Photographic Art Exhibition Review
Connections | Various Artists: Alan Charlton, Alan Pomeroy, Andrea Bryant, Andree Lawrey, Ann Gibbs-Jordan, Anne Eldridge, Barb Smith, Brenda Runnegar, Brian Rope, Caroline Lemerle, Chris Holly, Dorothy Zenz, Eva van Gorsel, Geoff Meers, Helen McFadden, John Forsey, Judy Parker, Julie Garran, Louise Bagger, Margaret Stapper, Marion Milliken, Matt James, Michael N King, Nicky Bazley-Smith, Pam Rooney, Paul Carpenter, Phil McFadden, Sheila Lunter, Steven Shaw, Susan Henderson, and Tongbo Sun.
M16 Artspace | 21 May – 6 June
Disclaimer: the author of this review has two works in the exhibition but received no payment for the review.
This is the first exhibition presented by Canberra PhotoConnect, a relatvely new group. The catalogue tells us The strange events of recent times have reminded us how important it is to stay connected with each other, family and places. Visitors to the gallery are invited to celebrate the diversity and joy of connections.
It is difficult to individually comment on all 66 works in the exhibition, so I will not try to; rather, I will look at particular works that attracted my attention for various reasons.
Louise Bagger’s Portrait of Joshua is a very fine portrait. It is intense, dark and moody all at once. There is an obvious connection between subject and artist.
Helen McFadden’s artworks combining photgraphs with scans of sketches are beautifully created and enhanced by being their printing.
Nicky Bazley-Smith’s Rhythm of the Trees is delightful with four well-placed humans in a beautiful landscape photographed when the lighting effectively brought out the textures and forms before a brooding sky.
Judy Parker’s Burning is richly coloured leaving us in no doubt that we are viewing, and connecting with, a representation of fire even if we are unsure of what she actually has photographed.
Julie Garran’s black and white Children Play images are powerful. The boy child at play shots are quite disturbing as he holds and “uses” a powerful-looking toy (hopefully) weapon. The connections between play and real world are clear.
Eva van Gorsel’s De-Constructed series are further fine examples of this talented artist’s works.
Caroline Lemerle’s Monaro in drought 2019 is displayed in between two of Margaret Stapper’s images. The three work well together and portray aspects of connections to the rural landscape.
Marion Milliken shows just one work, Jeffrey Smart Space. She has not copied, or even imitated, Smart, but has perhaps paid some small personal homage to him by creating a work that “connects” to his.
Steven Shaw’s images from Kolmanskop, a tourist destination ghost town in the Namib in southern Namibia, are worthy contributions. The broken foot in particular is worth contemplating with respect to the connection between the bathtub and the painting on the wall above it.
Susan Henderson’s Autumn leaves, 2020 is a clever work, showing the fallen evidence of the season on a patchwork of pavers enhanced by colourful art. There is an interesting connection between the colours of the various elements in the artwork.
Barb Smith’s somewhat mysterious red, blue and green Mythologies series provides a connection with past technologies, as they are Inkjet prints made from scans of C41 photographs.
Phil McFadden’s Stone Pull, Hornbill Festival, Nagaland India, 2017 is a successful image – colourful and eye catching (and used for the exhibition’s publicity). But I felt that most of the people in it showed only minimal connection with the photographer.
Dorothy Zenz’s Classic is an interesting composite of several images, at least some of which relate to love. It is worth contemplating to see what connections you as the viewer can make to its elements.
Alan Pomeroy’s Skyscape Sculpture shows a very colourful sculpture overlaid on a colourless cloudscape. The connection is not clear to me, but the resultant artwork is good.
Ann Gibbs-Jordan has explored the sense of place in two fine monochrome works, each comprising two juxtaposed scenes.
Brenda Runnegar’s two works are clever composites of photographic images with scanned artworks.
Visit the exhibition to see all the works and make your own connections.
This review is also on the Canberra Critics Circle blog here.