A4 Art Australia 2015

at the Herring Island Gallery - 21, 22, 28, 29 MARCH 4, 5 & 6 APRIL

Review by Antonietta Sanfilippo

The A4 Art Australia show was once again held as part of the Herring Island Summer Arts Festival. 140 artists from all over Australia were represented in the show, displaying a unique blend of talent across many art styles. The opening was held on Saturday 21st February, with a marvellous turn out of art lovers to enjoy the afternoon. The Mayor of the City of Stonnington (Cr. Melina Sehr) and Cr. John McMorrow attended the exhibition opening, and congratulated all involved for putting together a National exhibition of this size. During the Official Opening Speech they stated their committed support for the Herring Island Summer Arts Program, and commented on the high quality of the A4 Show. The people who attended the art show also made many comments regarding the attractiveness of the show, in appreciation of the volume, variety, presentation and quality of the works. Some visitors had come to see works submitted by their friends or relatives living in another states of Australia, making it a special experience for them.

The exhibition included 378 A4-sized artworks, majority of which were 2D framed works. You may view all the works on this website in the A4 Art Australia 2015 artworks gallery.

Irene Berry’s Nasturtiums was a favourite amongst some art viewers. This work was a glaze enhanced photograph of a flower scene. The red and yellow vibrant tones of the flowers, set forward from an appealing yet mysterious background, brought warmth and energy to the viewer. People were curious about the method behind Irene Berry’s work, taking the time to look more closely at the piece. One of my own personal favourites was Glowing – Heart of The City by Calvin Bell. This work depicted the Victorian Heritage Registered ‘Princes Bridge’, one of Melbourne’s most important bridges as it is on the site of one of the oldest river crossings in Australia. Calvin Bell’s work was representational in style, and included an atypical choice of colour that gave a reminiscing and unique glow to the Princess Bridge. The use of the yellow creamy tones gave this oil painting an ability to show the bridge in a different and refreshing light.

Many artists displayed more than one piece of art work, and in some cases artists presented series of works that appeared to align together along a particular theme. Alexandra Karpin used drawing and computer art to create a set of four works portraying the same image of a gentleman lying on a sofa couch, using different colours and patterns in each work. These works called Contemplation (1, 2, 3 and 4), demonstrated the impact that colours and patterns can have on the perceived composition of the work. In each of these works different elements of the subject matter were accentuated depending on the colours and patterns used, giving each work a completely different feel. A set of semi-abstract nudes (Nude Study 1, 2 and 3) by Stephen Phillis were an interesting collection of works, using an acrylic medium to portray nudes in a very unique way. Situated close to these works were four figurative watercolour portraits by Karen Price. Three of these depicted scenes of Italy with much detail and spirit (Breakfast in Bologna, The Busker, Italy and The Waiter, Italy). Joy Elizabeth Lea’s abstract works (Bushland, Nature in Autumn, Playground and Surrounding Me) displayed colours of ochres and earthy tones within the context of nature. These works displayed an intuitive and warm representation of natural habitats, using a light yet complex composition style. Stefan Twaine’s works called Apple Eyes (Study) and Two resting apples (study) received many comments by onlookers who considered the works very interesting, including a comment about the art works ‘speaking’ to the viewer through the eyes of the apples.

The artworks displayed a vast range of subject matter, as well as a diversity of mediums and art forms. Rebecca Robinson’s Ursula’s Garden #2, Vanuatu was a very detailed piece showing a jungle type scene, using ink and pen. The complex scene comprised mainly of black ink, with the colour deep red used sparingly to create an interesting composition. Aperitivo and Nonna’s Kitchen by Joanne Mulcahy-Zubani were created using a variety of methods and materials including etched panelling, collage, oil pastel and paint and lithograph pen. These works contained scenes of objects and foods typically found in a European kitchen, which were presented in a very interesting and appealing way. The exhibition was not limited to framed works, but also included a number small sculptures. Paul Cacioli’s Buffalo was a polished forged steel sculpture of a small and delicate buffalo with brass horns, which attracted several compliments.

The Contemporary Arts Society of Victoria (CAS) is once again very proud of the 2015 A4 Art Australia Show, given the quality and range of the works. CAS is a long standing artist run organisation, with volunteers who devoted much time and energy to the organisation of the A4 Art Australia Show. Many thanks to all volunteers for their time, patience and dedication. Congratulations to all the many artists who displayed their special talents via their works. Over the course of this exhibition many hundreds of art appreciators were able to view the hard work and dedication of artists located throughout Australia, including the purchase of many artworks, which makes this show a treat.



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