Wednesday, February 1, 2017

$3,000 commission opportunity with Town Hall Gallery

Another Look is a $3,000 commission for up to 6 artists to produce new work inspired by the Town Hall Gallery Collection.  These works will feature in our exhibition at the end of the year from 28 October until the 20 December, 2017.  There is also an opportunity for the gallery to acquire, through purchase, the works commissioned at the end of the exhibition.  Please note that the $3,000 commission fee does not include acquisition.

Please view and download the commission brief here.

The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 3 March, 2017.

SIEDLE, Justine, with her ceramic work produced for the 2015 Town Hall Gallery art commission for  Ronald Greenaway: The Artist and His World (2015).

Monday, January 9, 2017

Town Hall Gallery reopens on Saturday 14 January 2017

It's all hands on deck this week installing four exhibitions across our main gallery spaces and the Community Project Wall. 

We will be kicking off 2017 with three complementary exhibitions across our main gallery spaces, as well as our first Community Project Wall exhibition for the year. Featuring work by Emily Floyd, Sarah crowEST, Jenny Zhe Chang, Henry Madin, Alysia Rees, Samantha Semmens and Franky Howell.

14 January - 12 March
Field Libraries - Gallery 2
Shape of the Life World - Gallery 1
Forms of Play - Gallery 3

14 January - 12 February
Hard-edged Geo Candy - Community Project Wall

FLOYD, Emily, Field Libraries, installation view at Anna Schwartz Gallery 2015. © Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery.

Field Libraries features a series of Emily Floyd’s works recently acquired by the Town Hall Gallery. The colourful sculptures double as bookshelves, stacked with an ever-expanding ‘fair use’ library of booklets created by Floyd using excerpts from texts dedicated to eccentric perspectives on the subject of work. Also on show will be a series of screen prints made in collaboration with Negative Press.

REES, Alysia, detail of Configured States (2016), digital type C photographic prints, plaster, acrylic paint and plywood. © Courtesy of the artist.

For Shape of the Life-World artists Alysia Rees and Samantha Semmens configure elements in the world around us as we try to make sense of our experience of these elements. Semmens and Alysia Rees are resident studio artists at Hawthorn Arts Centre. This is their first exhibition at Town Hall Gallery.

SEMMENS, Samantha, detail of View from a Purple Star (2016), porcelain, gplass, LED lights, acrylic paint and plywood. © Courtesy of the artist.

Forms of Play examines the way in which formalism is fundamental to notions of playfulness, interaction and learning. Featuring the work of three artists – Sarah crowEST, Jenny Zhe Chang and Henry Madin – who work with different ideas, materials and processes.
ZHE CHANG, Jenny, Ballet 9 (2017) installation view, wood, acrylic paint, each work 25.5 x 20.5 x 3cm. © Courtesy of the artist.

Working with cut paper assemblages Franky Howell produces dynamic works that are equal part crystalline and biological in form for his exhibition Hard-edged Geo Candy. Intensely coloured, hand cut heavy paper with added inlaid paper comprised of geometric patterns, shapes and forms, with a slightly sculptural element. Up to 15-20 individual assemblages with smaller satellite shapes intersecting between will be exhibited in a vibrant array of colour through the space.

HOWELL, Franky, Hard-edged Geo Candy (2016), installation view. gouache on paper cut assemblages. © Courtesy of the artist.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

2017 Program announced!

We are thrilled to present our full program for 2017!

There are a variety of exhibitions, films, presentations and offerings for you to get your visual arts fix throughout the year. Curated exhibitions will showcase works from The Collection, commissioned works by new artists and an amazing retrospective of Clement Meadmore's design practice.

 There is something for everyone at Town Hall Gallery in 2017.

Email us for a PDF or hard copy of the program.

Variations of pattern

Pattern + brings together eight Australian artists who are inspired by pattern and translate their ideas via sculpture, photography, textiles, painting and installation. All humans have an innate urge to find patterns in all that we see.  From when we were a child, we were encouraged to identify familiar shapes in the clouds or pick out a face in a knot of wood.  The desire for familiarity in pattern has always been there.

“During the early part of the 20th Century, the famous Harvard mathematician George David Birkhoff developed a mathematical formula which he believed could be used to gauge how beautiful and appealing a work of art was.  Birkhoff's formula relied on two abstract concepts: complexity and order (or symmetry). According to Birkhoff, if something is complex, it will be more appealing if it is less symmetrical. Alternatively, if something is highly-symmetrical, it is better if it is less complex.”[i]

The desire to seek out order and symmetry helps us navigate through the modern world, while chaos and disorder can sometimes bring about unexpected surprises. 

GRESHAM, Tim, installation view (2016). Image courtesy of the artist.

Pattern can be rhythmic.

The weaving practice of Tim Gresham is very much about time and rhythm, as well as the visual effects of light and colour.  Gresham’s tapestries capture both the micro and macro of rhythm, f the minute beads of every weft pass build up to waves of larger patterning.  Often inspired by patterns found in urban life, Gresham exhibits photographs of buildings that exude a wonderful abstracted patterning that reflect the pulse of a city. 

This rhythmic patterning is also seen in the work of Britt Salt.  Salt’s practice is an ongoing spatial experiment where fundamental elements such as line, form and space intertwine. Across drawing, sculpture and installation, she employs repetition and materials that have an inherent ability to create movement; such as industrial meshes. When viewed from different angles, manifold patterns and forms emerge, objects can be viewed through other objects and a number of perspectives can be seen.  Salt’s work Polyrhthm plays upon space and line by utilising the entrance window of the gallery space.  Viewed at different times of the day, the work is reminiscent of the Op Art offerings in the 60s.

SALT, Britt, Polyrhythm: Paraform (2016), powder coated aluminum, pins, vinyl, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery.

Pattern can be opulent.

The difference between a plain surface versus a patterned and decorated one highlights an objects status.  Time and dedication have been added to create something out of the ordinary, often with imbedded cultural meaning.  This can be seen with the textile works of Canberra based Daniel Edwards.  Edwards explores the crossovers of culture influenced by the connection between his Anglo-Indian heritage and his Australian upbringing.  He addresses issues surrounding migration, gender and technology. Artworks of woven tapestry and pieced fabric explore elements of traditional craft practices focusing on the maker and his subject matter.

EDWARDS, Daniel, Empire (2011), installation view, felt, 550cm diameter. Image courtesy of the artist.

In the past few years, Daniel Edwards has made tapestries that explore notions of masculinity and family heritage, popular culture and tradition. The work Empire, draws inspiration from a quilt in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection, titled ‘Military Quilt’, likely to made by Private Francis Brayley around 1863-77.

Opulent patterning is something that also plays out in the work of David Sequeira.  Sequeira is a visual artist working across a range of media in an exploration of the notions of language and information through colour and geometry. Sequeira’s hand embroidered photographs take us on the childhood journey of searching for shapes in the clouds.  Titled Piece of Sky, the works reveal that all of us see a piece of the same sky every day, it is infinite like the repetitive patterning overlaying it.

SEQUEIRA, David, Piece of Sky 1 (2007), 20.3 x 30.5cm, polyester string sewn through digital photograph. Image courtesy of the artist.

Pattern can be primitive.

Alisdair McLuckie’s works are often graphic in style; drawing, sculpting and crafting to explore and reinterpret themes of traditional folklore, tribalism and ritual, creation and destruction. Using a variety of materials, there are two that continue throughout his work; gridded paper and beads.  The structure and formality of the gridded background contrasts with his primitive inspired sketches.  There is a sense of the ritual in McLuckie’s work.  Time and repetition are major components in both the drawings and the beaded works, where the patterns come to life.

McLUCKIE, Alasdair, Untitled (2011), biro on paper, 40 x 30cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Murray White Room. On Loan from Ten Cubed.

 Pattern can be meditative.

Veronica Caven Aldous’ light works create a space for contemplation and meditation.  Inspired by Vastu Indian Architecture as a way of connecting with nature and natural light, Aldous aligns her works with true cardinal points of north, south, east and west.

Playing with the immersive, Aldous creates a space that is fluid while allowing the viewer to question their perception of the constructed world.  Patterning through shadows and light changes has a subtle but contemplative effect within this installation.

CAVEN ALDOUS, Veronica, The sun always wins (2014), installation view, LEDs and power-coated aluminum on plinths. Image courtesy of the artist.   

Pattern can be a master of disguise.

Camouflage patterning is the master chameleon.  In Mark Booth’s sculptural works, the modular components suggest a repetition of form, but each is unique in its arrangement.  Achieved through the use of pattern, light, and scale, camouflage can change the perception of form by making it disappear or change shape. Through the addition of the camouflage, it disguises the PVC pipe and transforms it into another being. 

BOOTH, Mark, installation view (2016), PVC pipe, nylon netting. Image courtesy of the artist.

Kristin McIver’s Data Portraits allow pattern to transform the idea of portraiture.  McIver makes use of ‘Faceprint’ technology, a string of code used by social media computer algorithms to identify faces from online photographs.  This form of surveillance can identify faces with 97% accuracy, comparable to the accuracy of human visual perception.  McIver then translates an individual’s ‘faceprint’ data – based on a pre-apportioned colour palette – into a vibrant abstract patterned portrait.

McIVER, Kristen, Self Portrait, installation view (2016). Image courtesy of the artist.

“A century ago, a British art critic by the name of Clive Bell attempted to explain what makes art, well, art. He postulated that there is a “significant form”—a distinct set of lines, colors, textures and shapes (and patterns) —that qualifies a given work as art. These aesthetic qualities trigger a pleasing response in the viewer. And, that response, he argued, is universal, no matter where or when that viewer lives.” [ii] Pattern can create so much and allow the viewer many emotive responses.  If we keep looking for patterns throughout our world, we are never sure of what we may discover.

Pattern + is on now until 18 December.

[i] “Symmetry in Nature” Ker Than,, Dec 21 2005.
[ii] “Do our brains find certain shapes more attractive than others?” Megan Gambino, Smithsonian Magazine, Nov 14 2013.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Town Hall Gallery artist in residence

Undertaking an ‘artist in residence’ at Town Hall Gallery, Pierre Proske is creating a site-specific temporary sculptural installation Pula Pod, in the Hawthorn Civic Space (corner of Glenferrie and Burwood Road, Hawthorn). Pula Pod is a series of modular, solar powered electronic devices that communicate water consumption in a playful and creative way. The work will recall the chorus of frogs once abundant in local waterways.

Not your average artist's studio
Pierre is an Australian artist intrigued by the pervasiveness of technology in science and culture and its relationship to nature. After years of juggling parallel interests in technology and the arts, Pierre has taken on the ambitious task of exploring the dialectic between the synthetic and the organic, and harnessing machines into exploring new aesthetics. Pierre has exhibited in Australia, Sweden, Bhutan, Peru, Canada, Iceland, Brazil, Japan, Austria and the Netherlands.

Pierre's residency forms part of the Droplet Project a series of free immersive workshops exploring multimedia arts, nature, ecology, water and our special local frogs. To find out more information click here.

Stay tuned to find out when this installation will be installed.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Louis Kahan: Art, Theatre, Fashion

Town Hall Gallery will soon be exhibiting the work of Louis Kahan (1905 - 2002) in Louis Kahan: Art, Theatre, Fashion. The exhibition will run from 27 August until 23 October.

Kahan is well known for his work as a portrait artist and painter, however this is the first time his work as a fashion illustrator and theatre designer has been showcased. The exhibition tells the little-known story of his work with the great fashion houses and celebrities of early 20th century Europe.

KAHAN, Louis, (1905 - 2002), Torso and Samples II, 1995, oil on canvas and marine ply, 87.5 x 67.5cm. © Courtesy of Louis Kahan/Licensed by Viscopy 2016.

We have worked closely with Kahan’s family, now based in the City of Boroondara, to exhibit his prominent work and celebrate his long and vibrant career. Co-curated by Laura Jocic, who was previously a curator in the department of Australian Fashion and Textiles at the NGV, Laura has said: “This exhibition showcases an exciting artist who moved seamlessly across theatre, dress and illustration. It’s been a personal highlight to work closely with the Kahan family to showcase the multimedia nature of Kahan’s work, and an untold ‘migrant story’ of the talent that arrived unheralded in Australia in the 1940s and 1950s. Kahan was a significant part of the wave of extraordinary talent arriving in Australia from Europe pre and post WWII.”

Spanning all three gallery spaces, this exhibition will highlight Kahan's lengthy and colourful career.

Saint Catherine's Day at Maison Poiret, 25 November 1925. Photograph by Boris Lipnitzki. Louis Kahan is pictured in the centre with Paul Poiret (back row) and Josephine Baker (seated).

Monday, July 11, 2016

Imagined Worlds launch

Town Hall Gallery is thrilled to be exhibiting the work of 9 high-calibre Australian artists in Imagined Worlds. The exhibition has been very well received so far - our Walk and Talk tour of the exhibition attracted over 50 people! We have posted some images below of the launch and the Walk and Talk, and hope that you’ll have a chance to drop in before the exhibition closes on 21 August.
Walk and Talk with the curatorial team. Ben Taranto's work pictured.
Walk and Talk with the curatorial team. Ara Dolatian's work pictured.
Installation view. Conor Grogan (background left), Andrew Mezei (background right).
Installation view. Ara Dolatian (foreground), Alice Wormald (background right), Andrew Mezie (background left)
Installation view. Kate Shaw (left), Kevin Chin (right)