Tropical Encounters at Ditchburn Art Gallery
Sylvia Ditchburn Fine Art Gallery,
Shop 7, Metro Quays, 86 Ogden St, Townsville
ph 0747243953, Hrs Tue-Fri 10-4; Sun 10-1pm
Themed group exhibition 28 Nov – 24 Dec 2014
Reviewed by Dr Sylvia Ditchburn
Themes of agony and angst, war, destitution and harsh, dry landscapes were often considered the serious subjects of fine art coming from the brush of well renowned Australian artists such as Drysdale, Nolan and Boyd, whereas bright, colourful and happy paintings were often trivialized. However, we can ponder on the early modernist painters in the 1900’s and French Fauve movement that was coined ‘wild beasts’ by the critic of the day because of the colourful palate that startled art patrons. The much admired French artists Gauguin and Matisse also reveled in lush tropical environments.
This year’s themed End of Year group show Tropical Encounters at Sylvia Ditchburn Fine Art Gallery present a vibrant eclectic mix of subjects and objects such as Mud Crab Clock by new exhibitor John McDonald, Hugh Martin’s Yellow Lady Bugs along with delicate water colours by Annette Ireland of humble Bauhinia flowers commonly known, ‘poor man’s orchid’. Fifteen local artists submitted 19 art works for the exhibition opened by Cr Ray Gartrell on Friday 28 November to artists, friends and art patrons. The work will be on show until 24 December 2014.
The variation on a tropical theme exhibition has become an annual event called by the gallery to coincide with the burst of energy at this time of year. Townsville people are out and about looking for special gifts for their loved ones, friends or folk moving to other locations. It also gives local artists an opportunity to show and sell their work.
Subjects relating to north Queensland’s colourful landscape feature with flowers, tropical gardens, birds, butterflies, coral reefs, improbable boats and people interacting with the environment. These works are presented in relief prints, pastel, acrylic and watercolour with objects deArt in painted wire, curious mixed substrates and more.
The Ibis pastel Spotlight on Me, by Heather Byrne creates a beautiful simplicity and atmosphere with well placed marks and colour notes and Margaret Robertson’s relief print I Spy, Possum has a cheeky look. Sandra Wright’s Galah relief print in profile is well realized along with Laura Castell delicate watercolour of a Blue faced honeyeater. Cath Meharry’s Shell Collector is wistful and contrasts with the energy in Uli Liessmann’s Beautiful one day Perfect the next. Luisa Delle Baite Entwined Canopy makes a strong statement along with Janet Ypinazar’s A wild Bunch with descriptive and energic coloured lines. Elise Higginson a young artist, uses colour and enigmatic abstract forms to good effect in Mystical Florals.
Make sure you visit Tropical Encounters by your local artists. It is a colourful feast and just ripe for Summer viewing.