Saturday, March 21, 2015
In the Still at Arthouse Gallery - 21 March
So the non-perishable items (that's jams and things like fruitcake) were dropped off at the Easter Show last weekend, and the perishable items (like Lamingtons and other baking categories) are due this Thursday. What does all that mean? Well it means I can go see some art this Saturday! First up was a quick visit to Arthouse for their art month group show, 'In the Still'.
True story, I very nearly went to Still School at a whiskey distillery in Washington State USA. So I was a little disappointed that this show actually meant 'still life' rather than say, bathtub gin. I soon got over my disappointment by the great pieces that Leah Fraser has in. I'm quite taken by her recognisable style. I can't really describe it, but I like it. All blues, greens and creams, and a little boho / etsy feel to it. For some reason I think of interiors blogs when I think of Leah, that's probably 'cause she has featured heavily on the design files (which my better half likes reading). What I really like about her entries here is that she has cross branded the mini sculptures into the pieces (top, A simple beautiful truth, 60 x 60cm; and down below you can pick some of the ceramics in the piece). Its no surprise to me that both the painting has sold, as well as some of the key pieces in it (like the 'umal shaman' figurine). I like to think that a single collector picked all that up to keep it together. Moving around the room I thought it was good to see Kirra Jamison not knocking off Gemma Smith's squiggles and actually doing something less abstract. Her big piece, Morning Glory (200 x 170cm, above) was great and I liked the over the top pattern that recalled Reuben Patterson without the glitter. I also like her titling work as the one with the dark background was called 'Evening Glory'. I always prefer my glories in the morning but the dark painting was also quite striking. Craig Waddell had quite a few flowers in here, which is playing to a strength of his but in my mind (& maybe its just because I am in Easter Show mode, where they take the brief very seriously) I don't reckon half of these are actually "still lifes". Much more traditional were entries from Claudia Damichi (very neat) and Laura Jones (a little messier). Laura's 'Flowering Gum' (below), was perhaps one of the most classical, also incorporating the textile casually dropped over the table.
Points: I think most know where I am going here. 3 points for Leah Fraser. Loved the painting and especially the interaction with the ceramics. I will give 2 points to Laura for her traditional composition, and also 'cause she is from the Southern Highlands (I think I read a profile in Highlife!). And what's the story morning glory? 1 point for Kirra for her massive flower piece (which given the grief I am throwing at Craig I is probably not really a still life either but you are not coming to the Big Lamington for consistency!).