Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spotlight on Aaron Bailey...

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One of the paintings as part of the series of works by Aaron Bailey.

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An installation view of the sculptures and paintings on show by Aaron Bailey.
The sky has been a reacurring theme in Aaron Bailey's work over the last few years. His work in the exhibition X represents the Unknown, looked at the night sky of the mallee. This body of work for What do they call a group of artists? is a little brighter and takes into account, light fractures and the idea of a cloud's silver lining.
Below is Aaron's artist statement for his current works:

"Every cloud has a silver lining. Without light, there would be no lining, without light there would be no life. The sky has always inspired my work; the large blue space that goes on for miles, as far as the eye can see. Then there are the clouds that dot the Mallee sky. This sky is home. This sky gives me hope. Hope needs light. We all need to have a little light to see the silver lining.
Light can come in many ways, the sun, a bulb, a person or a place. For twelve months I have had a light that has given me many silver linings, which has helped me grow, and develop and move from the dark clouds to the blue skies, where light reflects and fractures.

This body of work merges the sky and earth, the masculine and feminine, light and hope. My main point of reference is the Northern European Culture's idea that the masculine is the sky and the feminine is the earth, and have created the sky from the earth below.
Within the works sky and earth merge to create an object that should sit softly above you, but also occupy space in front of you.

Reflection can be many things; to reflect on one's thoughts, to view ones image in a mirror, to have light reflect off a lens, an eye. All involve the self, and the light that you see, the masculine, the feminine, the cloud and the silver lining."
You can see Aaron's work as part of What do they call a group of artists? until Saturday 27 February.

Spotlight on Merryn Hansford....

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Town Hall Gallery is pleased to exhibit the work of Merryn Hansford as part of the What do they call a group of artists? exhibition. Merryn's works are broken up into two bodies, one that focuses on metals and the sharpness and hardness of it; and the other body looks at softer materials that use sea glass and silks.
Merryn says about her works...

"My recent work has been to create wall pieces using the media of copper. I emboss the metal with patterns taking my inspiration from a variety of sources including biological forms to ancient texts as well as wallpaper and lace designs.

Patterning attracts me in a variety of ways; from how patterns are formed and occur in nature; to the way cultures have and continue to reflect those symbols in their sacred sites. My interest in patterning continues on to the design of wallpaper and lacework. Again the patterns often derive from nature, with flowers and vines regularly present. The way in which copper ages creates an interesting contrast to the timelessness of the patterns inspired by the wallpaper design.

Alongside the copper works is a series of soft fabric pieces using found sea-glass. This practice is a strong contrast as the copper works are noisy to make, while these are soft and soothing. "
During the recent In Conversation program, I found it very interesting that Merryn was drawn to the shiny nature of her copper materials and actually coated them to preserve this. This coating allows for them to be handled more easily but will stop them from rusting and discolouring. This is a strong contrast to her 'softer' works that use glass that has been corroded by the sea. In these works, Merryn allows nature to have a part in the creation of her work. These contrasts are beautifully played out in her part of the exhibition.
You have only a few days left to visit What do they call a group of artists? The exhibition ends on Saturday 27 March at 5pm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Recent works by Veronica Caven Aldous... starting next week!

Local artist, Veronica Caven Aldous' works explore the viewer's response to light and colour. Her painted canvases reflect onto all of the gallery surfaces, immersing the viewer in a variety of hues. The emotional response to each of the colours is interrupted by the inclusion of light boxes. These boxes imitate the square qualities of the canvases but sporadically change colours, surprising the viewer. The work relates to our relationship with the idea of the screen such as that of the television, computer, mobile phone, light box advertising, billboards and movie screen.

This solo exhibition by Veronica comes to Town Hall Gallery after she took part in the group show Assemble in 2009. "Veronica's work is bold and manages to affect the viewer in many different ways. People are naturally drawn to the colours she uses and they way the works are installed. We are extremely pleased to be able to show her works on a much larger scale this year". Mardi Nowak Curator.

"My work is fundamentally about play and the aesthetic experience that occurs during the art-making process. There is a speed and flow in the performance of the play and there is stillness in the internal experience during the play. I am researching contemporary colour field painting through painting, light boxes, manufactured materials like Perspex and video. Responding to the exhibition space is also a large part of the work." Says Veronica Caven Aldous.

Viewers can also discover more about Veronica's work and the intricacies of colour theory during the In Conversation program on Saturday 20 March from 2pm to 3pm. This program is free to attend, however rsvps are encouraged.

Town Hall Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday, midday to 5pm. Recent Works by Veronica Caven Aldous will also be open on Sunday 7 March from 10am to 3pm in conjunction with the Hawthorn Craft Market. You can find out more about Veronica Caven Aldous and her work here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spotlight on Fiona Fraser...

Another one of our five exhibiting artists is local artist Fiona Fraser. Fiona's gorgeous works on paper look at the lives of boats around the Boroondara area.

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Fiona was taken by the amount of boats that live in people's driveways and yards that seem to be permenantly in a 'parked' state. While walking around the area, Fiona noticed that these lonely boats never seemed to go out on adventures and this became the theme of her body of work for What do they call a group of artists?

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One of my favourite elements of Fiona's work is her bold brush strokes and strong colour. Her work is reminscent of early watercolour and goauche works by Kenneth Jack (which we have 2 in our collection!) The theme has certainly made me look into people's yards and wonder when these lonely boats will go out?
Here is Fiona Fraser's artist statement on the works...
"The body of works titled Landlocked consist of a collection of works on paper based on the theme of boats located in the streets, gardens and backyards of Boroondara.

While walking and driving around the area, I have noticed many boats on trailers in driveways, gardens and on the street. I find it interesting that some are permanently 'moored' to their address in suburbia, while others suddenly vanish.

The works explore the connections between the local residents and vessel owners with the boats in their daily existence; a slightly surreal reminder of trapped dreams."
You can find out more at the In Conversation public program happening on Saturday 20 February from 2pm.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

In the spotlight... Robyn Emerson

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Another one of the artists exhibiting in What do they call a group of artists? is Robyn Emerson. Robyn is a local artist and creates these amazing and quite large scale encaustic works. The encaustic process is a lengthy one and Robyn often works on several works at the one time, working back and forth on the various layers.
See below for the catalogue artist statement from Robyn Emerson:

"My recent works is becoming more grounded within the landscape motif and the inclusion of the horizon line. I have always been fascinated by the dynamism of the line where the sky meets the land and more and more it seems to me that line is the essence of a landscape. However my work has never been about portraying landscapes in a traditional sense. My paintings are intuitive interpretations of an inner landscape, an instinctive response to my world.
The encaustic process I use, utilizes layers of wax, oil paint, acrylics and pastels to create the surface. Sometimes I leave the wax textured for a more muscular, visceral feel, other times I coat it with shellac to allow the colours to illuminate through. Often there are up to 6 layers applied disclosing different surfaces and histories within the one painting."
Some of the feedback from our viewers have been that they are enthralled with Robyn's works. You can look at them for hours and see something new in the layers each time. The combination between the transparent and luminous layers and the more opaque ones is very engaging. On the blue work above, there is even some bark that is captured in the wax, adding more depth to the work.
You can visit Robyn Emerson's website to see more works at
You can also hear more from Robyn about her process at the In Conversation program on Saturday 20 February from 2pm to 3pm.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spotlight on Andrea Kaltwasser!

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Andrea Kaltwasser is one of the artists exhibiting in the current exhibition What do they call a group of artists? She is pictured here on the left with artist Merryn Hansford.
Andrea's work utlizes both painting and embroidery and in her current body of work she has embroidered both onto canvas and paper.

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The image above is a sample of ropes that she has found, washed up on beaches. Andrea collects these brightly coloured twines and sometimes uses them as embroidery thread onto the canvases.

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You can see from the work above, that the coloured rope was a big inspiration for this work and it does include some of the found twine, embroidered onto the canvas. Below is Andrea's artist statement for her work in What do they call a group of artists?

My aim with this body of work is to explore the connection between the ocean foreshore and its ability to create a calm and relaxed state of mind. Using colour, texture and shape, I wish to transport the viewer from the pressure and stress of the daily grind into a space where the rhythms of the natural environment rebalance our inner sense of peace.

Focusing on the area between the shallows and up to the dunes, I have translated the foreshore into a series of graphic lines and shapes. Silk, cotton, wool, jute and rope found on the sand are used to draw the viewer to explore the many layers that are found in this environment. The repetitive stitches in the canvas serve as a form of meditation reminiscent of walks along the sand and over rock pools leading the mind to a state of tranquillity.

You can find out more about Andrea's work during our next In Conversation program on Saturday 20 February from 2pm to 3pm.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

We are seeking expressions of interest from YOU!

Exhibition Dates: Wednesday 4 August to Saturday 28 August 2010.
Deadline for EOI: Monday 29 March 2010
Town Hall Gallery is seeking expressions of interest from artists to exhibit in the Re-invent Re-interpret Re-make exhibition.
This exhibition explores the idea of re-invention, re-interpreting old ideas into new ones and re-making materials into works of art. Artists selected have either paid homage to iconic artworks and re-interpreted them in a modern way of have taken traditional artisan skills and re-invented them into works that will challenge how you see arts and crafts. The lines between what is old and traditional are blurred by the modern and now. We are particularly looking for artists who are using non traditional ''fine art'' materials but who select to use tapestry, fabric and embroidery as the vehicle for their visual language.
Please email for a brief or for more information.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Everything Changes is now over...

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Thanks to all who came along to our first public program of 2010, In Conversation with Lachlan McDougall. It was great to hear from Lachlan about his inspiration behind this artwork but also from our visitors about their experience with the work.
Above is a photo from the last day of the exhibition to give you a bit of an idea of how it eventually ended up!

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On the Sunday, the gallery started to dismantle the installation. Bumping out a show always takes much less time than the actual install however this did take a little bit of time! The work was removed from it's wooden frame on the floor then the sections that were purchase were cut up and removed by the artist to be fixed.
For all the lucky buyers of a section of Everything Changes Over Time, the work is currently being fixed by Lachlan so none of the pigment will come off and so your image won't change. The works will be delivered back to the gallery for collection within the next week and a half. A courtesy call will be made to you next week, letting you know when you can collect your work.
The gallery will also post shortly where to find the footage of the work during the exhibition too!
Thanks to all who came and took part in this amazing installation.