Wandered in to this delightful exhibition during the week.
I had been invited, but the name of the show meant that I nearly didn’t make the effort – flowers NOT being my favourite subject, conjuring up perfect pink petals and such.
It was the display in this Danks St corner gallery that excited me most in the complex, and glad I was to discover the strange (Claude Jones’ playfully rendered drawings of animals with flower tails), the misplaced familiar (the sculptural forms of Carole Wilson’s “Three memories”, rendered in floral carpet dating back to my youth or even earlier), and the creative craziness (Ruth Howard’s constructions involving impossibly small people on mushroom topped hills such as “The shootout”) applied to such a ..well, let’s face it, mundane topic. I also loved Helen Mueller’s works “Flowers (Warholifolia) Green and Pink, strange plaque-like concoctions of floral linocut and pint in wooden frames, a modern twist on a grannie’s sense of decoration; and the impossibly beautiful fine wall hung sculpture by Melinda Le Guay called “Sprite”.
Boring is certainly NOT what this show is. A short talk to the dedicated and hard working Brenda May revealed that the show took two years to plan, arrange and curate. And it shows. (The title was meant to be rather tongue-in-cheek, this being the third recession Brenda has had to endure. It relates to the fact that most people don't want serious art in a recession - "Flower paintings are nice!")
I particularly liked the collection of works on the left of the gallery’s entry but all sixty pieces in this exhibition work to present an interesting insight into contemporary art and a cross section of the variety of practice taking place in Sydney, despite the dreaded GFC. Perhaps the GFC is turning Sydney artists to recycled and cheaper materials–much of the work is in found objects, collage and pencil even – or making them, in their painting, even more resourceful!
And the work done by the GFC on the prices has been huge – with thirty nine works below the magic $1000 mark.
My favourite was the beautifully dark work in Mulberry paper, thread, ink and chinese paper by Fiona Fenech entitled, “Ring a Rosie”. A silhouetted young girl stands with machine gun in shadow, whilst finely stitched flowers ring her head, tumble on her dress and (perhaps strangle?) her feet. I hope you don’t buy it – I want it to be still there when I can arrange the cash!
On till 18th October, 2008
Brenda May Gallery, 2 Danks St Waterloo. See the exhibition on line here
Images:Melinda Le Guay, “Sprite” 2009, enamelled copper wire, glass beads, waxed flowers and seeds, thorns, 95 x 37 x 10cm;