If you want an interesting trip around Midland then stop in at this gallery during this exhibition. Here four artists look and see the people and places of Midland with the eye of residents and artists.
Jennifer Catalano continues to employ the earth as a medium for art. In place of graphite or charcoal, soil from local areas is used to draw her linear comments. Using red earth rather then commercial materials not only provides a sense of freedom, it also suggests a connection between art and life. With the long exhibit Earthline-Midland, Catalano 'takes the line for a walk' and invites others to join her. Individual sheets of 8x12 paper are hung on the wall to make a continuous white serface upon which Catalano draws a continuous warm line with red earth. She invited others at the opening night to get involved and a few replaced a section of the artist's line with their own. The result is not only a sense of being part of the Earth, but part of a community
Catalano gets together with Gene Taylor to present another erratic line in Line Drawn. Here Taylor's interesting photographs capture the textures and colours of Midland. These pictures take us beyond barbed wire and brick walls, from dusty street gutters to corrugated iron roof tops. By honing in on oft overlooked aspects of the bigger picture, Taylor presents interesting yet familiar abstract compositions. These fine colour images are interspersed with Catalano's line drawings of the same, or simmilar, subjects from different views. The way they are presented connects the disparate images as there is one line that runs between a photograph the drawing abutting it. This 'line' is sometimes hard to see, perhaps it represents the invisible connections that make a town of so many parts a single whole.
Susan Keeping invites the viewer into the heart of Midland with her black and white photographs Time Line. Neatly framed and presented, Keeping shows us old cottages and commercial premises, people and pets, graffiti, tall grass and gates that give character and life of the town. The way the subjects are posed and the images presented suggests not only a keen eye but a certain empathy with the subjects. When you can imbue a mechanical photograph with human warmth, as these pictures do, then that's the mark of good photographer. Keeping is a good photographer. She also has a good sense of humour. Her installation The Latest Line - Behind the Picket Fence pays homage to the 'domestic goddess' of suburbia and her offerings stored in plastic ware. Fear not, the Goddess is well protected in her well lit niche with a sturdy fence to keep the faithful out. Good one!
We have the sites of Midland but how about the sound? Phillip Gibbs offers music and imagery with The Melodic Line - "Background Bach". Here two long paper scrolls host broad undulating lines in black ink that bleed into paper. These melodic, melting black lines are held in check by red earth were produced by Catalano as a backdrop for Gibbs musical performance on the opening night. From across the room or up close the whole effect is quite wonderful. Although I regret missing the performance, I glad the gallery wasn't playing music when I visited, as the exhibit had my mind finding its own tune ~ classical, timeless and rather jaunty. Hey, that's Midland!
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