A well-rounded exhibition
What does two fish bowls and a lost soul
Carclew Youth Arts Centre, North Adelaide
Mon-Fri 9-5, Sat 10-4 till September 16
Reviewed by Fergus Mills
This exhibition by local artists Penny Farrow, wood duck and Rhett Schofield features oil paintings, drawings, ceramic sculptures and a single photograph.
Farrow's work consists of a cloud of ceramic sculptures hanging from wires and pictures that are part way between a painting and a drawing. The only exception to this is "Gay Abandon", an oil painting of two women sitting together.
Like the other two artists in the exhibition, Farrow, who is a member of Resistance and a Green Left contributor has a strong background in drawing. The pictures in Farrow's work are sketchy and linear. In almost every piece, she has used writing in a creative way to make it art, not just information. "Portrait of a Revolutionary (Politics from the heart)" is the most political of the pictures, encouraging all those working and fighting for change.
The ceramic sculptures deal with women's issues. From the beautiful "Lovers", two women sitting together, to the disturbing (female) g m, a bloated pink figure with a bloody gouge from where its genitals used to be half way up its stomach. Farrow has sought to keep the themes general so that all women can understand them.
Schofield's work also contains a lot of drawing. It starts with a photograph of his friend Richard, and continues with seven grungy, non-realistic portraits.
The rough, moody paintings tell a story. "Creation," the first in the series, is an amorphous swirl of colour against a white background. "Death," the last in the series, is all black except for half of the face. "Coffee Break," in the middle of the series, is an appealing picture of a weary looking head on a brown background, with an actual coffee cup attached to the canvas.
Wood duck, aka Michael Carter, put out a display of oil paintings of stunning grace and beauty. Except for two smaller works, he painted elongated and distorted figures, with pale skin, pointed heads, claws and webbed feet. There is a mystical and watery feel to the works, with blue and green backgrounds and smooth flowing forms.
"Conscious Dreaming" is a mystical piece. A seated figure looks up at the sky. The figure's bones and heart are visible. At the bottom of the picture is a ball of swirling red and orange.
These three artists are extremely different in their approaches and their visions. Farrow tends toward political issues, Schofield toward personal and wood duck toward spiritual. Seeing them all together in the one place is a well-rounded experience, and the exhibition is worth seeing.