Let’s see what’s happening about our local art galleries. Well a few anyway…

Just because I happened to be driving past. That was the explanation for the sore tooth I stumbled across today. And hence is now sitting in my backroom proudly on display. Of course it’s not a real tooth but one hand sculpted out of ceramic by the artist James McFarland. His pop up exhibition at ACRUX Gallery in Hamilton, titled Bite the Bullet, mimics the desire of that rare species of human that enjoys displaying the mementos of a hunt. His collection however is a slightly macabre array of huge human teeth some complete with fillings. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether there is a weird serial killer on the loose or a morbid dentist with an assortment of strange curios. The tooth I purchased happens to belong to a receptionist with a sweet but rotten tooth. I know this because each tooth comes with a code to decipher (it’s quite an easy puzzle) that is stamped onto it. His exhibition, the work from his Honours thesis, concludes next Sunday 2nd April.

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James McFarland’s large teeth specimen collection

Yesterday I quickly caught the tail end of the opening of “The art of collecting” at The University Gallery until 8th April. It’s a small selection from a local collector. However there were 169 pieces there. Wow now that means there has been a lot of buying happening. I left the gallery thinking if it wasn’t for this one collector perhaps the Newcastle art scene would be a shadow of what it currently is. Perhaps not but with a few people telling me this was only 20% of the collection it is worth considering. It must be like an archaeological dig venturing into the home of this collector and like most avid art collectors I imagine there are a few gems amongst the many. If you get a chance it’s astounding to see the diversity.

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From “The art of collecting” Artist: Anthony Buseli, Untitled, 1997

Also on the Newcastle art trail is the work of another local artist Stephen McDonald. His affinity with nature is apparent in his exhibition “illume” at cstudios until 1st April. They are perfectly captured snapshots of crashing waves, billowing clouds and beautiful horizons. I particularly liked the adventurous colours in some of the more luminous images. I appreciate the level of skill and expertise in this exhibition built up over the artist’s lifetime. It’s a traditional and conservative collection but one that has classic longevity.

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Billowing Clouds by Stephen McDonald.

If not for closely analysing art as I do via this blog it’s often I would dismiss a huge selection of work because of my propensity to love the looseness of movement and line through the painterly flow of a brushstroke. But I enjoy taking a closer look. Hopefully it expands my knowledge of art along with my appreciation. Anyway until next time. Yours in art watching…