Monday, November 14, 2016

Newcastle Art Space Gallery - Sweet Sixteen - an exhibition by NCAC Studio 20 artists

Gallery 1 & 2

Sweet Sixteen

Andrew Finnie, Jennifer Finnie, Malcolm Sands, Sarah Knights, Michael Bateman, Patricia Williamz

This exhibition marks the sixteenth year that artists from Studio 20 at Newcastle Community Arts Centre, have hung their work in Newcastle Art Space Gallery (and beyond).  This is the last time the work will be shown at this venue with the pending closure of the Centre.  While in itself a difficult time, what lies beyond could mark quite a change in art and for particular artists.  The Seven Painters’ (six showing) Tuesday night regular painting sessions and camaraderie has taken them into successful ventures in image-making. 

These shows are always filled with interesting works and the predominantly small panels reflect individual style, technique, colour palette and subject decisions. For Andrew Finnie, Jennifer Finnie and Michael Bateman their sense of belonging, and love of the city, appear to play the dominant role.  Within our everyday domain, lies such beauty and wonder just waiting to be captured. Their works have documented the changing face of inner city Newcastle across its history as well as the iconic harbour and beach scene.

Above Sample of works by Jennifer Finnie
Above Sample of works by Andrew Finnie
Above Sample of works by Michael Bateman

Malcolm Sands’ work transcends a particular place and resonates with memories of landscape that could be Australian or European.  This is their appeal: that they can sit within the local space and also further afield. We need to see more work by this artist in the community.
Above Sample of works by Malcolm Sands

Sarah Knights and Patricia Williamz look to the wider expanse of Australian landscape, documenting time spent travelling and ‘seeing’ the country.  The softer mark making of Sarah Knights’ work is perfectly balanced against the strong, rich coloured palette of Patricia Williamz in these images.  I see such joy of looking and translating colour and marks into image from both these artists.

Above Sample of works by Sarah Knights
Above Sample of works by Patricia Williamz

Just a wonderful exhibition as always from this dedicated group of painters.  However, I see possibilities here for further pushing of ideas and paint on the surface.  It will be interesting to see what happens when they find a new physical location in which to work.  Who knows? Perhaps working in a new physical location may influence their work in interesting directions, while the friendship and support they share will continue to encourage further artistic explorations.  Exciting times ahead.

Smaller works fit in smaller spaces.  Do you have space on a wall or in your home office?  Still some works for sale and the time is right to support these artists at this period of their art making pursuits.

The show continues until 27th November.

Winner Newcastle Club Foundation Prize 2016 - Andrew Devine and Peter Tilley

The Winner(s) Newcastle Club Foundation Prize 2016  - Andrew Devine and Peter Tilley

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Newcastle Club Foundation Painting Prize 2016


Gallery 1 & 2

Judges always have a difficult task and most of the works in this selection could easily be a winner. Gillian Shaw with Ron Ramsey quipped before announcing the finalist names on Friday night that they had a get-a-way car parked outside and the engine was running.  I think I saw them this morning still circling Newcastle and heading NORTH, FAR NORTH.

Seeking a prize purse of $10,000 the finalists are:

Andrew Finnie, James Drinkwater, Grant Vercoe, Lottie Consalvo, Dallas Bray, Andy Devine & Peter Tilley, Nicola Bolton, John Earle, John Morris, Kerrie Coles and Leslie Tilley.

The winner of the prize will be announced at a later private event arranged by the Newcastle Club.

The remaining works now form part of the Newcastle Club Foundation Painting Prize’s first Salon de Refuse (well sort of as they were winners being selected for the first round) at NAS and are all for sale and today is your last chance. 
Why not be smart, hedge your bets and potentially purchase work from the next winner of a significant art prize. This then would increase the value further of your current purchase as well as giving you the day-to-day pleasure and joy of having a wonderful work in your home or office space. It would also provide funds for the artist to continue to make the next work.

The artists in the Salon de Refuse are Leslie Duffin, Dino Consalvo, Jennifer Finnie, Patricia Williamz, Elisabeth Lawrence, Vanessa Turton, Dorothy Compton, Libby Cusick, Ruth Chapman, Bronwyn Greive, Bev Leggett Simmons, Varelle Hardy, Rudy Mulder, John Wilks, Gina Ermer, Belinda Street, Peter Gallagher, Joseph Belford, Michael Bateman, Jordan Fardell, Stephen Bennett, Andrew Dennis, Paul Maher, Gwendolin Lewis, Geoffrey Breen, Kay McFarlane Smith, Bev Leggett Simmons, Madeleine Cruise, Ros Elkin, Catherine Kavanagh Di Gravio, Jim Woodbury and Ileana Clarke.
Also consider purchasing the new NCAC publication edited by Andrew Finnie with photography by Joerg Lehmann Artists and Artisans with funds going back to support the NCAC with its future relocation.

See the exhibition today and make your own choices about the winners.  If you had the judge's role who would you pick?

What is next at NAS

The Seven Painters “Sweet Sixteen” Exhibition

Opening night Friday 11th November

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

NAS Gallery Studios' End - Art from the tenants of the Newcastle Community Arts Centre

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night
I hate to go and leave this pretty sight

But go we must.    But not quite yet.....

The words from the Sound of Music are not resonating around the walls at Newcastle Art Space gallery.  Rather the walls sing with the memory sounds of past events, exhibition openings, educational exchanges, artists meeting and greeting, artists engaging with each other, friendships being made and opportunities being exchanged with laughter and chatter in an atmosphere of fun, music, conversation and life.

Gallery 1 and 2

Studios’ End
Annual Tenant’s Spring Salon Exhibition

Gallery 1 and 2 display the works from artists who are tenants of the Newcastle Community Arts Centre.  For some it has been a long association while for others a relatively short one at Parry Street.  Dr John Barnes, a former director of the gallery, opened the event and spoke about the history of the gallery which was formed by the artist tenants themselves.   Natalie Engdahl updated the group briefly on future plans and directions regarding relocation of the Centre.  Andrew Finnie introduced the book he designed, “Artists and Artisans” with photography by Joerg Lehmann, which is an historical reference of the artist tenants.  This book will be available shortly and can be purchased by pre-order from the gallery or the Newcastle Community Arts Centre office. A must if you are interested in the history of Newcastle arts and culture. I can only mention a few amongst such a vast sea of art work and my selection in no way diminishes the professional standard and technical achievements across all works. Some detail images below but come in and see the complete work in full.
Works from L to R Toni Amidy, Nadia Aurisch (directly below), John Morris, Melissa Bull, Susana Enriquez, Ellie Hannon

 In Gallery 1 an iconic work by John Morris captures and fills the wall space perfectly. It is matched at the other end by the colour and finely executed relief works of the Strutt Sisters, Catherine and Jennifer.  In Gallery 2 I was captured by Ken O’Regan’s re-workings on found ‘opshop style’ paintings, by the ever delightful textile constructions of Olivia Parsonage and by the intensively beautiful marks of Dan Nelson. In the foyer is a photographic print of the external building and the studio artists by Joerg Lehmann.  This would make a great souvenir of this period in Newcastle’s art history.
L to R top to bottom Section: column 1 Joerg Lehmann, John Harrison, Grant Keene, Peter Lankas, Column 2 Leslie Duffin, Column 3 Olivia Parsonage, Meredith Woolnough, Natalie Engdahl, Laraine Palmer

Most works are for sale and prices reflect the experience and achievements of the individual artists.  There is of course, always an entry point for anyone wanting to invest in art and history has shown that wise investment in art can turn into financial gain over time.
L to R Details from Ahn Wells, Ken O'Regan, Jennifer Finnie, Annemarie Murland, Dan Nelson (below) and Catherine and Jennifer Strutt bottom right.
Work by Jennifer O'Brien and Bill Wallin
Details L to R from Andrew Finnie, John Barnes, Jordan Fardell, Michael Bateman, Christina Frogley, Malcolm Sands, Aaron McGarry, Liss Finney, Pablo Tapia
What is Next?
The next exhibition is the Newcastle Club Foundation Painting Prize with works due at Newcastle Art Space Monday 31st October.   Details can be found at: Email for an entry form.

The timing is right for a new Community Arts Centre/Arts Hub/ for Newcastle to be created within the plans for Newcastle’s overall revitalisation.  It is really a new beginning and direction for our large art community and it is just ahead if those with insight, creativity, political and financial power can work collaboratively on common ground with one far sighted clear vision. How hard can this be?  We already have the artistic talent, business ideas, educators, passion and commitment  to take it forward.