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The Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Inc PRESENTS for your pleasure
Art Works by GORDON CARTER
limited edition artist prints in the Budgeon’s display case, foyer of Richmond Library
415 Church Street, Richmond, July 2020 to 28 February 2021

Reporter: Carmel O’Connor


Relief Block Prints by Australian artists are close to my heart.

The Contemporary Art Society of Victoria member Gordon Carter exhibits images as Block Prints using both Linocuts and Woodblocks. Gordon also has produced images via a different printmaking method known as Etchings.

His art works have been enjoyed by many visitors to the Richmond Library since early in 2020 (Covid-19) and remain on display until 28 February 2021.

The works can be seen through the glass doors even if the library is closed because the Budgeon’s display case is situated in the foyer of the library’s Charlotte Street entrance.

The Budgeons case

The most powerful objective of any exhibiting artist must be to make a lasting impression on the observer. Gordon’s ability to contain this group of images printed in black ink on white paper achieves his strength of purpose.

Whilst modest in years of practice as a printmaker he is solidly informed by many years of observation which has enabled him to present in this solo exhibition his chosen motifs of birds, animals and figure in the landscape pictures with confidence.

Gordon Carter commenced his art practice and research study only in the past few years, embracing Australia’s short history of ‘black and white’ block printmaking which is a good beginning to an interest in design.

Gordon’s choice of subject matter sits comfortably within the lineage of motifs chosen by Australian artists of the past. Further interest on the subject will be found in Roger Butler’s book Melbourne Woodcuts and Linocuts of the 1920’s and 1930’s., and A Survey of Australian Relief Prints 1900/1950., compiled by Chris Deutscher and Roger Butler., also Australian Woodblocks and Linocuts of the 1920’s and 1930’s by Nicholas Draffin plus The Silk Cut Award catalogues have raised the profile of this art form in recent years.

Black and White’ relief printmaking has a dual history in Australia as the medium is used by professional and enthusiast artists. The collecting of artists limited edition, hand printed, block prints and book plates is also a fascinating interest for many people.

Man and Horse Meeting. Woodcut 30 x 32 cm Edition 4/5

Man and Horse Meeting. A truly heroic image with pathos to the core as in Don Quixote and The Man of La Mancha. To my mind Gordon invites us to travel with him into this small narrative image on his journey to all our futures of the unknown but certain destiny. Or it may be about the solitary life and a faithful companion. Gordon’s depiction of man and horse use the landscape as a backdrop similar to Sydney Nolan in his famous Ned Kelly series.

The Boys are Coming. Linocut 29cm x 38cm

Farm Animals: The titles The Girls are Coming. Linocut 28cm x 34cm $80 and The Boys are Coming. Linocut 29cm x 38cm are both linocuts describing groups of Heifers and Steers. Just Waiting. Linocut 23 x 25 cm Just Waiting depicts a profile of a Jersey Cow waiting to be milked!

Just Waiting. Linocut 23 x 25 cm

We are spectators, invited by the artist through this exhibition to learn more about his intimate choices of subject matter. The prints of farm animals have a certain irony when combined with their titles.

Congratulations to Gordon for his determination and grit as he enjoys his life as an artist. Structured sessions in printmaking at the Australian Print Workshop and his painting sessions at the Victorian Artists Society and the Ringwood Artists Society all build on his strength as an exhibiting member of The Contemporary Artists Society of Victoria.

Australian Hobby Hawk. Linocut 39cm x 29cm

Birds: Titles: Peregrine Falcon. Drypoint etching on acetate 50cm x 35cm

Red Kite. Drypoint etching on acetate 40cm x 30cm

Red Kite at Rest. Drypoint etching on acetate 42cm x 30cm

Australian Hobby Hawk. Linocut 39cm x 29cm

The four images of Birds are of a different scale and design style compared to the carved farm animal prints. Each iconic image illustrates a large bird of prey. Gordon inspires us to feel the power of these hunting birds through his ability to manage carving of incised lines, juxtaposed bulky masses of dark shapes which, when printed, allows the character of the medium to become the image that suggests, through his printing techniques, strength and power as core abilities of each birds’ instinct to the notion of foreboding lofty heights of the birds habitat in the wild.

Richard Weatherly in his latest book A Brush with Birds., also allows us to comprehend through his artistic ability with the brush the freedom that our feathered friends enjoy.

Trees: Tiltes Agitated. Linocut 35cm x 25cm

Ghostly. Linocut 30 x 42 cm

These two final works are difficult for me to look at. Both carvings of trees are well represented in the medium of Linocut; bare of leaves, stark in contrast and blank of context with only a single word title which describes his intention. These two prints are for us to admire for the simplicity of execution of Gordon’s ongoing narrative.

Salute ! Gordon Carter Artist

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