Thursday, 26 January 2012

Congratulations David Keeling

The Embassy of Australia Gallery in Washington DC, USA will showcase works by David Keeling  in the exhibition Lie of the Land: New Australian Landscapes. This exhibition looks at recent works by Australian artists that explore and complicate the character of Australia’s national landscape tradition.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Joan Ross animation acquired by Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery

BBQ This Sunday (flight paths) 2011, pigment print on premium photo paper
45 x 76 cm (paper size), edition of 5
Bett Gallery is thrilled to announce the acquisition of Joan Ross' digital animation, BBQ This Sunday, BYO,  from her recent exhibition BBQ This Sunday, BYO, by the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Launceston.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Bett Gallery welcomes Joan Ross

BBQ this Sunday, BYO
Friday 6th of January to Saturday 3rd of March 2012 

Brave New Years 2011, pigment print on paper, 45 x 76 cm, ed. of 5
As a child I was fascinated by the fact that the important colonial painter Joseph Lycett was a forger. In a sense I am continuing his tradition of taking something and forging something new out of it.

One of the reasons for Lycett's fame lay in the fact he was one of the first to depicted the Aboriginal population engaged in traditional activities, and much of my work has on some level an element of the continuing dance of the races.

The mentality behind colonialism can manifest itself in many ways and the ongoing creep, nay, invasion of high vis yellow and fluoro orange are a modern-day example. I didn't vote for these colours, yet they are everywhere!

Joan Ross, 2011
I feel fine 2011, pigment print on paper, 45 x 76 cm, ed. of 5

Joan Ross questions assumptions of our cultural identity and being 'civilised'. Her materials include what we disavow in our personal lives - intense everyday neuroses like possessiveness, jealousy, and insecurity - and in our cultural identity as Australians - profound ambivalence towards the legacy of colonialism. At times her work can be unsettling and discomfiting, but they are also riveting, raucous and generous in their negotiation of emotional experience. Their economical composition adds to the intensity of their impact, while their materiality brings them with great immediacy into the realm of our everyday.

Since 1985, Ross has exhibited in contemporary galleries, at regional, state and the national gallery, as well as exhibiting internationally.  Ross has work held in major private in Australia, China and Britain, as well as corporate and public collections including National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, University of Sydney, University of Wollongong Art Gallery, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Gold Coast Regional Gallery, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Campbelltown Art Centre and Macquarie Group Collection.

Exhibition available online on Thursday the 5th of January 2012

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Belinda Winkler exhibition opens 6 January 2012

Align 2011, cast bronze
 5 objects: 12 x 65 x 12 cm (approx install)
edition of 3
Belinda Winkler’s sculptural forms hover at this moment of minimal and potential narrative. The tension, compression and distortion expressed in the curvature of edges and surfaces imply a history of the application of force and therefore the passage of time, but the work itself supplies nothing more than this. The viewer reads into the contraposto curves and twisting surfaces the strain of muscle and tendon, the tautness of stretched skin or the effects of gravitational force. It may be biophilic empathy that leads us to read these works as organism. The larger scale of Winkler’s rolled steel pieces, renders them anthropomorphic, suggesting the surfaces and actions of a human body.

Gravitate 2011, hand polished porcelain with glazed interior
3 objects: 8.5 x 30 x 30 cm (aprox install)
With her closed and semi-closed vessel formsWinkler explores her biotic minimalism in a different way. Their full, subtly asymmetrical shape alone renders them broadly biomorphic, especially when they are clustered as groups and pairs in implicit communion. Here, the silhouettes of the forms suggest specific relationships - intimacy, tension, need, maybe nurturing. The spaces between, where the surfaces draw infinitely close, sing with potential energy.   The openings in the forms, which we cannot help but read as mouths, extend this biomorphism, its size alone transforming their characters. Poised between organism and vessel, large openings suggest generosity or hunger, smaller ones perhaps disregard or sufficiency. Forming these openings with a precise, planar slice through the form, Winkler references Euclidean geometry and emphasizes the illusory nature of our biophilic readings.

Gravity #6 2011, hand polished porcelain with glazed interior
10 objects: 18 x 40 x 30 cm (approx install)
The smooth, perfect finish of Winkler’s work serves both to emphasise the skin-like qualities of the surfaces and to eliminate a competing narrative of fabrication. The life seemingly inherent in the curves and shapes of her forms is far from the anaemic, indeed Platonic, perfection of cyberspace. To achieve her minimum curvature Winkler’s methods are emphatically analogue; she experiments with metal, foam, creepy fabrics such as Lycra®, liquid-filled balloons and other materials; compressing, stretching, running them through industrial bending and rolling machines. At this stage, roughly cut plywood shapes bolted through sheets of foam, liquid-filled balloons distorted with string and scaly bands of rolled steel are far from the smooth, sensuous and sometimes erotic surfaces that Winkler achieves in the finished work. Yet it is these processes that, through experiment, repetition and serendipity, produce curves and surfaces with the spring and tension that gives them life.
Contrapposto #1 2011, steel & polyurethane
triptych: 60 x 500 x 30 cm (approx install)

Twentieth century Minimalist sculptors sought to eliminate the anthropomorphic and with it extraneous narrative from their work. At the edge of the minimal, Winkler’s work conducts a stripped down potential for narrative, exploiting our almost inevitable tendency to see meaning in form and life and movement in the curve.

Peter Hughes.
Senior Curator (Decorative Arts)
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Belinda Winkler is a Tasmanian artist and is currently completing an Invitational Reflective Practice PhD through the RMIT School of Architecture and Design, having attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Education, University of Tasmania. Winkler’s practice spans sculpture, public art and design. Her work is held in public and private collections nationally.

Exhibition available for online preview 5 January 2012