Posts tagged SALA Reviews
Clearly one of the most successful exhibitions at this year’s SALA is that of returned local girl, Kirsty Shadiac and her most engaging images of children sharing moments of pleasure. Located at the quaint Tin Cat Cafe, the use of broad brushed white backdrops to the animated actions of the children simply but effectively captures them alone, in their own world, possessed only by their own thoughts and oblivious to what else is around them. And Kirsty has captured all manner of these moments, fiddling with fruit, hiding in boxes, playing hop scotch, in the boughs of a tree, fishing in a stream. All not only portray the innocence of that age but at the very least contentment and often rapturous joy of those moments.
Laughter, six children revelling in the world around them on a summer’s day encapsulates all the key features of the exhibition and is a standout work.
Her style is also unique in other respects – the black outlines to the motifs, the drips let loose to develop visual balance – and her smaller water colours also amply capture the mood of shady summer afternoons, such as her three part Little Red Boat series, displaying skills in an alternate form but without loss of impact.
Rather than being potentially criticised for attempting to cash in on images of children for starry eyed parents, Kirsty comes from a background of having worked with children professionally both in Sydney and locally, including those with disabilities, cancer and general sickness in all manner of institutions. That none of her paintings carry any shred of darkness inherent in those conditions is a tribute to her work and the children she has worked with.
Kryztoff Rating 4.5K
Simon Klobas is the force behind this initiative to have some of Adelaide’s young and upcoming artists exhibit before their peers in a relaxed club atmosphere – to enjoy art in an opening night spirit but without the art nobs. His first night certainly suggested the idea has legs.
Five artists were featured and for mine Ashleigh Abbott’s crisp, clean geometrically shaped bird series was the stand out. A coming together of Gould and Mondrian, her birds were often presented in mirror images with titles such as ‘love is two minds without a single thought’ that gave them a romance and familiarity that was most endearing.
Gretl Watson-Blazewicz presented three large oils, painted with a palette knife to give them a rough but energising texture, of the San Diego coastline, Venice Beach, Ca and a street scene in Vietnam. Their perspectives were very much of the postcard type view and but the works oozed a life beyond your standard post card image.
Lili Dare’s drawings included two set at specific moments of time, those instances where emotions or events gets indelibly marked in memory. The girl with the bare shoulder in 3.47pm was her highlight. Along a similar line were Seb Paynter’s images, taking old scratchy or hazy photographs and working them up into a unique picture. Seemingly a little clichéd at first, over time they came to enchant and draw curiosity.
As mentioned, this X-Hibit exhibition was on for just one night and that is the sad part giving prospective buyers no time to consider the works, especially in the full light of day. Hopefully next time Simon will be granted a longer leash by the Gallery on Waymouth proprietors.
Our Mob is a state-wide celebration of regional and remote South Australian artists. This is its fifth year and derives from a desire to develop a sustainable and dynamic indigenous arts industry, now enshrined in the Statewide Indigenous Community Artists Development (SICAD) program. This year’s exhibition features Ngarrindjeri artists from the Riverland and Coorong.
There are perhaps two stand-out feature works that certainly warrant the time to visit. Major Sumner’s Tree Canoe sits in the midst of the works resting on sand on the floor. A Ngarrindjeri elder, Sumner describes his canoe as a homage to the tree from which it is cut, being more than 100 years old, and to children as an example of both technique and culture. It is certainly impressive and as clear as anything could be of the close inter-relationship between the land and its uses by indigenous communities for thousands of years.
Beaver Lennon’s Break of Dawn (attached above) is notable for two reasons. First, it is one of the few works on display clearly borne of white man styles and techniques, Jack Absalom would be proud of the gums and the spinafex. The heavy, dewy atmospherics of the work with the dark under sides of the clouds, tinged with the dawn’s crimsons, pose the question of whether this is about the on-coming of a cultural storm or the dawn of new, brighter day. The second notable feature is that this work won the inaugural SA Indigenous Acquisitive Art Award of $5000 (thanks to an anonymous donor) that sees the work go into the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Indigenous Art Collection.
Also of note is the exquisite brush work of Roger (Bushfire) Saunders in his Spirits of Change and the raw talent of 9 year old, Ella Ackland’s Snake Protector, an acrylic on bark work of a snake slithering for safety.
Finally, of considerable interest is Narelle Unmeopa’s Emu Egg. Her daughter’s Emu egg is also there, a brightly coloured collectible, but Narelle’s exhibits extraordinary craftsmanship being symbols left as shell after all else has been scraped and sanded away down to the finest skin or membrane before reaching the egg’s yoke – no paint applied.
Kryztoff Rating 4K
Image: Beaver Lennon, The Break of Dawn, acrylic on canvas, 2010