Exhibitions : Confetti Landbulk at Art Systems Wickham, Blood at Newcastle Art Space, John Sorby and Tracy Smith at Cooks Hill Gallery, Kelly Barlin at Brenner Studio.
Last Saturday, faced with the prospect of a long afternoon in front of the fire keeping toasty warm, I decided instead to brave the elements and head off to view the recent exhibitions about town. The hope of an isolated viewing was also on the cards and I can’t deny this is how I like to see my art.
Art Systems Wickham was the first cab off the rank with the renowned Liam Power exhibiting “Confetti Landbulk”. Greeted on entering the gallery by a number of graphite drawings defining the industrial bulk that inhabits Kooragang Island defined the exhibition. The repetitive shapes burgeoning forth from a horizontal base occurred throughout in differing mediums and scale. In comparison to Power’s Landbulk exhibition in 2013 at The John Paynter Gallery where the juxtaposition of paint and colour created tension and intrigue it seemed the daubs of confetti colouring this exhibition diminished that same sense of clout. Having said that art as a progression is paramount and this exhibition is advancing in direction so new developments will be anticipated with faith.
“Blood” provided the momentum for a group showing at Newcastle Art Space. This certainly was a mix of both medium and reception of subject. Helene Leane caught the grief and wretchedness of death en masse with grave stones and crosses symbolising the futility of war. Lorraine Palmer knitted the bodily fluid and Sue Stewart’s ceramic vessels melted and oozed.
At Cooks Hill Gallery local artist John Sorby captured the casual mood of the surfer with great swathes of paint. The clarity achieved on large scale with minimal detail seizes the gesture of a moment. Also on exhibit were two works by artist Tracey Smith who continues to exhibit large layered canvases successfully acknowledging the abstract. Her work delves into the imagery that appears through repetitive application and removal of paint. The result is as exhilarating as the process.
Brenner Studio in Parry Street unfortunately is closing to make way for the ubiquitous interior decorating shop. But that doesn’t take away from the last exhibition occurring in this great space. Kelly Barlin, the Ford Scholarship winner for 2013, experiments with technique in photography stimulating the audience with the mystery of movement. The human body immersed in water and effortlessly sustained is surely a highlight. It’s to be hoped this exhibition is a launch into a successful career.
Today is the final day to see “Confetti Landbulk” and “Blood”. At the university of Newcastle Gallery from 12- 4 pm the Friends of the University of Newcastle 2014 Acquisitive Art Prize and Fair is one I’m sure will be worth visiting. It also finishes today. And don’t forget Webb’s Gallery in Kahibah. At present the gallery is host to two printmakers Vale Zakarauskas and Jeannie Little. They exhibit Nature and Nurture until Saturday 2nd August.
Until next time happy art watching!