REVIEW OF ‘CONTEMPORARY BY NATURE’ 2017
An exhibition of the artworks by members of the
Contemporary Art Society Inc. as part of
the Herring Island Summer Arts Festival 2017
25th February - 13th March
Review by Karen Foley
On the 25th February it turned out to be a warmer day than expected with the hint of rain so we were expecting the usual summer crowd. It was a longer more scenic journey by punt from Como Landing, as we had to disembark from the northerly jetty. This meant we were treated to seeing the water birds along the banks of Herring Island and the rowers practicing their strokes along the Yarra River. Visitors could enjoy the sculptures on the Island on their way to the exhibition building.
A special thank you to the mayor of Stonnington Cr Jami Klisaris who attended the Contemporary By Nature exhibition opening and for the Support received by the City of Stonnington for the festival. We had water, wine and nibbles for our visitors, which included two bushwalking groups. The artworks spoke for themselves and were displayed beautifully throughout the space.
In total there were 47 artworks in all mediums. Small and large works arranged together. The ‘Contemporary By Nature” title covers an array of meanings for the artist to explore. From the abstract, experimental to interpreting the every day. Different use of materials such as pen, paint, watercolour, ink, needlecraft, wool on paper, board, canvas or fabric and bronze or steel 3D sculptures. All genres on display from figurative, landscape, portrait, still life, illustration, abstract, and graphic. Through Thalia Andrews' eyes in ‘Sunlight 1’ and ‘Sunlight 2’ (acrylic) we see great application of textured layers and exquisite colours of mauves and pinks to produce beautiful views of the landscape. In contrast William Goodwin’s ‘Burn off’’ (oil on canvas) shows man’s impact on the landscape with fire singed earth, dark muted tones reminiscent of the 1940’s style of painting but with a contemporary theme of burning off today and its effect on wildlife and the community.
Memories and feelings play a big part of why artists produce such as Nathan Moshinsky’s 'Old Tree in the Forest’ (oil on canvas), memories of an old tree in a mysterious tropical jungle, and ‘Sunset’ (oil on canvas), an ephemeral feeling of transcendence invoked by a memory of a sunset painted in heavy apricot and grey blues. Bruce Norton’s ‘Scream’ (Red Gum), a study in modern paranoia is a crafted piece of wood which is smooth and curved in shape.
Eva Miller's ‘Still Life after’ (acrylic) is a work inspired by Margaret Cossington-Smith where her brushwork technique is used to create an abstract of her still life. Heather King also pays homage to great artists in her mixed media work ‘Leo, D V, Pablo P, Andy W and Heather K Collaboration' #1 and #2. Taking a well known image and reconstructing in other mediums using gel paint and acrylic.
Ian Banksmith's ‘Temple of the Spirit #1' (oil & acrylic on canvas) is a graphic depiction of the temple in New York with the speckled green Gingko trees of Central Park and the sharp hard edged block colours of grey and black. Robert Lee's ‘Fun Fair’ (mixed media) is also graphic with a carnival of colours.
Illustration comes alive in watercolour and pencil by Cressida Fox, ‘Weedy Sea Dragon’ and ‘Leafy Sea Dragon’ both highly creative illustrative artworks.
Rosemary Mangiamele creates an exciting composition of bright yellow colour, design and patterning with leaves, pods and stones in ‘Leave No Stone Unturned’ (acrylic on paper). ‘Birds In The Thicket’ (acrylic on paper) is meditative, graphic and abstract with varying shades of crimson, red, purple and pink. ‘The birds appear amongst the brush strokes in the bush’ quotes Rosemary.
Such an array of artworks was on display at this years ‘Contemporary By Nature’ exhibition. Well Done to all involved.