Orpheus Island
       
     
Polarising Colour
       
     
The Plate Show
       
     
Intersections
       
     
aethër
       
     
The Earth Element: Life's Fragility
       
     
memoria, platea (latin: memory, place)
       
     
made in New York
       
     
Colour Grid Series
       
     
the unbearable lightness of seeing
       
     
Water Was Here
       
     
As It Is
       
     
White Lies grey heart
       
     
red
       
     
Preset memory
       
     
Granite and Grain
       
     
What Becomes of Little Boys
       
     
Tied
       
     
Obliterate
       
     
Wall to Wall M16 Studio Artists
       
     
The Kitchen Garden
       
     
Ecstatic Returns
       
     
Painting the Town by Night
       
     
The 2nd Edition
       
     
Score No. 0013: Emotional Ensemble
       
     
Magic Lines
       
     
RE:Place
       
     
A Potted History
       
     
Scores
       
     
REVERB: CAPO Emerging Artists' Prize
       
     
Exploring the Circle
       
     
It's for your own good
       
     
Pete Smith - A retrospective 1995 - 2014
       
     
Knots & Nerves
       
     
Surfaced
       
     
Prove it
       
     
Yanni Pounartzis
       
     
Perceptions, Connections
       
     
Rick Cochrane
       
     
Stella-Rae Zelnik
       
     
Jacob Potter
       
     
Lynda Edridge
       
     
Cori Beardsey
       
     
Dörte Conroy
       
     
Mehdi Jaghuri
       
     
Caitlin Kozman
       
     
Suzie Bleach, Andrew Townsend, Robyn Kinsela, Bernard Hardy, John Gould
       
     
Kerry Shepherdson
       
     
Prudence Borthwick
       
     
Orpheus Island
       
     
Orpheus Island

Kurt Brereton

Gallery 1

9 February – 26 February 2017

Opening 6pm Thursday 9 February

To be opened by Senator Richard Di Natale

Exhibition continues until 5pm Sunday 26 February

The exhibition, Orpheus Island (the myth of Orpheus calls), employs labour intensive embroidery (hand stitching) on oil painting, encaustic paintings, installation and performance video. The show draws attention to coral bleaching on Great Barrier Reef.

Organic wax (encaustic), graphite and oil are also symbolic of our dependence on fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas). The recurring motif of the coal hill deposit (noting the recently approved massive Indian based Adani mine near Gladstone) counter balances the horizontal deposits of coral reefs. The irony is that both coal and coral take such a long time to be created yet such a brief moment in geological time to be destroyed

There is now an ominous wasteland connotation to these colourful reefs as they inexorably bleach (white out) to the ashen greys of calcified coral skeletons.

 

The more these unique tourist meccas are destroyed, the more desperately we seek to turn back the rising tides - as we wage rear guard actions against the impacts of our technological successes and global consumptions.

For future generations the only coloured reefs may well be those 3D virtual hyper-real simulations of immersive technologies and the nostalgia of analogue museum dioramas.

Image: Kurt Brereton, Coal to Coral Progression No. 5/6 (detail), 2016, oil, embroidery on canvas, 122cm x 167cm each panel.

Photo: courtesy of the artist. 

 

Polarising Colour
       
     
Polarising Colour

Gallery 2

David Keany and Georgiy Potopalskiy

9 – 26 February 2017

Opening 6pm Thursday 9 February

Exhibition continues until 5pm Sunday 26 February

Image: David Keany, Untitled, (installation still detail) 2016, 35 mm slide, polarising filter, dimensions variable.
Photo by the artist

This exhibition is an international collaboration between Canberra artist David Keany and Ukrainian sound artist Georgiy Potopalskiy producing a sound and light installation. This installation is the realisation of many years’ experimentation and research into the aesthetic possibilities of light waves and polarising filters.
 
Keany explains: “Light waves are usually multi-orientated but after passing through a polarising filter, become oriented in one direction. With two polarizing filters crossed, the light is practically eliminated. If disruptive materials are placed between the two filters, beautiful colours are produced.

“Rotating one filter changes colours in a startling and definite way. Many types of plastic films are used in this project to produce variations of the dramatic colour changes. Some films are crinkled while others are stressed. There is also overlapping of different films in different orientation which can produce subtle colours that also change as the filter continues to turn.”
 
In this project, 80 different thin transparent plastic films are mounted in 35mm slide mounts and projected with a 35mm slide projector onto the screen. Each slide is unique and may contain several layers or manipulated plastic films, projected in an 80 minute cycle

Potopalskiy has composed one hour of electronic music referring to Keany’s slides. The music and images will be not synchronised, and so different combinations of images and sound arise over a number of cycles.
 
Keany’s fascinating and eclectic career includes seemingly divergent activities such as Painting Conservator at the Australian War Memorial and as a collaborative dance and performance artist. His collaboration with Potopalskiy continues in Kiev in May this year with a live performance of Polarising Colour.

The Plate Show
       
     
The Plate Show

Gallery 3

9 – 26 February 2017

Opening 6pm Thursday 9 February

Exhibition continues until 5pm Sunday 26 February

The Plate Show is version two of the Bookplates exhibition, which was held at Electric Shadows Bookstore in 2015. The original concept was art on plates produced by a group of Canberra artists that regularly eat together.

This second iteration, curated by Katie Hayne and Ursula Frederick, will similarly include contemporary art responses by local artists to the dinner plate.

The artists in The Plate Show are: Alyssa Bagley, Emma Beer, Byrd, Adele Rae Cameron, Fiona Edge, Kirsten Farrell, Ampersand Duck, U.K. Frederick, Michelle Hallinan, Katie Hayne, Nicci Haynes, Stephanie Jones, Waratah Lahy, Peter McLean, Julia Miller, Johanna Rendle-Short, Sarah Rice, Joanne Searle, Megan Watson, Jen Webb and Naomi Zouwer.

Image: Naomi Zouwer, Domestic Archeoloogy 1, 2017, digitally printed decals of original painting on side plate, 20cm diameter.

Photo: courtesy of the artist. 

 

Intersections
       
     
Intersections

Bryna Bambury, Nikki Chopra, Eliya Nikki Cohen, Chelsea Kalogiannidis, Holly Tranter

Gallery 1

19 January – 5 February

Opening 6pm Thursday 19 January

Exhibition continues until 5pm Sunday 5 February

This exhibition presents the intersection of five peoples’ experiences of daily life in their natural environments. Using different mediums - painting, ceramics, photo prints and lithographs –their experiences are both celebrated and analysed.

Image: Chelsea Kalogiannidis, Untitled, (detail) 2016
Oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 15 x 15cm.

Photo: Bryna Bambery. 

 

aethër
       
     
aethër

Lucy Palmer

Gallery 2

19 January – 5 February

Opening 6pm Thursday 19 January

Exhibition continues until 5pm Sunday 5 February

Canberra is hosting the prestigious Ausglass Conference in 2017 and to coincide M16 will be exhibiting colour field glass sculptures by Lucy Palmer. The artist was awarded the 2016 Australian Decorative and Fine ArtsSociety’s grant, which is supported by Canberra Glassworks. In 2014, Palmer graduated from the University of South Australia with Honours in Visual Arts, majoring in glass.

Image: Lucy Palmer, Sky Wedge, Bullseye glass, aluminium, 100 x 100 x 60 cm.

Photo: courtesy of the artist.

The Earth Element: Life's Fragility
       
     
The Earth Element: Life's Fragility

Marilyn Stretton

Gallery 3

19 January – 5 February

Opening 6pm Thursday 19 January

Exhibition continues until 5pm Sunday 5 February

Having previously investigated the elements of air and water, Marilyn Stretton explores the micro aspects of the elements of earth. This exhibition is a continuation of her series of exhibitions relating to the four elements.

Image: Marilyn Stretton, Silver Bark Study 1, acrylic on canvas, 2016, 40 x 30 cm.

Photo: courtesy of the artist. 

memoria, platea (latin: memory, place)
       
     
memoria, platea (latin: memory, place)

Galleries 1, 2 & 3

Tiff Brown, Sarit Cohen, Mark Mohell, Macdonald Nichols, Peter Ranyard, Peter Rohen

Opening Friday 11 November 6pm

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 27 November

memoria, platea (latin: memory, place), is a group exhibition by artists Tiff Brown, Sarit Cohen, Mark Mohell, Macdonald Nichols, Peter Ranyard and Peter Rohen. All from distinctly different cultural backgrounds, the artists use print making, ceramics, paintings and photography to investigate themes of place, memory, identity, travel, nostalgia and diaspora.

All six artists have broad visual art experience and successful professional lives in design, photography, journalism and art education.

The group mention, “One of our deepest needs is for a sense of identity and belonging and there is a human need to feel somehow immersed in a chosen place. Identity is a product of the distinction between oneself and others – both past and present – and extends to objects and things and to spaces and places.” 

Image: Macdonald Nichols, WRX, Flatbed Surburbia #9, 2015 inkjet print from digital file, 89.5 x 126.5 cm 

made in New York
       
     
made in New York

Gallery 1b

Carmel D'Ambrosio

Opening Thursday 20 October 6pm

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 6 November

Made in New York is a tapestry, embroidery and photographic exhibition by Carmel D’Ambrosio who undertook an intensive art course at the New York Studio School in Manhattan and Long Island in 2013.

D’Ambrosio applied her feelings about the city to the challenging techniques of tapestry weaving and stitched embroidery. Her works express a lyrical interaction with the fine detail of New York’s parks and the robust grid-like patterns of the metropolis.

With embroideries the whole composition can be developed evenly, and this technique enabled her to respond and encompass the teeming urbanity of New York in her work. 

D’Ambrosio graduated from a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Textiles (Honours) in 1997 and a Diploma of Secondary Education from the University of Canberra in 1999. The artist currently teaches art and design at Karabar High School. Made in New York is her third solo exhibition.

 

Image: Carmel D'Ambrosio, 'Manhattan', 2016, canvas, digital print, embroidery thread, 29 x 21 cm. Photo: the artist.

Colour Grid Series
       
     
Colour Grid Series

Gallery 1a

Fiona Little

Opening Thursday 20 October 6pm

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 6 November

Gallery 1a
Colour Grid Series
Fiona Little

Image:  Fiona Little, Material Grid Painting 8, 2016, acrylic on cotton on wood, 46 x 50 cm. Photo: the artist. 

M16 studio artist Fiona Little makes paintings that use bought fabric with grid designs as the basis of the composition. Recurring themes in Little’s practice are colour, patterning, surface, space, rhythm and line. All of these themes are apparent in Little's exhibition, Colour Grid Series

Little is concerned with exploring elements of painting through abstraction. She has long been interested in the horizontal and vertical because of her interest in the shape of the archetypal painting support - canvas or board - and its relationship to the constructed image.

In recent years this had led to interest in visual exploration of the grid. Most of these paintings begin with the artist gluing bought fabric with grid designs onto wooden supports. She then paints over the fabric, with the grid providing an underlying structure the artist responds to. Paintings are then created in a time-intensive process of layering, using masking tape to create hard-edges and repetitive geometric shapes.

 

Image:  Fiona Little Material Grid Painting 8, 2016
acrylic on cotton on wood, 46 x 50cm

Photo: the artist

the unbearable lightness of seeing
       
     
the unbearable lightness of seeing

Gallery 2

Francis Kenna

Opening Thursday 20 October 6pm

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 6 November

the unbearable lightness of seeing is a coloured light installation by Francis Kenna. The work in this exhibition consists of a simple light installation that recurrently transforms the atmosphere of the gallery space.

The exhibition seeks to explore the threshold between light and shadow, alongside the implicate relationship between viewers and gallery space. Critical to this exhibition is the continuous unfolding relationship humans have with their surroundings and a rudimentary question of seeing which emerges over time.

“Seeing is an experience of light colliding with space. When I open my eyes the world springs forward, I don’t ask why. Meanwhile, the world slips untethered through phases of lightness and darkness. Light is in constant motion: it is necessary to see, but it is rare that we see light itself,” says the artist. 

Kenna is a Canberra-based artist whose work consists of investigations into the flexibility of perception. the unbearable lightness of seeing is the artist’s second exhibition. Kenna graduated from the ANU School of Art in 2013 and he is currently a PhD candidate in Art Theory and Print Media at ANU.

Image:  Francis Kenna, Grovenor Experiment, 2014, fog machine, lights, wood, filters, dimensions variable. Photo by artist.

 

Water Was Here
       
     
Water Was Here

Fran Meatheringham

Gallery 3

Opening Thursday 20 October 6pm

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 6 November

The exhibition Water Was Here – by Canberra-based artist Fran Meatheringham - presents a series of abstract oil paintings inspired by the interactions of water with terrain. Through her art, Meatheringham explores the dynamics of nature in its various forms.

Sources for this artwork arose from the artist’s experience of walking and observing in the landscape and from a basic awareness of geomorphological processes.

As the forces of nature are ongoing, the artwork is neither place-specific nor bound to a particular time. Rather, it contemplates change across time – past, present, future. This is reflected by the layering and removal of paint, or the subtle shifts in content across individual canvases. As with evolving features of landforms, the works suggest the idea of presence and absence and a continual coming and going over time that is at times sudden or barely perceptible.

Meatheringham graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from the Australian National University in 2013. Her work has been collected privately across the ACT and NSW. 

 

Image: Fran Meatheringham, 'Rapture' (detail), oil on canvas, 61 x 41 cm. Photo: the artist. 

As It Is
       
     
As It Is

Gallery 1

Tess Horwitz, Caroline Huf, Janet Long

Opening Thursday 29 September 6pm

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 16 October

Tess Horwitz, Caroline Huf and Janet Long join forces in their shared exhibition As It Is. Using video, objects and images, the artists explore themes of impermanence and failure as inevitable, both in art and life.

Through this show, the artists present work that has grown out of an active critical dialogue around these themes. Splices of these digitally recorded conversations will be played in the gallery space alongside photographic, sculptural and mixed media works.

Long’s work embodies themes of unconscious play; the negation of function and the celebration of error in the fabrication of objects and images.

Huf creates videos that depict the joining together of temporal spaces. Her video Meditation explores the flux of light and the contrast between interior and exterior spaces, alongside the anxiety of coping with ceaseless change.

Horwitz’s photographs of swiftly glimpsed landscapes incorporates the plywood of M16’s gallery floor, creating a textural background through reflection. The artist also uses stencilling, collage and layering to explore issues relating to the outside world.

In As It Is, the exhilarating and anxious process of art making is brought to the fore. Long, Huf and Horwitz are mid-career artists with process-driven practices. They share a willingness to be explorative and to subvert their individual stylistic habits to allow the works in this exhibition to reflect and refract with each other. 

Image: Caroline Huf, Fragmented Continuity (detail), 2016, video and installation, dimensions variable

White Lies grey heart
       
     
White Lies grey heart

Gallery 2

Damon Craig

Opening Thursday 29 September 6pm
Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 16 October

White Lies, Grey Heart is a mixed media exhibition – including audio, found objects and wall art - by artist and engineer Damon Craig. The exhibition reflects Craig’s time spent as a naval serviceman in the Middle East and his time after deployment when he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.

On his return to Australia the artist explained “I had compartmentalised all my emotions and that probably wasn’t healthy. I liken it to those plastic food containers, you seal it up, put it on the shelf and never get back to it. Then when you do open it, it’s all stale and disgusting and you don’t want to deal with it. [One of the works in this exhibition uses the number] 749925 as a motif. [This motif] represents the number of explosive items I transferred in and out of the Middle East during operations. I try to forget this number, but can’t.”

Craig’s naval services have included active deployment in the Middle East on the HMAS Tobruk from 2006 – 2008, for which he was awarded a Fleet Commander’s Commendation. He has also served on the HMAS Darwin in the Middle East in 2005, and at HMAS Cerberus’ Engineering Faculty.

“After 18 years in the Royal Australian Navy, I was suffering from anxiety and really low moods […]. The military is a big team and I played a very small role in a really big picture and I didn’t know how to unpack that” says the artist. White Lies, Grey Heart seeks to unpack some of the artist’s experiences, whilst also raising awareness for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The artist will donate any profits from the sale of work to Lifeline Canberra.

If you are in need of mental health support please contact Lifeline on 13 14 11 and/ or visit their website https://www.lifeline.org.au

Image: Damon Craig, Officer, 2015, oil on canvas, 51 x 61 cm. Photo: Kirsten Farrell
 

red
       
     
red

Carol Cooke, Victoria Cotton, Jane Keany, Maryann Mussared

Opening 6pm Thursday 29 September 6pm

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 16 October

Red is a collaborative exhibition by Carol Cooke, Victoria Cotton, Jane Keany and Maryann Mussared, all of whom are members of the Canberra-based art group Continuing Momentum. The exhibition is centred around the repurposing of found objects; the colour red and transforming ordinary observations in Canberra.

Borne out of Jacqueline Bradley’s Found Objects Masterclass at the ANU School of Art, Continuing Momentum is a group of like-minded artists who regularly share techniques and ideas. While they use vastly different techniques, their works are based on observations that range from the domestic driveway to the sky above the cityscape of Canberra.

Jane Keany and Carol Cooke investigate the paths and roads that make up the National Capital. Keany uses bottle tops to create delicate pieces that highlight the indestructibility of our waste products and their potential to become objects of beauty. Cooke’s work seeks to capture the daily life and subtle changes that have occurred in her local suburb.

Maryann Mussared’s work surveys Canberra’s sky through use of vintage ceramic ducks and birds, as well as continuing her exploration of text, paper and books. In Victoria Cotton’s work, the artist combines found objects, sculpture, drawing and life-casting to create delicate pieces that explore connections to the natural world. 

 

Image: Carol Cooke, Red Passion, 2016, cotton fabric with embroidery, dimensions variable. Photo: the artist

Preset memory
       
     
Preset memory

Gallery 1

Lee Grant, Ellis Hutch, Blaide Lallemand, Mark Van Veen, Brenton McGeachie

Opening 6pm Thursday 8 September

Exhibition runs until Sunday 25 September

Image: Blaide Lallemand, Home, photographic print, 85 x 56cm

Every photographer who sets out to record the world around them begins with a predetermined, if somewhat unconscious, aesthetic, spiritual and political viewpoint that directs the images they choose to record. As Minor White, the American photographer and critic said, “…all photographs are self-portraits.” In the exhibition Preset Memory five well-established Canberra artists, Blaide Lallemand, Ellis Hutch, Brenton McGeachie, Mark Van Veen and Lee Grant, use experimental approaches revealing intriguing individual viewpoints expressed as photography.

Lee Grant invites us to join her on a road trip undertaken in collaboration with fellow photographer Matt Abbott, on Australia’s Highway 1, the longest continuous highway in the world. Her work explores life on and off the road, re-examining what it means to be Australian today.

Blaide Lallemand’s photographs of her suburban life question photography’s ability to bear witness, with impressionistic, almost painterly responses to the idea of place.

Mark Van Veen’s images of urban environments reveal a keen eye for the patterns and structures of our world – often invisible to us unless we stop and step out of usual modes of seeing. Van Veen invites viewers to take a slow look and to challenge habitual perspectives.

In 2016, Ellis Hutch visited an abandoned Soviet facility in East Berlin, and used photography as a way of questioning her own role as a tourist. She sought out sites bearing traces of the place’s complex history and paid attention to subtle atmospherics of light and space.

Brenton McGeachie’s intriguing photographs of the shells of insect bodies invite viewers to take a close look at the subtle complexities of their architecture.

“The images in Preset Memory will resonate with viewers and act as a triggers for their own memories and emotions,” says Ellis Hutch. “Some photographs may seem insignificant, yet they reveal the fleeting instant when the photographer chose to engage the shutter mechanism. Through these static images viewers can connect to a set of thought processes as unique as the individual who captured them.”

Granite and Grain
       
     
Granite and Grain

Galleries 2 & 3

Jane Duong & Chris Holly

Opening Thursday 8 September 6pm

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 25 September

Namadgi is an ancient place festooned with granite boulders, tall forests, cliffs and outcrops. These are the forms and features that inspired photographers Jane Duong and Chris Holly to embark on an ambitious joint project.

Duong and Holly collaborated over 24 months to produce hand printed argentotypes – an iron-silver photography process invented in 1842– to explore and capture the landscape in the grain of this analogue photo imaging technique.

Duong and Holly explored the landscapes together as part of their process, and their collaboration resulted in complementary works reflecting their process. The rich brown hues of the argentotype prints, along with hand-made process extend their images beyond ordinary landscape scenery.

“Our images focus on natural processes, like erosion, growth and the repetitious illumination of the land by sunlight. These relentless happenings of nature translate surfaces from one form and structure one another,” explains Jane Duong.

“The photographic processes we adopted cause some erosion of information through transformative steps of exposing, processing, washing, rinsing and drying - much as the land surface in Namadgi does over and over to shape its form,” she says. “We thought that this would be the best way to explore these events and phenomena within the images themselves.”

“By using film and then scanning to producing a negative on an overhead transparency, hand coating paper with a photographic emulsion and then making the print using UV light, we echo the of processes of nature in Namadgi,” says Duong.

What Becomes of Little Boys
       
     
What Becomes of Little Boys

Gallery 1

Martin Claydon

Opening 6pm Thursday 18 August

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 12 September

Image: Martin Claydon, What Becomes of Little Boys, 2016, watercolour on paper, 21 x 29.5 cm

Sydney-based painter Martin Claydon’s practice explores social structures and belief systems, violence and power.

Influenced by the politically charged, social realism of the Chicago Imagists of the late 1960s, Claydon sources imagery for his paintings from the internet.

Sourcing online images from “the seemingly infinite vortex of images on the internet” he manipulates and projects enlargements of these onto the painting surface. “I establish an instinctual selection process as I work, and the mixing of this digital media with paint creates an unpredictability in the construction of the image,” says Claydon.

The resulting chaos and distortion within his pictures reflects a continuation between internal and external worlds, both just as unstable and unsustainable as each other.

What Becomes of Little Boys is a visual response to the introspection and angst of Claydon’s process. “I see my work as a kind of fragmented existentialism,” says Claydon. Using PVC tarpaulins as his painting surface, Claydon hopes these works encourage the viewer to “consider their own moral agency and acts of self-satisfaction.”

Suggesting links to construction and industrial manufacturing through the use of the tarps, the subject matter of Martin’s paintings calls to mind the high decadence of Renaissance tapestry.

“Usually tarpaulins are for covering and uncovering, and I see my practice as a means of reflecting on my own experience of the world,” Claydon reflects. “I want to challenge viewers to consider their significance in their own surroundings and the possibility of the artist as the journalist.”

 

 

Tied
       
     
Tied

Gallery 3

Francis Spurgin

Opening 6pm Thursday 18 August

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 12 September

Image: Frances Spurgin, Knot and Fly, 2016, rope and cotton fibre. Photo: the artist

Tied is a series of knotted objects that combine thick twists of rope with the intricate loops of tied fly fishing lures. Each knot highlights the motions used to create it, while the colours ofdelicate tied flies spring to life against the muted cotton rope.

“Knots have always intrigued me; how they twist, hold, and release.  Minuscule loops that can be both fixed and fluid, hold gesture; hold the movement of making,” says Spurgin.

“Textiles are a highly tactile medium. They are something that we all interact with every day; we have them next to our skin, and they cannot help but be handled. I like to use the materials in a way which allows the gesture to be seen, the end objects show the making process.”

In learning to tie knots, the making and remaking is central to Spurgin and also draws on her memories of tying fishing knots as a child.

“I have spent many frozen mornings in a little boat, on vast lake, watching my Father tie little lures to a fishing line. Watching the lure sink into murky water, only to see it skim along the water, moments later, as I rush to reel my lines in,” she explains.

Short text pieces of these simple stories paired with the knotted objects in Tied is.

Local artist Frances Spurgin graduated with Honours from the Textiles Workshop at the ANU School of Art in 2015. She was the winner of the M16 Artspace Studio Residency Award as part of the ANU EASS (Emerging Artist Support Scheme) in 2015.

 

 

 

 

Obliterate
       
     
Obliterate

Gallery 2

245   l aObliterate l

100 l aHarris, Averil M

Opening 6pm Thursday 18 August

Exhibition runs until 5pm Sunday 4 September

Image: Averil Harris, Obliterate, 2015, digital film still

Watch, as a book is systematically obliterated by hand.

If this print copy was overlooked in the march to digitise would you be shocked if it were the last remaining hard copy in existence? Could the story be lost forever? Would it really matter?

Artist Averil Harris, while working in a library in northern New South Wales, encountered many people experiencing anxiety and distress at the disappearance of so many printed books from library shelves.

“Today, under challenge from electronic formats, printed books are being culled from libraries at what some consider an alarming rate,” observes Harris. “Partnerships between libraries and Google steadily digitise entire print collections.”

Obliterate I is a video performance and installation made in response to these concerns.

Harris found the book featured in the video after a cull by an academic library. Through repetitive mark-making Harris obliterates the entire text. Her performance serves as a means of exploring her own reaction and the reaction of others to the idea of the de-materialisation of books.

Accompanying the video of the performance are a series of books and objects that Harris has altered by obliterating the text.  Harris explains her process poetically, describing it as “silent requiem but with steadfast deliberation.”

In keeping with Harris’ earlier larger-scale installations, Obliterate I is site-specific. It relates directly to the bibliographic history of M16 Artspace and the smallest gallery in Canberra, M16’s Chutespace, which was once the Griffith Library book return chute.

The black lines with which she redacts the book works eerily to echo a 33m long star picket fence, Boundary, which Harris once installed on Canberra’s Parliamentary grounds. More recently, Harris made Bibliovia, a site specific work using sixteen boxes of culled books to form a pathway inside the quaintly named Urunga Literary Institute hall near her home.

Obliterate I is Harris’ embodied reaction to the devaluing of the printed book. An open enquiry for both artist and audience, Harris questions the grief that some people feel about this and also the implications of an indifferent response.

 

 

 

 

 

Wall to Wall M16 Studio Artists
       
     
Wall to Wall M16 Studio Artists

Gallery 1
Wall to Wall
M16 Studio Artists

Opening 6pm Thurdsay28 July by Dr Chris Bourke MLA

Exhibition runs until Sunday14 August

Angela Bakker, Melissa Beowulf, Julie Bradley, Di Broomhall, Katharine Campbell, Leeanne Crisp, Bronwyn Davies, Niclola Dickson, Jane Dunn, Elizabeth Faul, Valerie Gee, Megan Jackson, Fiona Little, Carmel McCrow, Andrea McCuaig,  Rose Montebello, Suzanne Moss, Sarah Murphy, Derek O'Connor, Meelan Oh, Jacob Potter, Julie Sabur, Kerry Shepherdson, Robin Setchell, Marje Seymour, Barbara Van der Linden, Ella Whateley, Gina Wyatt.

M16 Artspace’s vibrant community ofstudio artists come together in Wall to Wall  on Thursday 28 July at M16’s main gallery. Arts Minister Dr Chris Bourke MLA will open the exhibition, which exemplifies the contribution of M16 studio artists to professional contemporary art practice in Canberra.
 
The works in Wall to Wall  have been especially selected to provide an insight into the creative practices of M16 artists. Paintings, prints, drawings, jewellery and objects by emerging and established artists make up this diverse exhibition.
 
“Each artist will exhibit a work created in the last five to ten years, alongside a work made recently especially for the exhibition. This will reveal the evolution and expression of themes in each artist's work,” says studio artist and organiser Dr. Nicola Dickson.
 
The artists will hold open studios on Saturday August 6th from 12 – 4pm on the M16 Open Day to complement the exhibition. This rare peek behind the scenes into artists’ spaces offers an enhanced understanding of their mysterious working processes.

The Kitchen Garden
       
     
The Kitchen Garden

Gallery 2
The Kitchen Garden

The Thursday Group
Curated by Jenny Manning

Opening 6pm Thurdsay28 July by Dr Chris Bourke MLA

Exhibition runs until Sunday14 August

Image: Juliet Ramsay, Brian's Garden, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 30cm. Photo: the artist

Artists:
Lesley Band, Max Bourke, Robyn Boyd, Cynthia Breheny, Anne Emmerson-Elliott, Chotti Henderson, Rosanna Hindmarsh, Jenny Manning, Melissa McCarthy, Penny Moyes, Caroline Nott, Jane Smyth, Rick Smyth, Juliet Ramsay, Sue Ward, Jacquie Wilkinson.
 
The Thursday Group are 16 friends who have met weekly for the past five years “to draw, paint, print and solve the problems of the world,” says group leader Jenny Manning.
 
For The Kitchen Garden, an exhibition of small paintings, the group focused on familiar and yet seductive forms of food that is grown and eaten. “From pumpkins to grapes; figs to persimmons, we explored the still life genre, using a variety of approaches from lineal graphic depiction to broad abstract imagery,” Manning explains. 
 
“We enjoy the process of creating, enabling our minds to wander away from the complexities of our lives. In this zone of creativity time flies, pain diminishes and there are moments of sheer excitement and delight when a surprising image appears unexpected and beautiful.
 
“We are all mature artists with our own painting styles and interests. This exhibition challenged us to spend time concentrating on one subject. We hope viewers will see the sheer love of painting we share.”

All proceeds from artists' sales will be donated to charity.

Ecstatic Returns
       
     
Ecstatic Returns

Gallery 3
Ecstatic Returns
Eadie Newman

Opening 6pm Thurdsay28 July

Exhibition runs until Sunday14 August

Image: Eadie Newman, Yield, 2015, watercolour on paper, 21 x 29cm. Photo: the artist

Craigslist personal ads are one source of fascination for Canberra artist Eadie Newman. A prolific and compulsive drawer, Ecstatic Returns is the sum of her recent practice.
 
Newman’s subjects are intimacy, vulnerability, and the relationships individuals have with their body.  She has been generating large numbers of works in ink, graphite and watercolour on paper. She also makes ceramic polymer clay sculptures.
 
“I have developed a visual language to communicate impressions of feeling and sensory experience. Blood, skin, hair, plants, animals, and isolated moments that stick in my mind make up this language. They represent the stream of my consciousness, which is weird and complex and comical and confronting.
 
“I want to record the physicality of emotions as they are enacted in the body, the physical and mental inseparable. My works are empathetic and yet pry into the nature of desire, private moments, physical processes, frailty and human nature," explains Newman.
 
Eadie Newman graduated with Honours from the ANU Art Schools Printmedia and Drawing workshop in 2012 and has been living and practising in Canberra since then.

Painting the Town by Night
       
     
Painting the Town by Night

Gallery 1a

Julie Spencer | Painting the Town by Night

Opening: 6pm Thursday 7 July - Sunday 24 July 2016

Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 12pm - 5pm

 

Who are they? Where are they going? And why?

Night falls and the city comes to life in a cacophony of sounds, smells, colours and lights, forcing the evening sky to recede behind its synthetic glow. Rain falls and the luminosity of night in the city intensifies. “The excitement of city-life; artificial light and people en masse has always captivated me,” says artist Julie Spencer.

In Painting the Town by Night Spencer explores her fascination with the urban experience, seeking to capture the sense of atmosphere and intrigue it inspires in her. Her paintings ask: who are these people? Where are they going? And why?

“I often find myself drawing and photographing the same street-scene many times, watching the people move in and out of my field of view. Back at my studio, I re-examine my research, attempting to identify a perfect composition with the aid of collage. 

“I want the viewer to share my experience through my application of paint textures, drips of paint fast and slow, the bold use of colour, moving the eye through the painting and deeper into its layers and composition. 

“It is through this approach that I seek to convey the narrative of the hustle and bustle, the enthusiasm and intrigue, the atmospheric feel and movement of a particular moment, not just a particular place,” explains Spencer.

Julie Spencer completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) (Painting) at the Australian National University School of Art, Canberra in 2012. In 2013, Spencer participated in two group exhibitions, Gumbo at Foyer Gallery (ANU) and We Live Here at Alliance Francaise, Turner (ACT), part of the Emerging Artists Award Scheme 2012. In 2014 Painting the Town was Spencer’s first solo exhibition with M16 Artspace.   Painting the Town by Night is Spencer’s second solo show at M16 Artspace.

 

The 2nd Edition
       
     
The 2nd Edition

Gallery 1b

Sophie Bishop, Mimi Fairall, Michelle Hallinan, Kelly Hayes, Jess Higgins, Rebecca Setnicar

Opening 6pm Thursday 7 July runs until 24 July

Six recent graduates of the ANU School of Art Printmedia and Drawing department embark on their creative journey in their first exhibition together since graduation in 2015. The 2nd Edition features a variety of work from each artist, whose developing practices question and investigate printmaking as contemporary art practice.
 
The conceptual focus of each artist varies, from critiques of technology and popular culture (Bec Setnicar), to observing organic forms in nature (Sophie Bishop) and exploring abstraction through a gestural visual language (Mimi Fairall).
 
International politics and social justice feature in the work of Jess Higgins, while Kelly Hayes looks at the relationships between recognisable and abstract imagery, while Michelle Hallinan puts the process of personal mapping of place and landscape at the centre of her project
 
Despite their varying aims, the unifying factor is the expression of these ideas through printmaking. Each artist’s visual research is linked by their ongoing support for each other during the making process, where they exchange ideas and techniques from one another. This convivial critique is evident in each artist’s resolved work. 
 
The vibrant exchanges among the artists has bloomed into a wide range of print processes in The 2nd Edition encompassing screen prints, digital prints, monotype, woodblock and intaglio.
 

Image: Rebecca Setnicar, Boats, 2016, screen print on paper, 76 x 118 cm. Photo: The artist. 

Score No. 0013: Emotional Ensemble
       
     
Score No. 0013: Emotional Ensemble

Gallery 2 

Shags

Opening 6pm Thursday 7 July runs until 24 July

In the intimate space of Gallery 2 is the colour/audio projection Score No. 0013 (Emotion Ensemble) by Shags.
 
Based on automatic oral responses to 100 different colours, this broadcast of Shags’ synaesthetic emotional language coupled with a digital animation of squares of the instigating colours invites the viewer to ponder those conversations which happen without words.
 
“As a person with dyslexia, my inner world often gets lost in translation with the world around me and causes some pretty confused facial expressions—which can be both hilarious and humiliating. This frustration with the limitations of words led me to explore what I think of as dialects, such as the maddening sound of yellow.”
 
Shags is currently a Printmedia and Drawing student at the ANU School of Art after doing all manner of graphic design, animation, music, writing and zine shenanigans.

Image: Shags, Score No. 0013 (Emotional Ensemble) (detail), 2015, colour/ audio projection, duration: 00:03:30. 

Magic Lines
       
     
Magic Lines

Gallery 3 

Elizabeth Faul 

Opening 6pm Thursday 7 July runs until 24 July

We are constantly bombarded with written information. The many ways that humans communicate in writing form the basis of Magic Lines. Elizabeth Faul presents words as graphic elements in her artworks, using a variety of media and letters. Her aim is to make lettering dominant or passive, obvious or subtle, and use text as something other than a block of information to be read.

The title of the exhibition is taken from the quote:
“Whence did the wond’rous mystic art arise
Of painting speech and speaking to the eyes?
That we, by tracing magic lines, are taught
How both to colour and embody thought?”
(attributed to the French poet Monsieur Breboeuf)

Faul’s collages and found object sculptures utilise letterforms as a dynamic part of imagery. With her work she asks the questions: Does the viewer read the words or look at the pictures? How do we respond to text when it is in a foreign language? How do we relate to an unfamiliar script like Chinese or Russian which, to a non-reader, can only be decorative? Even with hand lettering, familiar words can be separated from their meaning and made into patterns or pictures.

Faul uses an assortment of printed and handwritten papers, from contemporary newspaper articles and old books to invoices and family recipes. She also looks at the way letters can induce mood. A map from the 1960s gives a nostalgic sense of place. Handwritten ephemera creates a connection with the past and family history, while pages from children’s books evoke whimsy and playfulness.

image: Elizabeth Faul, Walfisch (detail), 2015, mixed media collage on board, 50 x 40 cm. Photo: Andrew Sikorski. 

RE:Place
       
     
RE:Place

Gallery 1

Sue Chancellor, Elisa Crossing, Phil Page 

Opening event 6pm Thursday 16 June runs until 3 July 2016

This exhibition of recent paintings and monoprints by Sue Chancellor, Elisa Crossing and Phil Page brings together three individuals' reflections on the characteristics of particular places over time.

The ideas of place explored range from expansive views of European cities, to objects in the landscape, to views through telescopes, to the intimacy of the interior of the art studio.
 
Each body of work consists of multiple panels. "The overall scale of each of the artists' work seen together creates an immersive viewing experience. Viewers are invited to seek out patterns and connections as part of a greater conversation about the traces we leave behind," explains artist Elisa Crossing.
 
Page’s paintings poetically represent the layers of time, surface and connectivity that are the tissue of European cities, exposing the ambiguity and complexity at their heart.
 
Chancellor’s 36 monoprint panels artfully navigate the territory between representation and abstraction to explore concepts of lineage and change wrought by time upon objects across various spaces.  
 
Crossing’s series of paintings chronicle the changing arrangement of paintings on a shelf in the studio. The paintings placed in stacks so as only partially seen create a collage of images, which, along with the play of light, colour and texture, promote the seeing of new images with new histories.

 

Image: Elisa Crossing, Atlas, 2016, oil on board, 46 x 60 cm. Photo: the artist. 

A Potted History
       
     
A Potted History

Gallery 2

Caroline Walker-Grime

Opening event 6pm Thursday 16 June runs until 5pm Sunday 3 July

"My mother died in Scotland last year. Together with the great loss of the death of a parent the sadness is compounded by of the disposal of a lifetime of personal possessions and collectibles, very few of which I was able to bring home to Australia. As a maker of objects, it was very hard to dispose of things rich in nostalgia that provided a backdrop in my mother's home throughout my life.

I have made these pots as a tribute to a my mother's life and to her precious collection of what would probably now be considered 'knick-knacks'. In particular, she owned a large number of Goss pieces, bought for her over many years by my stepfather, which have inspired me to make groups of small pots of different shapes. Most of us with parents of her generation would be familiar with the collections of ceramics objects, tea services and trinkets from holidays. There is an interesting move these days to clear all 'clutter' from our houses; I think this has removed evidence of our 'history' and de-personalised our home environs in some way.

I have used images and ideas on my pots to reflect my mother's Scottish Highland background and life, her overseas travel to the West Indies as a professional nanny, her lifelong knitting prowess and her eventual death in a nursing home after a debilitating stroke two years earlier." 

 

Image: Caroline Walker-Grime, Raft Down the Spey, 2015, porcelain, dimensions variable. 

Scores
       
     
Scores

Gallery 3 

Manuel Pfeiffer 

Opening event 6pm Thursday 16 June runs until 5pm Sunday 3 July

For Manuel Pfeiffer the world is filled with music, inherent in every landscape, in every thing. His new series of paintings and drawings visualize just some of these pieces of music: the adagio of a landscape in the red centre, the pastoral of the Monaro or a fugue written on the sky by two seagulls. The title of this body of work, Scores, marks Pfeiffer’s synaesthetic conflation of music and art.
 
For the composition of some of his works the artist used the scores of well known songs like ‘Waltzing Matilda’ (Score for a swagman) or ‘Dona nobis pacem’ (Score for a starry sky), for others classical pieces such an adagio by Tomaso Albinoni (Score for a grassy slope with rocky outcrops). Other works are free interpretations or improvisations.
 
The works are as diverse as the music, some paintings are fully abstract, others engage with landscape and figurative genres.
 
Pfeiffer explains, “Being hard of hearing helps me to see the music, like the broad eternal adagio of an old mountain range, the nervous rustling improvisation of a tree on a windy day, the quiet canon sung by a starry sky, the serenade played by trees in a flooded lake at sunset or the nocturne sung by the night lights of a roadhouse. Little birds can create melodies while hoping from branch to branch. Seagulls sometimes write a fugue on the blue sky. A river can be a whole orchestra playing a symphony.
 
“With my paintings I show just a few of the innumerable music pieces which surround us all the time, wherever we are.”
 

Image: Manuel Pfeiffer, Score for (minimal two) birds - Fuge (detail), acrylic on canvas, 76 x 153 cm. Photo: the artist. 

REVERB: CAPO Emerging Artists' Prize
       
     
REVERB: CAPO Emerging Artists' Prize

Gallery 1

Ned Bott, Christopher Dalzell, Hannah Gason, Hilary Hanrahan, Sanne Koelemij, Jacob Potter, Fiona Veikkanen

Curated by Oscar Capezio and Gemma Pike

(Postscript: the winner was Jacob Potter!)

Opening Event 6pm Thursday 26 May 2016 runs until 12 June 2016

REVERB examines the interplay of artistic convention and resistance in the practices of seven emerging artists. The exhibition is held as part of the CAPO Emerging Artists’ Prize, and will open with the announcement of this year’s winner at M16 Artspace on Thursday 26 May at 6pm. 

Curated by Oscar Capezio and Gemma Pike (the winners of the CAPO Curatorial Internship Award for 2016), REVERB presents new and recent work by a group of local artists from both traditional and craft based workshops: from painting and sculpture, to woodwork, textiles, and glass. Through their selection of recent graduates from the ANU School of Art the curators highlight the active exchange happening across artistic mediums, while also insisting on the need to expand our assumptions of what might constitute a painting, a sculpture, or a practice of craft. As the curators explain: 

“Audiences can expect to find paintings slipping off the wall and onto the floor, sculptures imitating images, and form showing complete disregard for function.” 

The bold and colourful works on display openly flaunt this exchange between art forms. They are exaggerations, in that they exploit the material and formal properties particular to one medium,
in order to animate certain crosscurrents and further diffuse the conceptual boundaries between distinct disciplines. For example, the painter Jacob Potter works with found objects to construct sculptural supports for his paintings, while the sculptor Fiona Veikkanen alters ski-suits to construct very formal, sizable wall-sculptures that evoke a similar exchange with the painting medium on the basis of its scale, its flatness, and the method of display. 

Rather than delve into the boundless field of possibilities offered up by new media and installation art, these exciting young artists are thinking through the medium in which they were trained
and continue to work; they re-articulate the apparatus of their chosen medium, its complex and multilayered history, and its material possibilities. 

This exhibition follows the success of last year’s inaugural event and is in addition to CAPO’s highly regarded annual Auction Gala, held later in the year. REVERB: The CAPO Emerging Artists’ Prize exhibition will open at M16 Artspace, 6pm Thursday 26 May and run until Sunday 12 June 2015. 

David Hansen from the ANU Centre for Art History and Art Theory will launch the event, while Gordon Bull and Jess Oliver will judge this year’s prize.

Media Contacts: Oscar Capezio 0405 907 609 or oscar_capezio@hotmail.com
Neil Doody 0419 422 232 or capital.artspatrons@gmail.com

 

Image Sanne Koelemij, Untitled (Frankenstein) (Detail), 2015, acrylic and spray paint on cardboard, plastic, hessian, raw canvas, tracing paper, polyester and wood, 200 x 205 cm. Photo: Andy Mullens.

 

Exploring the Circle
       
     
Exploring the Circle

Gallery 2

Rachel Bilal

Opening Event 6pm Thursday 26 May 2016 runs until 5pm Sunday 12 June 2016

“Making art is the air I breathe,” says emerging artist Rachel Bilal. Her irrepressible need to make draws her towards intricate forms and meticulous processes.
 
In Exploring the Circle Bilal’s drawings, maquettes, sculptures and paintings combine in her articulation of the “endless possibility of the circle as a universal form symbolic of continuance, renewal and life cycles.”
 
The idea of the circle is a field upon which Bilal maps her own physical processes of making, using line, texture, dimension, scale and form.
 
Tactility is often behind the choices she makes. “Although I choose to express the circle, it is the material that ultimately decides the outcome. I am the vehicle between intuition and materiality,” she explains.
 
Several works in Exploring the Circle incorporate phosphorescent materials not necessarily evident at first. “This surreptitious layer challenges the convention that looking at works of art reveals everything about them, in plain sight.”
 
Rachel Bilal is an emerging artist currently studying at the ANU School of Art Sculpture Workshop.

 

Image Rachel Bilal, Red Orbit, 2015, powder-coated welded steel, 110 x 110 cm. Photo: David Paterson.

It's for your own good
       
     
It's for your own good

Gallery 3

Monde Monde

Opening Event 6pm Thursday 26 May 2016 runs until 5pm Sunday 12 June 2016

A new exhibition at M16 Artspace challenges our childhood.

 
“Wait till your father gets home!” is one of the most terrifying sounds any child can hear and it evokes strong memories of our childhood.
 
Powerful memories can be triggered by the simplest things – bindiis in the lawn, the smell of dagwood dogs at the show, floaties at the swimming pool. In a new exhibition at M16 Art Space, artist Monde Monde questions whether our memories are real or concocted in the tangled-web of our consciousness.
 
“As children we see every day things in extraordinary, disproportionate ways. This same distortion can be seen in how we remember our childhood experiences. Silly, crazy things stick in our minds and live with us all our lives. What I question is whether these memories are true?” says Monde Monde.
 
“There’s no rational narrative running through our childhood memories, the idea of a shark under our bed is a real as dad lurching at us with a wooden spoon,” says Monde Monde, “our imagined fears are often as frightening as immediate threats.”

The exhibition It’s for your own good, opening on Thursday 26 May, replays the soundtrack of our childhood with each work titled with parents warnings like Don’t Go Near The Water, The Geese Won’t Hurt You and Hold Still, This Will Sting a Bit.

The mixed media artworks are made of bright acrylic colours layered with collage from magazines.


“After years working in advertising in Sydney, London and New York, I get a perverse pleasure in tearing up old magazine ads. It’s like I’m destroying my old life to create a new one," says Monde Monde.

 

Image Monde Monde, Hold still, this will sting a bit (detail), 2016, mixed media, 76 x 76 cm.

Pete Smith - A retrospective 1995 - 2014
       
     
Pete Smith - A retrospective 1995 - 2014

Galleries 1, 2 & 3

Pete Smith

Glimpsed in passing

A retrospective 1995 - 2014

Curated by Jacque Schultze

Opening Event 6pm Thursday 5 May 2016 runs until 5pm Sunday 22 May 2016

Pete Smith, the first General Manager of M16 Artspace from 2004-2006 at its early home at Mildura St, Fyshwick, was also an accomplished artist, regularly exhibiting in Canberra and the surrounding region from 1994-2014. His work won the Phoenix Prize for Spiritual Art in 2007.

This exhibition, which includes selections from his early career, several major series, and works not previously exhibited, illustrates the development of Smith’s practice and of an artist whose work was realising a remarkable maturity and confidence prior to his sudden death in May 2015.

The quiet spirituality of Smith’s work subtly expresses the artist’s own understanding of and engagement with the world. As the artist wrote:

“Through my art I explore the creative potential of the spirit and connect to it through a process of mindfulness in the mark making itself.
 It has always been difficult for me to explain the meaning of my work. Very often the origins are a mystery to me as much as for other people. I’m more interested in how people react to my work rather than intellectualising too much on its underlying meaning.”

The show marks the 1st anniversary of Pete’s death & celebrates his creative achievement. All works are for sale and profits will be shared with M16 to benefit emerging artists.

Image: Pete Smith, Lakoona Lines III (detail), 2007-08, felt tip marker on photographic prints, 33 x 65cm

Knots & Nerves
       
     
Knots & Nerves

Gallery 1

Opening 6pm Thursday 14 April until 5pm Sunday 1 May

Anna Madeline, Alana Sivell, Amelia Thompson

 

Knots and Nerves brings together the work of Canberra based artists Amelia Thompson, Alana Sivell and Anna Madeleine.

Amelia Thompson is a textile artist and museum educator with a background in fashion design and art history. Her re-purposed vintage garments juxtapose ‘ladylike’ silhouettes and decadent materials with obscure details and embroidered profanity, and are contextualized by their emotive titles. The series is a playful exploration of traditional femininity and sexuality, but also a personal exploration of heartbreak and grief. The pieces embody a struggle to be—simultaneously—resilient and tender; they are emotional armor, but also a reminder of the vulnerability within.

Alana Sivell is a gallery educator and artist who current works with mixed media installations. Her works in Knots and Nerves are created using flowers, craft techniques and text to make public the shared human conditions that we typically try to hide but have all experienced, such as jealousy and anger. These works are designed to be alluring in their beauty but on closer inspection question what is beneath the surface of everyone’s outward façade, asking: what do we censor and erase?
 
Anna Madeleine is an artist with a PhD in Media Arts. She uses stop-motion animation and mixed media to explore notions of time and mapping. This body of work re-imagines everyday objects to reflect on how perceptions of physical and emotional sensations become abstracted when caught up with intense emotions. With objects such as matchsticks, clock hands, ply wood, string, rope, and elastic, she explores tension, breaking points, tangles and knots that manifest in both body and mind.
 
Through all the works in Knots and Nerves, shared materials, methods and concepts emerge and coalesce to break apart expectations of the feminine that often contradict encounters of anxiety, pain and simmering, heart-pounding rage.
 
Knots & Nerves will be opened by Dr Sarah Engledow, Curator, National Portrait Gallery.

Image: Anna Madeleine Knots & Nerves (detail), 2016, ink on plywood,  dimensions variable. photo: the artist

Surfaced
       
     
Surfaced

Gallery 2

Opening 6pm Thursday 14 April until 5pm Sunday 1 May

Janet Angus

Janet Angus’s recent oil on board paintings depict the forms of stark architecturally informed constructions that consist of layered two dimensional surfaces.

The artist states, “my body of work is an investigation of the representation of psychological space, through constructed worlds suggestive of emotional states. I am interested in exploring narratives of the unconscious, and how this can be used to give visual form to an internal experience.”

The processes involved in the making are through the building of the support with wood, creating multiple surfaces that extend beyond traditional painting formats.

Angus manipulates the image digitally but intuitively until it reaches the desired state. This stage is crucial as she seeks to reflect an inner state through her vertiginous structures suggesting the difficulties associated with negotiating one’s way through any angst-inducing contemporary environment, physical, mental or emotional.

A Canberra native, Angus has been busy building her practice since graduation with honours in painting from the ANU School of Art in 2014.

Image: Janet Angus, Lonely Alone, 2016, oil on board 122 x 81.3cm
photo: the artist

Prove it
       
     
Prove it

Gallery 3

Opening 6pm Thursday 14 April until 5pm Sunday 1 May

Shan Crosbie

In 2014, news stations all over the world followed the plight of the pig that risked her life by jumping out of a truck bound for the slaughterhouse. She was rewarded for her desire for life by being adopted by the Guangxi police station in the usual place of the station’s police dog.
 
Prove it explores the phenomenon of escaped livestock being saved from the slaughterhouse by the media. Playing on the relationship between print and painting, copy and original, this mass installation of works aims to shed light on our selective empathy towards animals that have ‘proved’ their will to live.
 
Artist Shan Crosbie aims to create a welcoming and entertaining environment to reflect and discuss such stories and the way in which people have responded to them.
 
She is interested in the psychology of why people suddenly feel empathetically connected to an animal only once it has actively shown an interest in surviving. She asks: why it limited to the individual and not extended to the pigs at the bottom of the truck or on their dinner plates?
 
“My interest in the lives of animals arose when I began to learn more about the reality behind what I was putting in my stomach. My work aims to question in a creative and non-threatening way the industrialised practice of farming, slaughtering and consuming animals and their products.
 
“I want to question the social conditioning surrounding meat consumption. I wonder how people reconcile their love for animals against valuing an animal’s life as the price of a packet of bacon,” she states.

Image: Shan Crosbie, Anonymous, 2016 (detail), oil on canvas, 60 x 60 cm photo: the artist

Yanni Pounartzis
       
     
Yanni Pounartzis

The Lost Plans

Gallery 01

Opens 6pm Thursday 24 March until 5pm Sunday 10 April 2016

Exhibition will be opened by ACT Minister for the Arts Dr. Chris Bourke MLA.

After twenty years away, painter Yanni Pounartzis has returned to Canberra, his home city. Seeing Canberra with fresh eyes he became overwhelmed by the foresight of Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion Mahony Griffin. 

This exhibition pays homage to their vision of Canberra. “Even though their original intention was stifled in the final application, there’s still a strong sense of geometrical forms existing within the folds of the landscape,” says Pounartzis. 

The paintings in The Lost Plans are based on the Griffins’ 1912 competition entry.

"I wanted to remain true to Griffins' technique and application, so each composition is pencilled to scale onto the canvas with the aid of only a ruler and compass. I completely avoided stencilling and projection. But something interesting happened as I drew the compositions: I realised I was actually following Griffin’s same hand movements - it’s as if I was walking the same path.” 

Pounartzis’ work reflects the way the Griffins’ architecture was founded in a search for pure form, a geometric abstract ideal, inspired by the patterns of nature. 

“They believed that there was a better way for the individual to live within the built environment. Their vision embraced a human perspective and paid homage to the natural world. It’s a spirit that is needed now, more than ever,” he says.


image: Yanni Pounartzis, 'Parkway' (detail), 2015, oil on canvas, 137 x 137 cm.

Perceptions, Connections
       
     
Perceptions, Connections

Artists: Keith Bailey, Lex Beardsell, Cherylynn Holmes, Alan Howard, Joe Jambor, Samita Lissaman, Jane Styles, Ian Robertson

Gallery 02

Opens 6pm Thursday 24 March until 5pm Sunday 10 April 2016

Each artist in 'Perceptions, Connections' is a voluntary guide at the National Gallery of Australia. As anyone who has benefited from these dedicated lovers of art will know, they all possess their own style of presenting art to school groups and other members of the public.

For 'Perceptions, Connections', members of the group have been asked to think of a work in the NGA’s collection that influences their own art practice and exhibit a work that is connected to it. 

“Looking at art closely and researching it has influenced my own practice in landscape painting,” says artist and curator of the exhibition Ian Robertson.

Painter Cherylynn Holmes’ first lessons in art were in the historic grounds of East Sydney tech, the old sandstone prison in Darlinghurst at the National Art School. “At the age of 17, little did I know I was in the presence of great artists but I felt the exciting, historic atmosphere of the place. Skipping through several decades to 2012 when I became a guide at the NGA I rediscovered my former mentors amongst the great collection at the NGA,” she explains.

In this exhibition Holmes exhibits the results of her current interest modernist painter Grace Crowley, one of the first amongst a unique few abstract painters informed by their studies and encounters with European Art from the early 20th century.

'Perceptions Connections' promises rarely seen perspectives from this group of artists steeped in knowledge of our national collection.

image: Cherylynn Holmes, 'After Grace Crowley' (detail), 2016, oil on board, 30 cm diameter.

Rick Cochrane
       
     
Rick Cochrane

Attitude

Gallery 03

Opens 6pm Thursday 24 March until 5pm Sunday 10 April 2016

Artist Rick Cochrane is captivated by the human form in action. "Musicians, life models or athletes all project their personality through the body language of their movement,” he explains.

“In my art practice I seek to capture the immediacy and energy of my subjects through fast and emotionally responsive drawing. 

In developing a combination of dry point etching and mono-printing, Cochrane has sought to retain all the ‘attitude’ from the original drawings. Each print has a maximum version per plate of just 5 and is unique, with slight differences due to the mono-printing part of the process.

Unlike the act of drawing, printmaking is not normally considered a fast and responsive process. However, etchings have a unique beauty and have remained part of the portfolio of artists for centuries,” he says.

Rick Cochrane is an artist who is also involved with the Canberra Art Workshop, which runs groups and classes at M16 Artspace.


image: Rick Cochrane, 'Sirens XXXIV', 2015, monoprint and etching, 20 x 35 cm.

Stella-Rae Zelnik
       
     
Stella-Rae Zelnik

Smiles for Miles

Gallery 01

Opens 6pm Thursday 3 March until 5pm Sunday 20 March

Zelnik is a Canberra based photographer whose work tends towards documenting male-dominated subcultures. Smiles for Miles is a solo photographic exhibition that showcases her recent images of man and machine.

The images in her latest work were taken over a period of approximately a year when, as a recipient of an artsACT grant, Zelnik travelled with riders from the Canberra and Sydney custom motorcycle community, documenting their journeys and their love of the freedom of the road. The time with the riders enabled her get close to an insider’s view of their experience.

Since graduating from the ANU’s Photo Media Workshop in 2011, Zelnik has actively pursued photography, both in fine art and commercial settings. In addition to Smiles for Miles, her fourth solo gallery exhibition she has published her work as a photographer in magazines such as Yen and Elodi magazines. 

 

Image Stella-Rae Zelnik, Road to Nowhere, 2015, 35mm black and white photograph, 46  35 cm. 

Jacob Potter
       
     
Jacob Potter

Gallery 02

Opens 6pm Thursday 3 March until 5pm Sunday 20 March

“My works develop over time, and is in constant stages of construction and deconstruction. An idea is formed at the beginning of the work. An object such as a pallet from my studio or a found image on a postcard can spark an idea.

“The works begin with canvas mounted on wooden stretcher bar and I expand upon the flat surface by adding found objects such as foam and plastic packaging. These objects are melded with high key colours of gloopy paint. I slop layers paint and found material on the surface so there is a sculptural element to the work.

“I work both sides of the support, poking holes through the fabric, cutting parts out and squishing paint through to the other side. Music is an influence for me when I am working in my studio I create my work while listening to punk and hip hop bands, and the textures I hear in the music are interpreted throughout my work.”

 

Image Jacob Potter, Goosebumps, 2016, acrylic, aerosol, onion bags and fabric on wooden stretcher bar, 120 x 90 cm. 

 

Lynda Edridge
       
     
Lynda Edridge

Dibutades Shadow

Gallery 03

Opens 6pm Thursday 3 March until 5pm Sunday 20 March

Pliny the Elder (CE 29 – CE 79) tells us that Dibutades (also known as 'The Maid of Corinth') is credited as being the first human being to make a drawing or a portrait.  Her lover was going to war and to remember him she traced his shadow onto a wall.  Her father, Butades, a ceramic maker, then made a cast of her drawing and fired it in his kiln, thus producing a permanent image of his daughter's lover.

Artist Lynda Edridge says, “I am fascinated by faces. These works reference the myriad of faces of people that pass us every day and via the screens of our phones, computers, televisions, and in the pages of magazines and newspapers.

“The faces that I paint are sometimes known to me and sometimes well known to many, but mostly they are of people not known to me or more generally in public life.  In the collecting of these images and in the painting of them, I forget the specific reference to which they were attributed when I first found them.

“They become the stories that I invent through the processes of drawing and painting.  I find that other people, looking these paintings, will often identify them as one person or another or feel a sense of familiarity. For me, they are all shadows of people, real and imagined, every image is ‘haunted by the menace of death’.”

 

Image Lynda Edridge, Camille (detail), 2016, watercolour, graphite and encaustic on canvas, 20 x 25 cm. 

Cori Beardsey
       
     
Cori Beardsey

Touch

Opens 6pm 11 February until 5pm Sunday 28 February

The exhibition Touch – which explores themes of humanity and transcendence - consists of an installation of unfired full-bodied clay figures and video from American artist Corinne Beardsley. The concept to create and sculpt unfired clay figures came from the artist’s experience of working as a massage practitioner. The artist states, “during this work I often think about my client’s mortality and vulnerability. They have come for healing, to restore their bodies, and let go of what they are holding onto.” By creating these clay figures, Beardsley is able to unleash the energy that was transferred from her client to herself. Whilst producing these figures, Beardsley focuses on the energy and spirit of specific clients.

Through the three-week exhibition period, the luminous and rich texture of the sculpted figures will become dry, fragile and cracked as the clay dries. Beardsley received her Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the New York Academy of Art in 2011. She has taught ceramics, sculpture and drawing at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore and Salisbury University.  Currently she has been participating in residencies and exhibiting in Vermont (USA), Montana (USA), Cappadocia (Turkey), and at Canberra Potters Society in 2015. 

 

Image Cori Beardsey, Touch, 2015, clay, life-size figure, work in progress, dimensions variable. 

Dörte Conroy
       
     
Dörte Conroy

Undertoe

Opens 6pm 11 February until 5pm Sunday 28 February 

Undertoe is a photographic exhibition by Canberra-based artist Dörte Conroy, showcasing graphic glimpses of the ground plane around Hobart’s waterfront and in Sydney’s older areas. Conroy says, “walking, looking and seeing… I have a fascination with the endless variety of patterns, shapes and colours right at my feet – infinitely diverse patterns in the urban environment. As I wander, I observe the ground; focusing on a small segment of the bigger picture.”

Born in Germany, Conroy relocated to Australia with her family in 1958. In 2005, the artist graduated with a Master of Art (Visual Art) Sculpture, National Institute of the Arts, ANU. Since then, Conroy has participated in a number of group and solo shows in Sydney, Canberra and Hobart. 

 

Image Dörte Conroy, Undertoe, 2015, digital print on canon infinity rag photographique, 15 x 15 cm

Mehdi Jaghuri
       
     
Mehdi Jaghuri

Remember that Time

Opens 6pm 11 February until 5pm Sunday 28 February

Emerging Afghani-Australian artist Mehdi Jaghuri presents in his fourth solo exhibition, Remember that Time, painting, sculpture and video works that seek to critically explore an array of social, political and cultural issues, specifically focussed on his personal experiences of growing up in war-torn Afghanistan.

Born in 1993 in Jaghuri, Central Afghanistan, the artist and his family relocated to Australia in 2005 as refugees, fleeing from Hazara targeted persecution. Remember that Time is an accumulation of a year’s work that the artist produced during 2015, centred on his memories of war and cultural experiences of his birth country – including poverty, society and culture of Afghan people - and his subsequent experiences of being a refugee in Australia. Now based in Melbourne, the artist is studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Monash University and is currently the Director of Connection Gallery, Dandenong. 

 

Image Medhi Jaghuri, self-portrait, 2015, digital print on canvas, 160 x 130 cm. 

Caitlin Kozman
       
     
Caitlin Kozman

Dry

Opens 6pm 11 February until 28 February

Dry is a photographic exhibition that aims to challenge the perception of time and experience in regards to contemporary culture and over stimulation. Kozman explores techniques of drawing and print media inspired by street art and performance culture. By pushing the limitations of darkroom practice, the artist allows the visual content to dictate the structural composition of her images. This body of work showcases how artistic process can create a visual disorientation that can lead to an abject understanding of beauty.

In 2015, Kozman completed her Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) at the Australian National University. 

 

Image Caitlin Kozman, Dry, 2014, Type C Print, tape, 76 x 200 cm. 

Suzie Bleach, Andrew Townsend, Robyn Kinsela, Bernard Hardy, John Gould
       
     
Suzie Bleach, Andrew Townsend, Robyn Kinsela, Bernard Hardy, John Gould

Sojourns

Gallery 01

Opens 6pm 21 January until 5pm Sunday 7 February

In this exhibition five established artists consider the sojourn, which means to pause on a journey. This joint conceptual starting point is an anchor for the diverse work the artists have made. 

John Gould’s Icelandic heritage, childhood and subsequent travels in Africa, China and Papua New Guinea have fuelled his practice. An avid collector and a visual story teller with a strong sense of place, Gould’s three-dimensional constructions refer to navigational stick charts constructed by early Micronesian navigators.

Suzie Bleach and Andrew Townsend work collaboratively on large figurative sculptures of animals that hearken to times when journeys were more immediately physical, when walking or riding a horse was often the only option. 

“Many of our artworks have drawn on themes of departure, migration and arrival: contentious and emotional territory that is synonymous with the human condition,” say the artists. 

Bernard Hardy perceives an artist’s life as “ a series of way stations where individual works are made within the longer journey of his or her evolving practise as an artist.” Hardy’s works reflect his engagement with art and history and his own place within it. Hardy claims his art practice is an ‘information delivery system…that most fully publishes the feeling-tone I wish to represent.’ For Sojourns, the artist has produced an impressive variety of works in cast bronze, water colour, etchings, cast paper and ceramic sculpture. 

Robyn Kinsela’s journey starts with “listening–to the birds outside, breeze in the eucalypts, even to someone else's experiences or reading a book can transport me to another place in my memory and back to places I have travelled, known and experienced,” says Kinsela. Her mixed media paintings are a dreamlike confluence of these experiences.

All long time friends and colleagues, the artists reunite in the exhibition Sojourns to tell their stories before they continue on their way.

 

Image Suzie Bleach and Andy Townsend, Placebo Coast, 2015, welded steel, synthetic ropes and netting, 167 x 250 x 67 cm.

Kerry Shepherdson
       
     
Kerry Shepherdson

Bird in Paradise

Gallery 02

Opens 6pm 21 January until 5pm Sunday 7 February

Canberran Kerry Shepherdson’s solo painting exhibition Bird in Paradise explores Paradise in an avian context with colour and abstraction. 

In the intimate space of M16’s newly refurbished Gallery 2, Shepherdson aims for a multifaceted visual experience about being in but not of ‘paradise’. As a visual and conceptual starting point, Shepherdson refers to the astonishingly vibrant birds of the tropics. 

“My idea of paradise as metaphor translates in my work to suggest a state of bliss or ecstasy and uplifted emotional state. This arises from the sense of joy bestowed on me through observation of the phenomenon of formation flight of birds,” says the artist. 

The patterns of the flight of birds are translated in Shepherdson’s work into abstract compositions characteristic of her work to date. 

For the artist ‘Paradise’ is not only symbolic of a place like a secret garden or Garden of Eden but also a stylized state of being. 

In Bird in Paradise this space is imagined as paintings, paradoxically inhabited by creatures of elusive and fleeting beauty.

 

Image Kerry Shepherdson, Fancy Dancer no 1, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 30.5 x 30.5 cm. Photo: Brenton McGeachie.

Prudence Borthwick
       
     
Prudence Borthwick

Raintrees, Guards and Buai: A keyhole view of Touaguba Hill

Gallery 03

Opens 6pm 21 January until 5pm Sunday 7 February

In the exhibition, Raintrees, guards, and buai: A keyhole view of Touaguba Hill, Australian artist and aid worker Prudence Borthwick presents a series of lino-cut prints depicting scenes of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, where she lived and worked as a DFAT officer from 2011-2013.

The prints are based on sketches that the artist produced on her regular walks around Touaguba Hill - her Port Moresby neighborhood - an area that is home to wealthy PNG citizens and expats who live in complexes surrounded by barbed wire and guards, but also home to squatters, street snack and buai (betelnut) sellers. The works consist of direct observations made by the artist, through the keyhole of her own expat experiences.

The artist states, "my prints show the view of my Port Moresby neighbourhood that looks out to the Coral Sea on one side and Port Moresby Harbour on the other. They reflect the tension I felt between the desire to immerse myself in the intense and fascinating culture of Papua New Guinea and the crippling constraints security requirements imposed on expats. I don't try to represent traditional culture, but rather what I observed from the streets where I lived, where standing alone in the streets to sketch was a security breach."

While in PNG, Borthwick was influenced by the work of Papua New Guinean masters of wood and linocutting techniques, such as Johannes Gelag, to translate her sketches into linocuts. Borthwick was fortunate to be able to use a block printing press, set up for local artists by 'ArtStret' - a Port Moresby art gallery - and subsequently presses at Megalo Print Studio. 

Borthwick originally studied Graphic Art at RMIT. After graduating, the artist worked for the publishing firm Longman Cheshire as a textbook illustrator, before relocating to Sydney in 1980.

After four years freelancing, the artist was then employed as a comic illustrator for Streetwize Comics, an NGO educative comic magazine established to provide free and easily-accessible information to homeless youth, sex workers and prisoners regarding legal, health and welfare issues. The experience of researching for Streetwize Comics drew Borthwick into working on HIV and development in Asia and the Pacific with UNICEF, and later DFAT.

 

Image Prudence Borthwick, Car wash and snack sellers on Touaguba Hill, 2013, linocut, 30.3 cm x 30.3 cm.