot climate

Structures for a hot climate, 2014, acrylic & collage on canvas, AUD $400 framed

By contrast, my pieces are intuitive and quasi-figurative. They often seem to contain structures of some kind and are frequently reminiscent of some sort of city or a map of a place. They suggest rather than describe.

 

ArtsRush Magazine

This online magazine explores  the Arts from all over, although it’s epicentre is the South Coast of NSW. Turns out they’ve been around since 1997. It’s  a new discovery for me,  and worth bookmarking….not least because my name is in the current edition.

Check out ArtsRush Magazine here.

National Telstra Art Award: great art; killer website

Some beautiful work exhibited in this Award for 2011. Congratulations to Dickie Minyintiri for his lovely piece, Euro Tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

I also really liked Dennis Nona’s work on paper, Zuga Zug…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The website is fantastic. Apart from a virtual tour of the whole show, each winner is featured with an audio track telling the story of their artwork. Check out the

28th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award here.

Mosman Art Prize Opening Night

Every man and his art-loving dog was at the Opening on Friday night. Always good to mingle with the Beautiful People…and yes, Kerrie Lester’s prize-winning painting was terrific.  It had a real rhythm to it,  I thought.  Here tis:

OUT ON A LIMB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See more of Kerrie’s work here. I also had a lot of time for Guy Maestri’s piece, Robertson # 5 which was Highly Commended…. some of Guy’s Robertson paintings here.

I discovered Mostyn Bramley-Moore that evening. I recognised his name but his image at the show was a corker:

 

The Risk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More of Bramley-Moore’s work here. He is one to watch, I really aspire to master my palette as he has done.

 

Margaret Olley leaves us

Two of the Old Guard in a week! The Divine Miss Olley has finally passed away. Another inspirational figure,  not only for her work ethic and beautiful work but also for her philanthropic generosity to the people of NSW.

An article about Margaret , along with links to some of the Galleries she was associated with, is here. This morning’s Sydney Morning Herald piece, showing one panel of her great final work, a sweeping vista of Sydney Harbour, here.

CHINESE SCREEN AND YELLOW ROOM 1996

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornflowers with Pomegranates 1991

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The AGNSW has 15 of Olley’s paintings, you can see them here.

Upcoming retrospective : Iain Whittaker

A solo show by my friend Iain Whittaker is opening at Wollongong City Gallery on June 17…and its going to be an absolute knockout. It will show Iain’s work from the past 17 years or so.

Psychopomp, oil on canvas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His work is basically surrealist, with an immaculate technical finish. Some more images and a blurb by Iain here.

Details of the upcoming show at Wollongong Gallery here.

Keep on rockin, Keith

Just finished Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’m not a hard-core Stones fan – not by a long shot. Their longevity though, is something of a marvel and Goddess knows there have been plenty of hits.  Many of us have grown up to their songs;  so I was keen to get my hands on this book.

It’s a fat book, but I couldn’t put it down. It’s conversational, and fast-paced. It doesn’t gloss over the drug years (or decades) but  it doesn’t make them the focus, either.

Mostly, I found his approach to his music really inspiring. He very much lets the song come into creation through himself, rather than dictating to the song how it should be.  I felt a real resonance with this. Worth a read.

Find out more about Keith  Richards here. Rock on, Keith.

Spending time with Peter Sharp, abstract artist

Very excited ! I’ve booked myself in for a weekend workshop with abstract artist Peter Sharp.

Peter Sharp, 'Handle', 2009, oil and acrylic on canvas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The workshop is  “Observation to Abstraction”, a 2-day event at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea.

Apparently Day 1 is spent doing observational drawings in the lovely Hazehurst Gardens, then Day 2 is spent in the studio creating abstract paintings based in some part on the drawings we’ve done. This is a different approach to what I usually pursue myself. I basically pull paintings out of my arse. That is to say, my work bears no resemblance to any pictorial element living or dead.

So, I’m figuring this workshop will gently push me out of my comfort zone, whilst allowing me some time with an artist whose work I really admire. He, like many other artists I admire, is represented by Liverpool Street Gallery. Funny how that Gallery keeps showing great artists…maybe when I grow up, I can be with them?