Saturday, April 07, 2007
I've just got back from Byron Bay after first visiting the new GOMA in Brisbane...what a great purpose built space for contemporary art. The Anish Kapoor works were great to experience...the gallery guard was very protective in letting people in to see it which I found pretty frustrating. The 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art meanwhile, took up most of the room in GOMA and some in Queensland Art Gallery, the room of Jackie Chan film excerpts on a loop were just a hoot, I loved it! BUT best of all was one of my favourite artists, a whole row of Ah Xian's ceramics...they are remarkable and inspiring works. After all of that, went off to check out the commerical galleries, Jan Murphy, Philip Bacon, that Libby person's gallery, and met the very nice Bruce Heiser. Bacon's gallery has changed a little since I was last there, more the American model of lots of gallery assistants, mostly stuck looking at their computer screens wondering when I would leave the room! The girls at reception were really nice and the show by Robert Brownhall had sold out, there was a couple of really nice works in the show, the colour and light glowing from the paintings were very inviting.
The next few days I spent on the NSW Australian coast... I just loved Byron Bay and Bangalow, it was so warm and everything is so big up there! Big Spiders...biggest huntsmen spider I've ever seen...there were lizards everywhere...BIG lizards..loved them and wanted to bring one home with me...Mount Warning and environs are just stunning...Went out to the Tweed River Art Gallery and just was so impressed by the place, we don't have anything like this in South Australia, much to my dismay. Why don't we have two regional galleries apart from Ridoch at Mt Gambier...say, one in the Barossa and one in the Fleurieu region? The Tweed gallery has a lot of works on paper and some really good paintings in its collection.
I was also there to meet visiting New York artist David Kassan, who was giving a life painting workshop to some local artists. Went in to watch him give three 20 minute demo's from the life model which was great to see both the technique he used and the confidence with which he painted for such a young artist.