Contemporary Showcase 14

A selection of recent works by CAS Inc. Members

Decoy Café Bar Gallery, 303 Exhibition St, Melbourne

16 November 2015 to 4 February 2016

Review by Shelley Vincent

How I'm feeling affects how I relate to some pieces. On a warm day in a bustling café I appreciated the cool tranquillity of Stefan Twaine-Wood's Silence. It crystallised my, until then, unrealised wish to be inside somewhere quiet. With air-conditioning and a soothing pot of tea while looking out at trees and blue sky. Tucked away under a bridge. Near a leadlight window. Calm, cool and secure. The harshness of the world outside softened through glass. Something of that feeling is also in Margaret Gurney's Late Stroll, Taormina, where a man and woman stroll down a picturesque street. Muted colours, a little brightness from a flower-covered balcony, the shadows lengthening, walking close together. A stroll after a pleasant dinner perhaps. Maybe they are discussing plans for tomorrow but they are enjoying some peaceful moments for now. The blazing sun is waning and the cool night is coming.

Silence, pastel on Canson pastel paper, 69 x 57 cm, by Stefan Twaine-Wood

Another scene I would have liked to step into is Reflection, Monet's Garden by Jan Martin. The green water of the lily pond looks particularly deep and still. It looks able to absorb all the fluorescent, chaotic thoughts that sometimes flash through my mind. The life that may well be under the surface of that pond can be found in Dawn Cole's Pond Life. Teeming with life both strange and beautiful. And above any Australian pond one could expect to find some parrots such as the pair lavishly depicted in Tropical Parrots by Amanda Carrick. They appear ready to get up to mischief and to innocently shatter any moments of reflection.

Pond Life, acrylic, 92 x 46 cm, by Dawn Cole

In the sunshine Spring Iris Waiting For The Bees by Jan Delaney is richly coloured with an intense purple colour dominating the piece, skilfully balanced with some greens, yellows and shades of magenta. The flower is waiting patiently for those bees to continue the cycle of life. The eternity of life that goes on around us and without us. In Abandoned village on the Oonadatta Track, Qld by Joy Elizabeth Lea there may not be humans living there anymore but there is still a sense of life vibrating in the colours of this abstract scene. Light washing over the remains of the village brings a kind of beauty to what had to be left behind. Brings beauty to an admission of failure and to broken dreams. In contrast we can also delve deep Into the Abyss (by Robyn Luczynski) with the craggy suggestion of rocks and a waterfall that disappears into nowhere. Is the abyss where the water is going to or is this dark scene showing us that we are already in the abyss?

Spring Iris Waiting For The Bees, acrylic on canvas, 92 x 61 cm, by Jan Delaney

Industrial themes are promoted in several works. Docklands 2 by John Kodric has large numbered warehouses dwarfing a lone figure. The three abstract works by Sabina D'Antonio (Harbourside, Rail Yard, and Roadhouse Blues) reveal the essence of transporting goods over this wide brown land - letter and numbers against a rusty brown and the immense blue open sky. And Karen Foley's Gridlock symbolises, in lines and paper shapes, one of the problems that road transport can suffer from.

There are also people vibrantly depicted as in The Immortal Geisha by Lillyana Antoneavic. The geisha's red glossy lips show that although she is immortal she is also human. On her way to save the world is Neda Starac's Warrior Princess. Her stance and expression show that she means business. By a swimming pool a man and woman flirt amiably in Pool Side by Leah Mariani. They are already wearing bathers made of the same material so that could be a good sign.

Warrior Princess, oil, 39 x 31 cm, by Neda Starac

This group exhibition of 31 works, in a variety of media, by 15 artists has much to contemplate.


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