A4 Art Australia 2018

at the Herring Island Gallery

17-18 & 24-25 & 31 MARCH

& 1-2, 7-8 & 14-15 APRIL

as part of the Herring Island Summer Arts Festival 2018

Review by Cheryle Bannon

An exhibition of small format artworks by the Contemporary Art Society of Victoria Inc and open to Artists Australia wide, as part of the Herring Island Summer Arts Festival 2018

For five weekends from 17 March to 15 April, including the Easter public holiday, a total of 401 artworks by 133 Artists across Australia is enjoyed by the public. A big crowd attended the opening on 17th March, a grand occasion where the exhibition was officially declared open by City of Stonnington Councillor Glen Atwell, who spoke on behalf of the Mayor. He spoke beautifully about the array of unique art as he admired and immersed himself in the array of art on show made possible by the support of the Stonnington Council and Parks Victoria.

President Robert Lee thanked City of Stonnington for their very kind support of the Herring Island Summer Arts Festival 2018, with a generous grant and assistance with promotion.

The opening was a celebration of art talent on a warm autumn day as everyone enjoyed the beautiful environment and social gathering of art enthusiasts. The art remained at a high standard as always with lots of people finding homes for their special new pieces.

I'm sitting here as visitor after visitor comes to the front desk to purchase that special piece, to be taken home after the exhibition ends in April. All very happy purchasers who have chosen their new treasures from this show.

The A4 Art Australia Exhibition is an opportunity to showcase artistic talent across Australia. Also, the small format theme of the show - A4 sizes artworks, and small sculptures that fit within 21 x 21 x 29.7 cm - makes it easy for artists in rural areas and interstate to get their works to us by mail. One of the sculptors, David Doyle, sought to challenge the A4 theme with his work titled 'Pushing The Limits, All Size Is Relative', in which he took an A4 sizes metal sheet and carefully placed it on a base on an angle, so that its dimensions still came within 21 x 21 x 29.7 cm.

The variety and quality of the art took my breath away. I was drawn to the printmaking pieces of Carmel O’Conner with her Australian flower and bird imagery. Her linocut, 'Australian Mistletoe Birds', woodblock reductive 'Eucalyptus Macrocorpa', and linocut reductives 'Hakea Laurisina' and 'Pied Oyster Catcher', showed strong, simple designs.

The black and white ceramic piece titled 'Unknown' by Sally Walk was a delicate yet strong seedpod image that held a beautiful strength, as if the delicate looking frill around it contained an inner strength. Thalia Andrews' impressionistic interpretations of the four seasons showed a fine play of light and colour.

There seemed to be a lot of birds and a lot of different species thereof, both domestic and wild, from chooks, cockies and magpies, to penguins, oyster catchers and a mallee emu wren. However, like the landscapes, they formed only about 9% of the whole exhibition. The variety of subject matter, and the approaches the artists took to interpret them, was immense.

Such an array of artworks is on display at this year's A4 Art Australia, inspiring and beautiful. I feel so grateful to be part of such an amazing array of artists. I am so thankful to all the artists who have shared their art adventures to inspire and delight us. Well Done to all involved.

NOTE: Images of all 401 artworks from the show are HERE.


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