Melbourne Gems

Acrylics by Charlotte Kandelaars

Decoy Café Bar Gallery, 303 Exhibition St, Melbourne

18 November 2014 - 20 February 2015

Review by Shelley Vincent

In this exhibition of twenty-six acrylic paintings we see Melbourne depicted in all her finery and in her many moods. Scenes around the Yarra show the reflected twinkling of the bright city lights. Either in celebration such as White Night or in quieter, more distant scenes such as St Kilda Glow. The Yarra also features in daytime views with the sunlight intensifying the light and shade as in Princes Bridge Palms.


St Kilda Glow, acrylic, 45 x 34 cm, by Charlotte Kandelaars

Princes Bridge Palms, acrylic, 60 x 50 cm, by Charlotte Kandelaars


The skyline is viewed from afar in some works. Flemington View shows the towers of the CBD as seen across the green of the racetrack from the stands at Flemington Racecourse. The shaded umbrellas at Flemington shelter those at play while the business world thrums away in the background. They look like opposite worlds - one flat and green, full of curved shapes; the other serious, grey, upright and straight.


Flemington View, acrylic, 45 x 60 cm, by Charlotte Kandelaars

Another view of the city from afar is in A Eureka Moment where hazy skyscrapers are sighted through the many masts and lines of the boats moored at Williamstown. The gold top of the Eureka tower glows like a beacon to guide you home over the water.


Federation View, acrylic, 45 x 60 cm, by Charlotte Kandelaars

There are also intimate views of the city. In Federation View two young females figures are more fascinated by the graffiti on an alley wall than the splendour of Federation Square in the background. The Arts in Blue is a side of the Arts Centre, glazed in blue, with some tables and chairs for a reflective moment or two.


The Arts in Blue, acrylic, 67 x 52 cm, by Charlotte Kandelaars

The artist appears to be looking out for connections between features in the scenes. The turquoise colour of the dome on Flinders Street station sees a match in some of the palm fronds in Palm Trio Ascension. The triangular shapes of the walls of Federation Square are mirrored by the umbrellas in the courtyard (Federation Nightscape). The artist then goes on to explore this emulation of shapes further in other works, to show different moods - Sun Shades and Federation Shades - and at different times of the day - Day Shades and Night Shades. Some works also incorporate variations on the rectangular shapes of the stairs - Federation Angles and Federation Gathering. Maybe this is showing the skin of the city - the repetition of the shapes we see but do not notice.


Federation Shades, acrylic, 45 x 60 cm, by Charlotte Kandelaars

Night Shades, acrylic, 60 x 60 cm, by Charlotte Kandelaars


I felt that the artist has a lot of affection for the city. The exhibition title certainly reflects that. Even the brown water of the Yarra is polished to a bronze hue - so it is not a lie, just an embellishment. Taking the good with the not-so-good, as we would all like to be treated.

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