4 – 29 March 2020
Opening Wednesday 4 March at 5.30pm
For centuries, artists have been consumed by the challenge of representing the real world. The genre of still life genre is a record of this engagement, originally defined as the depiction of inanimate objects to consider their formal qualities.
Driving this artistic fascination, has been a need to examine, reflect and immortalise the many objects that populate our immediate surroundings, including both natural and man-made. Through creative interpretation the artist provides intensity to an object that is not normally afforded it. This includes revealing more complex meanings that underpin many still life subjects, through the use of symbols and metaphors
Many still life works have truly comprehensive themes, that span continents, cultures, as well as centuries. However, there are also themes that are unique to a location and reveal a specific moment in time. This suggests that still life is truly a universal language, but simultaneously has the ability to share personal significance. With its many incarnations, the genre of still life continues to play an important contemporary role in helping to decode the shifting space where culture identity and personality collide.
This group show shares how still life continues to be an important component within the work of our artist stable. Through various mediums and styles, each artist interprets the genre differently. However, all use the represented object to comment, explore and reveal to the viewer, more than what meets the eye.
Exhibiting Artists include Lisa Garland, Lorraine Biggs, Wayne Brookes, Maggie Jeffries, Anthea Boden, Mathew Simms, Michael Nay, Lucia Usmiani, Pamela Bristow, Bill Yaxley & Dale Richards
“Spending time on the West Coast of Tasmania I see the coming and goings of a small community driven by coastal living. Its rugged, hard work and primitive. After a wild storm, once the oceans are still and glassy again, I watch the salt stained men hauling bull kelp onto their vehicle cancerous with rust. I follow this happening with my camera and document the next step in this livelihood, the hanging of bull kelp on primitive Melaleuca structures to dry in winds blowing off the 15 000 kilometre stretch of the wild and untamed Great Southern Ocean. A special place.”
Completed in during Wayne’s recent residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts complex in Paris, these two works represent an interesting development of his renowned practice. For the first time, Wayne has moved away from his realistic renditions of elaborate ornaments and interiors in acrylic and ventured into the realm of watercolour. Both works represent Wayne’s ongoing fascination of elaborate 19thCentury objects and the experience of appreciating the collection of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs first-hand.
These works reflect on a longing for paradise and vacation. Through Lucia’s meticulous approach to both materials and subject, picture postcard scenes are rendered in plasticine and then preserved within Monkeypod wooden bowls and souvenirs. These works represent Lucia’s ingenious ability to reinterpret the possibilities of everyday materials, tapping into a desire for escape and relaxation, as well as revealing the role objects play in signifying memory and place.
“Within ‘Hat and Tunic’ I have explored the relationships between objects and contextual space. Of particular interest is how objects are displayed in a museum. Here I’m challenged to use paint in ways that best reveal the impact of light and reflection, on still life forms, which are trapped and suspended with glass vitrines.
Accompanying this work are three paintings that focus on table top objects, incorporating vanitas symbols that allude to and the transience of earthly achievements and the inevitability of death. I use snippets and element-shards from collage-based studies to inform the paintings, helping to visualise the allegorical concepts that underpins the work.”
“Humankind has been making objects for thousands of years, both out of necessity and from an appreciation of materials, but also a means to gain wealth. My works depict these everyday objects refashioned out of recycled and reclaimed materials. My titles are deliberately provocative, aimed to remind the viewer of where we are in this point in time and how the everyday decisions we make impact on the earth.”
“Calmness for me is to be still, watching nature go by from my house and studio. My front garden is the ocean and sky, each day bringing a new show of weather with all its changes of colour and form, responding sea moods and marine wildlife activity. This provides a dynamic backdrop to my life and the objects I collect. These vessels, shells and other items provide a welcomed counterbalance through their stillness, which is both familiar and stable. Each object resonates with a presence that I identify with, and in a sense… make me feel alive. I enjoy painting landscape with my still lives.”