Thursday, April 14, 2016

Gallery 1 & 2
32.9° S – 151.5° E
14th April to 1st May

There are works from 40 individual artists sitting inside the NAS gallery.  With a general theme of “all things Newcastle” there are the familiar images of Newcastle as a coastal town.  Always referred to in the past as a ‘blue collar working class city’ the industrial side of Newcastle is also represented well in this exhibition.

Not to take anything away from all the great works which are a joy to behold collectively, my interest was more sustained towards those works that resonated with the earth, the water, the sand and political / social commentary.  

Maggie Hall’s End of the Line, photograph is a beautiful rendering of an empty rail line.  Is the line empty now but about to carry a train load (be it light or heavy rail) of visitors, locals, or industrial cargo along at any minute.  Or will the emptiness remain.  Regardless of the answer, the image itself remains one of great visual interest.

James E McFarland’s Waiting for the train.... is a suitcase overflowing with human skeletal remains. I guess the train was on a Sunday timetable or he sat on the wrong platform going in the wrong direction.  In spite of my flippant attempt at humour though, the work itself is quite remarkable and worth a visit just to see this work.

Laura Wilson’s Renewal assemblage utilises beach sand, white glass and etched lettering to heroically highlight our connection to our beach lifestyle.  Our connection to the beach is as fundamental as breathing to Newies.  It is a place of swimming, surfing, sunning, walking, and above all a meeting place that unites every visitor to the same viewing experience.

Ceramic artist, Grant Keene is showing his usual fine style of work in Home Grown. He prefers to use his own collection of ash, pumice and stoneware clays and glazes which he sources from local materials.

The night was enriched by live poetry from D’ N’ A’s Pop Up Poetry sitting in the gallery and typing poetry on old typewriters, and the wonderful sounds of  The High Andies in the courtyard. 

In the Blackbox Theatre space HoboTechno were showing their work which Tim Buchanan refers to as ‘experimental’ as it incorporates performance as well as ‘media’.  HoboTechno consists of a loose collective of artists namely Jo Lynch, Tim Buchanan, Dale Collier, Alex Pritchard & Andrew Styan. All the artists came together for this show at NAS which was a front-runner to their event Break Free 2016 coming up soon.

Read more about this event at:

A sample only of some of the works on display is below.
Left to Right Edwardo Milan Harbour #3, Casey Irvine Adrift I, Peter Lankas (section) Sunny on Busby
Aaron McGarry Rock Formation, Laura Wilson  Renewal (section),  Jodie Thompson Fig Whirlwind