ARTEFACTS: Bridges Project presents diverse artistic approach
THE Bridges: The First Year presents artworks created by artists involved in the inaugural year of the Bridges Project. The artists, Robyn Sweaney, Robyn Tychsen, John Van Der Kolk, Stacey Conridge, Malcolm King, Simon Hughes and Curt Edwards have presented a range of work including prints, paintings, sculpture, photographs and an installation.
The Bridges was launched in July 2016 with a public call for artists to propose responses to the construction and progress of the four Clarence Valley bridges set for development in the upcoming years - the Grafton, Harwood, Lawrence and Tabulam Bridges.
The artists present a diverse artistic approach to the initial evolution of the Clarence Valley bridges. Many have focused on recording and interpreting the existing bridges that span the Clarence River at Grafton, Harwood, and Tabulam, and Sportsmans Creek at Lawrence. Two of these bridges -Tabulam and Sportsmans Creek - are to be removed, and the Grafton and Harwood bridges will soon have new bridges sitting alongside them. Other works capture the houses and neighbourhood that stood where the new Grafton Bridge and approaching areas are being built. These are important historical and artistic records of an area set for change.
The Bridges is a fantastic opportunity for artists of the Clarence Valley and surrounding regions to be involved in the documentation of a significant part of our history. As well as being important pieces of infrastructure for growing regions, bridges are also objects of beauty and engineering excellence that continue to fascinate and inspire the community.
The project is co-ordinated by the Grafton Regional Gallery, a cultural service of the Clarence Valley Council, in partnership with Roads and Maritime Services and with the support of the Yulgilbar Foundation.
Importantly The Bridges: The First Year is travelling to The Kirk at the Yamba Museum from February 8 to March 25, 2017.
One of our long-time collection artists, Wendy Stokes, has presented a solo exhibition, Retracing Memory. Wendy has presented large-scale paintings as well as smaller drawings and sketches. The works are reflections of her time spent in Monet's water garden in Giverny, France. In 2014 Wendy Stokes was awarded a Cites Internationale des Arts residency in Paris, through the University of New South Wales Art & Design. She undertook to study Claude Monet's Nymphéas in the Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris, his relatively unknown sketchbooks and the famous water garden at Giverny. Giverny is 73 km north-west of Paris along the Seine River.
Walking and drawing in landscape of Monet's Giverny garden gave Wendy a way of seeing and "knowing” a landscape. Unlike Monet's heavily worked paintings she has relied predominantly on the direct lived encounter and immediacy of drawing to reflect on the landscape and the natural environment. Her works are light. The air, light, space and mark hover and suspend.
Retracing Memory is an immersive exhibition. Wendy has painted large-scale works that allow you to be embraced, to be in the garden, on the edge of the water, looking through the weeping willow branches, watching the endlessly changing environment. It is an exciting experience, a transformative one, pure pleasure.
Wendy Stokes has been a gallery collection artist since 1988 when the Jacaranda Art Society donated their collection. Her work, Window image II was bought by the society from its 1980 Jacaranda Art Exhibition, which it presented as part of the Jacaranda Festival. The judge for that year was John Firth-Smith who, like Wendy, is a leading Australian abstract painter.
Wendy Stokes: Retracing Giverny along with our four other new exhibitions at the Grafton Regional Gallery from December 14, 20 to February 4, 2017.
Furniture design awards open
Entries for the Australian Furniture Design Awards 2017 are now open. Entry, which closes May 15 next year, is open to all designers living in Australia. The prize is $20,000 plus a residency at the Jam Factory. The winning work is acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia. The prize is supported by the Jam Factory and Stylecraft. Enter at www.AFDAward.com.au
Public art call out
Tweed Shire Council is calling for expressions of interest from artists to bring community ideas to life in the form of gateway public artworks for Murwillumbah and Kingscliff. Expressions of interest are open to January 25. Interested artists are asked to submit designs that respond to themes in an artistic brief developed from the community consultation. The project is open to Australian artists, arts collectives or public art design teams Australia.
Festive season hours
The Grafton Regional Gallery, a cultural service of the Clarence Valley Council, closes at 2pm Friday, December 23, until 10am Tuesday, January 3, next year. Normal gallery hours are 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday. Gallery café restaurant, Rosearia, is closed through festive season to January 9.