Contemporary by Nature

An exhibition by members of the Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Inc.
As part of the Herring Island Summer Arts Festival 2013
2-3 March, 9-11 March and 16-17 March
Held at the Gallery on Herring Island

REVIEWER: Antonietta Sanfilippo

This is the eighth time CAS has been involved in the Herring Island Summer Arts Festival, with its ‘Contemporary by Nature’ show. It is always a treat for artists to have the opportunity to exhibit in this bush setting. The opening was held on a magnificent day and attracted around 80 people. The 70 artworks exhibited explored a number of different aspects and themes of nature. Included in the artworks were representations of various aspects of nature, including: forests, ponds, mountains, flowers, trees, native seeds and nuts, soil, rocks, animals, lakes, foliage, boats, oceans, seaside, skies, valleys, flowing streams, humans, escarpments and abstract natural shapes such as circles and flowing spirals. The colours used in the artworks reflected those found in nature, and in some artworks the combination of colours clearly demonstrated the artists' desire to represent nature in a different, unique and personalised way. The style of the artworks ranged from figurative to abstract, and everywhere in between, including seven sculptures and several photographs.


Each artwork stood out in its own unique way. Ray Farrugia’s photographs were taken at infamous places in Victoria. ‘Beached Pair’ is a shot of Campbell’s Cove at Werribee and ‘Lone Sentinel’ was taken at the Gibson’s steps at the Great Ocean Road. Ray attended the opening and thus was able to explain his photographic process to interested people, including information about what kind of camera he uses, exposure techniques, filters, processing and printing. Another interesting photograph was ‘Sand and Shadows’ by Mandy Hopkins, which showed rustic stumps in the sand at the beach.

The sculptures were placed in various parts of the gallery and certainly added a different perspective to how nature can be viewed. Paul Cacioli’s works resembled organic forms found in nature, presented in an abstract style. ‘After the Fire’ resembled small flower shapes growing from rocks, and ‘Pandora’ was a large sculpture featuring organic-like shaped flowers. Graham Duell’s ‘Nautilus’ was a sculpture admired by many. In the shape of a very large shell, it’s white textured surface made an impression on the viewer. Another sculpture called ‘The Swingers’ by Suzanne Kaldor showed young people swinging freely from a bar, giving a sense of the freedom of youth.

The paintings and wall art took a variety of different subject foci. Dawn Cole’s ‘Looking for You’ was a picture of an abstract style dog, in the vivid colours of pink, blue and purple. Using a similar colour scheme, her work, ‘Wildlife of Venus’ portrayed birds. Joy Elizabeth Lea’s ‘Yarra Valley Summer’ displayed a bright and vibrant abstract landscape using a mix of delightful colours. Valda Cuming’s works, ‘Woman with Cloak’ and ‘Model with Apple’ were colourful and interesting pictures of young women. ‘Apollo’s handicap’ by Carmel O’Connor featured a landscape picture of boats in the sea with human figures in the scene. Carmel explained that she has recently moved from being an expert in portrait to dedicating herself to landscape. One of the very impressive aspects of the Herring Island show is that the show is manned by artists, and thus provides the opportunity for visitors to talk directly with the artist about their work.

The show was a great success, and continues to be a special opportunity for artists and visitors alike. We look forward to next year’s show.


Some images from the opening of Contemporary by Nature at the Herring Island Gallery



Click HERE to see our online gallery of all the artworks in our HISAF 2013 Exhibition.

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