Rochelle Summerfield’s Purposeful part of her curated exhibition Aberrant Play.
Rochelle Summerfield’s Purposeful part of her curated exhibition Aberrant Play.

Celebrating essence of play at Grafton gallery

A PLAYFUL exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery is attracting a lot of comments. A group of seven artists from regional and metropolitan New South Wales have played with collage to create prints, sculptures, drawings, paintings and installations.

Seelands-based printmaker, Rochelle Summerfield, curated Aberrant Play to celebrate contemporary approaches to printmaking and collage. Is collage, a playful, powerful and subversive tool? For Aberrant Play, the artists have cut and reconfigured images from magazines, catalogues and books, often reversing the original meaning.

Rochelle' photo collages are among the most playful. Collaged figures frolic on the riverbanks of the Clarence or Orara rivers. The familiarity of the local river landscapes presents our local visitors with disjunction with the strange collaged figures dancing against the familiar.

Her works reflect her specialisation in collage in print, drawing and photography and her interest in the grotesque, the body and memory. The shiny and slick collage prints on aluminium place human celebrations and activities against the landscape of the Clarence Valley. The strange collaged figures and objects that reference celebrity culture jarringly flicker between the viewer and the landscape. The landscape is no longer without this human presence.

Rochelle is an artist and an arts educator and is represented by the Brenda May Gallery in Sydney. Her work is held in public and private collections such as the National Library Permanent Collection, Charles Sturt University Art Collection and several regional galleries. Rochelle has a Masters of Arts by Research, Southern Cross University, and First Class Honours Degree in Visual Arts and teaches at the North Coast TAFE Institute and as a sessional academic at Southern Cross University. She operates her own artist print studio.

Artist in Residence

The first artist in residence for the year starts next week at the gallery. Lisa Woolfe, of Manly Vale in Sydney, is working in the studio space at the Grafton Regional Gallery from September 16 until October 11. The artist's open studio approach aims to engage members of the community to visit her in the studio at the gallery during her residency.

The artist will be working on a large drawing installation that will be later exhibited as part of Just Draw at Newcastle Art Gallery in 2016 as well as presenting a series of exciting workshops and seminars. These include a seminar called A Practical Guide to Social Media for Artists, a workshop Drawing 101 for Adults and a children's workshop for ages 6-12 years titled Birds.

Lisa Woolfe has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts (UNSW), with Honours in Drawing from National Art School, Sydney. She has also studied at Julian Ashton Art School and Sydney Gallery School Meadowbank TAFE (Dip Fine Arts). She has been a finalist in numerous art awards including the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing, Burnie Print Prize and Mosman Art Prize. Among other awards, she received the Earle Backen Award for Excellence in Printmaking from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, and was a recipient of a William Fletcher Foundation Tertiary Grant. Her work is held in private collections in Australia and the United Kingdom.

For workshop bookings and details call the gallery on 6642 3177.

Gillian Mears book launch

Gillian Mears is launching her new book a fable called The Cat with the Coloured Tail, at 6pm this Friday at the Grafton Regional Gallery. It is a children's book beautifully illustrated by Dinalie Dabarera.

All members of the public are invited to attend, especially children. There will be free moon creams and other delightful nibbles on offer. The author is doing a short reading from her new book and will be available to sign her book.

Clarence In Focus

The annual Clarence In Focus photography competition is now open. Images that demonstrate the theme of Faces of Community are sought from all members of the community. Photographs are sought for the three categories - those from mobile phones, instamatics and digital cameras.

Three leading photographers from the Clarence Valley, Simon Hughes, Debrah Novak and Adam Hourigan will select one image from each category as well as one image from across the sections. The category winners will have their work printed on a large scale banner for display at the Grafton Regional Gallery. The winner from across the sections will have their work used to promote plunge 2016. All winners receive $500.

Photos can be digitally manipulated as long as all elements of the photo are by the photographer and no stock imagery or photographs are used. All images submitted must have been taken since January 1, 2015. Entry details and forms are on the Clarence Valley Council website.

Call out to for plunge

The valley's major art and culture festival, plunge, is calling for events to promote. plunge is a month-long event that showcases all the diverse cultural experiences and events including music, dance, cinema, visual arts, theatre performance that are taking place in the Clarence Valley from March 26 to the April 26 next year.

This promotional based festival produces a booklet, has a Facebook page and website along with a great and innovated range of promotion devices and activities. All creatives and groups are invited to take this opportunity to get a huge load of free publicity for their event.

For everything you need to know about plunge Art and Culture Festival 2016, go the council's website or connect on Facebook at Clarence Valley Culture.

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