From January 22 – February 16 Belconnen Community Gallery will show the work of five 2017 graduates from the ANU School of Art’s Printmedia and Drawing workshop. The annual Plucked exhibition is part of Belconnen Community Gallery’s Springboard Series which supports ANU fine arts graduates with exhibition opportunities in their first year of practice. For the artists, it’s a chance for their graduation work to find a new audience outside the academic environment of the School of Art.
To find out more about what we can expect from this year’s Plucked, we caught up with three of the five exhibiting artists, Alice Turner, Alex Butler, and Sharon “Shags” Gallagher. This year’s Plucked artists have explored a wide range of techniques in creating their work.
Alice Turner’s series Stuck in Geometry, explored the therapeutic nature of drawing repetitive lines and patterns with rulers and fine liner pens both onto flat paper and eye-catching 3D origami books.
“I’m interested in how making art can be therapeutic, especially through the process of drawing repetitive lines and patterns. These works are the result of me finding a way to reduce my own stress and anxiety.”
Alex Butler experimented with the relationship between self and place. She created artistic responses to space and landscape in the Oakey Hill Nature reserve in Lyons using ink, dirt rubbings, and pencil.
“The final body of work represents an experiment in emotional map making – tracking the emotional and physical engagement that I underwent over a nine-month period.”
Sharon entered the School of Art in 2014 after unsuccessfully applying in 1991. Her life experience and artistic reflection in the interim has paid off. Her graduate honours exhibition earned her a number of residencies across Canberra arts institutions including Megalo Print Studio and Gallery and Canberra Contemporary Arts Space. In her graduating work, Sharon explored new approaches to self-portraiture. Rather than drawing a picture of herself she created two layer monotypes by covering MDF with ink, placing paper on top of it and using her body as a printing press.
“The resulting abstract self-portraits aim to evoke a sense of curiosity, to shift learned perspectives and stubborn conclusions, and highlight that we are all more than how we look.”
Sharon and Alex say they feel “bittersweet” about the fact that, having achieved their dreams of graduating, they must now leave the safe and supportive environment of the School of Art. Sharon says, “it’s full of your people, you don’t feel like a weirdo, it’s supportive and you can experiment”. Alice, however will be prolonging this transition by returning in 2018 to complete her Honours.
Exhibiting alongside Sharon, Alice and Alex will be fellow Printmedia and Drawing graduates, Miriam Slater and Yimin Cen. Miriam’s work translates and presents relationships between light, space, and atmosphere, while Yimin’s two faced portraits invoke a sense of the multifaceted nature of self.
The Plucked exhibition will be officially opened on Wednesday January 24 at 5:30pm by Drawing and Printmaking Head of Workshop Alison Alder, described by Sharon Gallagher as a “divine and cheeky woman”. Everyone is welcome to attend, meet the artists, enjoy the works and partake in light refreshments.
An exhibition of Drawing and Printmaking by Belconnen Community Gallery Emerging Artist Support Scheme prize winners Alex Butler, Alice Turner, Miriam Slater, Sharon “Shags” Gallagher, and Yimin Cen.
January 22 – February 16
Official opening 5:30pm Wednesday January 24
Belconnen Community Gallery, Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson Court, Belconnen
Opening Times: Mon – Fri 9am-5:00pm
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