Technicolour Homespace by Dane Tobias
Adornment 3 Wild Group Exhibition
Fertility by The Hunter Sculptors Inc.
Until 27th September
Curating an art exhibition is an art in itself and one that is all too often dismissed or even criticised. So it’s a massive task to therefore coordinate 3 exhibitions at once. And this appears to be the cycle Jo Chisolm has adopted at cstudios in Hunter St. Presently there are 2 group shows and a solo exhibition all worthy of a mention.
The solo exhibition “Technicolour Homespace” by artist Dane Tobias has seen his art increase in depth and richness since I saw his show last year at Newcastle Art Space. Although bright and funky there was a flatness that has now disappeared. The vibrancy remains however an extra complexity has been added making his work stimulating and more curious. These glimpses into interiors are so engaging and sweet. And yet there is a raw drawing sense that takes them away from just being cute images and makes them wonderful little pieces of art.
In the next enclave in the gallery is a group show titled “Adornment 3 Wild”. Perhaps the most intriguing pieces in the exhibition are the freeform crochet works by artist Ann Sutherland. Colourful and gaudy they are an insight into the creative universe within. Wow do I love craft that transcends. Also in this exhibition is a painting by artist Maureen Ydhag. Her work always repels me on some level which kind of sounds insulting but then I’m fascinated and I always remember her work and that is something in this city of the artist. In this exhibition the image is flat and awkward and weird, a lad sitting with eyes shut, green hair including eyebrows and beard, adorned in blue cape, socks and flag style pants. The Mum/Dad tattoos hint at something odd and I am left wondering again.
The largest space in the gallery is now showing the work of The Hunter Sculptors Inc. The female form is prevalent due to its title “Fertility”. And although these forms are pleasing and acceptable I’ve decided to hone in on the slightly repugnant. The artist Gavin Vitullo whose wife recently gave birth has encapsulated a small portion of the placenta in resin. It’s bizarre and bewildering but makes for deep personal analysis. Why is it repugnant? Why is it perverse? Why as a society have we developed such an aversion to this natural, life-giving organ? I cannot answer these philosophical questions but I do wonder whether it’s the hypercivilised society we now inhabit and for my part I’ll choose this over our ancestral trait of eating the placenta after giving birth.
I take my hat off to the energetic owner of this gallery. Jo is tirelessly building up a great space for the local artists of Newcastle. It’s an exciting gallery and one that hopefully prevails. All three present exhibitions close 27th September.