Thursday, June 23, 2016

Farewell Traveller...

Launch of the Traveller, works from the Lyon Collection
Visitors on the opening night of The Traveller

Thank you to everyone who came along to see the exhibition The Traveller: Experiencing Movement, Time and Place.  It was fantastic working with the Lyon Collection and to have the ability to showcase the works of several significant Australian artists.

Matthew Sleeth Stunt car!

Children fell in love with Matthew Sleeth's work The Last Carpark which included over 100 3D printed cars in an installation.  In fact, it was so well loved that we included a 'stunt car' that visitors could examine more closely and feel the weight and strength of the 3D printing technique.

Corbett Lyon, Senior Curator Mardi Nowak, Ada Moshinsky from Ten Cubed, Bryony Nainby Benalla Art Gallery and David Sequeira from the panel discussion.

Our panel discussion about collectors and collections was also well received.  Audience members on the night got a taste of the variety of collections out there and also heard some amusing tales from our entertaining and incredibly knowledgeable panel of Corbett Lyon, Bryony Nainby (Director Benalla Art Gallery), Ada Moshinsky (Ten Cubed) and David Sequeira (artist, curator and collector).

Launch of the Traveller, works from the Lyon Collection
City of Boroondara CEO Phillip Storer, Yueji and Corbett Lyon and City of Boroondara Mayor Cr. Jim Parke checking out the model.

Visitors were also very interested in the architectural model on display in the gallery foyer of the current Lyon House Museum as well as the new (soon to be built) public museum.  If you have never visited the Lyon House Museum, please visit their website to see available times and bookings.

Launch of the Traveller, works from the Lyon Collection
visitors viewing Shaun Gladwell's video work.

Town Hall Gallery is thrilled to have been able to share a small sample of the Lyon Collection with our visitors.  It was an interesting and fun experience working with another collection and curating it into an exhibition.  Definitely an opportunity that rarely arises!

Thank you to all who came and we look forward to sharing our next Town Hall Gallery curated exhibition Imagined Worlds which opens on Saturday 25 June until Sunday 21 August.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Panel Discussion: Collectors Share their Collections

The Traveller exhibition on now at Town Hall Gallery.  Photo by Christian Capurro

This panel discussion will give audience members a personal insight into the key private collections of the Lyon Collection and Ten Cubed Gallery, as well as how curators are working together with both public and private collections.

  Corbett Lyon: Chair of the Lyon Foundation
  Dianne Gringlas: Executive Director at Ten Cubed Gallery
  Ada Moshinsky: Curator at Ten Cubed Gallery
  David Sequeira: Independent curator, artist and consultant
  Bryony Nainby: Director, Benalla Art Gallery
    and moderated by Town Hall Gallery's Senior Curator, Mardi Nowak.

Guests will have the opportunity to pick the brains of some of Australia’s most significant art collectors and discuss ideas such as: why and how people collect art; The difference between public and private collections and changes in how people have access to them; details of the panel’s experiences and some of their favourite works; why collections are important in Australia.
The event is FREE, with a cash bar operating from 6.00pm with a selection of gourmet snacks and beverages. We will be extending the gallery opening hours until 6.30pm so you have the opportunity to view The Traveller prior to the Panel Discussion.

You can book a place here to ensure your seat.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Dinusha Joseph and the CPW 2017 Program

Our most recently concluded exhibition at the Community Project Wall was a tale of rejection, hard work, success and achievement. Dinusha Joseph first applied to exhibit at the Community Project Wall for the 2015 program was unsuccessful. We receive a large influx if applications and have only 12 slots to apportion, so it's actually more likely to miss out than to be selected. Especially as we also take care to ensure a reasonable spread of solo, group and community shows across the year. But following the news of her unsuccessful bid, Dinusha took the gallery up on their offer of feedback and met with the Assistant Curator to discuss her application and ways of improving her chances for the next year. Taking that on board, she resubmitted for the 2016 program and was successful.

"Looking back," says Dinusha, "having the extra year to work on the feedback, really did change the nature of the works."

During the lead-up to her exhibition Dinusha worked incredibly hard to bring her body of work together, consulting with the gallery to ensure a strong and cohesive suite of paintings. As a result of her diligence and thorough approach, she arrived on the day of installation with a captivating and intense show, ready to be set into place. "A highlight for me of the whole process was the installation day," says Dinusha.

Working with the Assistant Curator to marry her paintings with the idiosyncrasies of the gallery space and architecture, Landscape is a Concept was born. It was evident from the very moment the paintings were lined up along the walls that we had a special show on our hands. Before the lighting was even set, two paintings were sold. Buy the end of the first week, ahead of the official launch, seven paintings had been sold. By the end of the opening, all but 2 paintings had sold.

"The opening was a very special day," notes Dinusha, "in that I was able to share my painting practice with friends and family, in an environment that expressed the story within the works."

So whether you've applied in the past, never exhibited before or just want to bring your work out into the public sphere, an application to the Community Project Wall exhibition program might be the step on a very rewarding journey.

We are now accepting applications for the 2017 Program and encourage you to apply. If you've exhibited prior to 2016, we'd also love to hear from you; and whether you'd like a solo show, wish to band together with some friends, or represent a school or community group, the opportunity to share your artwork with a large audience, under the guidance of a curator and in a professional setting - well, this might be the perfect chance.

Information kits and submission forms are available online (just click on the links).

Friday, March 18, 2016

Popup Library for The Traveller

Our new exhibition The Traveller: Experiencing Movement, Time & Place (Works from the Lyon Collection) opened yesterday and we're thrilled to bring you yet another educational bonanza of a Popup Library! 

In conjunction with the City of Boroondara Library Service, we have a range of books on display in our foyer - right next to the gallery shop, The Emporium @ THG - ready for your hungry brains to devour. 

The exhibition features some incredible works by significant Australian Contemporary Artists such as Patricia Piccinini, so once you've soaked up the creativity of the main gallery spaces, drop by the shop and spend some time marvelling at our books.

We have created a Pocket Reading List for you which is listed below or you can pick up a hard copy next time you visit us. Happy reading!


The Traveller - A Pocket Reading List

Patricia Piccinini : nearly beloved
Helen Mcdonald.

Ten series/106 photographs
Matthew Sleeth.

Light sensitive : contemporary Australian photography from the Loti Smorgon Fund
Isobel Crombie.

Venice Biennale 2007 Australia
Susan Norrie, Daniel von Sturmer, Callum Morton.

Spitting and biting : ten contemporary artists and the print 
[exhibition curator: Sara Kelly].

Video void : Australian video art
Edited by Matthew Perkins.

Melbourne now exhibition guide
National Gallery of Victoria.

The language of light and dark : light and place in Australian photography
Melissa Miles.

Art and photography [text]
Edited by David Campany.

Photography speaks : 150 photographers on their art
Brooks Johnson.

101 contemporary Australian artists
edited by Kelly Gellatly.

The map as art : contemporary artists explore cartography
Katharine Harmon ; with essays by Gayle Clemans.

Map art lab : 52 exciting art explorations in map making, imagination, and travel
Jill K. Berry, Linden McNeilly.

Digital crafts : industrial technologies for applied artists and designer makers
Ann Marie Shillito.

Postdigital artisans : craftmanship with a new aesthetic in fashion, art, design and architecture
Jonathan Openshaw.

Printing things : visions and essentials for 3D printing 
Edited by Claire Warnier, Dries Verbruggen, Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten

The photograph as contemporary art

Charlotte Cotton.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Walk and Sketch

On Saturday 20 February the Gallery partnered with the Parks & Gardens team from Boroondara to co-host a 'Walk and Sketch' session at the gorgeous Maranoa Gardens. With places in hot demand, we sold out the 30 free tickets well in advance of the event. It was such a success that we are looking into scheduling more like this, throughout the parks of Boroondara, maybe in cycle with the seasonal changes throughout the year. If you're interested, please sign up to our newsletter or join us on social media through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

The wonderful areas of Maranoa Gardens

Paul Birch showing some of the wonderful specimens in the garden
Paul Birch, horticulturalist specialist for the gardens, took the group through the various zones of Maranoa Gardens, expertly advising on the plant species, the development of the gardens and the seasonal changes therein. Fielding an array of questions from the group, Paul generously shared his knowledge and helped provide some fuel for the creative minds. The weather couldn't have been more perfect for the occasion, and the Parks & Gardens team provided morning tea to make sure we all had enough energy to set out on our own into the garden and let the artistic drive propel our output.

Paul discussing seeds and germination

Drawing in the Arid Section of the garden

Out on the lawns, inspired by nature
The Gallery would like to acknowledge the Parks & Gardens team, especially Paul, for the valuable opportunity to spend time in this wonderful local resource. Also, a big thank you to those that came long, for your interest and enthusiasm! Stay tuned for more Walk and Sketch events later in the year.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Exhibition Opportunity

It's that time of year again - Community Project Wall callout time! If you live, work or study in Boroondara, you are eligible to exhibit at Town Hall Gallery ... for FREE. Our dedicated fourth gallery space is devoted purely to the talented artists of the local area. We can offer the exhibition space completely for free - with curation, promotion and presentation at the same standards we apply to the exhibitions in the main galleries. It really is a rare and excited opportunity to show your work to a broad audience.

Artworks can be made available for sale if you so desire, with the smallest of gallery commissions applied (only 15%). The artists who have exhibited at the Community Project Wall have fared very well in this regard, which is one of the most excited aspects of this space beyond the exposure to a wide audience (typically around 700 per month).

Solo artists, art groups and community groups are encouraged to apply. There is around 30 metres of linear wall space to work with and curatorial staff on board to help ensure your work is presented in the best possible light. The deadline for submission is 30 June, but don't wait until the last week to submit! Information about how to apply is available here or you can email us at the gallery and we can send you a PDF and a Submission Form. We'll also have Application Kits available at the gallery for you to pick up on your next visit. Submission will be on online this year, using this Submission Form to put your information into and email back to us - we can email this form to you if you have difficulty accessing it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

In Conversation: John Nixon

We are very excited to have a suite of paintings by international-renowned Australian artist John Nixon, as part of the exhibition Reducing Landscapes. In this exhibition, Nixon's work is paired with that of Fred Williams in an exploration of abstracted space and a compositional translation of the Australian bush. The show comes to us courtesy of La Trobe Regional Art Gallery and The CBus Collection of Australian Art. Having exhibited with us in 2014 as part of Eye Score: The Audible Image we are very pleased to have Nixon's work again gracing the gallery walls, as are our audiences. Generous with his time and his experiences, he chats to us here about the current show and some of the ideas informing his work.

John Nixon in 'Reducing Landscapes'
image courtesy of Christian Capurro
THG: Your paintings in this series are derived from your residency at Laughing Waters and pertain quite specifically to that environment. Were you aware of their future inclusion in a show with Fred Williams’ work or did that exhibition premise come after the works were complete?

JN: The studio and the exhibition were organised separately to each other. After completing the paintings in the residency, a collector friend of mine from Canberra visited me at the Riverbend house and took some photos of the paintings I had completed. He then showed these photos to a mutual friend, David Sequeira, who had recently been appointed director of the LaTrobe Regional Gallery in Morwell. David suggested the idea of making a two person exhibition with works of Fred Williams which were also paintings of close ups of tree trunks.

The Latrobe Regional Gallery had these very works of Fred Williams already in their collection. This is how the exhibition came about. 

Nature and art could be said to be zones of contemplation, places and things upon which to ponder. How do you see abstraction’s role in this context?

As abstraction as a form came about due to abstracting or simplifying from nature it is not such a difficult  premise to continue to work from. Seeing that the artist in residence house was located in bushland, I took this location both inside and outside the house and visualised what I saw in abstract terms. Green and brown were chosen as the basic colours - because the nature itself provided me with these colours - and the graphic forms of straight and angled lines come from the trunks of the trees. I could use this as my theme and thus create variation on this theme.  

Fred Williams (l) and John Nixon (r) in 'Reducing Landscapes'
image courtesy of Christian Capurro
Fred Williams was only 55 when he died but he has had a rather large impact on an officially sanctioned Australian art history, and certainly also continues to have an impact on the art market. He would be one of the leading proponents of abstraction with a particularly Australian flavour. Do you see your work (your whole body of work) in the context of an Australian abstraction voice or does your abstraction spring from somewhere more universal?

Fred Williams was primarily successful as a landscape painter even though his works have a certain abstract quality, his subject was still the Australian landscape. As an artist, he was also influenced by the likes of Cezanne, so that the European influence was still firmly rooted in his understanding of painting. 

In general, my work is influenced by European, Russian and American abstract painting from the beginning of the twentieth century. It was at this moment that the language of abstraction became developed - a language outside of any strict national base.

Abstraction was the first form of international language. With this idea in mind, as an analogy, it's interesting to reflect on the development of modernist architecture and the local variants that occur in each country.

There seems to be a rather strong abstract art community in Melbourne in particular - thriving, healthy and productive. Is this something you see and what do you think might be driving that at the moment?

Yes, this is definitely true and it is interesting to me that a large number of younger artists find value in the various forms of abstraction. 

You are well known for your music and sound work, notably with your band The Donkey’s Tail. And there is occasional hints to the overlay of sound and vision in your paintings. Do you see correlations with composition, tone and rhythm across these media and is that something you reflect on when you’re working?

There are some similarities between my practice as an artist and as a musician. Seeing that I am working from principals of abstraction in both areas and that the music has actually developed out of my art practice, it is these qualities of abstraction that guide me.

John Nixon (far right) performing with The Donkey's Tail
at 'ECHO SETS' sound art event at Town Hall Gallery in 2015
Having not been trained musically, I use texture (shrill as against smooth, loud against soft, acoustic and electric, etc) as a way of building musical compositions. My paintings and my musical compositions are built from separate parts. I can use the singularity of the monochrome or the monotone of one material or of one instrument allowing the colour and sound their own place. Then, at the other end of the scale, I can use multiple colours or multiple instruments to build with. My method is always an open one.

The series of works in this show were created on an artist-residency program, how important is this type of program for artists and how do you think influences/impacts artists’ abilities to produce work?

I was very pleased to be given the artist in residence house in Eltham as even though it isn't far from where I live, I had a project in mind that I wanted to do in that situation. I wanted to do a group of artworks that dealt with the interior of the house and the landscape that it was in. The project I wanted to involve myself in was open ended and I let the project evolve of it's own volition. 

Once you have made a certain number of works other possibilities come to you. Then after having done those, more possibilities come. The two month period was very productive for me and I did a large number of paintings, drawings, collages and photographs during my time there.