What’s on in the Canberra arts scene, April 14, 2018


Cartier talk

Join Monsieur Xavier Gargat, Cartiers master craftsman and former director of the ateliers of high jewellery, for an exclusive insight into Cartier's high fashion pieces. Gargat has been at the head of the workshops at Cartier International since 2001. He began his apprenticeship at 16 to a master jeweller and has a unique insight into what happens behind the scenes.

At the National Gallery of Australia on April 20, from 6-8pm. Exhibition entrance and glass of wine/champagne included. Price: $45, $42 concession/student, $40 NGA members.

Art for epilepsy

Two Canberra artists have donated works for Art for Epilepsy, the online art auction that raises funds to support people living with epilepsy. Artists must include the colour purple, which is the internationally recognised colour for epilepsy awareness.

Isla Patterson, from Hawker, is a watercolourist, specialising in portraying nature and life both in the Canberra region, the outback, wildlife, seascapes and overseas scenes. Valentyna Crane, from Lyons, follows contemporary impressionism, the style that focuses on the effects of changing light and weather, concentrates on feelings of moving air and emotions of the particular landscape scene.

The auction site ArtForEpilepsy.com.au is accepting pre-registration from interested bidders now and will open for bidding at 9am on Tuesday May 1, 2018. Bidding will close at 9pm on May 31.

Floating worlds

Tim Johnsons powerful paintings, often described as “floating worlds”, embrace the spiritual iconography of a range of cultures including Aboriginal, Buddhist and Tibetan.

They are imagined syntheses of cultural and visual systems – hypothetical landscapes that freely draw upon images that are charged with meaning.

Mt Meru, the mythological centre of the Buddhist universe, has often been the starting point for his paintings over the years. In this exhibition, The View from Mt Meru, he places an image of Mt Meru at the centre of the painting and this opens up the possibility of a vast range of imagery.

Tim Johnson, Absinthe. 2018, Acrylic on linen

Photo: Supplied

There are many references to and influences of past painting styles and traditions. There is an acknowledgment of Aboriginal art, especially the painting movement that started at Papunya, of Western art traditions that evolved through minimalism, conceptual art and post modernism.

There is a kind of obsession with older Asian art traditions such as the cave paintings at Dunhuang in China, Tibetan Buddhist thangkas, medieval Japanese art, embroidery and contemporary popular culture where it connects with or revives these older traditions.

On show at Nancy Sever Gallery, Braddon, from April 14 to May 13.

Time flies

Bird Years is a solo exhibition at M16 Artspace by Ellen Sleeman-Taylor showcasing an enormous, scrolling work that took the artist one year from conception to completion and is a documentation of 2017 and early 2018.

Ellen Sleeman-Taylor, Year in Birds (detail), 2017-2018, pencil on paper.

Photo: Photo: courtesy of Caitlin Kozman and the artist.

There is a resemblance to a timeline in the format of the piece: the long, continuous roll of paper is dotted with moments from the year. These moments sit in a bed of intricate patterns that translate into one another. It is a visual metaphor for the passing of time and the slow and gradual way things change. Sleeman-Taylor's subject matter is inspired by Ukiyo-e and French Impressionism as well as digital collage.

Meanwhile in M16s Chutespace, Averil Harris recalls the tiny exhibition space's origins as a library book return chute. In Damaged Items Returned, her work uses slivers of redacted text from found library books to explore the contemporary world's relationship with the printed word in libraries.

At M16 Artspace, Griffith, until April 29.

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Karen Hardy

Karen Hardy is a reporter at The Canberra Times.

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