Friday, 27 April 2012

Megan Yeo - Artist in a Group Show

I met Megan about 12 years ago when I bought a painting that she had on show in a small cafe in Newtown (Sydney).  We discovered we are on the same family tree (from one of the Irish ancestors) and have be the best of friends since.
Megan had already studied art and been a part of Art Express when we met and decided to attend the college of arts (COFA) despite already having high school & TAFE art study experience.
COFA, I feel, gave her a freedom to concentrate solely on art and explore her ideas.
I am fortunate to have seen her work in many group show since and to have a couple of pieces of her work at home on permanent display for my own pleasure.
I was delighted when Megan said yes to taking part in the group show, Jehanne's Alchemists, which she used to explore a photography side of her art using instant, Polaroid photographs that she then enlarged into an edition of one only:
above: Dairy Queen by Megan Yeo 2012 (SOLD - edition 1/1 Lambda print 27x42cm from original Polaroid-type photograph)

Release the Ravens by Megan Yeo (from the exhibition she co-curated: "Queen & Country" Gaffa Gallery, Surry Hills Sydney 2nd - 14th July 09 - mixed media: cross stitch on printed embroidery fabric)

Megan in her studio March 2009 (photograph by Anne Bentley)

above: works on paper by Megan from the group show, Kiez: Homely/Unheimliche that showed in Sydney 2009 & Melbourne 2010

The Banality of Evil by Megan Yeo (a COFA award winner), made of many panels, she split it into individual pieces when the time was right a few years later:
(photography, cross stitch on embroidery fabric & watercolour wash)

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Group show is go

Over 3 days, I worked on hanging my first go at curating a group exhibition, Jehanne's Alchemists, but it would not have happened as well had it not been for all the delivery and hanging help participating artists took time out to provide.  Andrew Purvis, our host who provides the excellent space at Sheffer Gallery, was instrumental in the layout and final hang.

I snapped off some shots just before the show opened:

Launch day yesterday (Saturday 21 April) was perfect weather (well, it was still too humid but the sky did not fall in as it had, torrentially, all week) and lots of people came:

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Lauren E Simonutti 1968-2012

I have lost a friend and our world has lost a wonderful artist and I am too profoundly sad to write any more.
Instead I am quoting her own words via a gallery in Chicago that represented her:
Sometimes the difference between living and dying is just a little bit.
Sometimes the difference between living and dying is just a sigh

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Linda Brescia - Artist in a Group Show

 Linda Brescia's work features screened fabric model making; painting & photography.  She says she "got the art bug" about 12 years ago and has shown her work consistently since; including the Peter Fay curated Showdown in 2011 (she will also feature in his May 2012 group exhibition, Out of the Blue).  Currently, her work is a part of the Mini Print International prize at the No Vacancy Gallery in Melbourne.   She is also a multiple prize winner along with being awarded a number of grants.
I am fortunate to have Linda agree to participate in my first curated group show.
I first discovered her at the same gallery I am now putting on Jehanne's Alchemists 
 which was a combination of screen print, sculpture models and photography.  There were a number of images that stayed in my mind for a week until I simply had to make contact and ask if I could lay-buy at least one:
I'd rather stick pins in my eyes (Viallat) - Linda Brescia (from Showdown at Sheffer Gallery 2011)

Linda is also interested in the lives of artists & relationships between artitsts:
The de Koonings - Linda Brescia  (from Loop installation at the Stein Gallery 2011)
Secondhand (Marlene Dumas) -  Linda Brescia

Friday, 13 April 2012

Group exhibition @ Sheffer Gallery

A sneak preview of some of the work on exhibition at the end of next week at Sheffer Gallery.
I'm excited, the artists are excited - hope you are too!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Press Release: Jehanne's Alchemists

Jehanne’s Alchemists - a group art show of cross pollination: from literary to literal and the abstract

Sheffer Gallery 38 Lander Street Darlington NSW 19-29 April
gallery hours: 11am-6pm Wednesday-Saturday
Opening launch: Saturday 21 April 2-6pm

Curator: Anne Bentley

Artists:  Megan Yeo, Edwina Wrobel, Lucinda Clutterbuck, Penny Burnett, Linda Brescia, Priscilla Bourne, Dorota Bona, Anne Bentley and Jakob Adler.

Jehanne’s Alchemists came with the brief that participating artists were to read Thomas Keneally’s 1971 novel, A Dutiful Daughter.  At only 150 pages long, the book is full of imagery, is very Australian and a little fantastical.  Set in the Northern Rivers coastal region of NSW, it features farming, floods, puberty, perversion, beauty, Joan of Arc and two ordinary people who morph into half cows.
With the author’s blessings to put on the show, artist & first time curator, Anne Bentley told artists that they could be as exact or abstract of the subject matter as they liked and to have fun.
As is with all human nature, the work artists present often shows the viewer a hint of their own morals and judgments  as well as what is gleaned from the subject matter of a project.  Megan Yeo presents bovines morphed into smoking, sausage sizzling, flannelette shirt wearing humans with animal heads rather than Keneally’s humans “discovering their bovine selves”.   Lucinda Clutterbuck, is working on a short film focusing on interviews conducted in France late 2011, about how Joan of Arc is remembered as an historical figure along being politically appropriated to suit current sways of belief.  Lucinda has also created drawings of movement, showing a sensual side of discovering one’s own bovinity.   Edwina Wrobel’s gouaches display a distinct symbology including a syringe leaking fire, Día de los Muertos faces and a beating heart down a well.  Linda Brescia, working in her current medium of photographing her posed marionette-like models made of screened fabrics and household items – they are intriguing and a little bit spooky.
Does the viewer need to know the book?  “Not at all” says Anne Bentley who recalls seeing a series of drawings by Salvador Dali’s François Rabelais influenced illustrations Les Songes Drolatiques de Pantagruel  (Pantagruel’s Comical Dream) in 2002.    “...but I did source an English translation of Rabelais’s The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel due to that exhibition, which I am yet to finish reading.  I don’t think it matters at all if people know the story but the show will intrigue people and they may want to source their own copy of Mr Keneally’s novel.”

Images clockwise from top left by Linda Brescia; Edwina Wrobel & Jakob Adler – copyright the artists

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Artist in a group show - Penny Burnett

Penny Burnett will be participating in the group show Jehanne's Alchemists
Penny's work is always unique and often gently and amusingly provocative.  Her Beanies Tell Lies in 2008 showed her diversity with knitting (little klu klux klan style hats), photography and painting is where I first discovered her work.  
Currently sitting her BFA(Hons) at University of Tasmania (UTAS), she has been exhibiting her work for the last 10 years after studying fine arts in 1999. 

‘I have been burned alive. Jhesus’
(Keneally 1971, p. 148)
Oil on masonite
30 x30 cm
© 2012 Penny Burnett