Over Monday morning I was lucky enough to attend 2 exhibitions in one day! These local showcases illuminate the skill of our local acts and students at Swinburne University.

Dream - Yasmin Pringle
Dream – Yasmin Pringle (Photo: Ben Talbot)

The diversity and thematic differences between the artists and their themes were dramatic, but gave the exhibitions tones of both acceptance and a great artistic range. While all the pieces in the exhibition were of great quality, my focus today is on the pieces, spread across both exhibits that consistently captivated my attention.

Murrindindi – Kelly Jackson

Murrindindi - Kelly Jackson
Murrindindi – Kelly Jackson (Photo: Ben Talbot)

This eerie, resonant photo depicts a still scene in nature, showing both clearing and forested areas. Taken with a toy camera and developed in a darkroom, then framed in wood, the piece has a strong tone of naturalisation and environmental themes inside of it. The dark tones and quality suggest a kind of burnt out forest inside of the life present in the piece.

Matriarch – Fraser Phillip

Matriarch - Fraser Phillip
Matriarch – Fraser Phillip (Photo: Ben Talbot)

Using Black Gouache and Gold Acrylic, a simple and elegant picture develops. The golden, thorn like crown develops and contrasts with a face that is frozen in animation, a face that is ashen and bold. The image has a feeling that almost seems biblical, and is executed with a masterful degree of skill.

Dream – Yasmin Pringle

Dream - Yasmin Pringle
Dream – Yasmin Pringle (Photo: Ben Talbot)

The varieties of styles and colour in the pattern lends itself to a mellowing psychedelic tone that is simultaneously soothing and skilful. The unpatterned sections lend balance and beauty to the overall piece and provide the eye with plenty to take in. the patterns seem almost tantric or hypnotic, and suggest a surprising level of depth.

While these were the stand out works, I want to stress again the overall quality of these exhibitions. They shared a large part of their content but I found the second exhibition just as stimulating and engaging. Wherever you may reside in this world of ours, I seriously recommend getting in touch with your local art scene and finding out what they have to offer. Most likely you will find yourself pleasantly surprised but the quality and quantity of your local artists. The qualitative differences between an established artist and an underground one are nowhere near as large as commonly imagined.

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