Friday, November 29, 2013

cofa annual - 29 November

Okay, time for the annual exhibition for the graduates of the college of fine arts aka cofa.  This is back on campus after being in the wilds of Randwick as the new cofa buildings were being completed.  It is a very nifty new campus and it is great to pop along just to see the art school and some of the views they get from the top of f block.  Anyway on to the show.  How would I #react? (wait, that was last night)

So I now know why they try to call this place cofa instead of the college of fine arts.  I reckon its kinda like Kentucky Fried Chicken being kfc, in that they are trying to hide the fact the food is fried.  At cofa they hide the fine arts as today they seem to be about so much more, digital art, design, textiles, fashion etc.  It is an interesting contrast to the National Art School where the different majors were painting, drawing, photography, ceramics and sculpture.  At cofa I saw someone has a 'Master of Cross-Disciplinary Art and Design (Sculpture-Installation-Performance)'.  This was Arran Salerno and Arran's Death Mask series of hand coloured paraffin wax, earthenware clay and hand blown glass (I tweeted the image) actually struck me as being a very traditional looking set of sculptures that was totally at odds with the futuristic academic labels they are handing out here.  Maybe I am too old school but I don't see what would be wrong with giving Arran a plain old MFA and then having all the rest of it as the major.  Anyway, rant over lets get back to the art.  In the main gallery (which I think was just the honours students) I liked Katherine Corcoran's 'Searching for something I thought was you' (pictured top).  This was a steel cube containing piled up milk quartz.  I don't get it, but that is what I like about it.  The mystery.  The contrast of the natural shape of the rocks with the precise geometry of the cube.  Ancient and modern, etc.  Also interesting was Beth Dillon's installation (I recognised her 'Institutional Rainbows' from the firstdraft fundraiser, pictured on the link).  Her video's were idiosyncratic and a lot of fun.  Upstairs on the fine art floor I liked Kim Hill's '2 and 6' screenprint (pictured below) which for a minute made me think Reko Rennie had gone back to art school!  On another floor you couldn't help but notice Rod McRae's 'Born Free' (pictured above).  Take that Tracey Emin, did you ever think about putting a lion in an unmade bed?  I think this guy was one of the most photographed images on the night.  There was far too much to see and I think I will be back to check it out and maybe note down a few more names.

Points:  3 points to Katherine's cube and quartz structure, and not just because of its shared lamington geometry (although I have an inkling that is one of the reasons why I subconsciously like it).  2 points to Kim Hill whose green and gold stamp appeals to the Australiana collector in me.  1 point has to go to the lion in the bedroom.  Congrats Rod for making everyone #REACT! (again, sorry NAS, it'll take a few days for me to get that effective advertising campaign out of my head!)

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