Art Reviews!

Last Thursday Charlotte and Joel decided to shake things up by doing a giant arts review show instead of having a guest, so check out the 3 reviews below and make sure you subscribe to the podcast to hear the full reviews that went to air, plus arts news information.

Peter Griffen
Walking The Landscape
ArtSite Gallery: 2 – 24th November

Peter Griffen is an Australian artist influenced by classical paintings from the Renaissance, abstract expressionism, international indigenous art, and the Australian desert.

Walking around the works of Peter Griffen, Toni McDowell, Kerwayne Berry and Graham Austin at ArtSite Gallery last week, I found the many different interpretations of the Australian landscape incredible. You often hear artists talk about the untamed, rugged nature of the Australian landscape and see it portrayed differently in theatre, sculpture, painting and poetry (just to name a few), but I found Peter Griffen’s work shed a new light on the subject.

Abstraction really seems to highlight wild ideologies of Australian deserts. While Peter’s works aren’t typically accurate depictions of reality, there are elements of the vibrant and somewhat hostile environment within his artistic style, making them interpretively realistic. I found one painting in particular, ‘Kimberly Road Map’, really stood out with a unique use of colour, line and shape. Mapping something as expansive as the Kimberley’s  is really all down to interpretation and, while it looks as though parts have been done with quite a thick brush, it’s actually very detailed – much like that part of the country. If you really look at the Australian desert, it becomes more than a lot of red dirt and shrubs, you start to see the intricacies of this virtually uninhabitable space – an idea Peter has really amplified with his work.

Yvette Hamilton
The Path Of Totality
A-M Gallery: 6 – 23rd November

Yvette’s works largely focus on the sublime and the ineffable – that is, things that are largely inexpressible. The Path Of Totality was photographed in far North Queensland during the solar eclipse of 2012.

The exhibition is a series of photographs displaying different phases and sections of the solar eclipse. Some depict the intense luminosity of the clouds enhanced by light boxes behind the work, some portray the amazing contrasts within the sky at that point in time – but all give the viewer the distinct impression they are there witnessing the eclipse due to her illusory photographic techniques.

Yvette effortlessly explores the psychological realm between space and consciousness. Walking in to a room full of pictures of natural light and the sky is quite a consuming experience – it’s interesting to view something that actually only happened for about 2 minutes, for an indefinite period of time. The viewer is temporarily removed from their place in the world and transported to a temporal place they can’t control – forced to see something much bigger than they are.

Ala Paredes
Without Memory, Without Desire
Gaffa Gallery: over

Ala is a visual artist who undertook a yearlong project where she completed one self-portrait per day for 365 days. The exhibition displayed about 75 of these self-portraits.

While this exhibition is over, I thought the show was such a unique experience I couldn’t help but include it in the show. Ala’s portraits filled one room at the gallery and, though only 76 were on show, it felt like hundreds. Hundreds of eyes staring down at you, each one minutely older or younger than the last – of the same person but illustrated differently, created differently.

Ala Paredes - Without Memory, Without Desire

There’s one image in particular done with bits of newspaper to create a collage of a skull. In a strangely philosophical way, it does make you wonder what makes you – you. If each passing day impacts you as a person, shifts the way you think and perceive the world, are you the same person today that you were yesterday? Are these 76 self-portraits, or are they just 76 portraits of someone who changed over time and became someone else? It can get very philosophical thinking this way, but from talking to Ala, I know some of these things crossed her mind.

In displaying all these images, Ala has allowed the world to catch glimpses into her emotional state on any given day. Regardless of her emotional state at the time (lazy, furious, ecstatic, drunk, hungover, ect), she had to find the motivation and self-discipline to get up and do a self-portrait everyday. You do see fear, sadness, and sometimes boredom in her eyes and physical expression. Each time you circle the room you find something new and wonder what was going on when that was painted – why she looked so sullen or content.

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