Chris Hazell with part of her exhibition Cynosure at the Grafton Regional Art Gallery Exhibition Opening on Saturday, February 11.
Chris Hazell with part of her exhibition Cynosure at the Grafton Regional Art Gallery Exhibition Opening on Saturday, February 11. Caitlan Charles

Chris Hazell brings Cynosure to Grafton

CYNOSURE is the only way to describe the new exhibitions at the Grafton Regional Gallery, with work from local artist Chris Hazell, photographer Tony Mott and a collection curated by Cinnamon Jarrett.

Local artist Chris Hazell's exhibition, Cynsoure, is a bright whirlwind of of patterns, colour and design that touches on the freedom to embrace femininity, social issues like marriage equality, environmental concerns and animal cruelty.

"There are many different things that I'm touching on (in my artwork), but some of them are just for the fun of it," she said.

The name of Mrs Hazell's exhibition, Cynosure, has two meanings she felt brought the ideas she had together.

"It has two meanings: it attracts attention by it's beauty, interest or brilliance, but it also means something to guide you and give you direction," she said.

"The intent with the exhibition, some of them are purely pretty paintings, and some of them are trying to give direction, it was the dual meaning that appealed to me with that word."

Mrs Hazell's use of colour is eye-catching and sometimes, helps give her darker, more sombre work more depth.

"It's part of my all over the place style, I love colour, it will burst out where ever put it generally, even with some works that are more serious and dark," she said.

"Colour just sort of works it's way into them anyway."

Two works in Mrs Hazell's exhibition, After the Curtain Falls and Whispers, explore her response to the depression of people she knows.

"I don't suffer from depression myself but I have a family member who does and (my artwork is) my struggle to understand it," she said.


One of Mrs Hazell's artworks, Mea Culpa, depicts a woman eating a pie with birds covered in a red liquid, flying out of the pie as she eats it. Mea Culpa is one of her many artworks that explore animal cruelty.

"It's a weird thing, I sort of get images pop into my head, sometimes when I'm asleep, sometimes I'll wake up and they are in there, and I just have a compulsion to paint them," she said.

"Sometimes I don't even know what they are about .. and the meaning of them will come later.

"With Mea Culpa, it was deliberate.

"I'm a vegan and I have been for about a year and a half, and without being too graphic I was trying to make a point without it being 'here is a poor dead cow'.

"I'm trying to get people to think about what they are eating and the fact that that was a living thing once."

Along side Mrs Hazell's work is the awe-inspiring work of rock photographer Tony Mott, whose lifetime of work has captured some of Australia's biggest artists.

Grafton Regional Gallery director, Jude McBean, said it was exciting to have the new exhibitions opening.

"As our first opening for 2017, it's fantastic to be bringing in these exciting new exhibitions with both a social celebration and artist talk with Chris Hazell," she said.

"Everyone is also really excited to see Tony Mott's photographs in What a Life! - which are sure to rekindle many musical memories for visitors to the gallery."

What a Life! Rock Photography by Tony Mott, Chris Hazell: Cynosure and Disconnections curated by Cinnamon Jarrett will be on show at the Grafton Regional Gallery until March 25. Collection: Portraits will be on show until March 4.

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