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
The Pilbara Series celebrates one of the great series of landscape paintings in twentieth century Australian art. Fred Williams pioneered a new vision of the Australian landscape, and became one of the most important Australian artists.
Fred Williams first visited the Pilbara – a remote area in Australia’s far north-west – in May 1979 and was motivated by the exceptional beauty. By mid June, Williams had produced almost 100 gouaches of the Pilbara.
Williams continued to produce works years after his visit. Large in scale and striking in colour, they are powerfully evocative of the Pilbara and in many ways operate as both symbolic and representational depictions of inland Australia.
Event partner: Rio Tinto
Image: Mount Nameless (Morning), 1981, oil on canvas, 121.9 x 152.2 cm, National Gallery of Victoria collection, presented through the NGV Foundation by Rio Tinto, Honorary Life Benefactor, 2001
Organised by the Polish Art Foundation, Melbourne. This exhibition features a selection of drawings submitted by emerging artists as well as works by established artists from around the world.
The 7th International Drawing Biennale is held in memory of Tomasz Ostrowski. Entry is free.
Redgums & Regents is a group exhibition by three practicing visual artists who work in a variety of media ranging from printmaking to textile based work and metal/wood mixed media. This exhibition will portray aspects and personal impressions relating to the animal and plant life specific to North East Victoria, where Rose Wedler, Fleur Rendell and Sally Huguenin live.
The artists are not collaborating on works, but will develop three distinctly different bodies of work. Even though they work in very different media, the art works that have been produced complement each other and will present an intriguing and diverse combination of each artist’s individual interpretation on the theme.
Sally Huguenin, The Punk - Crested Shriketit (detail), 2013, handprinted & embroidered recycled cotton & linen, paper clay, glass, wire
Fleur Rendell, Regent’s Regalia, 2013, linocut print
Rose Wedler, Gentle Giants (detail), 2013, patinated mild steel
Trevor ‘Turbo’ Brown, a Latji Latji man from Mildura, has a particular empathy for Australia’s animals which have become almost the sole subjects of his vibrant and playful paintings.
He lived for some time on the banks of the Murray River and considered the animals that he befriended there as his only companions. For all the frenetic pace at which he works amid flurries of unmixed paint, Turbo has a deft touch with a brush and prefers to paint on a large-scale.
His first solo exhibition was in 2004 at the Koori Heritage Trust where all twenty paintings were sold. Subsequently his work has been acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria and the National Gallery of Australia, among other collections.
In 2012, Turbo received the Deadly Art Award at the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards, Victoria’s highest honour for an Indigenous artist.
For over two decades Howard Arkely and Juan Davila engaged in a collaborative partnership which resulted in the birth of a significant and complex large-scale installation Blue Chip Instant Decorator: A Room, 1990. Although fundamentally different in their ideas, both artists were meticulous in their approach to making art and yet understood the important role that chance, informality and the comedy of misadventure can play in collaboration.
The work, driven by the spirit of surrealism, features two painted suburban domestic interiors hung behind constructed furnishings. It references art history, mass media and pop culture. The sofa on fire quotes René Magritte’s surreal painting The Discovery of Fire, 1935, and a real mirror painted with a fake reflection is a direct allusion to the American Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s mirror series.
Blue Chip Instant Decorator: A Room remains the only manifestation of a remarkable partnership between two of Australia’s most prominent painters.
Blue Chip Instant Decorator: A Room, 1990
Synthetic polymer paint on two canvases (each 200 x 240), wood, glass and found objects
Benalla Art Gallery collection, 1997
Asher Bilu returns to Benalla with another major exhibition since ‘Heavens’ in 2007. ‘Cosmotifs’ continues Bilu’s exploration of the grandeur of the cosmos with a floor installation and a selection of paintings from 1978 to 2012 which show his long standing fascination with science and cosmology.
The installation title ‘M-Theory’ refers to a concept in String Theory, the mathematical investigation attempting to unite particle and gravitational physics, the meaning of ‘M’ being undefined, but with suggestions including ‘magic’ and ‘mystery’.
Bilu builds on the magic and the mystery to provide an inspirational experience of awe and wonder.
This evocative suite of prints reinterprets the sad myth of the unicorn, left off The Ark in the Biblical Great Flood.
“The Unicorn lived in the forest where he cared for his fellow-creatures by cleansing the pools, breaking the traps and guiding them to pasture. Since the Flood, no man had ever seen the Unicorn, though all knew of him.” Peter Porter.
The exhibition is the result of a successful collaboration between the London based, Australian poet Peter Porter and Arthur Boyd, in which Boyd’s great talent for illustration and proficiency in etching are confirmed.
One of the oldest inspirations, the female form, is bought to focus in Naked Ladies. This exhibition celebrates the female form thorough a collection of work by artists including David Laity, Sidney Nolan, Ivan Durrant, Arthur Boyd and Norman Lindsay.
Works are from the Gallery’s permanent collection and on loan from artists and private collectors.