Contemporary Showcase 17

A selection of recent works by CAS Inc. Members

Decoy Café Bar Gallery, 303 Exhibition St, Melbourne

8 August to 3 November 2016

Review by Shelley Vincent

A variety of media, themes and styles can be seen in this exhibition of 26 works by 10 artists.

Sam” by Lilly Antoneavic briefly outlines the profile of a cat who is concentrating on something out of the picture frame. Alert and curious, Sam appears to be making up his or her mind about what to do next. Is this a threat, a treat or a toy? The sparse rendering reflects the will-o-the-wisp nature of a domestic feline who thinks “domestic” means “I have domestic staff”.

Sam, mixed media on paper, 21 x 30 cm, by Lilly Antoneavic

A piece that made me smile was Cressida Fox’s “Elephant up a tree”. Wearing a lovely snug pink overcoat with a matching hat she seems very comfortable perched on her branch. And, as any well-dressed elephant should, she also has matching painted toenails. Although the idea of an elephant in a tree may sound impossible she has brought along a lovely lime-green balloon to help keep her aloft.

A fascinating mixed media piece is “Detiripsid” by Susan Gustafson. In it collage has been included along with two Asian characters. I found the collaged head intriguing as it appeared to be made up of small strips of many-coloured paper with a picture of a yellow door in the middle. It this someone who is made up of many facets but hides behind a closed door? Or was there some other meaning?

Detiripsid, mixed media, 36 x 66 cm, by Susan Gustafson

Another work that may have many meanings is “Mercuric Cinnabar” by Rosemary Mangiamele. This is a mostly red piece with small dark blue patches and areas outlined loosely in black. Some of the areas were lightened with white or had a yellow glaze over them. It made me think of shiny mercury and its fluid nature, and of people who have mercurial natures - changeable, hard to pin down. Then again Mercury was the messenger of the gods and the planet is the closest to the sun. The piece could be looked at in many ways.

Have you got a HECS Debt?, linocut print - 4/10, 51 x 40 cm, by Carmel O'Connor

More straight-forward is the image in “Have you got a HECS Debt?” by Carmel O’Connor. It is the face of a young person with concern in their eyes and lines of worry all over their face. This is no care-free youth. To be so young and already in debt is a burden that is clearly shown in this linocut.

In “Old City” by Conte Fausto Terlizzi I felt that time had weighed down and eroded the city buildings. They were melting, seeping and slumping. I imagined that the buildings were reflected in water. Perhaps the sea had risen to such a level that the city had to be abandoned and now it sits glimmering and glowering in the late sunshine.

Old City, acrylic, 60 x 60 cm, by Conte Fausto Terlizzi

Elizabeth Watt’s “The Healing” appeared to depict weathered wooden planks - rough and grey with some cracks. Or could it be rough squares of stone? Either way the texture was attractive. It made me want to reach out and touch it. The piece also made me think about healing - healing wounds and healing rifts. It is sometimes a long process. And some wounds are never completely healed - there will always be a hairline fracture ready to open up again.

So many things to think about. Fortunately one can always grab a tea or coffee and sit and ponder over the many interesting pieces in this exhibition.


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