Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition 2010

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Helpmann Academy Graduate Exhibition 2010Friday 19 Feb. – Sunday 14 March 2010

Drill Hall, Torrens Parade Grounds
King William Road Adelaide.

Open daily 10.30 – 4.30pm.

The Helpmann Academy consists of, Adelaide College of the Arts (TAFE), South  Australian School of Art (UniSA), Elder Conservatorium of Music (University of Adelaide) Flinders Drama Centre ( Flinders University), Flinders Screen Production (Flinders University), Vizarts O’Halloran Hill (TAFE) AND Adelaide Central School of Art (affiliated with Flinders University.).

This exhibition is by graduating students from AC Arts, SASA, Visarts O’Halloran Hill and ACSA. The selection panel were Erica Green, Director, Samstag Museum, Rebecca Andrews, Associate Curator of Australian Painting and Sculpture, Art Gallery of South Australia, and Tony Bond AP Bond Art Dealer and Gallery 139.

The Curator was Karen Paris who created such an interesting ambience out of a huge rectangular space. Works of art elegantly formed an organic shape, which enhanced the works.

These works are a testimony to the high level of ideas, incorporated with technical skill. There are multimedia works using light and shadow bouncing on the wall, video, painting, drawing, ceramics sculpture and new media.

The Burden of Lachesis, by Kim Buck, is a standout drawing in reference to technique and content. Buck’s work deals with emotions, strength, joy, fragility and empowerment. The drawing seems like a self-portrait, the sum of all the inner and outer aspects of the self. The artist, as she says in her artist statement, ‘laboriously’ works on her technique which, on close examination one can see the subtleties of her tonal rendering. Buck’s other two works have a dynamic composition giving the subject space to freefall and land in total elegance.

What can one say about Shaw Hendry’s Hermano Ukulele Works but exquisite, intricate carvings each with a history and story, lovingly carved for a music lover, indeed?

Tom Buchanan continues to explore the ‘built environment’ with Landscape Lost. With its multi layered application exposing the continual changes; he gives life and movement to an otherwise static image with the buildings towering over the traffic. The landscape appearing through the buildings has an elusive quality, which may have been a comment on our forever-changing existence, constantly evolving through travellers and environmental changes. The colours are that of a sunrise or a sunset, washed with reflections.

A City of Adelaide Award (acquisitive) of $1,000 was given to Scott James for his symmetrical video projection which works with precision while branch, light and shadow twirl in a visual feast of images, Weightless, Endless, Faithless exudes elegance and captivating images.

Fantastical Escapes, is by Ray Harris and, to answer your question about this work (in artist statement), we are all crazy, ‘some more than others’. Harris has created 13 coloured boxes placed on a plinth. One experiences the idea of looking into the different facets of one’s imaginings sometimes kept so close to our hearts, for they are the nourishment of our construct to self preservation. It’s not until one is confronted with ones own eye mirrored inside, that we understand the essential element of craziness is within us all, which propels us into our journeys.

The Academy Art Society Award of $1,000 was given to Michelle Jones who produced five panels of very competent paint handling. While the distortions are reminiscent of Frances Bacon, Jones adds the environmental aspects of consumerism and manipulation. The five panels are individually numbered and called Consumed #1-5. While the images make you cringe your interest is held, and one feels for the subject who is trying to break free from the repetitive, throw away mould. Powerful work.

Jamie Z has been successful in the beautification of floating bits left from a traveller’s journey in space. Untitled #1-100 was awarded $3,000 from the City of Adelaide Award.

Matthew Cronin’s Untitled #1-3 are colourful abstract photographs, clearly a technical and creative process using multi facet glass, slow time exposure and hand movement. On viewing them one is reminded of the New York Abstract paintings.

This exhibition show the importance of process from the intricate workings of ideas conceived and brought to a new reality. Be captivated, intrigued and jolted by the exceptional skills of the twenty-eight artists exhibiting in such a wonderful space.

Reviewed by Gina de Pieri Salvi, Glam Adelaide Visual Arts Critic.

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