June's session at the Benalla Art Gallery marked the handing over of the convenors' role from Carole and Godfrey Marple to Meg Dillon and Neville Gibb from Semester II. Thank you so much Carole and Godfrey, for convening the group so thoughtfully and successfully for a number of years. It will be good to see you returning as members of the group. Thanks also to Meg and Neville, for agreeing to share the role from Semester II.
Quite a few members of the U3A Art Appreciation Group attended the lecture given by Damien Smith, former archivist of the Sidney Nolan Trust U.K., to celebrate the 100th birthday of Sidney Nolan. Surprisingly this is the only exhibition in Australia this year to celebrate this occasion despite several important exhibitions being organised in the U.K.
The Benalla Art Gallery’s significant collection of Nolan’s work is on display in the Simpson Gallery until 21st May and is well worth a visit. The much loved tapestry of the Glenrowan siege, now restored, is on view. As well, eight of the iconic Kelly-series screen prints tell the story of the Kelly saga.
Two groups of rare photos taken by Nolan between 1949 and 1952 depict the drought in the Queensland outback. They give the viewers insights into where he found some of the well known images in his landscapes of the red and barren interior of Australia. The mummified images of horses and cattle are particularly arresting. The Brisbane courier Mail didn’t print any of these photos despite commissioning some of them, as they were deemed too confronting for their readers.
Smith also commented on the painting “Horse rolling on the beach” (1945). It appears Nolan caught a glimpse of a horse rolling in the sand on St Kilda beach when he was travelling past by tram. Nolan’s almost photographic visual memory stored this quirky image and used it later for this painting.
My favourites are the two small studies done in fabric ink and wax crayon that reference Greek Myths entitled “Prometheus” (1968) and “Woman and Bird” (1958).
Nolan was a prolific painter, photographer and voracious reader and collector all his life, interested particularly in myths and poetry. His wide reading seemed to stimulate his vision and form the basis of some of his works.
Postscript: Meg’s report also relates to the May session of Art Appreciation, where the exhibition covered was the Sydney Nolan: 100 Year Celebration
Sidney Nolan's Glenrowan tapestry, Benalla Art Gallery Collection.
(Image Source: Benalla Art Gallery Sidney Nolan: 100 year birthday celebration
promotion, Benalla Art Gallery Website)
In April the U3A group was entertained by an instructive talk by Ivan Durrant concentrating on his friend Brett Whiteley, but also including references to other acquaintances of his in the art world. Ivan, who has had a long career in art, is well respected and well known by many other artists.
It was immensely enjoyable to listen to someone who is familiar with well known figures who could relate stories about them. Whiteley was a gregarious friendly person who Ivan knew quite well. Ivan made reference to many of Brett's works and explained their context in the art world. He was quite generous in his praise of Whiteley and congratulated the Gallery on the current exhibition.
The basic point of Ivan's talk was that artists have many different drives and these need to be put into context. Nervous energy is very important and may manifest itself in surprising ways. It is important that we understand and tolerate things that artists may indulge in - drugs - sex - rock and roll - etc - because sometimes artists need to follow all their instincts in order to produce good art. Sometimes artists live off their nervous energy when producing art. Artists start off being teenagers and it is important that they keep the edgy feeling they had as teenagers - in essence stay teenagers for all their lives. Artists have to explore all creative urges because no one knows in advance where it will lead them. Feelings are important and artists just have to follow their feelings.
Sometimes, however, in following their feelings, creativity can lead some artists into bizarre circumstances. Ivan was able to provide us with entertaining gossip concerning many people in the art world and to give us details of the interesting private lives of artists he had known.
We hope Ivan can come back again for further lectures.
The Art Group was fortunate to attend a talk given in person by Kate Jenvey who has an exhibition 'Drawn to the Wild' in the Simpson Gallery. Kate’s drawings in Graphite and Coloured Pencils are of an exceptionally high quality and a must see. The work is of such quality one wonders if computer graphics might have been involved. Detailed to an exceptional point, painstakingly correct they are of such quality you could call them transformational. But they also have a spiritual aspect to them. We are not just viewing the reproductions of photographs. Art is involved here. Her drawings take the viewer on a journey into the Animals’ stories where we feel attuned to their essence. She brings the viewer to the point where we understand we are all creatures in this world together and we need to treat our brother animals as we would treat ourselves. Kate obviously loves animals and we are fortunate that she can use her great skills to bring the animal’s plight to our attention.
Bravo Kate. We salute you.
In the Bennett Gallery there is an exhibition that raises the question: What is Art and how do we recognize it? No doubt some of the exhibits are artistic but how much Art is contained therein is the question. This is not a problem isolated to this exhibition. What is considered Art meanders sometimes off on its own journey and this is one example? This is a conundrum for all art galleries. Do we accept that art is moving in this direction and show it as art? Or do we keep showing old work that has been accepted as art? And not show anything new. Unfortunately it takes time before time sorts out what is art and what isn’t.
In the Ledger Gallery we are fortunate to have the Brett Whitely exhibition curated by Wendy Whitely. It is fair to say that these are not Brett’s best pictures and some of them show evidence of the colours fading. But this is a small criticism. The exhibition is a coup for the Gallery. Whitely was greatly talented and all his art is accessible and pleasing to the eye. He was able produce his own style and to also incorporate many influences into his art. He did capture the mood and atmosphere of his time. He produced paintings that were meant to be appreciated by others. Whitely had the ability to be one of Australia’s great artists and it is unfortunate his life was cut short before he could produce his best work. This exhibition however does give an indication of his great tale. It is worth spending some time in the Gallery contemplating and reflecting on Whiteley’s Art.
All Art Appreciation members were pleased to be back with gatherings at the Benalla Art Gallery on the first Monday of the month. This time Katherine took us through the exhibition in the Bennett gallery of works by Michelle Nikou. Katherine explained that Michelle took everyday items in a home and treated them in a way that challenged us to think about these items in another way. An example of this treatment was potatoes dipped in lead and then placed on skewers in a glass case - amazing. Then we had neon lights letters stating there was No Vacancy. Not everyone was as enthusiastic as Katherine about this exhibition, but I am sure everyone will love our next showing of wonderful drawings of animals in the wild by Kate Jenvey.
Remember the date - the first Monday of the month 6th March at 10:00 am Benalla Art Gallery. Carole
The Benalla Gallery is currently showing an exhibition of photographs from the Monash Gallery in Wheelers Hill. The Monash Gallery specializes in photographs and Benalla Gallery is showing 15 or so until next month.
The photographs exhibited are mostly by Indigenous artists, and are a mixed bunch. Some are striking. Some are filled with crude cliché. The overall theme is Terra Nullius and the European concept of the indigenous position.
Several are simple reproductions of what would have been called biscuit box art produced by colonial photographers. These have been magnified and colourised and transferred to canvas. They pull at the heartstrings and one feels a connection with the original subjects. One cannot help feeling sympathy with the people in the photos.
The U3a Art group was treated to a lecture by Catherine Bennets-Cash where Catherine concentrated on two photo’s – both by indigenous artists – attempting to show the contradictions of the indigenous existence or non connection with the landscape. One photo shows an indigenous youth dressed in Colonial Officers garb carrying an umbrella riding a bicycle out of a surfing seascape. The other photo is also of an aboriginal youth dressed in what appears to be a disheveled bride’s dress walking towards the camera but not looking at it. Both photos are verging on the crude cliché and it is difficult to understand what point each artist is trying to make. Maybe the Artists are simply reminding the viewer that the concept of the indigenous existence is a European construct. Maybe putting indigenous figures into unusual European dress highlights contradictions. Maybe the photos are simply meant to be looked at and wondered about.
Whatever – Catherine was able to speak at length about these two photos and the group listened intently.
We thank Catherine for her lectures during the year.
On Monday the 7th of November the Art Group were treated to a lecture by Catherine Bennetts-Cash on an exhibition of paintings, masks, drawings and photos by a local Artist Jacqui Stockdale.
Jacqui has two large canvasses on display which she uses as a backdrop to her photographs. These canvasses are done in the colonial style - indeed one is a blow up of a colonial age painting of Mount Wellington. Her photographs are recreations of possible situations both past and present - all seem to relate to historic local myths. The Kelly Family and their relatives are both either on display or referred to. Particular reference is made in a general sense to the role of women in these widely held local myths.
The exhibition as a whole is quite thought provoking. Bravo Jacqui.
In the Simpson Gallery there is an exhibition of Pastel works by Jennifer Paul. These are drawings of a high standard and well worth a viewing.
Jennifer will be giving a talk on Saturday 26th November about her work on display and I would recommend attendance.
Unfortunately problems with the gallery's air conditioning meant the late cancellation of October's session. The next meeting of Art Appreciation for 2016 will be held at The Benalla Art Gallery on Monday 7th November at 10am.
On the 5th September the Art Appreciation Group listened to a short lecture in the Simpson Gallery by Catherine Bennetts-Cash on an artwork exhibition by artist Sally Simpson – presumably no relation – entitled Natural History: Lake Mokoan.
This is a minimalist exhibition in three parts – pencil and some paint – sculptures made from plastic and metal – and a selection of objects made out of cloth and bones. All ingredients making up the installations were collected on site at Winton Wetlands.
The black and white pencil with minimalist paint drawings are of decomposing fish heads and attached skeleton remains. Very carefully crafted on special paper these drawings are first class and well worth a close look when visiting the gallery. They have a distended look about them and could almost be human or pre-human indicating the evolution of both species.
The plastic and metal installations are more conventional and could have been an afterthought making use of all pieces abandoned by previous human beings that were picked up by Sally.
The selection of objects made out of cloth and fish bones remains are interesting and thought provoking. They could be mummified fish. They could be large moths – large enough to cook and enjoy eating at seasonal activities when they are in abundant numbers. The objects in question are made by wrapping fish bones etc. in a delicate lace tablecloth that was obviously abandoned by someone and are mounted on wire that is attached to a specially manufactured table. This has the effect of indicating that the fish might be jumping out of the water or the moths could be hovering over the water.
We thank Catherine for giving us the lecture and advising us of future events coming to the Gallery.
Our October gathering is on Monday October 3rd at 10 am when we will be discussing the Stockdale exhibition in the Bennett gallery with Bryony. Hope to see you there! Carole and Godfrey
On Monday 1st of August the Art Appreciation group were fortunate to listen to a talk by Benalla Art Gallery Director Bryony Nainby on ‘The Salon’, a collection of the Gallery’s paintings that have been brought out of the storage area for exhibition in the Ledger Gallery. The paintings have been arranged in clusters– flowers, landscapes, people etc. – in ‘salon’ style and are mostly by Australian painters.
One of the flower paintings, by the influential painter and teacher Max Meldrum, is appropriately called Japanese Vase with Flowers. Bryony explained that Meldrum formulated a theory of color that had an impact in artistic circles and presumably this painting was done following his philosophy.
Bryony also spoke at length about a painting titled Land Army Girls at Finchley painted by Dora Meeson in 1919. This depicts a number of girls in Land Army uniform working on the summer harvest.
One of the paintings in the landscapes and animals cluster is a painting called Full Swing on the Board by Jan Hendrick Scheltema. This excellent painting depicts a shearing shed in full swing but has the misfortune to resemble Tom Roberts’ Shearing the Rams. I believe this painting is of equal standard to Roberts’ painting and is an excellent example of semi industrial rural life in Australia. It is unfortunate that it has not received more recognition.
Perhaps the most interesting painting in the exhibition is called Of Excellence and Passion by Lindy Lee. Bryony paid particular attention to this dark painting which has a figure vaguely showing through for the viewer to contemplate. Painted in 1988, its intention is to engage the viewer’s mind. It does this.
We thank Bryony for her enjoyable and informative lecture. Bryony also announced that she will be endeavouring to bring more paintings out of storage for the public to view.
I would recommend all people attend the Gallery to view the current exhibition (which continues to 11th December) and subsequent exhibitions.
Art Appreciation meets monthly at Benalla Art Gallery. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday 5th September at 10am.
The Gallery currently has on exhibition the 30 finalists in the 2015 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize competition.
Benalla U3A’s Art Appreciation group held our monthly appreciation meeting in the Gallery and were privileged to listen to a short lecture by Catherine Bennetts-Cash discussing some of the portraits. Catherine’s lecture concentrated on a small number of the portraits with which she had some familiarity and was able to provide a greater understanding of both the artists and the portraits. Her favorite was The Hat Maker--Rosie Boylan by Evert Ploeg. Catherine explained the concept behind the winning portrait and handed out Photostat copies of the 16th Century painting under whose influence it had been painted.
The 2016 winner by Warren Crosset is entitled Self Portrait after St Jerome Flanders. Warren Crosset is a Commercial Artist who won the prize with his first ever entry. It is fair to say it is one of the small number of standout portraits amongst the 30 finalists. It has elements of both Caravaggio and Da Vinci in it and it depicts the artist pointedly resting his left forefinger on an envelope with him looking pensively off to the right. He is dressed in modern dress but his surroundings except for the envelope are from the Reformation. The original painting on which it is based is attributed to as being in the Style of Joos Van Cleve who painted in the 16th Century and this painting is in the NGV. It is not often that modern painters can successfully include past references in their paintings but in this case Warren Crosset has it spot on. The envelope representing the skull has a modern stamp with a skull instead of the Queen and a fly is resting on the envelope. There is Cyrillic writing on the envelope which I presume makes mention of a skull. Instead of placing himself in his own house he has placed himself in St Peters in Rome or somewhere similar and he has a mediaeval bible on his desk. The value of this painting is that these influences are not readily apparent on first viewing and when they are obvious they do not look out of place. The central point of the painting on which the viewer’s eye is drawn to is the artist’s hand which is both resting and pointing to the envelope. Hands are often featured in portraits and this painting captures the hand completely.
The other 29 finalists are all of a certain standard with three or four standouts. One or two of these are exceptionally well painted and only the classical references in the winning portrait set it apart.
The following rate a special mention – Sacrifice of the Model, David Bichard of Carpathian, On the Verge of a Sudden Realisation and The Artist’s Mother. If you visit the Gallery I would advise close viewing of all these paintings.
Benalla has been fortunate to get this exhibition and a special effort to visit the Gallery is recommended.
We thank Catherine for her interest in U3A and look forward to her next lecture on Monday 1st August.
The June U3A Art group were fortunate to be able to attend a lecture given by local super realist painter Tony Flint during the recent Vista – Artists from NE Victoria exhibition.
"Tony Flint is a super realist painter and four of his paintings are currently on display at the Benalla Art Gallery. These paintings might all be described as in the style of brutalist realism – in part maybe magical realism. All are portraits of aspects of the Australian Landscape. One is a landscape of the Andamooka town area. Two are mountains and streams from the North East. One is a display of asteroid like rocks circling close to the ground. One is a scene of mountains and streams. All have rocks prominently displayed. Some have abandoned cars prominently displayed. All have a deserted, devoid of life feel about them.
Tony explained that like other super realist painters his aim is to manipulate the finished image to give an impression, not a precise copy, of the landscape he is attempting to portray. He may include several landscapes into one. He may overload several different landscapes into one image. His aim is to make a painting that portrays all aspects of what he considers sums up the landscape. This is not his idea alone. Of course all painters do this to a greater or lesser extent. He gave examples of other realistic landscape artists – such as Hans Heyson – who manipulated several landscapes into the one finished image. A finished painting is a work of art and stands by itself.
In two of Tony’s paintings he has used the same image of water flowing over rocks. This is not immediately obvious on first viewing, but in the course of Tony’s lecture this was pointed out and it immediately became obvious. Indeed Tony’s lecture made his paintings even more enjoyable and interesting. Understanding of each painting was enhanced and of course this made the experience more enjoyable.
Bravo Tony Flint. We hope he will give more lectures about both his and other people’s art.
June 5 2016"
Next gathering will be on Monday July 4th 10 -11 am in the Bennett Gallery reviewing the Doug Moran Portrait Prize exhibition
At the last gathering of the Art Appreciation group we sat down for a film which is showing at the Simpson Gallery. The film is a fascinating selection of shorts, newsreels, and propaganda together with feature films produced by the developing local film industry during the First World War. A selection of international content is also included. Well worth a visit.
Our next Art Appreciation visit to the Benalla Art Gallery will be on Monday June 6th at 10:00 am. We will have a tour of the Visa Exhibition of North East Artists in the Bennett Gallery. Please remember your $2 which goes to the Gallery at the end of the year.
The Art Appreciation Group meets at 10am on the first Monday of each month at the Benalla Art Gallery. Next meetings are scheduled for the 2nd May and 6th June. All welcome.
The Benalla Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of paintings from the Cbus Super Collection. It is interesting to reflect that one of the largest Trade Unions has made the pragmatic decision to have its Superannuation Scheme invest in Australian Art and our gallery is benefiting from this decision. This exhibition attempts to show the development of colour and movement in Australian paintings.
The U3A Art Appreciation Group listened with rapt attention to Bryony Nainby give an interesting review of some of the paintings on display. Examples from late colonial through to early Impressionism through to early attempts at Cubism were discussed. In recognition of International Women’s day Bryony also compared the development of some paintings done by women - some from Benalla’s own collection and some from the Cbus collection. Bryony left the review of some of the CBus paintings until a later date.
This exhibition is well worth viewing and is recommended.
There are two standout paintings.
One by Nolan from his early riverbank period and titled “River”, shows a woman recently removed from her horse when crossing a river with a naked Ned Kelly watching from up in a tree.
The real standout of the exhibition is a Tom Roberts painting titled “Portrait of a Young Girl”. This portrait of a young girl can only be described as a beautiful painting. This shows just how good an artist Roberts was. It is difficult to understand why this painting is not included in the retrospective currently on display in our nation’s National Gallery in Canberra.
In the other rooms in the Gallery there are two excellent Tuckers from the Gallery’s own collection on show. There are also several very interesting Nolan prints displaying examples of his Kelly paintings.
There is also on view a very modern looking installation in the shape of a cube titled “No Entry-Staff Only”.
There have been two Art Appreciation activities at the Benalla Gallery since the last Newsletter. In early December Dr Will Twycross gave a most enjoyable lecture on the collection of his great grandfather John Twycross, a Melbourne wool merchant, gifted to Museum Victoria by Dr Will. The exhibition included three authentic 19th century Japanese woodblocks, vases, sculpture, carvings, paintings, porcelain and lacquer boxes and a large wall print of the original Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. Dr Will’s lecture covered many subjects associated with the exhibition and he happily digressed on to peripheral history that was occurring when his great grandfather was alive.
Our February activity was lecture by Bryony Nainby on Aboriginal Art currently on exhibition at the gallery. Bryony was able to bring the exhibition alive with her well-presented lecture and knowledge of aboriginal art and the audience responded enthusiastically. The artwork in the exhibition is from a number of artists from three separate regions of Northern Australia and whilst some of paintings do have images and styles that could be seen to be overlapping or classed as similar, the three regions consider themselves to have separate styles. Some are semi figurative. The Bungle Bungles are obvious in one artist’s work. Others have symbols obviously meant to produce images the viewer will recognise. Some have images of totem animals that are distorted into surreal shapes. Others have symbols that are not meant to convey any meaning at all but have been produced simply for arts sake. Some show figurative images depicting everyday human activities.
On a final note, each month Art Appreciation group members make a donation when attending the sessions arranged with Shanley Cleeland and other Gallery staff. The group's collection for 2015 of $459.00 has now been donated to the Gallery.
Acknowledgement: Photograph of U3A Benalla Art Appreciation Group at session presented by Dr Will Twycross, Benalla Art Gallery Website.
The February Art Appreciation activity was a lecture given by Bryony Nainby on Aboriginal Art currently on exhibition at the Gallery. Bryony was able to bring the exhibition alive with her well-presented lecture and knowledge of aboriginal art and the audience responded enthusiastically.
The artwork in the exhibition is from a number of artists from three distinct regions of Northern Australia and whilst some of paintings do have images and styles that could be seen to be overlapping or classed as similar, the three regions consider themselves to have separate styles. Some are semi figurative. The Bungle Bungles are obvious in one artist's work. Others have symbols obviously meant to produce images that the viewer will recognise. Some have images of totem animals that are distorted into surreal shapes. Others have symbols that are not meant to convey any meaning at all but have been produced simply for arts sake. Some show figurative images depicting everyday human activities.
This particular collection prompted me to question if any of the artists were at any time thinking in terms of more than one or two dimensions. Or maybe more than two dimensions. If the artist is thinking in more than two dimensions can this explain the dream like influence that aboriginal art implies?
Part of Museum Victoria's John Twycross Collection is on exhibition at the Benalla Art Gallery from 4th December to the 21st February and was the subject of a very enjoyable recent lecture to our group by Dr Will Twycross.
Mr John Twycross was a wealthy Melbourne wool merchant who collected fine art during the 19th century and the collection has stayed in the family until present day. The collection has been gifted to Museum Victoria by his great grandson Dr Will Twycross of Mansfield and I was privileged to be present when he gave a very enjoyable lecture of its history. The exhibition on display includes vases, sculpture, carvings, paintings, and some porcelain and lacquer boxes. Also included is a large wall print of the original Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton.
The centerpiece of the exhibition features three authentic 19th century Japanese woodblocks. These are exceptional examples of Japanese woodblocks that were so influential in the development of late 19th century early 20th century European Art.
It is recommended that everyone who can should attend the Gallery and inspect this exhibition.
In his lecture Dr Twycross covered many subjects associated with the exhibition and was happy to digress on to peripheral history that was occurring when his great grandfather was alive. We learned that the word Japan means in Japanese shiny black lacquer. The Japanese do not call themselves Japanese. A similar thing also relates to China. We learned that after the Great Exhibition closed in Melbourne the outbuildings were demolished and the wood was used to build Victorian Railway Stations. We were reminded that a lot of country railway stations had the same look as the Exhibition Buildings. Dr Will Twycross obviously has a great knowledge of Colonial Victorian history and it was an enjoyable privilege to listen to his lecture.
If Dr Will Twycross agrees to give another lecture I would urge people to attend.
Image: Urns - Wedgwood, Classical Figures, England, circa 1880, ceramic Wedgewood urns featuring classical figures in salmon pink, blue and white, John Twycross International Exhibitions Collection, Museum Victoria, Photo: Benjamin Healley. (From Benalla Art Gallery Website accessed 17/12/2015)
Each month Art Appreciation Group members make a donation when attending the excellent sessions arranged by Carole and Godfrey with Shanley Cleeland and other Gallery staff. Carole would like group members to know that by December the group's collection amounted to $459.00 which has now been donated to the Gallery.
On November 2nd we gathered at the Art Gallery to hear Helga Leunig speak about her wonderful collection of photos: Mother Country - Reflections of Australian Rural Life.
Helga firstly spoke of her early interest in photography then of her move to the country and the home schooling of her children. In this collection of photos they speak of the things that may be going from our country way of life as shown with the photo of the mixed cups and saucers lined up for a communal "cuppa" in the country hall. The use of mist and fog was also noted by the participants. We would all recommend this exhibition to all U3A members.
We will meet for the last time for 2015 on December 7th at the Gallery.
Presenter: Shanley Cleeland, Education and Public Programs Curator, Benalla Art Gallery, October 5, 2015
Our October session in the Bennet Gallery featured art installations by Sarah Crow, Dylan Martorell, Nathan Gray and the collaborative group DAMP from the Gertrude Street cooperative art studio in Fitzroy. This studio enjoys a somewhat stellar reputation and has exhibited at several Venice Biennales.
The art is interactive and the public are encouraged to participate. Indeed three of the art pieces rely on the public taking part for their artistic merit to become apparent.
An installation of musical instruments built from metallic refuse collected locally relies on the public touching the installations for musical notes and rhythms to be produced. Each artistic piece produces an electronic sound which is fed into a central speaker and music of sorts results as the musician artist intended.
Another installation is an audio installation that runs for 6 hours where the artist reads out the total catalogue of art works held by the Gallery.
Another installation is of several large garments resembling aprons which have quotations and slogans attached. The public are encouraged to put on the aprons and have their photo taken standing in front of artworks on the wall behind that have inspired the artist in making the garments. There are also helmets made of the same cloth so you can be photographed and retain your anonymity.
The most accessible installation is a display of ceramic vases and pots that have been deliberately smashed. The fragments have then been repainted in colors of works of art taken from the Gallery Storeroom and which have been placed on the largest wall in the room opposite the ceramic display. The presenting artists were allowed access to the Gallery Storeroom and the pictures chosen are displayed in the Paris Salon method without any identification attached. The repainted ceramic shards in the colours of the paintings opposite have then been reconstructed and rebuilt into vases and pots which resemble the original objects. One does not immediately see that the vases and pots have been rebuilt until closer inspection shows they have been put together like a jigsaw.
The total project encourages interaction and tries to involve the viewer. Hopefully to understand the creative urges of the artist.
This exhibition however provokes the constant conundrum that is always present with any new art form – what is art and how do we recognize it?
If we are told something is art should we accept it as art?
There is no doubt that the artists themselves believe their installations are works of art. They themselves work industrially at producing art and want the public to share in their creative process.
The paintings taken from the storeroom and placed on display are undoubtedly works of art. I found myself looking at them trying to recognize each artist, rather than becoming involved with the interactive installations.
One painting selected from the collection hadn’t been shown in the open gallery before, most have only been exhibited intermittently. I found myself questionning whether there are many other interesting paintings held by the Gallery we simply do not see.
Two prints donated to our U3A are currently on display on the noticeboard in W4. These are prints of original works by Philip Sargeant and Colin Munro who were the Architects/Artists who designed the Benalla Art Gallery. The original works were part of an exhibition at the Gallery earlier this year to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Gallery. The prints have been donated to Benalla and District U3A by their friends Bernard and Mary Newsome who spoke to the Art Appreciation Group in April 2015.
We have had a wonderful half year of artists and are now looking forward to the line up Shanley has organized for us for the second half year.
Please note that our July gathering is not until July 20th Art Gallery 10:00 am for Bindi Cole "We all Need Forgiveness". We are led to believe this is not to be missed.
All other gatherings will be the first Monday of the month.
Carole and Godfrey Marple
The group had a wonderful floor talk by our Art Gallery Director Bryony Nainby at a previous gathering. This was on the Dawn till Dusk: Gifts of Light and Landscape exhibition hung by Bryony. It had paintings from the Benalla collection showing various mediums and techniques.
At our last gathering we had a very informative talk by Bernard and Mary Newsome, lifelong friends of Phillip Sargeant and Colin Munro the architects of our Art Gallery. They spoke not only of their lives but of their considerable artistic talent some of which is presently on exhibition at the gallery. This exhibition is part of the 40th anniversary celebrations...
Our next session will be on 4th May at 10 am when we will be exploring the works of Ash Keating, a young Melbourne abstract artist.
Due to commitments of the artist, Ash Keating, we are swapping over our May activity to June. So, on May 4th, the topic for discussion is Dawn to Dusk with Bryony Nainby. There is a description of the exhibition here: http://www.benallaartgallery.com/exhibitions/current
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