At last the summer art drought is over and galleries are blooming again with fascinating forms, clever concepts and imaginative images. I didn't realize my addiction to visual art until it wasn't easily accessible.
(C) fills the Main and Hall galleries at FAC with rich viewing pleasure despite the low-brow material employed. Seventeen artists from around the nation transform cardboard, that ubiquitous substance we must deal with every day, into amazing works of art.. Here the humble product is elevated to the status of 'art medium' to celebrate itself and artists' ingenuity.
Lesley Duxbury's large works Three Mornings and One Evening have us considering the subtle difference of colours, in the mind's eye. On four surfaces, each a different shade of grey, the artist verbalizes colour in embossed statements. Using words like 'crimson', 'scarlet' and 'vermilion', Duxbury attempts to describe the hues seen at the 'grey' times of day; dawn and dusk. I suggest you look at this series as you would a sun rise or set; intellectually analyse it if you must but more importantly just enjoy what you see.
The same advise can be taken when viewing Lisa Wolfgramm's work. Her three large triptychs #91, #92, #93 are composed of narrow, thin strips of card carefully placed over tightly corrugated cardboard to draw rhythmic patterns and optical illusions. Wolfgramm employs the play of light and shadow as much as the textured surface to create various effects when seen from different angles. The works impress, not only for their size and painstaking construction, but because they activate the mind while engaging the eye.
Jonathan Wilson also engages the viewer with his active installation Spooning (Fresh Caught Fish) consisting of small rectangular boxes that wriggle and writhe on the floor like frenetic lovers or hooked fish. Then, when all energy is drained, they lay in still silence like lovers in a bed or fresh fish on ice, leaving us to watch a video replay of the action.
Another voyeuristic exhibit, well almost, is Model for Sustaining a Small Presence by Sam Collins. We view an empty apartment on a TV screen and hear off-stage dialogue between a man and woman, so assume it's 'real' life, just like a soap opera. But it's a projection of a stage set and recording located in a very small cardboard box around the corner, just like a soap opera.
All the exhibits in (C) are well conceived and constructed to provide an interesting and thought provoking experience. See it then climb the stairs to jazz heaven seen through the camera lens of photographer William Claxton. Meet John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and other greats including the Count (Basie) and the Duke (Ellington). If you enjoyed the recent Jazz series on the ABC over the summer, you'll appreciate the imagery beyond the surface clarity of these black and white pictures.
Claxton captures the musicians at work as they play; puffed cheeks blowing
magic through a horn, fingers poised momentarily over ivory keys, eyes
closed to better see the inner inspiration, blinding lights throwing everything
else into blackness. These images pulsate with the rhythm of the era and
the beat of the music. Then it's off to the real sounds as the Jazz Festival
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