Friday, August 22, 2008

Art in Bloom

Dorothy and I went to see this at the Art Gallery today. I am sure every woman of a certain age in Perth who did not have to work or attend to other business did so as well. The place was packed.

While I really enjoyed it, I did not find very many of the installations made me stop in my tracks. I dug out an old notebook and found that I had sketched and commented on at least 10 on a visit in a previous year - this year I have only noted three that really grabbed me.

I was remiss in not noting either the maker of the artwork or the maker of the arrangement of the first one I loved. It was in a glass walled corridor leading to the Centenary Galleries. The artwork was a group of ceramic bowls/vases. On the outside of the glass was a mandala-like arrangement in concentric circles of skeleton leaves of different sizes and shapes. It was stunning, and I felt quite cross with the lady I overheard saying that it was no good because it didn't use flowers!! It complemented the ceramics beautifully in both colour and shape.

The second one I recorded was in response to a painting called Seven Sisters by Angilya Mitchell. The 7 sisters are the Pleiades constellation and are very important in Aboriginal lore. This installation used natural clusters of empty seed pods painted black, each pod with a LCD bulb inside. There were 7 groups of these pods suspended from the ceiling. This was made byYanya Lee and Jacqueline Ball who are Honours Art students.

My absolute favourite was made by Lucy Bromell (who is a well-known textile artist) and Monika Panizza to complement a dot painting of waterholes in golds, ochres and black by Peter Pijaju Skipper. The circles of the waterholes were represented by slices from a balga (grass tree) trunk and a basket stitched from dried grasses (glossy brown and black). In the basket were pieces of shibori dyed silk fabric in golds and ochres. Single yellow pompom flowers (can't remember their right name) were interspersed with puffy flowers made from the same silk. The whole arrangement was on red gravel and was a stunning reflection of the shapes and texture of the painting.

There were others I liked, but these were the standouts for me. I also enjoyed seeing some of my favourite pieces of artwork again.

On a sadder note, Jennifer's mother died this morning. She turned 96 last week. I think she had only been waiting till she saw all her surviving children. Having done this, there was no reason for her to stay. I am sad, but glad that she didn't have to endure life in a nursing home.

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