Contemporary Showcase V

Decoy Café Bar Gallery, 303 Exhibition St, Melbourne

13 June - 3 August 2012

On the walls of Decoy, in the heart of Melbourne CBD, hangs 25 works by 13 CAS Members. The artworks and the venue compliment each other nicely. Downstairs, the works look great against the deep red walls, and are enjoyed by the endless stream of customers who are dining in, or waiting for their take-away delights. The upstairs dining room, with its creamy walls and rich drapery, is in regular use by diners, groups, business meetings and so on.

Many of the works - paintings, etchings, computer prints and mixed media - are on natural themes such as forests, deserts and coastlines. Prue Clements' two tall and narrow abstract oils on canvas titled Gondwana Rainforest @ Olinda #2 and #3, Valda Cuming's elegant and colourful computer prints titled Simpson Desert andKings Canyon, and Nathan Moshinsky's oil on canvas, The Still Point, a view of cliffs, water and coastline, all show a love of the land in its various forms, but each interpreted in very different ways. Deirdre Edwards, in her intaglio etching & water-colour drawing titled Rainforest Maiden, added another dimension to her forest by including a driad-like female form. In her mixed media painting titled Dusk, Neda Starac also incorporated a female form, as well as sea creatures. Pam Karouni'sCaterpillars & Butterflies are abstract swathes of colour in acrylic on canvas.


Other artists gave their interpretations of natural phenomena, such as weather and lighting effects. In Eva Miller's acrylic on canvas, Figure in Yellow Sky, the figure (is she standing or about to float off into the sky?) seems to melt into the atmosphere. I thought this was a lovely, painterly work. In Karen Foley's two acrylics on canvas,Lemon Mist and Orange Mist, she used painterly blocks of colour in her abstract interpretations. Untitled One, an acrylic on canvasby Antonietta Sanfilippo, is of bright leaf forms and growing things. Be Goslar's water-colour, Circle of Thoughts, is filled with flowers, beautiful and delicate blooms. I wondered what these thoughts must be.


There are also several man-made items and structures. In Night Feeding Seagulls (Bolte Bridge), an oil & acrylic on canvas by John Gambardella, the feeding frenzy of birds on light-attracted insects is shown as whizzing streaks of light, reminiscent of photographing fireworks, quite spectacular. Mary-Lin Litchfield's still life in oil on linen, Vase with Blue Veil, has a hint of mystery about it. Heather King's acrylic, Velo I, shows a speeding cyclist in motion, against a simple backdrop of the velodrome.


The proprietors and staff and the many patrons of Decoy are enjoying this exhibition. One staff member commented that this was the best group show she has seen to date. The show was also enjoyed by several exhibiting artists who went there for lunch. I hope you can get to see it too before it ends.

Reviewed by Cressida Fox

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