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

 

 

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.

Melbourne City Library

Yes, the Melbourne City Library at 253 Flinders Lane supports emerging artists and has an exhibition space on the first floor of the library.  This library is just around the corner from DeGraves Street, so after a coffee  pop up to the first floor and see what ‘s on.

Sarah Ubik’s exhibition  is titled “SOMA”; the images are strong and evocative portraits and figurative images.   Sarah “explores humankind’s relationship with nature, reproduction, sexuality and femininity.”  I love that she captures a moment in time in the face of her subjects – laughter, huh, what did I do? a deep breath, a relaxing sigh.  This is Sarah’s first solo exhibition and includes works in watercolour and in oil paint.  The exhibition is on until 23rd August.

Sarah Ubik: “Lose Two Teeth” oil on MDF, 376 x 328mm, 2018 (Included with artists consent)

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Sarah Ubik: Twenty Weeks, oil on MDF, 331 x 431mm (2018) (Included with artists consent)

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The Lost Ones (Ballarat)

The Lost Ones Gallery is a contemporary art gallery that also has a Basement Bar which serves fine spirits, wine and food as well as live music.  There is a thriving arts community in Ballarat.  This is a lovely old building with a large light filled gallery space on the ground floor.  Until August 5th you can enjoy an exhibition by Steve Sedgwick.  Steve is a local Ballarat artist who paints “en plein air” (out in the open – you have to brave to paint out in the open during a Ballarat winter!) and in studio.

Steve Sedgwick‘s exhibition is titled “Painted Land”.  The en plain air works are identifiable as landscapes and painted in acrylic (dries much quicker than oil paint).  These smaller  outdoor works capture that great sense of space and time in our landscape.  When he returns to the studio memory takes over, the canvases get bigger, the brush strokes fatter  and the landscape is re-calibrated into colour blocks and lines.

The outdoor and studio works are positioned side by side which makes for an interesting juxtaposition of time and place.

Steve Sedgwick:

“Between Light” Oil on Canvas 61cm x 61cm.  (Included with Gallery consent on behalf of artist)

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“Mungo Twilight” 2017, oil on canvas 89cm x 41cm (Included with Gallery consent on behalf of artist)

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“Lake Mungo Big Sky” 2017 oil on canvas 102cm x 76cm. (Included with Gallery consent on behalf of artist)

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Art House Gallery (Ballarat)

The Art House Gallery in Ballarat is located in the City Centre Arcade off Sturt Street.  Exhibitions were changing when I arrived (my bad timing) nonetheless there have a variety of artists works including some previously seen (search this site for Sarah Paxton)

Ralf Kempken’s  exhibition is focused on streetscapes with, if you look closely, some great identifiable locations in Melbourne.  His use of colour and light (or absence of colour) draw you through his streetscape and create dramatic contrast.  His technique is also new to me, described by Ralf as “hybrid stencil” it creates a very interesting effect.   Even though I feel familiar, at home with his subject matter, his technique has me looking at the familiar with new eyes as it draws me in to look closer, wondering how does he do that?  I also recommend a look at his web site, Ralf obviously creates big art, great public installations in metal.  I will get out and about to find more of his public works beautifying our city (we need more great public art).

Ralf Kempken: Shady Cafe #10 Red. (Included with artist consent)

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Celebrating Ballarat – Art Gallery of Ballarat

This week I visited Ballarat to view the exhibition “Into the Light: from the Musee de la Chartreuse” at the Art Gallery of Ballarat  and also discovered three other galleries (see separate pages for galleries listed below).

The exhibition of works by french artists showed how painting developed from the clearly delineated portraits and landscapes into softer, more ephemeral, approaches, and specifically catching light in its many different displays.  The exhibition concluded with works by Australian artists who visited and were influenced by the french.  It is a good exhibition with relevant statements as to the changing approaches. They also have on display recent acquisitions – a selection of a variety works by different australian artists.

I must say I enjoyed the exhibition of art by two local Ballartat artists and recent acquisitions the most (perhaps because I looked at “Into the light” as an educational exercise whereas the other was based on emotional responses). The  artworks by Anne Chibnall and Tim Sedgwick are lively and will engage adults and children alike.

Anne Chibnall  artworks are a bright explosion of colour and enthusiasm.  They cheer you up and warm you up, even on a freezing cold Ballarat winters day.

Tim Sedgwick  is very clever.  His works are created using found objects – including shoes.  He has a trail of ants climbing up the wall around the corner and back down again.  And then a great display of ‘fish’ on two walls.  Sometimes, you need to look closely to determine what the found object is, only to  realise you are looking at a plate, or a thong, or a bottle etc.  His works are colourful, well crafted, interesting and they just work together beautifully.  Love it.

Ballarat is also celebrating the cold with a Winter Festival  that provides lots to do if you are out for a day trip a week-end stay or a school holiday stay.

Art House Gallery

The Lost Ones Gallery

the Post Office Gallery

The Post Office Gallery (Ballarat)

The Post Office Gallery is  part of Federation University Australia (located in Ballarat).  Until 15 July, the Gallery had two exhibitions:

“NAIDOC18: Because of her, we can”.

All the works are by aboriginal and Torres Strait Island artists.  This exhibition shows the breadth of contemporary aboriginal work, which included digital prints on aluminium, painting and sculpture.  There was a story well told giving context to each piece of art,

“NAIDOC18: Cooee!”

This is an group exhibition of art to quote the gallery “created through a unique collaboration between Federation College’s VET Visual Arts program, Langi Kal Kal Ararat and Hopkins Correctional Centre.”  Basically aboriginal artists in the correctional facilities are provided with the space, time and equipment to create their art.  This exhibition showed the different painter approaches to creating art.  First names only were used in attribute of the artists, protecting their identity and maintaining their privacy.

Photos of work were permitted for personal use only, so will not be displaying any images in this space.

 

Daylesford and Macedon Ranges Open Studios (DMROS)

This week did not involve a visit to a specific gallery; instead it was my pleasure to visit several artists in their own studio. (Serious studio envy.) Refer my earlier heads up entry – DMROS made it possible to determine your participation by sorting on arts specialty or on location. I chose to go to Trentham and visited artists with different specialties.

These artists were very generous sharing their history, how their art had evolved to their current practice. In some studios you were able to see old works and new. Artists could identify turning points in their life or share a pivotal work that changed or set the direction of their art practice. It was a fun day of learning about and enjoying the art and the artists.  I only fitted in five artists, so need to go back next year to catch some more.    Also recommend you include in your day trip / holiday activities a visit to the Little Gallery and Gold Street Studio in Trentham.

Chris Rowe (Mixed Media Artist):

Chris has held onto some pivot artworks that show how her artistic skills have developed over the course of her career. This included returning to study when she felt her artwork was “missing something”. Well she creates wonderful, mixed media landscapes, building up layers and layers of media. These are not bulky heavy pieces, she includes beautifully fine and simple drawing of people. In the absence of detailed facial features she captures body language to convey the emotion in her figures. Where she includes text, it connects to the subject matter (not random). Recent works include undulations in the surface layers and therefore the image changes as the light moves across her work. Chris Rowe’s artworks keep on giving.

Chris Rowe “Poignant Parting – ANZAC Centenary.” Mixed media on canvas (Included with Artist’s consent)

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Chris Rowe: “The Homestead that was” Mixed media on canvas. (Included with Artist’s consent)

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Rose Wilson (Painter)

Rose was a portrait artist and recently started doing landscapes. She also shared how her arts practice developed and how the themes for her work have come about. Several years spent living in Arnhem land has created the basis for her techniques.  She paints portraits using oil paint and her fingers (yes – instead of a paintbrush) and with a blade for the fine details of hair and beards. These are beautifully detailed, relaxed portraits. I was stunned at what she produced with her fingers.

On the other hand for her landscapes she uses palettes knives and paintbrushes. Creating layers, adding and scraping back.  she is inspired by the beautiful forests around Trentham and the Macedon Ranges.

Rose Wilson: “Mr Jones won ‘t be coming for dinner” Oil on linen;  135 x 107 cm.

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Rose Wilson “Misty Gums” (included with artist’s consent)

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Jeannine Hendy (Ceramicist (or potter))

Jeannine designs and creates beautiful, usable ceramic household items and ceramic art pieces. She gave me an education in the highs and lows of ceramic art practice; the joy of design, the value given to not just the visual but tactile nature of our everyday items,  the risks with firing and glazing.  She has a love of the entire process and it shows in each piece.

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Dianne Longley (Printer)

Dianne has a studio full of different types of plates, inks, paper and presses to be used depending on the type of work she wants to produce. There are many different types of printing processes and Dianne uses and / or teaches a range of them. Every printing process is complicated requiring design, attention to detail, knowledge of multiple types of materials (blocks, paint, ink etc.) attention to detail and precision execution.  I was also amazed at the lack of chemical smells in the studio; Dianne has been finding natural natural solvents to use whenever possible.

Dianne Longley at her Enjay printing press (included with artists consent)

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Ellie Young (Photographer)

Ellie’s choice of subject matter is many and varied but her approach is to capture fine detail in high magnification. There are two crucial parts to the art practice – capturing the right image and then determining and executing the best photographic printing process. An artwork can take anything from one day to a week to create. Ellie’s photographs are created on metal plates by building up layers. She is ‘hands on’ at every step of the creative process (no digital development) and the end work gives no indication of the complexity of the processes that have gone into creation.  Ellie also teaches photography.

Ellie Young: (Included with artist’s consent)

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Studio Gallery Melbourne

Studio Gallery Melbourne is located in a large, light-filled space in Cheltenham.  Lots of large works and the room to step back and take them in.  I reacquainted with works by Kerry Armstrong and discovered lots of new artists.  Note the artworks are not crowded  – it is a large gallery space.  I can’t cover all the artists – although I would love to.  Go visit and discover more inspiring artists and artworks that make you want to dip your fingers into the juicy thickness of the paint or wonder at the use of lines, marks and colour.

Deidre Bruhn – has created strong, colourful images of confident, vibrant women.

Clare Brodie – I look at this diptych of simple shapes and clean colours and believe I am ‘looking through’ a landscape.  (Eyes of the beholder).

Clare Brodie: “Looking Through” Matte vinyl on canvas, framed in solid Australian Oak. 108 x 137cm each. (Included with artist’s consent)

 

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Nick Osmond – lots of smaller works of faces – clean colours, simple shapes yet every face is different, in colour, construct, mood.  Each face encourages you to look closer and think about moods and create a context.

Nick Osmond “I didn’t realise that was goodbye”, acrylic on marine ply. 53 x 53cm.  (Published with permission of Studio Gallery Melbourne)

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Daniel Anderson – “Based on a True Story”.   This one is strangely attractive because although the image captures a beautiful play of light on form, it leaves me wondering about the true story  – fire or smoke?

Liam Snootle – has created geometric images using aerosol on canvas.  He draws your eye through the canvas in amazingly clean colour blocks. How he manages to get such clean lines is to me a miracle.

Liam Snootle: “Ionisation” Aerosol on Canvas, 131 x 74cm (included with artists consent)

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Without Pier

Without Pier is located in Cheltenham and focuses on contemporary Australian artists across a range of artistic practice – sculpture (metal, timber, glass) paintings, sculpted furniture.  Wonderful works to capture the eye.  This visit I reacquainted myself with some artists (Rhonda Gray, Nicole Allen – see previous entries) while also discovering Brendon Sims from Gippsland (which is just full of great artists.)

Brendon Sims obviously has a love of Gippsland; this exhibition focuses on the horizon, colours and waters of the Gippsland Lakes.  As you move from painting to painting you move through the different moods and colours of the lakes from dawn to dusk, calm to ripple to wave. Something for every mood, contemplative, meditative, uplifting and even (g)rumbling.

I also discovered a lovely glasswork by Martin Goldin.