Beginning to see the light 1 by Clarence artist Kade Valja..
Beginning to see the light 1 by Clarence artist Kade Valja..

Gallery reopens where it left off

THE Grafton Regional Gallery will begin a phased reopening to the public today (Wednesday, June 3) with two new exhibitions by Mid North Coast artist Sue Bell and Clarence Valley artist Kade Valja.

Sue Bell presents an exploration of childhood memories referencing family mementos from the past and present in the exhibition Young at Heart.

”Memories gather like cobwebs over the years and slowly emerge at odd moments. My baby shoes, which my mother carried around lovingly for many years are a trigger for many images. This complex mix of imagery is put together like a scattered narrative in a dream. As a child my nickname was ’Sparrow’, due to my small stature. As an adult I kind of like the name as the memories of school are fond ones,” Sue said.

“The bird imagery is often used as a metaphor for myself in different circumstances. Birds and dogs also feature in many memories, some happy and some rather melancholic depending on their lives. Parts of stories such as Peter Pan and the film The Wizard of Oz surface periodically and find their way into these works. Multi-layering images and bringing them into a new time frame, works the way memory does. Satre notes, that the fact that we remember things, or that objects evoke our memories is as much about the present as it is about the past.”

Sue Bell spent her early years practising the craft of painting, working in the landscape and studying still life with a tutor from the Ashton’s school of painting in Sydney. She furthered her studies in contemporary art at Southern Cross University in 1995. Her practice includes painting, digital photography, assemblage and artist’s books. She has had five solo exhibitions and numerous joint exhibitions across Australia and now lives and works in Port Macquarie, NSW.

Beginning to see the light 1.
Beginning to see the light 1.

Soul Ties is an exhibition of new work by Clarence Valley artist Kade Valja. The exhibition takes his practice in a new direction; exploring life experiences and touching on the human condition, investigating a deeper level than our physicality and flesh – the soul. The exhibition documents Kade’s spiritual lessons and experiences from a human standpoint, through a synthesis of classic European painting and street art aesthetics.

“I have approached creating the work for this exhibition in a very different way to any of my previous shows, by exploring and delving into the life experiences that touch humans on

a deeper level than physicality and flesh, namely the soul,” Kade said.

“This exhibition displays an upward exploration through my own psyche that reveals the truest experiences from my life as ‘Kade’ so far. I believe these experiences have taught me lessons that will stay with me once I depart my physical human vessel. Call it what you will but Soul Ties is my attempt at documenting the spiritual lessons and experiences I have had so far. The pieces in the show are very much a synthesis of classic European painting aesthetics melded with my initial discipline as a street artist.”

Kade Valja is a street and fine artist from Northern NSW. Originally a graffiti writer who in his early teenage years began exploring and practising traditional as well as contemporary mediums in unison with his dynamic street/ graffiti disciplines. Kade explores a wide range of media including studio/mural and live painting, sculpture, animated drawing, installation, virtual reality installation and textiles. Across Kade’s work are interests in organic form, energetic forces, human consciousness, perception, shamanistic/ runic methods and technology.

The Gallery will be open from 10am to 2pm weekdays. For more information about the current exhibitions and to stay up to date on the phased reopening of the Grafton Regional Gallery visit www.graftongallery.nsw.gov.au and follow Grafton Regional Gallery on Facebook and Instagram.

Opportunities

Regional Arts NSW – Quick Response Grants

Regional Arts Fund allocation for NSW Quick Response Grants offer funding of up to $1,500 for regional artists, arts organisations and communities to respond to unique arts opportunities that present themselves at very short notice. Visit www.regionalartsnsw.com.au to apply

Lismore Regional Gallery – Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize

A biennial prize open to artists Australia wide and is now in its 7th year, having started as The Northern Rivers Portrait Prize. This national portrait prize is open to portraits of any subject in any medium. The judge in 2020 is artist Abdul Abdulla and the winner will receive $10,000 (acquisitive prize), the closing date is June 29. For more information visit www.lismoregallery.org



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