Apologies to Harry and Craig for being a little tardy with this posting.
First Cut opened a week ago at the BVRG – one of those fabulous exhibitions that’s deeply satisfying on so many different levels, not the least being the quality of the work. It’s a grown-up show, for art lovers with a mature appreciation of contemporary practice (ie probably not for the chocolate box brigade.) Make an effort to check it out in the flesh if you can – well worth the drive.
Opening snaps here.
Meanwhile, the hang itself…
In 2009 the Bega Valley Regional Gallery became a Patron of the Australian National University’s annual Emerging Artist Scholarship Scheme (EASS); a program that provides support for meritorious graduates from across the breadth of the school’s visual arts disciplines. The patronage takes many forms – from acquisition by prestigious corporate collections, to travelling scholarships (from the Spanish Embassy, for instance), to exhibition opportunities (as in this case) at appropriate regional venues.
Young graduating sculptor Harry Townsend was a clear standout in the class of 2010; his work so preternaturally familiar, with an inherent primeval sensibility that intuitively connects with the viewer. There’s a maturity in his work that belies his emerging status, a wonderful feeling for materials and process, an eye for the idiosyncrasies of his chosen/gathered elements.
In this he is the perfect visual foil for Craig Cameron. Both artists approach their work in an extraordinarily similar way – seriously tooled up, painting and scraping and carving and torching – in a purely gestural response to their respective individual conceptual intent. Craig Cameron was the winner of the Bega Valley Art Award in 2008 and (twice) a finalist in the Far South Coast Living Artist Scholarship Project. He is long overdue a greater measure of public exposure. He is the classic artist’s artist – his work uncompromisingly ‘guttural’; a marvellous amalgam of the likes of Mike Parr, Jackson Pollock and Tony Tuckson – abstract expressionism with a satisfyingly nihilistic edge.