Friday, May 29, 2009

Conservation treatment of Child Study

With so many works held in the Town Hall Gallery Collection, and also with many new works coming in, conservation treatment is an important aspect of maintaining the collection. The upcoming exhibition Together Again: Celebrating the works of Dora Wilson & Pegg Clarke will feature some works from the Town Hall Gallery Collection, which has meant that we have been working to get these works ready to exhibit in August.
One of the works that we hold by Dora Wilson is a pastel on paper titled Child Study. This small work by the artist was in need of some TLC as it was sandwiched between 2 pieces of glass and also glued in some parts to the glass. There was also some mould damage to the paper caused from moisture getting in between the glass and not having anywhere to escape to.
Our wonderful conservator and framer team have taken some 'before and after' images of the work in progress. Below is the back of the work, still under glass with the mildew damage.

Back of work before treatment

Back of work prior to treatment.

Back of work after treatment

Back of work after treatment.

Here is the back of the 'Child Study' work by Dora Wilson after it has been removed from the glass and mildew damage treated. Did you know that often when works have been glued to a sheet of glass that the glass needs to be smashed as to remove the work from it?! Amazingly (and completed by a professional conservator) this doesn't cause damage to the work.

front of work before treatment

Front of work before conservation treatment.
Here is the front of the work prior to the treatment. You can tell that it is dirty and looks dull. Below the work has been treated and removed from the glass. It appears lighter and brighter and captures how the work would of looked like more when it was first drawn.

Front of work after treatment

Front of work after treatment.
To complete the treatment of this work ready for the exhibition in August at the Town Hall Gallery, work is still being completed on the oval frame. The work will then be rehoused in the original frame, however some adjustments will have been made so the frame is new and improved and meets the strict conservation requirements.
Make sure that you visit Town Hall Gallery for the Together Again: Celebrating the works of Dora Wilson & Pegg Clarke exhibition from 5 until 29 August 2009. You will be able to see this work by Dora Wilson having completed it's conservation treatment and it's beautifully restored frame.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Assemble exhibition

Assemble features works by Veronica Caven Aldous, Peta Dzubiel, Grangie Kemp & Sarah Trethowan. The exhibition will be on at Town Hall Gallery from Wednesday 10 June to Sunday 5 July.
Assemble brings together a group of artists who have never been shown together before, allowing viewers a taste of their fascinating works.

Assemble is also an important term for this exhibition as the gallery has not only ‘assembled’ these artists together but also investigates the idea of how artists individually construct their works and ideas.

For Sarah Trethowan, she has turned her attention to among other things, subdivisions, buildings and roads; hence the straight lines, rectangles and squares. “Since the beginning of colonization Europeans have divided up Australia, we’ve contained partitioned and reordered the landscape.”

Artist Peta Dzubiel’s figurative works take on the idea of assemble in a much different way. Inspired by the nomadic gypsy-like existence of the travelling carnival, she assembles a cast of ‘carnies’ in a dark yet poetic atmosphere.

Veronica Caven Aldous explores various layers in her work. She said “my work is about layers. This acknowledges that I always feel that I am a different person each time I meet my work. I am aware of the constant changing nature of life so my work is to do with a personal sense of ease with the constant flux nature of possibilities.”

Grangie Kemp comes from a background in textile design and investigates the idea of bringing together various medium and fabrics. Her recent work has been focusing on mono-printing and working with natural materials such as wool and bamboo. The one off nature of mono printing allows her to produce individual fragments that each capture a moment in time.

Curator Mardi Nowak said, “although all of the artists work in a wide range of styles, this is a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of some new and fascinating works. We see abstract works and figurative works side by side giving something for everyone”.

In Conversation: Join the artists and curator in conversation about how they each construct their ideas and physical works on Saturday 13 June from 2-3pm.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Escape the cold this Saturday at Town Hall Gallery

Photo from Progress Leader 12 May 2009

Article progress leader 12 May 2009

Click on article to make it bigger to read!
Come along this Saturday 16 May from 2-3pm to hear from artist Emma Blee about her recent adventures in Antarctica and how it inspired her exhibition The Colours of White. Emma will be giving a presentation of photographs that she took in Antarctica as well as discussing how she created the work from journey > photos > returning home > to memories > to physical artwork.
This is a fantastic opportunity to hear directly from the artist and see these beautifully constructed works once more. It is free to attend, light refreshments will be served at the end of the presentation.
To find out more, check out this weeks article on the exhibition from the Progress Leader (above) or visit Emma's website
So pop on your parka and adventure to the gallery this Saturday!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dargie and the Queen

THGC Queens 004

Although this is just a print of the famous portrait of the Queen (Queen Elizabeth II in the Wattle dress) by famous artist William Dargie, there has been much renewed attention on this work. This print is a reproduction of the original and is held in the Town Hall Gallery Collection, part of our historical/reproduction collection and would of proudly been on display in either the Hawthorn Town Hall or office buildings.

Portraits of the Queen are still used from our collection. The many citizenship ceremonies that are held by City of Boroondara at the Hawthorn Town Hall still display a more up to date version of the Queen's portrait.

One of the paintings of the Queen in the wattle dress by Dargie recently went to Auction in Australia. In an article from the Age newspaper dated 7 May 2009, it stated:

"William Dargie's famous portrait of Queen Elizabeth II — he said her mouth was her most difficult feature to capture — sold for $120,000 when $50,000 to $70,000 was expected. It set a new sales record for the late Footscray-born portrait painter." You can read the full article here.

Although we only hold a reproduction of this work, it still plays a key role in our collection as it links so many works, especially by William Dargie and his connection to other important artists, together.

Civic Connections 2006

Here is an image from a past collection exhibition, Civic Connections, showing the portrait with some letters from Dargie himself and other photographs and notes.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Colours of White... exhibition begins next week.

The Colours of White features a series of work inspired by the artist’s (Emma Blee) recent travels to Antarctica in early 2009. The work explores the actual colours observed and the emotions experienced throughout the journey.

Blee travelled as part of a tourist expedition of 100 people spending four and a half days visiting different areas of the Antarctica Peninsula. Inspired by this adventure, Blee came back to her Australian studio and created all of the works for The Colours of White exhibition.

These abstract and carefully constructed works utilise the artist’s concept of ‘memory patches’. These patches represent fragments that make up the memory of an event or image. No two patches are the same, just as no two memories are the same. “I enjoy abstract art because of the freedom for interpretation. My work has an element of reality but is also strongly focused on what I was feeling and thinking during the experience.”

Blee uses numerous types of papers and layers to construct her works. The layering process is reminiscent of the process of remembering all of the images and emotions she experienced during her journey. While many of us keep a photo album of our adventures overseas, Blee reconstructs these memories into beautiful and thought provoking artworks.

When asked what her lasting impressions of the trip were she stated: “The vastness and the fragility of the landscape, and the long-lasting impact humans have had on the environment”.

Visitors can find out more about Emma Blee’s adventures in Antarctica and the process from trip to artwork during the In Conversation program on Saturday 16 May at 2-3pm. This is free to attend but bookings are recommended.

The Colours of White is open to the public from Wednesday 6 May to Saturday 30 May.

For more information regarding this exhibition or the public program, please contact the gallery. To find out more about the artist Emma Blee, please visit her website
We look forward to seeing you at the gallery to escape the cold outside and be inspired by these wonderful works!