Neon Benders

standing man
standing man

My fellow artist Lauren Kennedy, was exhibiting her four piece neon installation at Ne Art Exhibition 2016. Its located in downtown Collingwood at the gritty end of Smith St.  I caught the packed 86 tram along gertrude st to make a foray northside. An old converted shop space with upstairs rooms its an artist run initiative. I talked to several of the exhibiting artists including “Teloc” a diminutive vocal man who expounded on the virtues of neon.

The man whose factory made all the artists neon pieces, Steven Cole, is a third generation “bender”, industry speak for manufacture of neon. He said his industries early work was in signage but laterally it has been in art installation, and he shyly showed me his piece.

Lauren’s panels were proudly on display in the third room placed strategically next to the “Ziggy Stardust” piece. I wondered if this piece had been created prior to the great man’s demise. Her work brightened the dim space, gleaming iridescently and invitingly in the small space. As a body of four panels it made a bold statement addressing her creative intentions of depicting the inner angst a  creative mind struggles with.

Lauren Kennedy
Lauren Kennedy

 

I also admired the work of Konstantin Dimopolous , Standing Man, a neon study in life drawing and Ally Pyers piece, “Selfie” epitomising the current obsession with phone self portraiture.

selfie
selfie

VU Connect 14

I went to the Opening Night of VU Connect 14, in Footscray Mall, 138 Nicholson st , Footscray, last night. Its a new gallery space, offices, co op bookshop, shopfront and coffee shop for Victoria University. The award is a biennial, and last night was its inaugural one.

 

Budapest
Footscray

Graduating, studying, and past and present students, were asked to submit works to exhibit and compete for two prizes. Six honourable mentions were made to other exhibitors. The prizes, were for $1000 and $500 respectively and were won by students, in the Creative industries Course, at Victoria University. The major prize winner was an impassioned painting, of outback Australia, a mountain range, executed in thick impasto paint, and even included the artists paint brushes. The other prizewinner was a more delicate watercolour, with a photo image transposed over the top. Both were worthy prize winners as were the honourable mentions.

 

 
The indefatigable curator was Peter Burke, who did an excellent job of hanging works with the assistance of local, emerging artist, Sarah Hayes. Megan Culhane, graduating VU student is exhibiting two lino cut prints, as am I.

show
show

Go along and have a look, see what others are doing, and what VU are up to in the West.

Gallery viewing

Saw Fiona somerville’s show at bright spaces gallery in st Kilda last week .

It’ was titled “ruined ” . Conjures up many pre – conceived ideas and visual images . The show was not what I was expecting . The artist has a unique choice of subject matter . Her work is about the detritus of Australia’s more recent rural past. She depicts the remnants of shacks, humpys and dongas lying about in our landscape . She depicts them in a clean , almost candy box like format . The lines are clean , the palette pastel and their is an absence of the bush landscapes and people native to the region of her work . An engaging and visceral body of work it challenges the viewer to disassociate ourselves from the obvious expectation of the title to view the work .

As a visual artist I work with of sea ravaged , gathered and ruined objects . It challenged and expanded my expectations of this subject matter .

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