Remember Me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt

Friday, July 20, 2018

The small French village of Vignacourt was always behind the front lines. For much of the First World War it was a staging point, casualty clearing station and recreation area for troops of all nationalities moving up to and then back from the battlefields on the Somme. Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt tells the story of how one enterprising photographer took the opportunity of this passing traffic to establish a business taking portrait photographs.

Captured on glass, printed into postcards and posted home, the photographs made by the Thuillier family enabled Australian soldiers to maintain a fragile link with loved ones in Australia. The Thuillier collection covers many of the significant aspects of Australian involvement on the Western Front, from military life to the friendships and bonds formed between the soldiers and civilians.

The exhibition showcases a selection of the photographs as handmade traditional darkroom prints and draws on the Australian War Memorial’s own collections to tell the story of these men in their own voices. An Australian War Memorial Touring Exhibition.

A special exhibition opening at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery is on Friday 20 July 2018 at 6pm for 6.30pm including an official welcome by Cr Bill West, Mayor Cowra Shire Council and the opening address by Guest Speaker Major General (Retired) Brian Dawson AM, CSC, representing the Australian War Memorial. Admission is free.

On Saturday 21 July from 1.30pm the Gallery is presenting a special Floor Talk by Joanne Smedley, Curator of Photographs in the Photographs, Film and Sound Section at the Australian War Memorial. This will include some of the key stories in the Vignacourt collection, how it was uncovered, its journey to Australia and the extensive research work that has been undertaken by both Memorial staff and members of the public. Joanne will discuss some of the personalities who have been identified and how this has occurred when no identification information was received with the collection.

Following the exhibition floor talk visitors who have a photographic collection are invited to bring along a few key photographs from their collection to discuss with Joanne Smedley (who is a First World War specialist) for comment. One thing though as a public servant she does not give valuations.

The Cowra Regional Art Gallery is located at 77 Darling Street and open Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm, Sunday 2pm – 4pm. General admission is free. For Gallery enquires telephone 63402190. The Cowra Regional Art Gallery is a Cultural Facility of the Cowra Shire Council.

Image: Two soldiers of the 5th Australian Division, November 2016. Courtesy the Kerry Stokes Collection, The Louis and Antoinette Thuillier Collection.

For media enquires contact the Gallery Director Brian Langer on 0429072282

2018 Calleen Art Award People’s Choice Announced

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Bridget Dolan ‘The Unseen’

The votes are in and the winner of the People’s Choice for the 2018 Calleen Art Award is Sydney based artist Bridget Dolan for her dramatic painting The Unseen 2018 oil on polyester 120cm x 120cm.

“My work investigates the complicated nature of human relationships – what civility means in contemporary life and how we reach each other across cultural and ideological divides. I draw on my experience in the performing arts as a dancer and theatre maker to paint work that holds tension between brave vulnerability, tenderness and fear,” said Bridget.

This year the Calleen Art Award exhibition consisted of an amazing range of 46 outstanding paintings selected from over 200 entries received from around Australia.

Congratulations to Bridget Dolan who receives $500 courtesy of the Friends of the Gallery.

 

The 2018 Calleen Art Award Exhibition Closing Date Extended!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Due to a change in the Cowra Regional Art Gallery exhibition schedule, the closing date of the 2018 Calleen Art Award has been extended to Sunday 17 June 2018.  This acclaimed exhibition features a diverse range of artworks by 46 finalists, including mid-career artists and exciting new artistic talent selected by a panel of art professionals from over 200 entries received from around Australia.

The Calleen Art Award is an acquisitive national painting prize (in any subject or style) established in 1977 by Cowra arts patron, Mrs. Patricia Fagan OAM.  During the past 41 years the award has developed as a significant art prize through the support of the Calleen Trust.

Cairns-based Brian Robinson, Torres Strait Islander artist, has taken out this year’s $20,000 Calleen Art Award for his work Sowing the Crops and Reading the Stars.  The work is characteristic of Robinson’s graphic style and strongly informed by his background growing up on the Torres Strait Islands located between Papua New Guinea and the tip of Cape York Peninsula.  The painting references traditional gardening practices and a dependence on understanding the four seasons, including knowledge of the movement of stars and constellations, tidal patterns and the migration of birds and certain sea creatures.

Visitors to the exhibition can vote in the People’s Choice Award (non-acquisitive) with the winning artist receiving $500 in prize money courtesy of the Friends of the Gallery.

Gallery is located at 77 Darling Street (opposite the World Peace Bell).  Opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm, Sunday 2pm to 4pm.  Admission is free.

Note: Cowra Regional Art Gallery is closed for maintenance and changeovers from 18 June 2018. A new exhibition Remember Me from the Australian War Memorial opens Friday 20 July 2018.

2018 Calleen Art Award winner announced

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

calleen-winner-2018

Brian Robinson, Sowing the Crops and Reading the Stars, 2018, enamel spray paint, liquitex paint marker. 152 x 122 cm

The exhibition opening and announcement of the 2018 Calleen Art Award winner took place at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery on Saturday night 5 May 2018, with over 110 visitors including many of the finalists in attendance. Guest speakers were Cr Ray Walsh, representing Cr Bill West, Mayor, Cowra Shire Council and the Award Judge Dr. Michael Hedger, Director, Manly Regional Art Gallery and Museum.

This year the Gallery received over 200 entries from around Australia and 46 works were selected as finalists including many mid career artists and exciting young emerging artistic talent.

Cairns-based artist Brian Robinson has taken out this year’s $20,000 Calleen Art Award for his work Sowing The Crops and Reading the Stars. The work is characteristic of Robinson’s graphic style and strongly informed by his background growing up on the Torres Strait Islands located between New Guinea and the tip of Cape York Peninsula.

In a statement accompanying the work, Robinson states that the painting references the traditional gardening practices that occurred throughout the Torres Strait as well as the abundant plant life and blooms that are found growing everywhere in profusion. Skill in gardening was and still is dependent on understanding the four seasons including knowledge of the movement of stars and constellations, tidal patterns, and the migration of birds and certain sea creatures.

Agricultural fertility also entails a respect for inherited ancestral land and knowledge of how to influence rainfall and the growth of plants through actions, words, songs and the use of figures and stones.

Cosmology, particularly star constellations were of significant importance to the people who used them to encode nature’s relative predictability into mythological narratives like Usiam, a cluster of seven stars that are more commonly known as Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. These narratives epitomise the cosmology or sense of understanding of one’s place in the universe.

Judges Comments

Winner: Calleen Art Award
Brian Robinson Sowing the Crops and Reading the Stars, 2018, enamel spray paint, liquitex paint marker. 152 x 122 cm

The Award Judge, Michael Hedger, Director Manly Art Gallery and Museum, said “the winner is an interesting picture with a wonderful patterning background and figure over the top as well as a blend of various Asian styles, showing the rendition of ancient crafts”.

Highly Commended Awards

Shannon Doyle, Power Struggle, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 120 cm

Judges comments: “The figure study I think is the best figure study in the exhibition even more so because you don’t even see the figure it’s all heavily clothed and an extraordinary painting is made out of using just tones, just grey”.

Geoff Harvey, Ash Landscape, 2017, acrylic and charcoal on board 123 x 153 cm. Judges comments: “Ash Landscape, is absolutely astonishing it has the whole tragedy of the landscape after a bushfire something which unfortunately never goes out of the news in Australia, he’s encapsulated that perfectly.”

During the evening guests were treated to the presentation of delightful music by an ensemble of young musicians from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The exhibition continues to 17 June 2018.

For more information Tel: 6340 2190. The Gallery is located at 77 Darling Street, Cowra and open from Tues–Sat, 10am–4pm and Sun 2pm–4pm. Admission is free.

Artist Talk – Robert Clinch and the D’ART Project

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Saturday 28 April 2018 at 2pm

Renowned Australian realist painter, Robert Clinch, has collaborated with classic car collector, Jeff Brown, and is speaking at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery on Saturday 28 April at 2pm about the Goggomobil Objet D’Art project which is currently on display at the Gallery.

Image: Robert Clinch “Pot Pourri.” 2007 Lithograph on 100% cotton paper 43cm x 42cm

Robert has transformed an iconic 1960’s Australian sports car the Goggomobil Dart, into an Objet D’art by painstakingly hand painting onto the Goggomobil a delightful cascade of 62 paper-darts; finished to show-car perfection. The dart motif has persisted in Clinch’s paintings since 1985 and signifies imagination, transience, purity and fragility.

Accompanying the car, this exhibition also includes detailed  sketches, a test panel and a documentary video about the project.

Admission is free and includes afternoon tea.

Image:Robert Clinch with the Goggomobil D’ART

For more information, contact the Cowra Regional Art Gallery on tel 63402190.