Annual Exhibition 2016
Gallery 314, 314 Church St, Richmond
Opening: Sunday 11th September 2016
Review & Prizewinners by Karen Neal
The gallery was full and very busy with artists, friends, family and other visitors keen to look at the wide variety of works entered in this year’s annual exhibition. There were 88 entries by 46 entrants in a diverse range of styles and media, 2D and 3D, plus 53 Works On Paper to be viewed in the gallery.
The President Robert Lee opened the Annual Exhibition with a bit of background history about the Contemporary Art Society. He also explained that the annual exhibition has no specific theme allowing the member’ s freedom in their submissions.
Robert thanked our generous sponsers for their support and assistance with the exhibition and for providing our great prizes, and thanked the CAS team for their great effort with the many tasks required to put on this exhibition. The hanging was completed on a very tight schedule and apparently just prior to the judge arriving.
CAS has a long history of using prominent established artists as judges for the Annual Exhibition. This year’s judge was sculptor Bruce Armstrong who currently has an exhibition at NGV Australia at Federation Square. The judge is provided with a catalogue that omits the artist’s name so all the works are judged objectively.
Bruce was unable to attend the opening so Robert conveyed his apologies and thoughts. The prize winning works Bruce chose were those artworks that attracted him on the day and he did state that it could have been different on another day as there was a wide range of very worthy works.
1ST PRIZE: No. 11, Dance of the Red Gums (Diana in The Yarra) by Otto Boron. Oil on Canvas.
Otto commented that this work went through many stages before the figure of Diana was introduced. She introduced a mythological feel to the setting that is typical of Australian bush.
2ND PRIZE: No. 64, A Little Bird Told Me by Karen Neal (Linocut – unique state).
3RD PRIZE: No. 84, A Quiet Awaiting by Stefan Twaine-Wood (acrylic on Linen).Stefan accepted his award thankful the work was in acrylics as he had been working on it right up to the previous day.
ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD: No. 73, 4 x 4 by Theo Petrie (Mixed Media)
SPECIAL PRIZE FOR INNOVATIVE USE OF MATERIALS: No. 50, Don't Forget to Take Your Tablets ... by Robert Lee by Robert Lee (Mixed Media)
After the opening and award presentation I was able to spend some time looking at all of the artwork and talking to other artists and guests. As well as the prize winning works there is a wonderful display of both 2D and 3D contemporary artworks on show.
Sculpture includes Paul Cacioli’s small steel based sculptures, Laurie Collins pieces using recycled materials, Cressida Fox’s quirky characters painted on Russian dolls, Van Phu Le’s plaster sculpture beautifully finished to resemble bronze or ceramic and ceramic sculpture from Edit Meaklim and Deidre Oliver. Also exhibited were Laurie Collins' Looking Forward, Van Phu Le Empathy.
The result of the diversity of media and approaches to 2D works taken by each artist enabled each artist’s work to stand out as quite individual and recognizable. Neda Starac presented two very long oil on canvas works as wall hangings, Grazia Marin had two works from her upcoming exhibition on mythology. Dawn Cole’s work in mixed media has a very organic feel with layers of colour and simplified shapes, such as Homage to the Seed, mixed media
Three other works that attracted me were:-
Elizabeth Watt’s The Return a very textured mixed media work incorporating rusted sections as it explores the way nature returns all things to the earth.
Jenny Scholes' Egrets and Lotus Flowers an acrylic on canvas. The subject, composition and colour all combine harmoniously creating strong visual appeal.
Carmel O’Connor’s War Memorial, Darlington an oil on canvas with a contrast in painting style between top and bottom sections of the painting that works effectively to remind us that the peace we have came due to past sacrifice.
Congratulations to all the members for a wonderful exhibition of contemporary art in its many forms. The exhibition continued with the prize winning artist’s talks on Sunday, 18th at 4pm and closed on the 25th of September.