Friday, July 15, 2016

Current on Show at Newcastle Art Space and open this weekend from 12noon to 5pm

Works by four artists, Gina Ermer, Nathan Keogh, Maddyson Hatton and Lise Anita Stenberg

Everyday Observations
Gina Ermer
Gallery 1

Gina grew up in Newcastle watching her artist father Mario Ermer paint and is known for her fashion wearable art pieces as well as painting.  Gina left Newcastle to study fashion design and fine art in Sydney and returned to live in Newcastle two years ago.  She noticed a different kind of light and an intense large sky across the city upon her return and paints with reference to light falling onto and illuminating her subjects.  Some of her influences are Margaret Olley, Margaret Preston, Margaret Ackland, Lucien Freud, Geoffrey Smart and Di Chirico’s use of space.  Significant teachers were David Eastwood and Guy Gillmore.  Gina has worked as a textile designer and continues to make garment pieces while teaching shibori and natural dyeing on natural fibres such as wool and linen.
Works by Gina Ermer
 This exhibition though, is about painting and showcases smaller works about domestic spaces and objects and how light is interpreted through drawing and painting.  Gina paints with acrylic within a traditional framework, although her more recent works are about outdoor views of landscape, water and harbour and display a lighter, freer array of mark-making as Gina responds to new spaces. I think there is a lot more to come and to see from this experienced designer, illustrator and painter as Gina opens herself up more to painting and the painted surface.  Two larger works in particular resonate in this space, while the smaller works draw the viewer into the colour, composition and painted light.

Design Page Link and contact details:

Twists and Turns
Nathan Keogh
Gallery 1

Nathan Keogh is an accomplished and skilled sculptor with a Master Philosophy (Fine Art) from the University of Newcastle.  He was a winner of the Jennie Thomas Travelling Scholarship and received a tertiary scholarship to assist with his post-graduate study.  A professional and practicing artist Nathan has worked at The University of Newcastle as a Fine Art technical Officer and is currently working at Maitland Regional Art Gallery. In this current exhibition Nathan talks of twists and turns in life and how our paths can change at any point. Nathan says...”I have used the “egg” shape to represent life and in my sculptures some of these shapes seem to be at precarious points, some are sheltered and safe and some optimize balance.  All of them are surrounded by twists and turn, bends peaks and troughs...such as we all experience on the path of life.”
Works by Nathan Keogh
I wondered and questioned how the expertly formed timber ‘egg’ shape remained in place in some precarious locations within the metal surrounds.  Some appeared to be in a state ‘of pre-fall’ where a slight movement would dislodge it from its tenuous position and permit it to roll onto another plane. As always, Nathan’s highly developed technical skill, combined with his own aesthetic and conceptual language, results in fascinating objects that invite viewer interaction and yes, I must admit, I did secretly want to slightly push the egg to see if it would hold or roll into another position.  I restrained myself but this kind of work can open a dialogue with a wide audience and I think this is a great thing for art and for Nathan’s art practice.

Field Notes
Maddyson Hatton
Gallery 2

Maddyson discovered art during her Year 12 studies and is undertaking a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) programme at the University of Newcastle where she is examining Google imagery and censorship and works as a casual academic. Previous solo exhibitions have been held at Watt Space and Back to Back Galleries.   In her current exhibition Maddyson’s images are pulled from imagined landscapes, places not yet visited, dreaming landscape in search of her own language and vision for the space.  Maddyson talked about cultural displacement, the transitory nature of landscape, and that longing for something not yet found.
Works by Maddyson Hatton
Among her influences are contemporary Chinese and Japanese art.  She practices what she calls ‘blind drawing’ where she keeps her eyes focussed on the subject and draws onto paper and copper directly with an automatic response.  Her love of the print as object is significant and she is experimenting with new techniques incorporating printmaking and the medium of clay. 

Field Notes
Lise Anita Stenberg
Gallery 2

Lise is currently working in Melbourne and thanks to our many ways of communicating across distance, sent me this little story about herself and background for her current exhibition.

“I am Norwegian.  I grew up in a small village in Northern Norway called Skutvik (200 inhabitants).  I moved away from home at the age of 16, and at the age of 19 I started travelling.  My concept is based around the search for both home and the feeling of belonging.  I take inspiration from the nature I was surrounded by growing up, mainly mountains to reflect the memories of home. I just finished my Bachelor of Fine Art, and when I return to Norway I plan to continue my studies and set up a studio. I adore the work by Kim Van Someren.”  
Works by Lise Anita Stenberg
Lise and Maddyson’s work in Gallery 2 is a cohesive exhibition and appears to be the result of a successful collaboration between the two artists.  Looking at their work was a joyful and absolutely delightful experience for me highlighting a confident style of mark-making, ceramics and image interpretation. There is a lot to see in this space with strong ceramic and printmaking pieces from both artists.

The exhibition is open Thursday to Sunday 12noon to 5pm until next Sunday 24th July.

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