Thursday, April 9, 2015

white cube-a-gram

Data Flow: Digital Influence has been a terrifically exciting show to host. Curating together 11 artists whose work is all uniquely different but relates to each other on the basis of the shared self-awareness of the digital context that shapes our lives, has been a true joy.

Given the nature of the theme we thought it would be interesting to provide an additional, digital space for exhibiting art. A 'virtual' space defined by the four-sided square format of social media platform Instagram. We selected 6 artists from a bundle of submissions and each week a new artist took over our Instagram feed and delivered 7 artworks, one per day.

Ben Aitken (@sniflthreesix)

It's a been a wonderful way to push outside the traditional confines of the physical gallery and explore ideas in this way. It was obvious to us that a vast swathe of our audience views our activities online. It's more than likely we may have more people see our shows in this way than actually physically visit us in Hawthorn. After all, anyone in the world can access photos of our exhibitions. But normally, these 'visitors' would see documentation of our exhibitions - photos of the artworks shared on social media. By setting up a dedicated online gallery scenario, we could deliver art directly to an audience, into their own gallery spaces on their phones. It raises questions about art presentation, distribution and consumption that are more pertinent to art galleries and artists than ever before.

Did you know, for example, that there is a belief that because most Australian artists witnessed the artwork of their international peers via magazines in the 1950s and 1960s, their work was flatter and sharper? Looking at abstract artworks reprinted in glossy art magazines, artists were unable to see the texture of the paint and the wobbly lines and paint splatters of not-so-perfect edges. The printing techniques and the photography made everything seem far more crisp and flat than it actually was. So when Australian artists starting painting their own abstractions, influenced by Americans and Europeans, they produced their work more like the representations in print than the originals in paint.

There's a few days left of Data Flow, and if you're on Instagram, pop on over and check out our feed. We were very delighted to get some amazing art and ideas into that space and are most grateful to the following, terrific artists:
     Lily Mae Martin
     Josh Rufford
     Crystal Knight
     Ace Wagstaff
     Michelle Hamer
     Ben Aitken

Catch us as @townhallgallery #dataflow #thginstaart

Friday, March 27, 2015

Exhibition Opportunity at Town Hall Gallery

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 besides the exposure.

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. We'll also have forms available at the gallery for you to pick up on your next visit.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easter Hours at Town Hall Gallery

Town Hall Gallery will be closed over the Easter Holidays.  This includes the Emporium and Community Project Wall.  We hope that you have a wonderful and safe Easter.

Thursday 2 April - open 10am to 5pm
Friday 3 April - Closed
Saturday 4 April - Closed
Sunday 5 April - Closed
Monday 6 April - Closed
Tuesday 7 April - open 10am to 5pm

We will see you all back at the gallery on Tuesday 7 April!  It will be the last week to view Data Flow: Digital Influence so pop it in your diary!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Expanded Gallery

For some time now artists, museums, galleries and curators have been thinking about the limitations of the traditional 'white cube' exhibition venue. There is a very important function to be served by having an architectural space to put art into, allowing people to come and enjoy it in a familiar, safe and generally contemplative atmosphere. But for some art, and for some purposes, this can be limiting.

Given that the current exhibition is about the way in which digital culture is influencing art making, whether in process or aesthetics or presentation, we thought that it would be a wonderful chance for us to explore non-architectural spaces for exhibiting art. To take a look into the way that digital culture has created new ways of sharing art. At the gallery we've been keen to ensure we utilise a variety of social media channels to assist in spreading the good work of the artists we exhibit, with outlets on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vimeo. And of course, there is this blog as well.

These channels enable galleries to provide more insight to the art they show, providing behind-the-scenes looks into the machinations of gallery activities, offering interviews and sneak previews of shows, and to help promote their parallel public programs and events. For the current exhibition Data Flow we decided to take one of these channels, Instagram, and make it a virtual exhibition space. We have three main gallery spaces full of artwork to see in Hawthorn, and one virtual online gallery space running out of our Instagram feed.

Over the course of the 6 week exhibition, we have one new artist exhibiting each week on Instagram. So in this 'space' we will be showing:
    Lily Mae Martin
    Josh Rufford
    Crystal Knight
    Ace Wagstaff
    Michelle Hamer
    Ben Aitken

Lily Mae Martin on Instagram

Please hop on over to Instagram and keep an eye on this unfolding exhibition 'space'. The artists are all very different in nature, each exploring ideas and expressions that are unique to their own styles and voices, but each very conscious of the digital environment they are navigating. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Stream is an idea made wet

Data Flow is off and running - and what a fantastic launch event we had on Tuesday the 3rd to get it all going. Featuring work by 11 artists across all 3 gallery spaces, it's a veritable feast for the eyes and the mind. Tapestries from New York artist Erin M Riley are on show next to video game incursions by Melbournian Georgie Roxby Smith. Oil painting by Sydney-born, LA-based Jonathan Zawada sits opposite abstract art made of glass and salt by English-born, Tasmania-based Kit Wise. And so so much more!

A full house for the opening night launch

As always, we have a series of public programs running parallel to the exhibition, allowing for new ways into understanding the artwork and the ideas behind it. For Data Flow we have three events scheduled for you, all free, and all very different.

Floor Talk:
Saturday 14 March, 1-2pm
Artists from the exhibition will be joined by Senior Curator Mardi Nowak to talk about their artwork, the ideas underlying it and their processes for creating it. A great opportunity to meet and talk directly with some of Australia's most interesting artists and to learn more about the curatorial approaches of Town Hall Gallery. Bryan Spier, Dr Troy Innocent and Viv Miller will be some of the artists talking about their work and will be on hand to take questions about their practices.

Viewers enjoying the work of Georgie Roxby Smith (right) and Erin M Riley (background)

Kids' Workshop:
Sunday 29 March, 1-3pm
Join Ace Wagstaff in a workshop that explores image making with cameras. Working with lo-fi techniques such a mirrors, plastic and lights, Ace will demonstrate ways to create image effects normally achieved with software and media filters. The workshop will be conducted in two sessions - 'think & talk' and 'do & make' - enabling kids to learn about techniques and put them into practice. Each participant will take home a digital folio of their work. Fun and educational for children aged 7 and over. 

A happy trio in front of the work of Kit Wise
Cinema Sessions:
Sunday 12 April, 1-2.30pm
Everything is a Remix is a four-part video series produced by New York film-maker Kirby Ferguson. It explores ideas around appropriation, copyright and the artistic licence of creative practitioners who make new work from materials already available. Town Hall Gallery will air all four episodes of the series, and offer our audience a chance to consider its themes in relation to the exhibition in the main galleries. Of particular focus is the way in which digital technologies have come to influence our creative output and our understanding of ownership and control.

The film screening will be followed by a tour and discussion of the current exhibition Data Flow, led by Dr Kent Wilson.

Bryan Spier, Steven Rendall, Troy Innocent, Mardi Nowak (Senior Curator), Darcey Bella Arnold, Kent Wilson (Assistant Curator) and Georgie Roxby Smith

Monday, February 16, 2015

The final countdown

2015 has already gotten out of the blocks like a shot. This week is the final week for our major exhibitions before we turn all three spaces over to the next show Data Flow: Digital Influence. We've had some terrific responses, including a lovely mention of Ilona Nelson's show by The Age critic Robert Nelson (here). So, there's only a handful of days left to come and check out Ilona's show and see what we've been acquiring into the Permanent Collection this past year.

It is also the final week of our Place Making <Making Place> artist-in-residence program. We've had some amazing art production taking place inside the gallery by our artists - OK Collective, Kitty N. Wong (HK) and our current participant, Justin Hinder.

OK Collective in Gallery 2, worked up a storm during their stay.
Justin is on site, producing his enigmatic and engaging paintings, chatting to our visitors and exploring the way his artwork is influenced by a new environment and an audience watching him.

Justin Hinder's paintings
We are very excited to bring you a swathe of artistic talents for the next major exhibition, Data Flow. We've got an America artist, two Australian artists who now live in Los Angeles, quite a few artists with doctorates or in the middle of finishing them, an artist who is a Director of an Art College and quite frankly, more artistic eye candy in a wide variety of media than is reasonable to expect in any one place. Again, it's our intention to bring you art that captivates the eyes and body first of all, and is rich in ideas if you're interested in delving into that aspect too.

Part of the exhibition will see us utilising our social media platform on Instagram as a fourth, virtual gallery space. We're looking for 6 artists to exhibit in this 'space' - you can find out more here. It's a unique opportunity and a way to explore ideas in the show through experimental expansion of the traditional four-walls of a white cube gallery.

Lastly, there's still a couple of weeks to visit the wonderful work of Parisa Taheri Tehrani. Captivating our visitors, the works are moody, intense and unique character study portraits in oil, charcoal and ink. Parisa is an Iranian born artist, now living in Australia after studying in the UK and the USA. She's been a valuable contributor to the gallery, volunteering here since we relaunched in late 2013 and it's a delight to have her art gracing the walls of the Community Project Wall. Show ends Sunday 1 March.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

We're looking for Instagram Artists!

Here at Town Hall Gallery, we LOVE Instagram. Our handle is @townhallgallery if you fancy checking us out (there's lots of delicious arty-ness on there!).

Our next exhibition, Data Flow: Digital Influence, kicks off on Tuesday 3 March 2015 and runs through to Sunday 12 April. To coincide with the exhibition theme, we're looking for 6 insta-artists to infiltrate our THG Instagram with their art and imagery. 

'Wow', you're thinking, 'that sounds super COOL...but what does it mean?!'

For the duration of Data Flow, we will be turning our Instagram account into an online exhibition space. Each of the selected insta-artists will be regrammed from their personal accounts onto the THG Instagram, once a day, for seven days. 

Let me break that down for you again:

* We're looking for 6 artists/instagrammers who's work is suited to online distribution
* Each artist/instagrammer will have 1 week as a 'Town Hall Gallery Insta-Artist' 
* As an Insta-Artist, we will bestow upon you a special hashtag for your 'exhibition'
* We will regram onto the THG Instagram one of your 'artworks' once a day for each of those seven days.


Now here's the fun part...
...Are you interested in becoming a THG Insta-Artist

All we need from you is your Instagram handle (for example, @YOURINSTAGRAM) plus a 100-200 word statement of intent outlining why you want to be a THG Insta-Artist! 

Send your submission to by COB Monday 23 February. That's 5pm for those non-9-to-5-ers.