Now showing at the Art Gallery of Ballarat
From celebrating the ritual in everyday life to parodying the hypermasculine world of footy, the Art Gallery of Ballarat's new line-up of exhibitions is a deep dive into the ever-changing world around us.
David Noonan: Stagecraft
Until 4 October
Ballarat-born, London-based artist David Noonan is known for large-scale monochromatic collages on linen comprised of fabrics which are torn, folded, cut, stitched and combined with silkscreened images.
Stagecraft brings together silkscreen collages Noonan has made between 2015 and 2020, with found photographic images from his extensive personal image archive repurposed to create images which are ambiguous, often with a focus on a solitary haunting figure.
Black and white images appropriated from disparate sources – including magazines relating to avant-garde theatre, film, design, architecture, dance and music – are combined to create new compositions. Documentary images are transformed into fiction, suggesting the significance of theatricality and performance in the public realm.
Noonan has been the subject of solo exhibitions in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, with his work featured in the permanent collections of numerous Australian and international museums.
David Noonan: Stagecraft is exclusive to the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
Anne Wallace: Strange Ways
Until 20 September
While Anne Wallace’s figurative paintings might seem conventional on the surface, they are anything but ordinary. Her meticulously painted canvases lead us to expect a narrative but, on a deeper level, deny us that satisfaction. Their strangeness comes from her unusual use of perspectives, the superimposing of images, and references to disparate sources.
Wallace combines the familiar with the unfamiliar, capturing a tension between the real and the imagined to depict slightly awkward moments. Like any good ‘story’, they seem to refer to sexual and social confusion, vulnerability and violence, alienation and loneliness or fantasies of power and revenge. Her paintings have an uncanny ability to tap into a shared psyche, drawing on the language of pop culture.
This comprehensive survey of Wallace’s practice brings together more than 80 works from public and private collections and spanning three decades.
Anne Wallace: Strange Ways is a QUT Art Museum touring exhibition.
David Frazer: Another night on earth
1 August – 15 November
Castlemaine artist David Frazer is renowned for fine wood engravings and linocuts which explore the frailties and intricacies of the human condition. His finely detailed prints, marked by finely tuned wit and careful observation of human interactions, capture moments of hope, loss and connection.
Frazer creates his own distinctive impressions of rural Australia with subtle humour and masterful skill as a storyteller. His endearing depictions of ‘hopeless blokes’ and ‘lonely losers’ illustrate human emotion at its most vulnerable. Familiar Australian landscapes, devoid of figures, are imbued with a sense of loneliness and yearning as a metaphor for humankind’s most basic emotional needs. In an era of uncertainty and global change, Frazer’s poignant images articulate the importance of human connection and our desire to connect with the environment around us.
The exhibition features wood engravings and linocuts from the past two decades of Frazer’s practice. Also included are new wood engravings made as tribute to his distant relative, artist and printmaker Lionel Lindsay, of the famous artistic Lindsay family of Creswick. Frazer’s prints will be shown alongside a small selection of engravings by Lindsay from the gallery’s collection.
Pitcha Makin Fellas: Join the club
1 August – 22 November
Love it or hate it, AFL is an important part of our history and culture. Join the club is characterised by the irreverent humour that is a hallmark of the Pitcha Makin Fellas’ work and is both a celebration and a criticism of Australia’s favourite sport.
A playful series of trading-card-style portraits parodies the hypermasculine world of footy and criticises the power imbalances that stem from the corporatisation of the game. The Fellas also address the importance of footy in bringing regional communities together and acknowledge the work the AFL have undertaken to increase Indigenous participation and leadership in the game.
An art collective based in Ballarat, the Pitcha Makin Fellas are Koorie artists and writers whose ancestries hail from different language groups across Australia. They are passionate about culture and community and create vibrant expressions of their personal histories through painting and storytelling.
Since forming in 2013, the Fellas have been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions and their work is represented in public and private collections.
Madeleine Cruise & Ruby Pilven: The golden pantomime
1 August – 22 November
For Ballarat-based artists Madeleine Cruise and Ruby Pilven, the process of creating artworks is as important as the artworks themselves – it is a daily necessity much like preparing and eating a meal.
In developing this collaborative exhibition, the two came together at the dining table to tell the stories of their lives. The table, set with a glittering array of vessels and painted objects, becomes a stage where domestic theatre plays out.
The golden pantomime is a showcase of artworks produced by Cruise and Pilven individually and in response to each other’s work. Pilven’s porcelain and stoneware ceramic pieces are based on both historical and imagined forms that act as storytellers and props from domestic and natural spaces. Likewise, Cruise’s interior paintings feature tableware and decorative objects that celebrate the ritual in everyday life.
The artists have also made a series of collaborative works with the common theme of still life as spectacle. These include lyrically painted ceramic pieces and small theatrical sets that reference the architecture of Ballarat, their shared home.
Mairin Briody: Signal
1 August – 27 September
In early 2017, Mairin Briody spent a lot of time driving to get her infant daughter to sleep. In the car, she would reflect on the state of the world – on climate change, political tension and rising nationalism. On these drives she found herself increasingly drawn to the wind farms in the surrounding landscape – she was calmed by the rhythm of the turbines sweeping arms, feeling that they were a resonance of hope in the landscape.
On an evening over 100 years earlier, Ukrainian-born artist Sonia Delaunay walked down a street in Paris and witnessed for the first time the newly-installed electric lamp posts. At the time, society was being transformed by new technologies, global politics were precarious and Europe was on the brink of war. In among all this, Delaunay saw the street lights as a promise of the future, resulting in a series of paintings exploding with rhythmic colour.
In Briody’s paintings, she draws from her own experience and that of Delaunay to connect the viewer with the world beyond the turmoil of the political moment of today and to convey a feeling of optimism, a belief that there is a deep, sustainable and equal future ahead.
For more details, visit the Art Gallery of Ballarat website
Main image: Anne Wallace, Eames chair, 2004. Oil on canvas. Collection of Kate Green and Warren Tease, Sydney.