Cai Guo-Qiang “Falling Back to Earth” Exhibition
Steve Tyerman Exhibition – “New Frontiers”
Anthea Polson Art August 9 – August 23 2014
Today I will feature SteveTyerman. Steve has recently moved to a bushland property on the side of a hill on a high ridge in the hinterland known as “the scenic rim.” His work is intoxicated by nature.
His current exhibition at Anthea Polson Art http://www.antheapolsonart.com.au/exhibitions.php is titled, “New Frontiers” and expresses the joys and challenges of living and creating in such a wild, magical and ancient landscape. The most impressive thing about this exhibition is Steve’s treatment of light, shade and shadow.
Steve uses thick oil paint in an impasto style applied with a broad palette knife. He spontaneously depicts manicured grassy lawns where deep shadows play. These lawns mark boundaries between human habitation and the untamed forest beyond.
There is a lovely physicality in Steve’s work and here are some images for you to enjoy.
They are titled in order: “Going Home, “To the Studio”, “On the Road Again” and “On the Edge of Civility.”
Swell Sculpture Festival
Pacific Parade, Currumbin, Queensland Australia
2014 Winner Swell Sculpture Award
“Keeping up with the Kalashnikovs” – Daniel Clemmett
The Kalashnikov AK47 is one of the world’s most recognizable weapons; it is the firearm that is famous for being famous. For too many people they are totems of an existence that revolves around fighting for safety and survival and an ever present fear of death.
In this time of fame for fame’s sake, reality entertainment and shameless voyeurism, our “first world problems” are eclipsed by the daily issues faced by the great majority of the world. Our accessories are not the same; the disparity is often severe.
2014 Artist Peer Award – Jina Lee
This sculpture is inspired by the Yin and Yang. In this piece, soft organic shapes combine in the middle to create one unified shape. There is a bronze lotus flower placed in the middle of the sculpture that represents the wishful beginning of life. The message of this sculpture is that everything on this earth is connected and functions in perfect harmony which, when understood, results in a more meaningful life.
2014 Emerging Artist Award – Glen Star
The name of this piece is Erebus which means darkness, strength and power. It was inspired by the strength of character shown by an amazing colleague who recently experienced a massive life changing circumstance, the darkness he went through and the power required to triumph. Erebus also represents the beauty, strength and power of a horse and the fluidity of movement that can be found in lines.
2014 Environmental Awareness Award – Michael Van Dam
In the early 1960’s, due to the whaling industry, there were estimated to be fewer than 200 Humpback whales migrating along the east coast of Australia. Now, with the help from various conservation organisations and public awareness, there are estimated to be over 20,000. The multi-colours of the hand symbolize that all mankind can assist our planet’s animals, before we lose them completely.
“Saltwater Country” Exhibition
Saltwater Country opens at Gold Coast City Gallery on 19 July (until 31 August) 2014 and includes acclaimed Australian artists Judy Watson, Fiona Foley, Michael Cook,
(currently star of the 2014 Bienniale of Sydney) Alick Tipoti, Vernon Ah Kee and new talents Megan Cope and Ryan Presley. The exhibition showing at the gallery talks about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connection to country, sea and waterway on the coastal edge of Queensland, Australia.
Unique indigenous visual storytellers have created an important exhibition that captures and presents an image of Australia that is distinctive, culturally vibrant, beautiful and evocative.
Here are some images from this fantastic exhibition…
“Weres” by Erub Arts, Torres Straight Islands (Mixed Media Installation; ghost net made from found fishing nets; screen printed fabric and video projection.)
The video installation text quotes: “These are known as ‘The Great Garbage Patch’ or the ‘Pacific Trash Vortex.” The second video installation says: “Some of this floating garbage dump is responsible for the deaths of marine birds, fish and turtles.”
“Once Were Fisherman” 2014, – Laurie Nilsen (Mixed media installation and video projection)
“Gavin – Image 1” 2014, – Vernon Ah Khee (Charcoal, pastel and acrylic on canvas)
“blue float, east coast, flinders chart” 2014, – Judy Watson (Acrylic and pencil on canvas)
“Dead Littoral” 2014, – Judy Watson
Cast Bronze Installation: Group of ten elements.
“Untitled – 2012”, – Daniel Boyd, (Oil and archival glue on photocopy in Natural History Museum box)
“Ikalath #6” 2012, – Mavis Ngallametta, (Ochres and charcoal with acrylic binder on stretched linen)
The work titled, “Once Were Fisherman” by Laurie Nilsen was profound due to the powerful and important message it sends. Nilsen uses found objects to shock the viewer into the reality of consumerism and its connection to the environmental destruction of our oceans.
Overall, the exhibition is aesthetically pleasing with tonal lighting to complement each work. The artists’ use visual story-telling to talk of their complex association with the land has helped deepen understandings of Aboriginal culture. Each artist subtlety revealed the historical layer within their work and this influenced my own connection to our waterways and the effects of colonization. The collection reveals a robust debate about art and politics. The exhibition was very well received and attended at the Gold Coast Art Gallery and it remains to be seen how it will be interpreted by future audiences here and overseas.
These are the gowns I lingered over…..
I absolutely loved the sexy formality of the skirt and blouse worn by Leslie Caron in the making of “Gigi” in 1958. Materials were wool, cotton, organza, voile and grasgrain ribbon. The look could be described as demure in a most understated way.
Probably my favourite dress from a historical point of view is this next one worn by Debbie Reynolds in the 1957 film “Tammy and the Bachelor.” The materials are silk brocade and crepe de chine. The waistline and off the shoulder bodice in this dress are so appealing and something not often seen today.
The workmanship in these dresses was precise and of the highest of quality, the materials natural, lush and rich.
This walk into a bygone era left me dreaming of silk, organza and crepe de chine dresses. Oh where are they now?
This fabulous exhibition runs until 15th February this year at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia. The 100 garments on show were drawn from the unparalleled collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute.
In 1982, 39 year old Yohji Yamamoto and 40 year old Rei Kawakubo held a joint show in Paris. Rei came from a Fine Arts background and Yohi had previously studied law at Keio University and fashion design at Bunka Fashion College. His mother was a seamstress and had a huge influence on him.
The poetic 1982 Paris show shone with a “refined shabbiness” based on the Japanese tradition of flatness and asymmetry. Radically different rectilinear shapes showed the influence of kimono and origami. The work was also tinged with memories of WWII and seriously challenged conventions of beauty. The tremendous innovation of these two Japanese designers was something not seen on Paris catwalks before.
The collection was described by the fashion press at the time as “clothes for the end of the world that look as though they have been bombed to shreds.”
The tremors of this show are still evident today.
I couldn’t help myself by starting off with an image from my favourite designers, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. This image appeared on a fantastic timeline of world fashion at the exhibition.
Next is an item from Yohi Yamamoto’s’s show at Tokyo Olympic Stadium last year, a return after 20 years to the city where he got his start.
Issey Miyake “1325 Collection” Polyester top and skirt pressed with metal. Almost all of the garments fold down to become an entirely different artwork in themselves!
This is a beautiful silk gown by Yohji Yamamoto. The fabric is frayed and twisted most elegantly. I love this!
Jun Takahashi designing under the label of UNDERCOVER shows the influence of manga, anime, geek or obsessiveness and contemporary art. This is a garment from his Spring/Summer 2003 collection. A black synthetic crepe work with uneven hemline, applique stitching and strings hanging down.
A stamp to celebrate the Australian Legends Fashion Designers, the fabulous Akira Isogawa.
Altogether highly recommended, an exhibition with a difference!
“We Don’t Need a Map” Exhibition
This amazing exhibition at the Gold Coast Arts Centre featured work of the Martu people from the Pilbara area of Western Australia. The region of the Great Sandy, Gibson and Little Sandy deserts is the traditional country of several language groups known collectively as the Martu.
It is wise to note that appropriation of Indigenous Australian artwork is against the law here.
The exhibition featured delicious bush tucker. These foods were made from native plants including mountain pepper, lemon myrtle and native ginger found by the indigenous Yugambeh people of the south-east Queensland area.
There were also some works from the, 2015, led by talented indigenous artist Fiona Foley. This is some of the beautiful basketwork from the camp.
Artworks from the Martu people told stories of their country and included baskets, boomerang, paintings and sticks. The baskets were woven from wool and grasses and the talented Martu artists gave demonstrations of how they worked. They taught us how to make the baskets and told stories while we were weaving. It was an honour and so much fun to work with these indigenous artists.
Many of the paintings showed topographical views of the dream time landscapes of each individual artist. I was drawn to these works by Noreena Kadibil because of the blend of both indigenous and contemporary art. The works tell the story of the artist’s mother, Daisy and her escape after being forcibly removed from her family. This story inspired the film, The Rabbit Proof Fence.”
The following work titled, “Wilara” tells the story of the artists’ birthplace and ancestral lands.
This work by Anya Judith Sampson is titled “Emu Tracks Near Puntawarri.” Anya tells the story of emus walking towards a waterhole. Apologies, these photos are far from perfect as the works were hung high above my head!
These next images help explain what the indigenous Martu people show in their paintings.
The Martu people looked so incredibly healthy, their smiles were captivating, their hair shiny and skin like satin. I spoke with them about their diet and was surprised to learn of a diet of traditional food they hunted themselves. There was a video showing how the Martu people went about catching goanna and how the preparation of a bush turkey. The goannas were cooked in the coals and by all accounts were delicious.
We were honoured to interact with these beautiful, talented and humble people.
Exhibition – “Inspiration” – William Robinson, OA
This exhibition was held at Old Government house, Queensland University of Technology
William Robinson was born in Australia in 1936 and was a talented artist and musician from an early age. He spent his life teaching as an art instructor at various different institutions in South East Queensland. William Robinson retired from Brisbane College of Advanced Education (now Queensland University of Technology) in 1989 after 32 years of influencing and inspiring young college art students.
I remember him most after this time since he retired to a farm at Beechmont on the east coast of Australia. You can see the amazing view from the town looking east in this image.
I was very taken with his vibrant paintings of farm life, William, Josephine and Others”, 1982-3, Oil on Linen and “Goats and Chooks”, 1980, Oil on linen. Following are, “Landscape with Extinct Volcano”, 1992, oil on linen, part of “Possum Dawn”, 1985, Oil on linen, “Farmyard Dreaming”, 1982, graphite on paper.
The freshness of William Robinson’s treatment of trees continues to inspire me. He appears to be painting them exactly as he saw them, looking upwards towards the sky. These large scale, spiritual landscapes are the most important of his works.
Next is the highlight of the exhibition. The overwhelming big Australian sky overwhelms in the diptych below, (“Dark Tide at Bogangar“, east of Beechmont) The viewer appears to be standing on the edge of the universe. William Robinson’s work is reminiscent of the sense of the sublime shown in paintings by German romanticist, Caspar David Friedrich.
The interior work below stood out because it reminded me of Pierre Bonnard’s post impressionist style. The title is “Bedroom with Woman Putting on Lipstick”, 1977, gouache and pastel on paper.
“Let me be Myself”- The Story of Anne Frank
This exhibition is being held at Katranski Community Hall, Gold Coast, Australia.
The exhibition shows the story of Anne Frank in a visually stunning way. The chronological order of the display shows Anne’s flight from Germany to the Netherlands with her family, their eventual hiding in secrecy and subsequent discovery by betrayal. The family are shown transported to labor camps and their eventual death of illness a few weeks before liberation. Otto Frank, Anne’s father was the only one to survive.
All throughout this ordeal, Anne meticulously kept a diary. She dreamed of becoming a journalist and writer and this she eventually did through the widespread reading of her diary today. The diary has a story of its own as it was secretly kept after the family’s transportation to the labour camp by a company employee of Anne’s father. This kind and loyal lady revealed the treasured writings after the war.
There is also an informative 25 minute video and a display for young people which relates to themes of inclusion and acceptance in contemporary times.
A fantastic cross section display of Anne’s father’s factory shows the secret hiding place of the family.
A very convincing photocopy of the original diary was on display, however, it is copyrighted and unable to be photographed. I was most pleased to photograph this original yellow star made of material which was sewn into the clothing of the Jewish people during the war.
There are many helpful volunteers with extensive knowledge of Jewish people and WWII. I had the good fortune of talking at length to a lady whose parents both survived labour camps. It was a very interesting discussion and this is an exhibition so very worthy of seeing. I left there feeling humble and grateful.
Jenny Watson – “Chronicles” Exhibition
Queensland College of Art Gallery, 226 Grey Street, South Brisbane, 4101. Australia.
To get to the exhibition, it is best to catch public transport by train or bus to Southbank Station and walk around 200m to the gallery which is within the College campus.
A pioneering figure for female artists, Jenny Watson (1951- ) is widely regarded nationally and internationally as one of the most imminent voices in contemporary art. The works in this exhibition are a chronological record from her first use of text in the 1970s. Watson’s early painterly style gradually becomes deskilled over the years and the exhibition ends with works not previously exhibited. In these more recent autobiographical works Watson skilfully uses materiality through fabric, paint and objects to create a personal yet obscure narrative. Watson retains authorship through her distinctive use of her own handwriting and different mediums resulting in a complex yet unclear narrative. Feminist and punk deskilled techniques give insight to Watson’s early life in Australia.
In the 1970s, Watson did a series of paintings from photographs of the houses she had lived in. The street address is incorporated in the painted surface and was the first use of text in Watson’s work. She had been inspired by the rolling credits at the end of television shows. Working with text and image has continued in Watson’s in different forms through to her work today.
In the 1980s, Watson produced a series of archetypal female figures such as Ophelia, Alice and Pandora in her work. She portrays them as fragile adolescent women who wield power they cannot control. The text above Watson’s Ophelia is drawn from The Executioner’s Song, Norman Mailer’s 1976 biography of unrepentant murderer and punk cult hero, Gary Gilmore. Watson’s text is at odds with the fragile, aristocratic Ophelia of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
This exhibition cleverly chronicles the trajectory of Watson’s oeuvre from her painterly early style to her unique autobiographical work of today. These are some of Watson’s mysterious works from the exhibition in chronological order.
House Painting: Mont Albert (small version), 1976, Oil on canvas
Australian artist of the 80s as a lady and Ophelia, 1984, Oil on velvet
An Original Oil Painting, 1976, Oil on canvas
Painted Pages Myer Christmas Catalogue, Oil on canvas
A Painted Page – The Brisbane Telegraph 1980, Oil on cotton duck
Tied Up, 1992-3, Synthetic polymer paint on printed cotton and canvas
Love Hurts, 1993-4, Oil and rabbit skin glue on damask; synthetic polymer paint on canvas
6 pm, 1992, Oil and rabbit skin glue on damask; synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Kind of a Drag, 2008-9, Synthetic polymer paint, rabbit skin glue on Chinese cotton; silk pashmina
Palomino Pony, 2016, Oil and synthetic polymer paint on French furnishing velvet, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, vintage ceramic rabbit on shelf