Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Inc.


Steps Gallery, 62 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne

12 - 20 December 2020

Review by Member Carmel O’Connor

Yes, I agree with our Guest Judge the famous Australian artist Dale Hickey b.1937 who said he enjoyed the experience but found it difficult. CAS President Robert Lee was delighted that Dale accepted the invitation to judge eighty seven art works by forty nine Victorian member artists on the eve prior to our annual exhibition at Steps Gallery, 62 Lygon Street, Carlton from Saturday 12 until Sunday 20 December 2020, open daily from 11am until 6pm.
CAS normally has a wonderful opening where all the artists and friends gather for a fun filled couple of hours to enjoy looking at the works and catching up on the latest art news; but not this year. Social distancing and masks are all the go but I must add that just being in the gallery surrounded by the art works did me the power of good, so don’t miss out on a visit to Melbourne’s heart beat.

All art works are for sale (if available) and will be online after the show HERE.

As well as the bespoke hang of the paintings there are six sculptures and seventy-eight Works on Paper plus Artist Cards at $4 each for sale. Each artist has also written under fifty words to give context and additional understanding to embellish the public appreciation.

The catalogue of the show is available for purchase by gold coin donation and includes the list of prizes. Whilst I always enjoy learning who has won the major four prizes it is the Special Prize for Innovative Use of Materials and the Judge’s Encouragement Award that tweak future art waves for me. The catalogue includes an interesting six page brief history of this very Melbourne art society plus a list of recent judges dating from the 1970’s, of whom many are Dale Hickey’s contemporaries.

The society is grateful to its sponsors: Art Almanac; Art Stretchers; Arthouse Direct; Cam Art, Craft & Technology; Chapman and Bailey; Chroma Australia; Grill’d Swan Street, Richmond; Hydrocryl; Jellis Craig Fitzroy; and Print 2 Metal. If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact CAS Secretary Cressida Fox: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


1ST PRIZE - # 82 Construction No. 5 Gold Dots. Sculpture by Bruce Webb.This sculpture was clearly a winner. Welded steel, 120 cm tall and on a plinth in the gallery looked impressive from the beginning - a must see with strong references to Bauhaus and the Constructivists.

2ND PRIZE - # 69 Sea of Darkness. Mixed Media by Robyn Pridham. Robyn’s prize work is one of two works in the show. Sea of Darkness is dark and moody yet bold and courageous. Definitely an artist worth collecting.

3RD PRIZE - # 50 Merry Go Round 1. Mixed Media by Joy Elizabeth Lea. Joy has handled media and image in a highly technical manner, producing a layered work visible as narrative and analogous colour harmony.

4TH PRIZE - # 62 Cosmic energy. Painting by Nathan Moshinsky. To my mind Nathan has performed a Rothkoesque management of intense colour to harness serious inner strength followed by a sense of new quiet. A must see.

Highly Commended: - # 67 Portrait of the Artist as an old man. by Theo Petrie. This is a confident, very male work with lots of humour and Pompeii inevitability plus a fabulous frame. Congratulations to Theo.

ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD - # 17 Nature Under the Microscope 1. Painting by Santo Casella.
Macro and micro in artwork are fascinating. Why do we play with scale as we do? This work hold much for the art lover with stacks of imagination.

SPECIAL PRIZE FOR INNOVATIVE USE OF MATERIALS - # 54 Re-Balance. Mobile Sculpture, Mixed Media by Robert Lee. This work is a stunning wake-up call and homage to nature’s beauty. Robert has delicately managed with a sophisticated skill set to invite people into his inner nature world. This work must be experienced by all who visit the show this week.

A big congratulations to the winners.


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