Friday, February 13, 2015

Small Medium and Large and the Newcastle Gallery Collective

An exhibition programme with a difference opens this week in Newcastle.  The Newcastle Gallery Collective has curated works from twelve local artists and placed them simultaneously across four separate gallery spaces.  The Newcastle Gallery Collective consists of Jo Chisholm-Ray (cstudios Gallery), Vicki Gerritsen (four point gallery), Barbara Nanshe (Nanshe Studio Gallery), and Ahn Wells (Newcastle Art Space and Gallery 139).

The Collective aims to introduce opportunities for collaborative projects around arts management and promotion, education, curatorial opportunities, and arts practice.  The culmination of their shared expertise and experience has the potential to provide a launching platform for both increased exposure of their own skills and those of the artists whom they represent or support.

Yes, it is bombardment of the works of this first group of artists onto Newcastle’s art landscape.  Is this the kind of approach that visual artists need?  The changing role of the artist in the electronic online environment has meant that artists now compete locally, nationally and within a larger international community for exposure and acceptance of their art practice.  This practical collaboration markets the artists within their home-base and opens up the opportunity for the artists ‘to become known’  or ‘more widely known’ across the broader community.

The exhibition is called Small, Medium and Large and showcases the works of Kelly Barlin, Michelle Brodie, Mal Cannon, Frances Fussell, Jackie Gorring, Paul Maher, Barbara Nanshe, Jill Orr, Joanna O’Toole, Matthew Tome, Ahn Wells, and Meredith Woolnough

In general and simplistic terms, the works themselves fulfil the elements of art in an overall explosion of colour, line, form, composition, subject matter, and artist intent across their chosen medium.  Each artist brings their own individual narrative to the works.  While some works carry parts of a story directly visible on the surface, others may require quiet study to unpeel the layers on which the story is suspended. Talking to the artists and engaging with the staff may enrich an understanding of art in general and the commitment that is required to undertake art practice.

Why not step into the incredible, dynamic, and diverse world of visual arts over the coming weeks.  Take a breath away from the routine of the every-day and investigate these exhibitions to see what may be uncovered and enjoyed.  Perhaps now is the perfect time to start a family art portfolio which may both enrich your home or work space daily and provide financial gain in the future. 

Chris Byrnes

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