The human figure without clothes; it is each of us, at some point, every day. And so we celebrate that; be it in the humble function of bathing and dressing, or some grander reflection of ideals, philosophical concerns or cultural traditions.
The Benalla Art Gallery brings the first Benalla Nude Art Prize. The exhibition will be a selection of shortlisted works, from which the winning work will be awarded the $50,000 non-acquisitive prize.
Daniel Thomas AM, Art Historian & Curator
Jane Scott, CEO & Artistic Director, CRAFT
Ivan Durrant, Visual Artist
In ‘The Gillies’, a single large indefinable anthropomorphic presence, as if coming out of the land, dominates the natural environment. Inside these ominous statues is a young boy on the cusp of adolescence, wearing a ghillie (a camouflage outfit originally developed for hunting and the military).
Polixeni Papapetrou engages part reality, part fantasy moving through the landscape, using the rich terrain as a backdrop for her narratives about the transitional space of childhood. Papapetrou’s art practice has involved an intimate collaboration with her children and their friends for over a decade. As they have grown and transformed, so too have the roles they perform and spaces they inhabit.
‘The Ghillies’ is a reflection on the surrendering of childhood or boyhood to the adult world foreshadowing prowess, as young boys, separate from great maternal intimacy and are absorbed into institutional camouflage of one kind or another. The body is concealed and childhood identity slowly recedes leaving a universal figure that becomes one with the surroundings. Some boys will fit into well-known social archetypes, but other boys want to liberate themselves from those patterns and project their identity more brazenly.
Image: Polixeni Papapetrou, Desert Man, 2012, pigment ink print, 120 x 120 cm, courtesy of Stills Gallery, Sydney
Victoria’s most inspiring and high achieving 2013 VCE artists will showcase their work in the annual exhibition, Regional Art & Design (RAD).
RAD is an exhibition of painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, ceramics, film, animation, textiles, drawing, installation and printmaking produced by VCE Art and VCE Studio Arts students.
With a dynamic approach to presentation, which includes the exhibition of student preparatory support material such as folios and notebooks, Regional Art Design provides students the opportunity for artistic recognition in a public art space.
RAD also gives fellow upcoming students a chance to view selected works in the lead up to their own VCE studies, providing insight, education and inspiration for their years ahead.
Albert Tucker was a major figure in the Australian modernist movement, which challenged the foundations of traditional art practice and adopted a spontaneous and visionary approach to the creative process.
Throughout his career, he painted significant portraits of his contemporaries and loved ones. Sitters included Tucker’s colleagues in the so called Angry Penguins group or ‘Heide circle’ — Joy Hester, Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd and John Perceval.
This exhibition presents nine of Tucker’s most important portraits that transition through various periods of his artistic development, leaving a thread that connects a great portion of his oeuvre.
Image: Albert Tucker, Self Portrait, 1983, synthetic polymer paint on canvas board. Private collection.
This exhibition is an exploration of contemporary artworks in the Benalla collection that relate to a culture and story of the Australian landscape by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists. The subject of the land is a response to the site and purpose of the place in relation to the culture of Australian people within urban and rural dwellings.
Image: Brook Andrew, Sexy and Dangerous, 1996, duratran on perspex, 183 x 122 cm
The era of the 60s and 70s in Australian art was a time influenced by art from America and Europe which included Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Hard Edge and Colour Field. The Field exhibition at the NGV in 1968 was a key example of the influence of Hard Edge abstract methods that inspired a generation of Australian artists. This exhibition compromises of a selection of paintings from the Benalla Art Gallery collection that reveal the Australian artists such as Yvonne Audette, Sydney Ball, Peter Booth, Leslie Dumbrell, Robert Jacks and John Sandler who responded to the new modern traditions of the times.
Image: Peter Booth, Untitled, 1968-69, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 158 x 222 cm
Sam Staughton was born into the life of farming but was naturally inclined towards the visual arts. ‘Wolbunya’, the family property was his working life although he managed a full course of study at the National Gallery of Victoria and a tour of England and Europe before he returned to his family’s farming commitments. Marriage, children and continual farming did not stop his painting passion. Finally the farm was sold and Sam and his wife Marian and children moved to Melbourne. Sam was painting full time.
In the years that followed Sam held ten solo exhibitions, almost one a year, establishing himself as a highly committed and well liked artist amongst his peers and industry notables.
Image: The Smoking Room, 2008, oil on canvas, 137.5 x 183.5 cm
Jack Dale Mengenen paints powerful images of the Kimberley landscape. His land claim paintings and Wandjinas - spirits of the clouds - are all gathered together from across his country. Jack’s paintings are a history lesson of his experiences and trace the story of the Kimberley through much of the twentieth century.
A small number of Aboriginal stockmen from this recent past have emerged to be recognised as great artists - Paddy Tjumpingee, Rover Thomas and Paddy Bedford. Jack Dale is in that same tradition of the Aboriginal stockman yet a traditional elder, who at a great age found “voice on canvas”. - Tom Stephens JP MLA, Member for Pilbara
Image: Djalala-Marker Stones, 2004, ochres and acrylic on linen, 150 x 220 cm
The Benalla Ceramic Mural was twenty-seven years in the making. It was created by some of Australia’s leading ceramic artists and many of the people of Benalla. The mural combined the skills of architects and potters, the vision of indigenous people, and the enthusiasm and hard work of countless volunteers, young and old. The spectacular mural on the shore of Lake Benalla contains a myriad of their contributions, all composed into a grand and harmonious design.
The launch of “Benalla Ceramic Mural – A Short History” by Joan Jensen and David W Moore will take place on Friday 6th December from 5-7pm at Benalla Art Gallery.
The Benalla Art Gallery permanent collection is one of the most important public collections of Australian art in regional Victoria and surveys Australian art history across the periods of the colonial, indigenous, impressionist, modernist and postmodernist eras.
The Benalla Art Gallery collection includes a significant collection of historic and contemporary Australian landscape paintings, prints and works on paper, sculpture, ceramics and a growing collection of Australian contemporary art.
Currently on display in the Ledger Gallery are important works by Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, John Peter Russell, J.A. Turner, Eugene Von Gerard, Freda Robertshaw, Margaret Preston, Arthur Boyd, Leonard French, Danila Vassilieff, John Brack, Jeffrey Smart, Fred Williams, Albert Tucker, Sidney Nolan, John Perceval and Charles Blackman among others.
Image: Sidney Nolan, Glenrowan, 1973-74, woven tapestry, 310 x 400 cm