Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Becoming Modern

from left - Deborah Klein, Shane Jones and Julie McLaren

The Art Gallery of Ballarat is presenting an exhibition focussing on Australian women artists from 1920 - 1950. Titled, BECOMING MODERN AUSTRALIAN WOMEN ARTISTS 1920 - 1950, this is an exhibition celebrating the achievements of women artists whose work has not been seen for many years. Ranging from paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures, it shows the diversity of talented artists who often spent many years overseas to study and practice their art.

Julie McLaren is the gallery curator, and as usual, she has achieved a wonderful selection, but also, as she pointed out, over ninety percent of the works are from the gallery's collection.

It was a special opening night because the attendees were invited to dress for the period, and so many people did just that. There was delicious food and drinks, something the Art Gallery of Ballarat does so well to celebrate their openings. 

To read more about the exhibition, click HERE


My moonlight series has been finally collected together in an exhibition at Charles Nodrum Gallery.

The gallery manager, Kate Nodrum, wrote a short introduction to the exhibition  -

When I first saw these new paintings by Shane Jones, Elioth Gruner immediately sprang to mind. It was something about the expansive sky, strong sense of light source, and the odd but definitely placed tree that drew the connection. But, on second thoughts, you don't see many nocturnes by Gruner - nor by many other Australian painters. Both Gruner and Tom Roberts are important influences on Jones, whose precise but impressionistic brushwork in oil, painted en plein air and finished from memory in the studio, testify to the manner and process of these 19th century masters.

Full moons, star-filled skies, white horses and boats sailing towards the horizon are pregnant with symbolism, but rather than feeling cliché here, they add an edge of intrigue to a group of works that are not, in fact, otherwise just pleasant landscapes. Twilight is the time when we transition our senses in preparation for the night. The night is when we must depend on our senses and instincts most heavily, bringing us closest to our primal and ancient selves. Moonlight is rarely experienced by city dwellers - repelled as it is by street lights and black-out blinds - but, in its own special way, it's as effective in its illumination as sunlight, producing more of a glow than a light. A landscape drenched in the glow of a full moon is a silent and enchanting scene to behold, infused with eeriness and foreboding; an entirely natural yet supernatural mood that is essentially what Jones captures here.

Kate Nodrum

You can view the online catalogue HERE

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Sweeping Plains

 The Sweeping Plains, 2018, oil on linen, 92 x 92 cm

This painting is the second one I've done from Mount Warenheip. It took about 15 sittings over many months to complete. It was fascinating to watch how much the landscape changed from the first sitting. Fields that were brown became green, the water in the dams almost disappeared and even where it was always green, the greens themselves looked so different with each painting session. The dead trees in the foreground made an interesting contrast to the fertile plains. There were many more trees clustered together but I selected the odd one here and there to make a composition. The title came from a line from Dorothea Mackellar's poem My Country.