Incinerator Gallery

Incinerator Gallery exhibition titled “Fireworks 2019” showcases the art and design of Year 11 and 12 students who live or go to  school in Moonee Valley.  The exhibition is on until 24th March and is well worth a visit.

I love this exhibition.  It would be a serious misjudgement to underestimate the skills and talents of these school kids.  Works include (but not limited to):

  • recycling of plastic into wonderfully colourful structures that look like glass,
  • portraits in a variety of styles and mediums – with the added stress of capturing with brush strokes a history / character  of family members (that isn’t easy and yet they have done it so very well)
  • watercolours and video that address depression and anxiety in young people and how to work through it
  • sculpture using found objects, chalk paint, fabric etc.

Each artist has provided an artist statement.   They are written using simple language, in simple sentences to clearly state the inspiration for / purpose behind their art and the statements are directly relatable to the artwork created.  Thank you artists, in my opinion there is lesson in your statements for many practicing artists whose statements are mind boggling complicated.

In addition to the artworks are design works – these include logos, perfume bottle design, building design, interior design.  This is another WOW.

Go visit the gallery and then enjoy a stroll along the Maribyrnong River or visit Poyntons Nursery (all within a short walk of the gallery).

Bella Iliovski: “Modern Praise” glass paint on carved acrylic sheet (St. Columba’s College Essendon)

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Olga Alexandrou: “Entropy” Oil on cotton, wood, nails (Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School)

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Natalia Cierpisz: “Matthew in Green” oil pastel, oil paint on mount board (Ave Maria College)

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Tiana Monteleone: “Amorphous” plastic, (St Columba’s College Essendon)

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ACMI

ACMi – Australian Centre for the Moving Image is in Federation Square in Melbourne.  They have, until 10th March, a great (free) exhibition of cinematic work by Christian Marclay (unfortunately he is not Australian but this exhibition is so worth a look.

To quote the ACMi website:  “The Clock is a 24-hour video installation made from thousands of clips of clocks, watches and other references to time from film and television.  These are masterfully edited together to present and synced to the present moment in one mesmerising collage.”

So if you are in the cinema at in your lunch hour – lets say 12:15 – the clock referenced in the extract will be 12:45 and they manage to move almost minute by minute through the 24 hours in a day.

I went along because I heard a snippet of a discussion about it on ABC Radio.  As I went about my business for the rest of the day there was this bug in my head – how could such a collage of clips from movies / TV over the last 50 years hang together, I imagined it to be annoyingly disconnected – that it would drive me mad; so off I went to watch a bit.

In a very strange way it works really well together; here was nostalgia (movies and actresses not seen for a long time but well remembered) as well as more recent movies with suspense, amusement and scary bits too.  Not the least bit boring or annoying and strangely, not even disconnected.

You can watch as much as you like or as little, moving into and out of the cinema without annoying others.  Go back at different time of day or night and you will see a completely new series of clips.

All kudos to the artist Richard Marclay for creating this artwork and just as much kudos for those folk who searched out all the time references – what an exercise – end result an artwork that has been in galleries around the world since 2010.

 

 

 

 

Little Bell Gallery

The Little Bell Gallery in Yarraville is just around the corner from tbe iconic Sun Theatre and  sells beautiful arts and crafts.  The January exhibition is titled “From Kyoto to Alice”.  It includes Japanese woodblock art and wonderful paintings from the “Hermannsburg School” of artists.

Mervyn Rubuntja is an indigenous artist from the Hermannsburg School and has created striking landscapes in bold, bright, watercolours that speak to the beauty of outback Australia.

 

Over the Holidays

Many of the galleries in Melbourne will either close down or show stock from their signed artists through December and January, with exhibitions of new works generally commencing in late January or early February.  Still worth a visit if your local gallery is open.  On the other hand galleries at holiday destinations are likely to be open and exhibiting new works. (You will find links to these galleries and more on the pages “Suburban Galleries or Regional Galleries, accessed via the navigation panel.)  I will start back with more gallery visits and hopefully more photos of our wonderful artists work in February 2019.

National Gallery Victoria:

Although it is not free I recommend a visit to the NGV which has a great exhibition on over the summer that involves illusion, curiosity and imagination.  An exhibition for all the family.

Brunswick:      Tinning Street Gallery has a new exhibition starting 17/01/19.

Collingwood:   Australian Galleries – reopening with new exhibition 15/01/19

St. Kilda:          Linden New Art reopening from 02/01/19 open Tuesday to Sunday (excluding public holidays)

Ballarat:           Art Gallery of Ballarat ; Post Office Art Gallery; and the Lost Ones (open from 07/01/19)

Bendigo:          Bendiga Art Gallery has an exhibition of photos by Frida Kahlo until 10/02/19.

Geelong:           Geelong Art Gallery: has exhibitions for adults and children – interactive digital design  and play; remains open except for public holidays.

Kyneton:          The Old Auction house is open  7 days a week and is full of great arts and crafts.

Phillip Island: Mingara Gallery always worth a visit, open Thursday to Sunday.

Warnambool:   Art Gallery is open every day  until Good Friday; interesting art, photography in the gallery plus art (sculpture) in public spaces program.

 

 

 

 

 

The Art Room

The Art Room in Footscray is a wonderful place.  It is a community centre for artists who come from all over Melbourne to take classes, participate in workshops, work in the open studio sessions.  Everything that happens in the Art Room is delivered by professional artists sharing their experiences, techniques, highs and lows of being an artist and how to identify and manage what your art practice is.  They encourage each aspiring artist to develop their own unique styles.  And so it is that when the Art Room has it’s “Open Studio exhibition” at the end of the year, that there is a tremendous range of subject matter, styles and types of art on display.

The exhibition was on Saturday and Sunday, (8/9 December) so I am unfortunately too late in getting this up on the website.  If nothing else this is to make the point that there are so many great artists at work around town whose you will not find them in the major galleries (e.g. NGV); you will find some in your local galleries but there are even more art works that don’t make it into a gallery, because there is so much competition for gallery exhibitions. Look at the art, find and follow the artist that appeals to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Northern Highway Galleries

Going on a road trip this summer?  (Norther Highway takes you from Melbourne up to Echuca) Needing to stop off for a cuppa and to stretch your legs?  Visit a local gallery – probably one on the main street in amongst the cafes.

Heathcote – Mudwood Studio

This studio supports a range of local artists and so has a variety of works to entertain and inspire – sculpture, painting, ceramics, photography and more. Susie Marcroft sculptor and gallery owner will happily chat with you about the inspiration and aims of her works.

Rochester – SILO ART

This is not a studio it is art in public spaces –  making something amazing out of something very ordinary.  In the interest of driver safety pull over to check out the Silo Art – giant murals painted on the exterior of two silos in the centre of the town.  Artist Jimmy DVat has apparently travelled the world creating his gigantic artworks.

Echuca – Alton Art Gallery & the Holden Museum

The Alton Art Gallery  supports local artists from Echuca and Moama (over the Murray river in NSW). If you are a car enthusiast, Echuca is home to The National Holden (car) Museum in Echuca.

 

 

Artist Societies

There are a numbers of art societies in Melbourne and Victoria.  Mostly regional (e.g. Heidelberg, Malvern) sometimes stylistic (Contemporary Art Society).  Local Art Societies are typically not-for-profit and welcome members young and old.   I have listed a few below.

Art Societies create an arts community with activities including painting excursions (en plein air), workshops or classes which may include still life sessions and arranging volunteer sitters for portrait painting.  (Keeps costs down).  They also arrange exhibitions of members works, on their own premises or elsewhere.  The Heidelberg Art Society has an ongoing exhibition of artworks in a Warringal Shopping Centre (behind the Austin Hospital).  Here you will meet artists who are more than willing to have a chat and discuss how they work with their mediums – last week I discovered scratch boards for the first time.  Some beautiful, small works of ink on scratchboard depicting Australian native animals.  Very finely details birds.  Other societies have annual exhibitions.

Ballarat Society of Artists

Berwick Artist Society

Brighton Art Society

Contemporary Art Society

Hawthorn Art Society 

Heidelberg Art Society

Malvern Art Society

Mt Evelyn & Yarra Valley Art Society

Peninsula Arts Society

Victorian Art Society

 

The Pastel Society of Victoria 

The Society of Folk and Decorative Artists Victoria

Australian Society for Miniature Art Victoria

Wildlife Art Society

Association of Sculptors Victoria

 

 

Point Leo Estate (Mornington Peninsula)

The Point Leo Estate is a private enterprise that incorporates, a winery, a restaurant and a sculpture park.  So you can do / spend as much as you want on wine or food.  If you are only interested in the sculpture park there is a $10.00 entry fee and I think it is worth it.

The park sits between vineyards, the restaurant and the ocean.  Although the ocean is not accessible from the park, it forms a glorious back drop to many of the sculptures.  You see through some to the ocean beyond and around others.  The works cover the abstract, architectural, colourful and readily identifiable subject matter.  They are all contemporary including both Australian and international artists (some deceased, some still practising).    Favourites included works by Australian artists Dean Bowen and  Peter Blizzard. For international artists – the work “Sky is the Limit” by Tomokazu Matsuyama, sparkles like a giant chandelier when the sun strikes the polished stainless steel.

Some of the works you will look at and realise that you have seen works by the particular artists before – in public spaces around Melbourne.  We do not have enough art in public spaces in Melbourne.  I believe that any new major construction be it a tower in the CBD or high rise in the suburbs, the builders should be required to provide 1. public space and 2. art in a public space.  We have a wealth of talented artists, our governments and councils should be supporting our artists by including art in public space in the planning approval process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Archibalds – Geelong

Well this is just a reminder that the Archibald Prize artworks are currently on exhibition at the Geelong Art Gallery.  As usual, a conversation starter with a few controversial works, but mostly great artworks.  The prize went to Yvette Coppersmith for her self portrait.  It is a striking portrait, with a shiny gold background, great detail in every facet of the painting and attitude bursting from the image of Yvette.

There are also lots of other beautiful works.  I particularly want to call out Dee Smart’s portrait of Meryl Tankard – dancer, choreographer and director.  Portraits usually have a serious look, not smiling faces (because that might require teeth – they can be hard to do).  But this portrait by Dee is full of smiles (no teeth) and humour.  The colours, gestures and twinkle in the eyes of Meryl Tankard made me think – yes I could sit down to lunch with this woman and have a merry old time.

Also loved the work by Benjamin Aitken “Natasha” and Fiona McMonagle “Sangeeta Sandrasegar”.  Their styles are different from many of the other artists, yet in the absence of wrinkles and stubble, capture both emotion and maturity of their subjects.

The children’s archibald this year has attracted more than 2,000 entries so are spread across Geelong.  There is a pop-up cafe in the Geelong Art Gallery and there are two walls of children work there.  Check out the works by the prize winners – WOW what talent.  If you feel like shopping go to the mall for more of the children’s works.

Town Hall Gallery (Hawthorn)

Town Hall Gallery in Hawthorn is a really large great space for displaying a broad range of artistic work.  The current exhibition “This Wild Song” (TWS) features the artwork of 27 artists – photographic portraits by Ilona Nelson of 26 significant Australian female artists.  Each artist has also included one of their works.  A feast of artistic endeavour.

The artists cover painting, drawing, photography, digital and video, street art, sculpture / mixed media and so on.  These are not shrinking violets, they are articulate, skilled, professional artists; some of the art may push your comfort zones (although not in an offensive way).

Ilona Nelson has made it her mission to celebrate female artists.  This Wild Song is a long term project so there is always a new artist being added to the existing body of works.  Ilona does not do portraits by capturing a face, she explores the artists works, interviews the artist and develops a vision of how she wishes to portray the artist within the context of their arts practice.  So every portrait, interview, and podcast  is unique and tailored to the  individual.

Visit the TWS website  to explore the strength of our female artists and tap into the podcasts as well.

Ilona Nelson: Portrait of Merryn Trevethan, Artist

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Ilona Nelson: Portrait of Freya Jobbins, Artist

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Ilona Nelson: Portrat of Maree Clark, Artist

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Ilona Nelson: Portrait of Michelle Hamer, Artist

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