Just Drawn @ Linden, St Kilda

Opening Night - Just Drawn - Linden GalleryFriday, 6 August 2010

A new exhibition opened tonight at Linden Gallery in St Kilda. Titled Just Drawn, it features works on paper by proppaNOW collective, which comprises of high-profile, predominantly Queensland-based, Australian urban indigenous artists.

The gallery has been transformed by this impressive selection of predominantly black and white works. Vernon Ah Kee is exhibiting a suite of charcoals, Unwritten – primeval forms, haunting shadows of human visages, all executed in straight cross-hatched lines, a veritable antithesis to his better known, highly-finished, hyper-realist portrait drawings.

Gordon Hookey’s Animals, also drawn in charcoal, reveal the artist’s quick and observant eye capable of capturing the unique kinetic energy of a veritable menagerie of birds and mammals.

Vernon Ah Kee @ LindenLaurie Nielsen focused his suite of Scar drawings on fragments of barbed wire – a recurrent motif in urban indigenous art – cold and menacing when executed in black charcoal, but almost fetishist when drawn in warm glowing reds.

Tony Albert’s One by One 1-5 is a creative, thought-provoking, and moving substitute portrait of Eddie Albert (the artist’s grand-father?), a WWII veteran; while Jennifer Herd’s suite of works, On Dying, expresses grief and mourning through the schematised interpretation of traditional decorative elements and tribal designs.

Bianca Beetson @ LindenBianca Beetson @ LindenGiven my passion for portraiture, drawings by Bianca Beetson are among my favourite works in the exhibition. In it’s been a bad day – please don’t take my picture – this versatile artist innovatively utilises text to outline facial features of her (self)portraits, capturing the likeness and at the same time providing the viewer with the narrative, giving the term “a speaking likeness” an entirely new dimension.

Richard Bell Wall Mural @ LindenCollaborative Drawing Project @ Just Drawn, LindenThe entire exhibition is united and summed up by a spectacular collaborative wall drawing by Richard Bell and other artists in the exhibition, which snakes around the perimeter of one of the galleries and along the hallway’s wall, almost evoking the late Mike Brown’s Fitzroy murals, and reflecting on collaborative nature and community spirit of traditional indigenous art.

The proppaNOW collective focuses on the art of drawing, and the artists invited exhibition visitors on the opening night to engage in a collaborative drawing exercise on a large continuous sheet of paper, with the winner of the best drawing receiving a work on paper by Gordon Hookey.

[© Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg 2010. This article is copyright, but the full or partial use is WELCOME with the full and proper acknowledgment]

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Eugene Barilo v. Reisberg

August 2010


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