Saturday, April 18, 2015

PODspace  presents 


PODspace in association with the Disability Network Hunter presents its first pop up exhibition for 2015 with ‘Identity’ at Newcastle Art Space from 16 April - 3 May.

‘Identity’ explores this universal theme - what defines who you are? What makes you tick? How do you express that?

(from PODspace)

Each of the artists has responded in a uniquely personal way. Some, like Tim Johnston, Jordan Haitsma, Dane Tobias, Maree Hopkin and Nathan Dunne have explored what is important to them in their lives and in the world around them.

Dane Tobias states that My paintings are based on autobiographical drawings which reflect the past and present suburban environments and intimate spaces of friends and relations”. Janelle Gardner has experimented with the Van Dyke photography process on an image of herself as a young child to create a positive experience of her childhood memories.Others like Dom Freestone and Kerri Shying have sought to explore and even confront in a highly revealing way what it means to experience disability or mental illness.

Dom Freestone explores his identity a lot through his art. He feels that “...having a disability has forced me to undergo a rethink of exactly what my identity is”.  Kerri Shying poses three questions in her work: What is your birth identity? What identity are you choosing to display today? What environment do you negotiate your identity in? She believes that “Identity, the art of belonging in our lives, is the basis of all my work. Identity is performative and dependent upon whom we are surrounded. We send signals that we hope our world will decode.” Melaynie Mills also poses questions for the viewer around perceptions of identity and the inner struggles we all face to work out who we are.

For others, the process of their art making is in direct response to their experience of disability or mental illness.

Black Crow Walking’s work portrays the way she has sought to recreate herself following a work accident, moving through the chaos and the tangled events into a better space.  Similarly, Daniel Oxenbridge is working towards establishing who he is, post major brain surgery. His creation of Native Nut Folk was an important part of his initial rehabilitation that made connections between his passion for being in and preserving the natural environment and fond childhood memories.

Lynette Bridge, in reflecting on her own experience of anxiety and depression, states that the series of work exhibited in Gallery One, “...began to have a life of its own.............I wanted to transport the image through time by photographing it with a slow shutter speed whilst the form would undergo metamorphosis but still keep the essence and purity of form".
Jay Muldoon explores the idea that in life we go through many cycles that make up who we are. He has represented this with the more dominate geometric shape of the circle while the organic shapes and patterns represent growth inspired from nature.

Robert Higginbottom loves painting and has observed that the colours he uses vary depending on how he is feeling. Mackenzie Feighan also expresses her feelings through colour and her paintings include her personal world: scary zombies, Mum, Dad, Zoe, dogs, flowers, spiders, cockroaches, shoes, ice-creams and funny babies. Frazer Berwick is an abstract artist and mark maker whose art reflects his writing. Superheroes inspire him.

We invite you to reflect on your own identity, and how it has been shaped by your life experiences. (PODspace)

Some images from this exhibition below:
Dane Tobias - Walking through the cyan window

Janelle Gardner - Ulladulla
Kerri Shying - Criminals are Cleanshaven
Kerri Shying -  Tarry Tarry Night

Tim Johnson  - Earth Core Rig
Lynette Bridge - Yoke

Nathan Dunne - Star Shine

If art is about exploring and considering themes about personal identity and if art is about understanding what it takes to create work directly out of the experience of identifying as a wonderfully simple and complex human being, then this exhibition is about making art.  Standing at a distance from the work and the space and reading some of the titles and statements the artists have written about themselves, this holds together as a personal and professional collection of work(Blogger comment)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Currently on show at NAS - 26 March tp 12 April
Work from three very different artists. Gallery 1 is showing Formations by Dan (Danielle) Nelson and Rob Cleworth and Susan Ryman are in Gallery 2 with Negotiated Identities.  If you are in Newcastle over Easter the gallery is open Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Sunday from 12 - 5pm.  These works require viewing face to face to fully appreciate the beauty, intrigue and skilled detailing of each rich surface.

 Formations-   Dan Nelson

Cloud Idea by Dan Nelson
Cloud Wave by Dan Nelson
Fire in the Mountain by Dan Nelson

Negotiated Identities Rob Cleworth and Susan Ryman

Hand by Rob Cleworth
(Detail only) After Jusepe Ribera's Prometheus by Rob Cleworth

Section - By His Hand Susan Ryman (one of three images)

Homecoming by Susan Ryman (4 panels)
Love Trophy by Susan Ryman

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A few images of what can be seen tonight at bounceback art exhibition. Artists featured below are a small selection of work available from top to bottom: Amelia Laffan,Rosanna Swanson-Wood,Samantha Black,Brian Deffern, Don Jordan, Janet Kirtley, Lyn Tucker, Ross Harding, Wayne Barwick, Samantha Black, Peter Holbrook, Matthew Wolfenden, Glenda Mears and Stuart Brown.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Official Opening bounceback tonight

Ms Liz Burcham,The City of Newcastle’s Cultural Director will officially open the Bounceback art exhibition this Thursday 5th March at 6pm.  The exhibition fills Gallery 1 and 2 in NAS and the Black Box Theatre space simultaneously.  Some participants have taken part in monthly open self-directed learning workshops at NCAC over the past months while others have been working with art therapy activities under the guidance of health professionals, artists, family and carers.  Some have already gained exhibiting experience in the arts.  This exhibition is supported by the Arts In Recovery Programme, assisting participants to face and overcome their individual personal challenges in life while using artistic expression and art discovery to encourage these endeavours.   There are walls of colour, darker images and overall powerful examples of imagination, interpretation and individuality.  Step inside and experience art through their eyes where individual differences clearly unite us as one collective community.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Small Medium and Large and the Newcastle Gallery Collective

An exhibition programme with a difference opens this week in Newcastle.  The Newcastle Gallery Collective has curated works from twelve local artists and placed them simultaneously across four separate gallery spaces.  The Newcastle Gallery Collective consists of Jo Chisholm-Ray (cstudios Gallery), Vicki Gerritsen (four point gallery), Barbara Nanshe (Nanshe Studio Gallery), and Ahn Wells (Newcastle Art Space and Gallery 139).

The Collective aims to introduce opportunities for collaborative projects around arts management and promotion, education, curatorial opportunities, and arts practice.  The culmination of their shared expertise and experience has the potential to provide a launching platform for both increased exposure of their own skills and those of the artists whom they represent or support.

Yes, it is bombardment of the works of this first group of artists onto Newcastle’s art landscape.  Is this the kind of approach that visual artists need?  The changing role of the artist in the electronic online environment has meant that artists now compete locally, nationally and within a larger international community for exposure and acceptance of their art practice.  This practical collaboration markets the artists within their home-base and opens up the opportunity for the artists ‘to become known’  or ‘more widely known’ across the broader community.

The exhibition is called Small, Medium and Large and showcases the works of Kelly Barlin, Michelle Brodie, Mal Cannon, Frances Fussell, Jackie Gorring, Paul Maher, Barbara Nanshe, Jill Orr, Joanna O’Toole, Matthew Tome, Ahn Wells, and Meredith Woolnough

In general and simplistic terms, the works themselves fulfil the elements of art in an overall explosion of colour, line, form, composition, subject matter, and artist intent across their chosen medium.  Each artist brings their own individual narrative to the works.  While some works carry parts of a story directly visible on the surface, others may require quiet study to unpeel the layers on which the story is suspended. Talking to the artists and engaging with the staff may enrich an understanding of art in general and the commitment that is required to undertake art practice.

Why not step into the incredible, dynamic, and diverse world of visual arts over the coming weeks.  Take a breath away from the routine of the every-day and investigate these exhibitions to see what may be uncovered and enjoyed.  Perhaps now is the perfect time to start a family art portfolio which may both enrich your home or work space daily and provide financial gain in the future. 

Chris Byrnes