An Excursion, Exhibitions and Diversions

20161201_120516-2Sometimes, you can get really stuck in your own head with everything that goes on. I have had a blog piece on What is a Virtuality written up as a draft for almost 2 months now, but I just can’t seem to get it right. I have started on a piece about Identity. I have spent long hours on the computer logged into Second Life in order to get SLurls and photos and build things and visit other people’s exhibitions. Sometimes I am logged in but away from the keyboard while trying to write or learn the magical, mystical worlds of GIMP and Blender. Today, I had just had enough of being a shut in. I miss picking up and holding an actual wooden pencil with lead in it and I miss Monday nights creating things with the Art Society. So I figured it was time to venture out into the really real world and go on an excursion to the Queensland College of Art (QCA), which is to be my home for the next two years of my academic journey.

I actually went for two things…the first was to see if I could find someone in the Student Representative Council office to give me a locker (nope…email spam here we come). The second was to visit the exhibits on campus and to see what inspiration I could gain from the thoughts of other people. QCA is conveniently located in the heart of Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct. There are actually three of Griffith University’s creative campuses in Southbank, QCA, the Film School and the Conservatorium of Music. All of these are within walking distance of each other as well as Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Gallery of Modern Art and the QLD Art Gallery. It is part of what makes Southbank a vibrant creative hub and also part of why I chose QCA to pursue my postgraduate studies. Anyway…enough of that…I digress…where was I? Oh yes…

QCA at Southbank has three galleries on campus. The Griffith University Art Gallery, The Webb Gallery and The Projects Gallery. Feel free to check out their website linked below for the locations. Each one has a different feel and they are well suited for small exhibitions. It doesn’t take you long to wander through them, unless you are like me and must spend a really long time examining each art piece and reading every didactic before looking at the art pieces again…and then talking to the lovely artists or volunteers.

20170215_111153First on my hit list was The Griffith University Art Gallery where the exhibit currently showing from 8 December – 11 March 2017 is “The Mnemonic Mirror” which explores the process of memory. “Where personal memories were once stored at the edges of the mind – comprised of a hazy recollection and nostalgia – they now exist as an exact record, easier to access and consider. The blurring of the line between past and present has, in turn, created a new resource for artists, as well as a space from which we might explore the past and communicate the issues of the future. The mnemonic mirror questions the implications of these changes and scrutinises the consequences, both good and bad.” This is a group exhibit and the pieces were intriguing not only for their connection to the topic but also the techniques they used. These pieces by Troy-Anthony Baylis for instance, show a creative re-use for Glomesh, which I remember from my childhood adorning handbags. The connections between Troy’s physical, mental and spiritual journey and the symbolism of the glomesh combined with the idea of memory is one I sat and thought about for quite some time. And I like that. I like that it really made me THINK.

 

Second on my excursion list was the Webb Gallery which from the 9-25th February is 20170215_113833exhibiting The Elaine Birmingham National Watercolour Prize in landscape Painting Finalists. I was surprised at the diversity of the watercolour genre. When I think of watercolour paintings, I think of watercolour on paper, but what I saw was a pleasantly surprising use of watercolour as an incredibly expressive medium using a variety of techniques and backgrounds. I was especially surprised and delighted by the watercolour animation.

 
20170215_125035And last but certainly not least, At the QCA Project Gallery, I spent a thoroughly pleasant hour at Thomas Oliver’s exhibit, “Disconnection” which is showing from the 13th – 25th February . I had the pleasure of being able to talk to the artist himself, about his work and what it means to him. About how he was travelling a lot at the time through big cities and it made him think about how these cities were so populated but the people were so disconnected from one another. His photos portray that sense of urgency and frantic busy-ness you get in a big city. He revealed the photographic technique he used to get the effects shown in the prints, is done traditionally through shutter speed rather than in the modern way, through post production in a photo manipulation program. I particularly like this quote from his exhibition brochure,

“For me, Oliver’s photographs are based on the ‘manipulated chance’. He is ready to respond with the tools photography to capture the phenomenon of light and time in everyday places frequented by people.”

I really like that idea of “manipulated chance” where there is a moment in time that you grab and make the world see the way you do with the use of your chosen tools, in this case the camera. Make the time to go see this Thomas Oliver. He will captivate you and you will find yourself diverted into these moments where you are connected with the disconnected…

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Refs: 

QCA Galleries

https://www.griffith.edu.au/visual-creative-arts/queensland-college-art/qca-galleries

Thomas Oliver Opening Event Invitation (6pm Friday 17th February)

https://www.facebook.com/events/1082100398584128/

Thomas Oliver Website

http://www.thomasoliver.com.au/

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