The Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Inc. presented ...

A4 Art Australia 2023 at the Herring Island Gallery

4-5, 11-13, 18-19, 25-26 March & 1-2, 7-10 April 2023

Review by Karen Foley

We had a superb warm sunny day for the opening of the Contemporary Art Society of Victoria’s A4 Art Australia exhibition on Herring Island located in South Yarra Melbourne Victoria. A large crowd of artists and friends attending the opening with refreshments and finger food provided. Robert Lee, president of CAS, Contemporary Art Society of Victoria (established 1938), welcomed people at the opening of the tenth Annual A4 Art Australia at the Gallery on Herring Island. Robert thanked the volunteers and committee for all their work setting up this exhibition. Well done. Robert gave special thanks to our sponsors Parks Victoria for their continuing support of the festival.

The idea behind A4 Art Australia is to give Australian artists the opportunity to exhibit their artwork, at low cost, and support metropolitan, rural and regional artists across our vast continent. All works are for sale and on the first day of the exhibition we sold 22 works. All up we have so far sold 120 artworks from the Show. We believe this show demonstrates the range of talent and creativity of Australian artists!

193 artists supplied 612 artworks and it looked impressive lining the walls of the gallery. The gallery hanging system and increased lighting helped to show all the artworks at their best. The black frames help make the exhibition cohesive and let the viewer focus on the content within the frame. I would say, I felt the standard of the works to be the best A4 show we have presented to the public. As usual, the subject matter and imagination of the artists were diverse: from real and abstract landscapes and architecture; to figure studies and studies of the nature world; an array of animals real and mythical and fantasy works. The range of media used was limitless: including watercolours, acrylic, oil, gouache, oil pastel, pastel, pencil, charcoal, gold leaf, collage, crayon, linocut, mono print, drypoint etching, etching and aquatint, photography, digital print, giclee print, inkjet print, papercut, handmade paper, plywood, recycled paper, ink, plastic, photography, rice paper, fired clay with body stains and glazes, ceramic, textile, lace, fabric, stitching, found objects, woodcut, woodblock print and mixed media.

Karin Ryan entered 4 etchings, my favourite is “The Unsinkable Ship of Optimism”. Exquisite fine detailed hand-coloured etching with magical childhood imagery of boats, animal toys evoking adventure. I was impressed by Lesley Jenkins “Swimming with Blue”, cyanotype and hand stitch. Restful and creative composition.

Many artists chose watercolour as their medium for the A4Art exhibition. The fired clay houses of various sizes by Carol Knezevic were very popular at the opening. “Beach Boxes” was fired clay with body stains and glazes. Highly colourful and playful. Kate Symons created 3D artworks from Lomandra Grass. “Untitled 1” has a gentle organic shape and is light and soft. Yumico Tanaka's “Hydrangea”, gutta, dye on silk, is subtle in colour just like a fading hydrangea. Beautiful. Reminiscent of my own garden.

So much to see and appreciate at this exhibition. Our A4Art Exhibition is be online now HERE, and you can use our online ARTWORK PURCHASE ENQUIRY FORM if you would like to buy one of the A4Art Exhibition artworks (if still available). By purchasing a work you are not only getting a great artwork but you are showing your support Australian artists.


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