Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Off and Running

To kick off the 2015 Exhibition Program at Town Hall Gallery we decided to put our four gallery spaces to four different uses - launching four quite different exhibitions. On a lovely summer Saturday we were delighted to have a bubbly and excited audience fill the galleries, engaging with our artists-in-residence and interacting with the participatory elements of the shows. 

Little artists contributing to the blackboard wall in Ilona Nelson's solo exhibition, 'This Place'

Across the main spaces we have curated the shows around the idea of place. Ilona Nelson's solo show This Place occupies Gallery 1 and incorporates a variety of interactive experiences for children and adults. The nature of parenthood, and particularly motherhood, is the underlying concept running through the work. Featuring a series of terrific photographs and a video work, along with the activities, the exhibition is designed to open a dialogue around the obligations of career, domestic labour and family.

Ilona Nelson, The Children's Republic
We're pleased to also be able to present the most recent acquisitions to our Permanent Collection. As a public gallery we have a role to collect artwork as an active archive of cultural life in the City of Boroondara. Over the last 12 months we have purchased work - photography, sculpture and painting - and also had several artworks donated to us. There's a broad array of work, covering various commitments we have to the Collection, from the work of a recent art graduate (Adam Stone), to a fabulous mid-career Australian painting talent (Tony Lloyd), to the icons of Australian art (Lin Onus and Eric Thake).

Checking out the work of Eric Thake
OK Collective, an artist duo consisting of Kathy Heyward and Oliver Cloke, has set up its studio operations in Gallery 2, the first of three rotations that will also see Kitty N. Wong (from Hong Kong) and Justin Hinder also work in the gallery space. OK Collective are researching and experimenting with communication techniques, testing out some ideas with the language of semaphore at the opening.

OK Collective talking to an enthused audience
At the Community Project Wall, our dedicated space for local artists and art groups, Merryn Lloyd presents a series of work continuing her wax painting process. Having been schooled in Boroondara and living not far from the gallery, Merryn is the perfect example of the artistic talent we have right at our doorstep. Her work is very popular, and has been exhibited right across Melbourne. A career on the rise having only recently graduated from art school - and the paintings are selling fast!

Merryn Lloyd in front of her work.
We hope you have a chance to come down soon to the shows - and keep in mind that Gallery 1 has lots of opportunity for engagement, with kids activities to creatively inspire young minds, and Gallery 2 will be a hive of artist working processes, with the chance to see artists making work in the flesh and for you to chat directly with them about their ideas and their ways of working.

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