Contemporary Showcase 20

A selection of recent works by CAS Inc. Members

Decoy Café Bar Gallery, 303 Exhibition St, Melbourne

6 October 2017 to 18 January 2018

Review by Celia Moriarty

Decoy is the café I go to with clients or friends where we can talk and hear what is being said. So simple but so rare. The staff are always so welcoming, the fare fresh simple and always flexible to allergy needs. But they have another dimension - the gallery. They value art and how it stimulates community, enterprise and different responses from it’s patrons.

Chris at Decoy, with Bird Talk, acrylic, 23 x 31 cm, by Helena Arnold

Alain de Botton and John Armstrong’s book ‘Art as Therapy’ (2013) explores the hypothesis that art helps us become better versions of ourselves “… art has the power to extend our capacities beyond those that nature has originally endowed us with.” So what better place to find art than in a café where we steal a moment away from world and replenish ourselves.

Decoy kitchen, with Untitled Spiral Painting, acrylic on canvas. 60 x 180 cm, by Stefan Twaine-Wood

The current CAS exhibition is, as always, hung with care making interesting groupings; nudes, cats, nature - from the sea to seasonal change, from bursting buds through to desert sands.

The Maverick by Helena Arnold is an explosion of Klimt like colour and shape. It invites you to find the narrative through colour and organic shape bordered by fence and sky.

Sitting Nude, pencil on paper, 62 x 45 cm, by Lilly Antoneavic

Lilly Antoneavic’s amazing realistic nudes catch the eye leading you up the stairs, taking you into their carefree playful worlds.

The intriguing play of light and movement on the velvety waves in Reflections at the Bay by Wai Sun Woo is mesmerizing.

Blues and greens are used for a very different effect in the areal view of Richmond and Toorak in Where do you Live? by Heather King - I could stand on the stairs for ages looking into it and following all the landmarks.

Winter is Leaving, acrylic, 76 x 61 cm, by Jan Delaney

There is a dynamic play on the seasons in Winter is Leaving by Jan Delaney. You can really see the winter ending in the dark leafless branches as the force of spring colour bursts into view. Abstract golds and blues telling the story of change.

Following on the blue theme is Time Warp - this dyptich is the largest piece in the exhibition and is painted by Mandy Hopkins. Bold textures catch the light and amplify the deep blue and subtle wimsy of this statement piece.

Time Warp, acrylic & oil on canvas, 91 x 122 cm, by Mandy Hopkins

With Each Step a Gentle Wind Blows, acrylic & water-colour pencil, 120 x 120 cm, by Roger Breen

And in Roger Breen’s With Each Step a Gentle Wind Blows, the breeze is translated into waves of colour threads - like wandering thoughts on a walk through sand.

So much to contemplate and be influenced by in these thoughtful works. So pop into Decoy - let the staff rejuvenate you with food and drink in a place where you can hear yourself think - and your friends! And let art act as a panacea to balance out the puzzles of life.

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