You have to congratulate these artists for having an exhibition just two months after Central TAFE's art graduates' show. I'm so glad they did, as it erases the despair felt after viewing the art school's display. I recall thinking then that art education had died and was laid to rest in a junk yard. This exhibition, including three recent graduates, rekindles my hope.
The works are experimental excursions, no doubt a result of urging by their teachers, but they do reveal the makers' ability to take an idea to fruition with some lateral diversions. This was not evidenced in the graduate exhibition leaving us with the numbing thought, is that it? Thankfully these emerging artists reveal how there is more.
Holly Benporath works with chicken wire, bondcrete and vegetable dyes. Perfect wire squares are filled with varying weights of colour to to give a pulse to the rigid structure of the host. The wire is stiff but pliable, it is manipulated and arranged to allow for the play of light through the colour or casting of shadows on the painted support surface. There is a sense of freedom within boundaries here that, when explored further, will offer even more interesting results. The learning process goes on. Benporath also exhibits two small figurative sculptors, which should have been in the grad show as they reveal a personal style.
Chris Boreland too works with wire, in this case fly screen. Here the artist 'sculpts' the protective wire into rigid garments that protect the wearer to present a collection of aprons. What is delightful about the work is how each empty apron reveals its own identity allowing us to give it a 'personality' to fit. There is the Butcher's apron, the 'Happy Days' housewife's apron, the cheeky Barbecue apron, as well as the Cocktail apron and one for the French maid. Together they compliment each other but each is a completely satisfying work on its own.
Kathy Collett paints a collection of shoes. Each small oil on board painting seems to indicate a fetish for colour studies rather then feet. The medium is worked well so it's time the artist enlarged her surface and expanded her subject matter. The same can be said of Collett's 'animal heads' crafted of woven paper-covered wire. They are charming but if produced large enough to fit over an adult head, they would provide even more interest. The open weave and gentle hues on a larger construction would have us imagining characters from some dream sequences in plays or ballets.
Margot Rowle presents acrylic paintings that suggest inspiration is derived from microscopic imagery. The colours are strong, the compositions gentle and there is a sense of confidence that comes through the non-figurative imagery. I prefer works that do not employ white over painting as the 'veil' does not evoke a sense of mystery, it only inhibits our engagement with the work. I do appreciate Research 1 a nice compilation of media, colour and collage to provide interesting viewing on many levels.
Thanks ladies, for providing an interesting exhibition and vindicating your alma mater.
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