The Gallery at Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre

The Gallery at Bayside Arts & Cultural Centre currently has two great exhibitions on display.

Celeste Chandler: “be my eyes”

Celeste was provided with a portrait of a male and a female from the art centre collection as the inspiration to create further artworks.  Her response was to create multiple portraits.   In an approach I have not seen before, Celeste has created a collage affect, in that she has painted a portrait and then, borrowing components from the original paintings she has painted in the borrowed images, as if they had been cut out and laid over her painting.  She has also used other approaches but I don’t want to give it all away.  Every time I see new works by Celeste, regardless of the approach she has used, I remain in awe of her ability to capture emotion with paint.  I soak up the entirety of each portrait and then can’t help myself zooming in on the eyes, and with this exhibition I have also started zooming in on the hands.  Look out for the eye that follows you.

Celeste Chandler – be my eyes 4 (2018, Oil on linen 66 x 61 cm)
Courtesy the artist and Nicholas Thompson Gallery. Photograph of the artwork taken by Matthew Stanton

 

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Deborah Kelly: No Human Being is Illegal (in all our glory)

This exhibition consists of multiple life-sized images of your average everyday Australian surrounded by a collage of images or items that have been inspired by or have some connection with the individual.  I love the enthusiasm and the fun of this exhibition.  There is also a very short film of how the works are created – and that just looked fun too.  I would love to include an image but I feel like I need to get both the artists permission and the subjects permission.  I just recommend a visit to see these works.

 

 

Lindberg Galleries (Collingwood)

Lindberg Gallery is a contemporary art gallery representing a diverse range of established and  emerging artists. This week I discovered a small but beautifully executed portrait by Paul Ruiz.  Paul’s portraits are stunning.  He often sets his portraits in a dark background and the way in which he works with light and shadow creates beautiful, soft yet powerful images.  I also love that with all of his female portraits there is an underlying sense of strength.

I also had a sneak peek at works by Marc De Jong who has a full exhibition coming up later this year. Marc’s style is pixilation using oil paint and it works across a range of subject matter – people, place and landscape.  Although the image does not change whether you are near or far, the effect of the artwork is very different from near and far.  I love these artworks from both near and far.

Paul Ruiz: Candela (included with consent provided by Lindberg Galleries)

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Marc de Jong: Red River Gum (included with consent provided by Lindberg Galleries)

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Collins Place Gallery

MARCH TO ART  – COMMUNITY THROUGH VETERANS EYES.

Collins Place Gallery has surprised me again, this time with an exhibition showcasing works by  veterans and serving members of the armed forces. Curator Bruce Copland with (AVNAM) Australian National Veterans Arts Museum have worked together to create this exhibition.

It does not glorify or demonise war.  Each individual artist statement briefly describes their current status (serving / veteran, PTSD / acquired brain injury etc), acknowledges that war has changed them and how art helps them to navigate their new selves in their new lives.  Read the statement and then examine the work.

These are also the best artist statements I have encountered – easy straightforward language, no need to get the dictionary out.  The statements and the artworks actually connect, they make sense together (a rare blessing). The paintings, drawings and photographs tell stories – true and personal stories.

The banner below shows a portion of one of the works.  There is also an artist-in-residence program with Sean Burton, a veteran.  Visit the gallery website for details. This exhibition is very well worth the visit.

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Alternating Current Art Space

This small gallery in Windsor is an “artist run initiative” (ARI) .  To quote their website “Our exhibition schedule is packed with early and mid-career contemporary artists working in a wide range of mediums”.  There are 4 spaces and you will find that the person seated behind the table is one of the artists whose work is on display.  Have a chat.  This exhibition has oil painting, charcoal, video and two installation pieces.

Jessie Cunningham-Reid: big canvases, bright colors and bold marks characterise Jessie’s works. Looking into the painting I begin to resurrect images from my past  – which are not necessarily the images Jessie had in her memory when creating the painting.   Where as she has painted an old disused cafe I am resurrecting memories of old petrol stations, and another is an old homestead. But that is the beauty of art – we all view artwork from our own perspective, coloured by our own history.

Cafe Plava Boja Bar (Blue Bar) by Jessie Cunningham-Reid  2017  Oil on linen 91 x 122 cm (included with artists consent)

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West End Gallery

Another visit to this gallery to view photographic, painted and installation artworks. I particularly enjoyed:

Judy Hudson: “The Memory Garden” is a series of black and white photographs in which she has captured graceful nudes, posed amid luxurious fabrics, in old rooms.  They evoke times  long past of leisure and lounging, muses and mistresses.

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Cally Lotz: in stark contrast to the memory garden, “Restrain” captures barbed wire, chains, keys and rope in oil paint.  Sounds dark but it isn’t.   It is actually amazing how good pieces of metal and rope can appear painted on canvas.

“Tied” 2017 Oil on Linen. Included with artists permission.

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Bridget Nicholson: “A Retrospective” is an installation artwork with a narrative behind it. The exhibition includes a number of different installations.  “Hold” image below,  was made with the Kamilaroi women from Gunnedah area of NSW.   Have a close look and you can find the names of the many indigenous women who participated in the creation of this artwork.

“Hold” 2008, ceramic, steel, copper wire.  Included with artists permission.

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Tacit Galleries

Tacit Galleries has lots of space and accommodates a wide variety of artists at any given time. This visit there were photographic, painted, digital and mixed media artworks.  Something new and different around every corner – literally.  Artists included:

Nonie Sutcliffe:  there are multiple layers in these works (Mono prints, watercolour and digital imagery) that have you literally peering beneath the surface to explore the entirety of the artwork.  Copyright Tacit Galleries and Nonie Sutcliffe.

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Damon Kowarsky:   The portraits in this show are straightforward, muscular and give a sense of strength and place.  I love that he does this with minimal detail.  This work is titled “Michel” Copyright Tacit Galleries and Damon Kowarski.

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Glenys Mann:  uses  acrylic paint and material (clothing / thread) on canvas to create works which evoked, for me, a sense of past lives, tradition and and rural isolation. Copyright Tacit Galleries and Glenys Mann.

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Cathy Hayward: Cathy has created beautiful seascapes.  The images evoke an unsullied, untouched vista from shore to horizon.  You can lose yourself in the sand or the sea or the sky. Copyright Tacit Galleries and Cathy Hayward.

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Firestation (Malvern)

This month the Fire Station Print Studio had an exhibition titled Circus.  I confess I was a bit ho hum before I went in to discover some charming small works in a variety of medium, depicting images of circus performers.  There were multiple exhibiting artists, who had visited the Women’s Circus in Footscray to draw the women in action.

Sue Top exhibited three bright colourful, detailed works depicting the flexibility of a circus performer, using mono print, thread and aquarelle. There was also  lino cut by Belinda Kopietz.

Then there were the watercolours by Maggie Chiara Cowling.  Maggie works in watercolours (still life, landscape, portraits) which is very unforgiving, yet she used minimal marks and colors to create the image of the performer, sitting, swinging and hanging from the trapeze.  I am always amazed at the skill of those artists able to capture form, movement  and definition with so few marks.

This is a little gallery near the Malvern Town Hall, it can be reached by trams down Glenferrie Road or High Street.  Lots of cafes nearby and lovely shaded avenues to walk around.

Sue Top: Flying Parts 1, 2 and 3.  (included with artists permission)

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Maggie Chiara Cowling: (included with artists permission)

 

C3 Contemporary Art Space

C3 Contemporary is located in the beautiful Abbotsford Convent and  is surrounded by lush green gardens and plenty of cafes although I love the bakery best.  This week we discovered painted, print, installation and video art over 6 gallery spaces.  Something for everyone.

There were some striking small black and white prints of the everyday made to look exceptional through simplicity of focus and light (Benjamin Sexton).  Some completely new made structures then photographed in splendid color (Liesl Pfeffer). The completely new was “Concrete Commodity” – both installation and as a canvas for paint and other mediums (Collaborative work).  Gallery 4 had photographic and video/audio – which informed us about Barbados  history and culture; in its short time is is informative and interesting (Torika Bolatagici). And then there were abstract oil paintings by Madeleine Kelly.  The images are complex, the lines clean, colours are a mix of subtle hues and bright highlights.  The more you look the more you find.

Liesl Pfeffer: A Spectral Doubling, 2017, archival giclee print, 120 x 80 cm (included with artists consent)

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Media House Gallery (lunch time visit)

This month Media House had an exhibition of works by 15 artists from Gippsland. Several works from each artist, a variety of styles and approaches.  The exhibition is on until 01/03/2018 and should encourage everyone to visit regional galleries when you are off on holiday.  The works were all terrific – whether landscape, portrait, abstract.  I liked everything to indicate the range of art on display:

Rhonda Gray: has painted a girl swimming in a pool.  What a challenge to paint water in motion,  She captures it beautifully the different tones of blue, the splashes , the way the water reflects light and the ripples move over the swimmers body.  I cooled down as I stood enjoying this work.

Anita George: vibrant abstract art based on 20 years experience with calligraphy.  Letters become large slightly abstract, colourful shapes that capture the eye.  Anita’s colour choice is bold and bright.  One very important point – noticed time and again -as we visit galleries – the framing of artwork is very important.  Anita’s choice of a purple matting enhances her painting.

The landscapes described below are all beautiful but not traditional / photo-like paintings.  So much better.

Gordon Bain: landscapes built from multiple transparent layers ,simple in form, unusual harmonious colour choices, textured, happy works.  (Gordon no longer lives in Victoria but we won’t hold that against him)

Lynne Bickhoff: Lynne cites a quote by Pablo Picasso to describe how she works “I paint objects as I think of them not as I see them”.  Beautiful landscapes of our towering eucalyptus forests.

Media House Gallery is in The Age building opposite Southern Cross Station, Collins Street entrance.  Enter the Age building via the Cafe, pass the security / reception desk and take the steps up to the mezzanine Gallery. (Unfortunately I could not find a home web site / link for Media House Gallery exhibitions)

Anita George: “Q I am not bound by form” (included with artists permission)

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Rhonda Gray: (included with artists consent)

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Gordon Bain: (included with artists consent) This artwork was also beautifully framed however to cut out reflections of the street I have cropped down to the art work only.

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Lynne Bickhoff: Mountain Streams (included with artists consent)

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Collins Place Gallery (a lunchtime visit)

Collins Place Gallery is a little gem, that “hosts a rotating line up of not for profit arts organisations alongside new and emerging artists.”  I love it because it is always unexpected.  I have seen ceramics, paintings, charcoal drawings, Tiwi Island artworks, prints and even projects being worked on by university science students.  Sometimes there are great stories behind the exhibition (science students seeking cost effective, life changing solutions for impoverished communities, two men drawing – architects who sketch people everywhere they go, Tiwi Islanders who are creating a contemporary language for traditional art.)

Unfortunately for this little gallery it’s location is not in line of site for most people  wandering around Collins Place buying their lunch.  When you enter the mall from Collins Street, veer to the left, (towards the Sofitel Hotel), go down a short flight of steps and the gallery is on the far side of the escalators.  Have lunch then  pop in to check out the art and have a chat with whoever is on duty in the gallery.