Artists: Large contingent of local artists.
On exhibit at NAS until 6th Oct
A strong field of artists have succeeded in endowing Newcastle Art Space with a strapping display for this year’s Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize. Works on paper, photography and painting have gathered a stimulating response; however sculpture seems under -represented.
The works on paper section includes a superbly drawn study by Sallyann Burton. Titled Head 1 Study for a Sculpture, continues the carved drawings of landscapes recently exhibited by Burton at NAS. Dividing each segment of the head into shaped planes is analytic in theory and stunning in execution. Jacquie McCoy acknowledges the humble banana with astounding realism again reiterating her expertise in printmaking. A small work by Jamee Speering captures the fatigue of public transport with line and precision. Other notable pieces include a folder containing paper sewn with thread in undulating rows and images pressed mysteriously onto a wire background.
Pleasure in not having the difficult decision of choosing a winner in photography testifies to the strength in this section. All seem worthy of merit though Tara Keher stands out with “Back of the Great Northern”. An eerie sense of dread is pervasive. Seen recently at Watt Space in the Australiana exhibition is Dylan Smyth’s blighted landscape “Untitled Landscape 1”.Kelly Barlin’s “Covered” is an impressive portrait with valid physicality. “Singularity” by Christine Bushell is haunting and ethereal. The ghostly portrayal of beauty is magnificent.
A rabbit, a deer, a bird, a madcap doll and a wicker basket with an actual rose for a shower head. This is the sculpture section.
There are many en plein air painters represented in the exhibition all with their individual styles and determined brush strokes are aplenty demonstrating a technique embraced and encouraged by art schools. Debra Byrnes “Bungalow-Retro” indicates a casual looseness creating an easy appealing style. With dappled nuance Rachel Milne establishes a beautiful technique and composition in “Reunion”. The laconic vibe emanating from Fern York’s “Murray & Jono Moylan at Camp Boggabri” employs a resolute brush to great effect. Madeleine Cruise ignites the space with her vibrant abstract and Iain Gaynor’s pushes and stresses paint perfectly.
It is to be noted the winners have been announced. In writing this review it was my determined effort to keep myself blissfully unaware so I could write this without influence. There are many worthy recipients demonstrating Newcastle’s ability to nurture an artistic culture.