Annual Exhibition 2018  

  Artists Floortalk 

Gallery 314, 314 Church St, Richmond
Sunday 16th September 2018

  Review by Kirsten Laken 

I had the pleasure of being just one of the winners in this years Annual Exhibition, and this afternoon we had the artists talk about their winning pieces.

1st prize winner Jessie Yvette Journoud-Ryan gave us a wonderful insight into her mosaic A lesson in gratitude: The Deer and the Vine. A Jean da la Fontaine’s Fables of the deer hiding within the ivy from hunters; saved from the hunters the deer soothes it’s hunger by eating the vine just as the hunters return. Captured, the deer realises one shouldn’t harm the source that offers security. Jessie spoke of acknowledging the maker of the original ceramicist by showing within her work the makers mark on the base of ceramics. Jessie also gave us an insight into how she uses a ceramic circular saw to cut her pieces along with mosaic cutters and a trusty hammer, so that each piece is represented in a fashion to compliment each other and the work as a whole.

2nd prize winner Neda Starac was unfortunately unavailable to speak about her work, but we all enjoyed the commentary from Robert about her small work Masters of the Present World. Living interstate, Neda needs postable works; we were all intrigued as to how much could fit into a small work, saying so much with 5 symbols, Trump, Kim Jong un, a horse, an Australian native flower and a woman.

3rd prize winner Dawn Cole’s Utopia spoke of the feelings within the painting, not only whilst painting, but the painting itself and how it’s uplifting colour, movement, texture and shape soothes the soul and takes Dawn as well as ourselves to a safe uplifting place. Dawn’s second artwork Melt Down was gifted a High Commendation, and she spoke of the balance of peace Utopia gave her after painting Melt Down.

The Encouragement Award for Gold Coast by Deirdre Oliver who was unable to attend, yet we all enjoyed deciphering the wonderful look of age, tan, pinched lips around a straw, breast slung in bikini and the atmosphere of sun, relaxation and holiday feel of the whole work. We’d love to know more about the woman hidden behind the foliage and what her story is though.

The final winner of the Special Prize for Innovative Use of Materials, Resilence - The Strength of Self by Kirsten Laken. I spoke of the forces of DNA, nature, our cells, our mind and soul, how they are both a benefit and a hindrance to us at times, yet within us we have a light within that keeps us moving forward. Some of the techniques used, such as kiln firing to fuse and slump the glass, smooth the edges and add layers, and how I laminated each section to a large circular sheet of glass to create it as a whole. Plus my new skill of angle grinding and welding steel to create the frame (Thanks Robert for noticing this).

We were very fortunate to have Payam Khajeh speak about his work Translucency, which received a High Commendation. Payam explained the turmoil within as he watches from afar, torn by the atrocities he witnesses and hears of from his mother country. The pain and anguish he endures from leaving his country and the guilt he feels for making a life here in Australia. In his work we could see the hollowness of his self as he is left with the mixed feelings of the emotional battle.

Another High Commendation work, Fantasy Girl by Graham Edwards, was admired for its light hearted, colourful, contoured work. We all enjoyed its simple yet joyful view of portraiture. Timeless and contemporary.

We all had a wonderful afternoon, talking art, making connections within the art world, telling stories and relaxing in good company, much needed after the work we had put in to create and exhibit our works. Jess and I did not partake in the wine offered and whilst driving home we were disappointed when getting held up for 30 mins by the traffic jam from a booze bus, we were not pulled over for a breath test, yet pleased that those that partook in wine chose to walk ... no one can say artists aren’t responsible people.

Thank you CAS for the wonderful award and prizes and to William Eicholtz for judging the art with such care and insight, plus a huge thanks for all sponsors for their support and generosity.


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