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. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Beautiful Buckmaster

For those who haven't recently visited Town Hall Gallery, our first batch of exhibitions for 2015 includes 'Placement: New Town Hall Gallery Collection Acquisitions'. Located in Gallery 3, this exhibition presents artworks that have been acquired or donated into the Town Hall Gallery Art Collection since our relaunch in November 2013. Featuring a diverse range of works and artists, 'Placement' highlights the richness of creative practice within the City of Boroondara. Not only this, but it also shows the significance of Art within the municipality.

BUCKMASTER, Ernest, Still Life (c. 1935), oil on canvas, 106 x 80cm, Courtesy of the artist and Town Hall Gallery Collection.

The oldest work on display is a luscious still life oil painting by Ernest Buckmaster (see above image). Still Life was presented to Reg and Cora Harris at the Return Mayoral Ball in 1965 by Prof. Lance and Mrs Jean Townsend for the Citizens of Hawthorn (see image below). Reg Harris was the City of Hawthorn's 105th Mayor, serving in 1964/65 and was the Councillor of Power Ward from 1958-1972. 

Prof. Lance and Mrs Jean Townsend presenting the Buckmaster painting to Reg and Cora Harris at the Return Mayoral Ball in 1965.

Reg Harris was born in 1916 and lived to the ripe old age of 92, a well-known Boroondara local. He was a shopfitter and builder, and in his retirement years a restorer of many vintage and veteran cars including Melbourne’s famous 1923 Yellow Cab, the only one in Australia. "The painting had pride of place in our parent’s dining room for 45 years," Margot Dorum, daughter of Reg Harris, comments. 

Reg Harris in Mayoral robes, 1964.

Reg Harris in the Boroondara Progress Leader, April 5, 1994.

The artist, Ernest Buckmaster, was born in Hawthorn in 1897 to English parents; his father, Harry Amos Buckmaster was a straw-hat manufacturer. Working under James Beament from 1913 (Beament was primarily a signwriter), Buckmaster was encouraged to join the Victorian Artists Society (V.A.S.) and soon after he enrolled in the National Gallery Art School and received formal art training from W. B. McInnes and Bernard Hall. Buckmaster won many prizes and sold most of his works exhibiting with the V.A.S., and continued to exhibit with the V.A.S. until 1943. He also won the Archibald Prize in 1932 for his portrait of Sir William Irvine. 

Ernest Buckmaster, 1945. Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial.

A Boroondara local, Buckmaster married Dorothy Laura Cook at the Methodist Ladies' College, Kew, in 1936, yet their marriage only lasted 3 years, after which he married Florence Botting in 1939. He was appointed an official war artist and was assigned the task of capturing the Japanese surrender in Singapore; 25 completed pictures are held at the Australian War Memorial. His particular techniques and strong opinions on Modern Art were well-respected by his peers and Buckmaster passed away in his Warrandyte home in 1968. 

Artists like Buckmaster hold a special place in Australian Art History for their dedication to their craft. 'Still Life' represents the hand of a very well accomplished artist and a significant piece of Boroondara's history; we're proud and privileged to be able to take care of this artwork and preserve its story for generations to come.