Have you visited your local library recently? Blacktown Arts has teamed up with Blacktown City Libraries to produce a series of bookmarks featuring artworks from the Blacktown City Art Collection.
Which artwork did you pick-up?
Ernest Aaron, Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas, 152 x 137 cm
Ernest Aaron’s painting is derived from a colour photograph that he took of a crowd of people at a music festival, and is part of his investigation into aspects of visual perception. The artist has reduced the detail and colour of the photograph in order to emphasise the abstract qualities of the picture, so that the likeness of the crowd becomes more ambiguous and tempts the viewer to resolve the shapes.
Cilla Davis, My Pond, 2011, pastel on paper, 53 x 64.5 cm
Cilla Davis painted pictures of the pond near her home in Waverton over 4 years, documenting its changes in watercolours, acrylic and mixed media. The soft chalk pastels in this artwork are the artist’s favourite medium. When Cilla first started painting the pond it was mainly as seen from above the water, but as the series evolved the small creatures and plants below the surface started to make an appearance.
Danny Eastwood, Creation of Life, 1991, acrylic on canvas on board, 120 x 200 cm
Born in Sydney and belonging to the Kamilaroi nation, Blacktown-based artist and cartoonist Danny Eastwood makes art based on his experiences. This painting is currently on public display in the foyer of the Blacktown City Council Civic Centre. In 2013, the Danny Eastwood and Jake Soewardie featured in the exhibition, The Good, the Bad & The In-between.
Jennifer Gabbay, The Ebb and Flow of Movement in the City, 2013, oil on board, 100 x 135 cm
This painting depicts the colourful life of a city. The theme of this painting derives from Jennifer’s travels and experiences abroad and her passion for colour which is an important painting element that brings energy to the artwork. Her technique of fragmenting the forms of the subject matter through a process of distortion creates an effective shimmering movement and rhythm to the character of place.
Rew Hanks, Stop! There’s no need to shoot the natives, 2013, linocut, 78 x 109 cm
The interpretation of significant historical artworks is a potent artistic tool for commentary on Australian history. This artwork engages with both the iconic 1902 image of Cook’s arrival by Australian impressionist Emanuel Phillips Fox, The Landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay, 1770 and the more recent 2006 post-colonial interpretation by Indigenous artist Daniel Boyd, We call them pirates out here. In Rew’s linocut, Cook is seen admonishing his crew as they are about to indulge their hunting impulse. Their targets are two kangaroos ready to take flight. One is from a John Gould lithograph and the other from a George Stubbs painting. Rew’s image challenges the decision by the NSW government to allow amateur hunters to cull feral animals in National Parks without supervision and regulation, placing the safety of native wildlife in serious jeopardy.
Shalini Jardin, Watching Stars, 2008, acrylic and oil on canvas, 152 x 101 cm
Watching Stars is a semi-autobiographical exploration into themes of dislocation and belonging felt during the transition from one environment to another, and captures the time when the artist migrated from Asia to Australia. The night-time setting depicts the isolation one feels during moments of adjusting to vastly different surroundings and also the sense of stillness this process can bring, while the detailed rendering of facial features are symbolic of the South Indian art influences she grew up with.
Hyun-Hee Lee, Lost Letters II, 2011, ink on Hanji paper, 42 x 28 cm
Lost Letters #1 and #2 are part of a body of work which explores personal memories of the artist’s home and country, Korea. Hyun-Hee expresses private and public events and rituals in Korean life using a traditional script, written in her own style to write her own stories. Like memory, her stories are complex and unreliable, developing and changing with time. The ambiguity of the script conceals the details of Hyun-Hee’s stories, but also shows her feelings about moving from one culture to another.
Kate Mackay, Red, Yellow, Blue, 2007, oil on MDF, 35 x 107 cm
Red, Yellow, Blue is part of a series of relief works resulting from random combinations of squares and blocks. Kate Mackay is concerned with process, and with random difference within uniformity. A series of pre-determined ‘rules’ control the creation of each series of works. These ‘rules’ are then followed through to their logical conclusion, and a complex series of artworks are created by the repetition of simple elements.
Brendon Mogg, Early Morning Light, 2011, oil on canvas, 101 x 101 cm
Early Morning Light is a contemporary representation of the lush green parklands, the open high skies and the subtle changeable weather patterns of the Inner Western Sydney suburb of Haberfield. Brendon’s technique and use of blended pure oil paint has become a hallmark of his practice.
Johan Neve, Westy, 2007, acrylic on canvas, 145 x 154 cm
Johan Neve’s signature raw style is witty and humorous, while presenting underlying social themes and stereotypes. This work was acquired through the 2007 Blacktown City Art Prize, and received first prize in the painting section.
Leanne Tobin, Nurragingy and Colebee’s Land Grants 1819 at the Black’s Town, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 45 x 90 cm
The significant event which led to the name of Blacktown is one of momentous importance in the history of Australia: the first land grant ever given to Aboriginal people. At the heart of the story stand Nurragingy and Colebee, highly regarded at the time by both the Aboriginal and European communities. Their motives were to bring a just and peaceful resolution to the years of conflict following white settlement. In Leanne Tobin’s diptych painting, Colebee and Nurragingy are seen enclosed in their land grants, where they were expected to plough and grow the newly introduced crops and become farmers.
Jason Wing, Our River, 2008, spray paint on found street signage, 91 x 59 cm
Jason Wing draws inspiration from his cultural ancestors and spirits. His paternal side is Cantonese and his Aboriginal mother’s family are Biripi people from Taree in New South Wales. Our River comments on the current contamination of our waterways and how it affects us and future generation. It is also a reflection on the memory of the Burramatta people’s harmonious relationship with the land as opposed to the scourging of the land in the recent past.
Terrence Wright, Uncle Bill in Glass, 2011, glass (didjeridu), 90 x 12 x 12 cm
This artwork was inspired by a Crocodile Man from Borroloola whom Terrence Wright has known for over 20 years and proudly calls ‘Uncle Bill’. The design is based on the underbelly and topside of the crocodile skin. The glass didgeridoo is the evolution of the traditional instrument and an extension of the main influence of dendroglyphs (carved trees). Terrence is an Yuin Koori artist who wants people to have a sensory experience with both sight and touch. Terrence describes his artwork as being usable art and even playable, in which tradition is reinvigorated evolving and changing.