Last huzzah for The Hill…

6 05 2011

The Hill winds up this week – so it’s all over bar the photography…

John was snapping Sue’s gorgeous work this week, and there’ll be more action at the de-install.

We’re going to miss it – it was a class act.





The Hill…

1 04 2011

The Hill opened at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery last Friday and what a cracker of a show it is!! A must-see for anybody swinging through the Far South Coast (on until 7th May.)

We’ve nicked the wall blurb…

The Hill is the culmination of an exploratory journey undertaken by four local artists – Sue Chancellor, Jen Mallinson, Poppy Benton and Lorna Crane – to Broken Hill, an iconic destination for generations of Australian artists.

The self-initiated project, which began with a residency at the Broken Hill Art Exchange in 2009, has been an ongoing and dedicated commitment to a creative development that has seen all four artists embrace significant technical progression in their individual practices; to better express the raw physicality of the experience.

In essence, Broken Hill is a microcosm of Australian Cultural Heritage; the interface of a socio-historic landscape that encompasses thousands of years of Indigenous (pre-colonial) history, an honour roll of early exploration (Major Thomas Mitchell, Charles Sturt, Burke and Wills), waves of migration from the first Afghan pioneers of the 1890’s, the mining lore of The Lode, and the stoic perseverance of pastoralists and ‘townies’ in the harsh climate and topography of the great outback.

It’s an environment that, for artists, almost demands a creative epiphany; a shift in perspective that translates beyond pictorial representation into technique, and medium, itself. The Hill is a working example the very real value of artist exchange and residency programs; the quantum leap in terms of an artist’s professional practice.

This exhibition represents succinct idiosyncratic responses to an extraordinary environment;

Sue Chancellor’s soft nostalgic snapshots of the 50’s and 60’s and the hand-tinted sepia-esque prints that hark to an even earlier time…

Jen Mallinson’s rusting, remnant sentinels and her evocative portrayal of weathered timelessness…

Poppy Benton’s industrial regimentation of mining company housing, and the wry, museological referencing of the feral goat…

Lorna Crane’s multi-media lyrical homage to the Darling River – an earthy mix of new media, poetry, music and works on paper…

It’s a rich and varied show, with a visual dialogue at play across the room that speaks of empathy and connection; a nuanced harmony that affords us entrée to the tangible, dramatic quality of Broken Hill.

[From the curatorial point of view this was a preferred practice scenario, insofar as we’ve had a progression of studio visits along the way, which has led to genuine critical development by all concerned and has enhanced and added to the resolution of the show. This is a stunningly mature and sophisticated exhibition, and I congratulate the artists on a truly enriching show (said Megsie.)]

More snaps here. 

 





Studio rounds…

28 10 2010

The Gang did the studio rounds of the ‘Broken Hill Mob’ last week  –  Sue Chancellor, Jen Mallinson, Lorna Crane and Poppy Benton – for an early taster of work-in-progress for their exhibition at the BVRG next year (March). Have to fess up that we’re shameful voyeurs when it comes to poking around artist’s studios – it’s the best part of the curatorial gig.

Lorna’s currently in the throes of final preparation for her Berlin show (which is going to be a cracker) at the Belconnen Art Centre…

Cool studio. And then we were off to Jen’s…

…where Poppy also set up temporarily (her studio being the only one not in the near vicinity)…

…and last stop was Sue’s…

What a happening place Pambula is! Sweet little village, great bakery, serious arts community. Noice work if you can get it.

It’s shaping up to be a terrific show – mark it in your dance card.





Poppy re-opens in Tathra…

14 04 2009

emma-poppy

 

The intrepid Benton gels kicked off The Essential Object Mark II on the Easter weekend. The Gang couldn’t make it to the official drinkies/opening, but we did manage to catch them on their first day of action on our way to Narek/Ivy Hill.

 

essential-object

 

Very sweet looking set up, and we wish the new enterprise all the best. Certainly has all the makings of the essential gift stop – lots of lovely goodies…

 

                      essential-object-1

                      essential-object-3





Poppy Benton at Narek…

4 03 2008

poles-2.jpg

Last Saturday the Gang raced back from Canberra just in time to catch the opening of ceramicist Poppy Benton’s first solo show, Imbue, at Narek Gallery in Tanja.

Poppy was the recipient of the (inaugural) 2007 Far South Coast Living Artist Projects Scholarship; a locally generated non-government-funded scheme that  provides the financial support (to the tune of $35,000) to enable an emerging local visual artist to spend a year working full-time on their practice. 

Not only but also…

‘The winner will receive professional mentoring by a successful, well recognised artist in the relevant field of expertise and ongoing support in developing a body of work for presentation to the community in local gallery exhibitions or similar events.’  Bega District News, 25th January 2008.

…All in all it’s a pretty serious package.

Poppy was mentored by Alan Watt (the founding Head of the Ceramic Workshop at the ANU School of Art and now long-time resident of Tanja) for the duration of the endowment – which culminated in Saturday evening’s gala exhibition launch at Karen O’Clery’s prestigious Narek Gallery. A truly auspicious beginning in anybody’s language…

It was a very pleasant evening: a great show, a handful of old cronies and a big crowd of lovely people the Gang has yet to become acquainted with…

We particularly loved the door bitch (we use the term advisedly and in the nicest possible way), she surely symbolizes country living at its best. For happy snaps go to…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/glasscentralcanberra/sets/72157604041621399/

The exhibition is on until April 14th – for more info go to…

http://www.narekgalleries.com/