Every year Canberra Contemporary Art Space celebrates the career of an artist working in the ACT who has a long history of achievement, and in 2017 its Derek O’Connor. Born in the United Kingdom O’Connor moved to Adelaide in the 1960s and has been settled in Canberra for many years, where he has developed a unique style of dynamic abstract painting. He has exhibited work at CCAS in various exhibitions since SHIT with Vivienne Binns in 2003. In the catalogue essay for Horizontal at Karen Woodbury Gallery in Melbourne 2009 Paul Uhlmann noted that O’Connor, “…brings … an intense physical and mental awareness to the rhythms of his own movements, his own body. At such moments time seems to expand – to become infinite.” O’Connor is currently represented by Nancy Sever Gallery, Canberra and Watters Gallery in Sydney. His work is held in major public galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery.
Image: Derek O'Connor Elevator 2017, oil on book covers, 87cm x 49cm
Following from the success of last year’s unique fundraiser, Canberra Contemporary Art Space invites you to get involved in the fun. Quick Draw is a novel idea where the punter’s names are drawn from a hat and randomly matched with an artwork. There is a small gamble involved, as the price of a ticket buys a work, but no one knows what they will receive until their name is drawn.
All funds raised will go directly to artists exhibiting at Canberra Contemporary Art Space’s Gorman Arts Centre gallery. Artists’ fees have always been a high priority for CCAS, and Quick Draw 2017 will ensure that these fees continue into the future. Comprised by 50 of Canberra's hottest artists in varying stages of their careers Quick Draw is a fantastic way to get involved and support the Capitals vibrant cotemporary art scene. The event will start at 7pm on Friday 17th of November and CCAS will provide entertainment and food. However, due to Quick Draw being a fundraising event there will be a cash bar. The 'Winners Ticket' ensures an artwork but if you wish to bring a guest they can purchase a 'Guest Ticket'.
Get your tickets via Eventbrite HERE!
Image; Millan Pintos-Lopez 'A moment with the green eyed girl 1', 2016
In a busy year of musical exploits, Shoeb Ahmad returns to her sound art roots to deliver broken-binary-brown, an installation work that explores themes of gender identity and breaks down the preconceptions placed on her by society. As a journey that never ends, she uses an electro-acoustic sound world - part minimalist wonderland, part chamber opera - and abstracted imagery to take us through darkness, insecurity, light and hope to reveal the inner being of a person in gender flux, both uneasy within, and at peace with themselves.
Image: Shoeb Ahmad broken-binary-brown (2017)
Dionisia Salas graduated from the painting workshop of the ANU School of Art in 2007 and has since lived and practiced in Canberra, Melbourne and Berlin. She first exhibited with Canberra Contemporary Art Space in 2009 and has received numerous grants and awards including the Torres Spanish Travel Scholarship for Young Australian Artists in 2008. Salas is the recipient of a 2017 ArtsACT project grant and will participate in a residency at The Art Vault, Mildura this year. Her practice demonstrates an experimental investigation of a multitude of mediums. Combining silkscreen printing, painting, collage and burning techniques into paper surfaces she examines formal design elements. Salas has described her practice as “work(ing) with ideas of compression and explosion”.
Image: Dionisia Salas Queenie (detail) (2017), marble and woodblock chine-colle on paper, 76cm x 56cm
CCAS is nothing if not on the money when it comes to the trends and topics of the time. Thats right, we are the masters of zeitgeist. So if it seems a bit obvious, there was no choice for the theme of the 2017 Member's Exhibition other than Fake News,. Everyone knows what we are talking about even if they are not sure exactly what it is. Is it a lie or just something Donald Trump dreamed up to describe whatever he doesn't agree with? Its overworked, overbaked, overwrought and a big fat cliche. Fake news is synonymous with endless politicians diatribes laced with lies, deception and duplicity. This exhibition calls upon artists with overactive imaginations to shed some light on the fake phenomenon (or the phenomenon of fake) and as one might expect there are some hilarious takes. Hugely hilarious. It will be extremely difficult for the fabulous Gordon Bull (Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Art History and Art Theory at the ANU School of Art & Design) to pick a winner from such a vast array of out there ideations but he is a trooper and he will succeed before the audience arrives on Friday evening. There will be prizes of $500, $250 and a bottle of reasonable champagne for first, second and highly commended. If you want your cake and to eat it, a fun outing and a laugh Fake News is the show for you. Remember its only on for one night and a day and that is Friday and Saturday. Opening Friday 8 September at 6.00pm. The winning works will be announced at 6.30pm.
In an age that increasingly exists online and in virtual spaces, Ex Machina invites viewers to consider the role of the physical machine as artwork, only truly experienced in the flesh. Ex Machina explores contemporary Australian kinetic artwork, and how machines are not only a tool, but artworks in their own right.
Featuring works by Nicci Haynes, Brian McNamara, Stelarc, Pia Van Gelder and Arthur Wicks
Image: Stelarc, still from Body on robot arm, 2015; image courtesy of the artist
HYPERactive was conceived in a miasma of unreality. Words seemed inadequate to describe works that sounded implausible, if not absurd. Artists imagined the unimaginable; the devil as t.v presenter, a plague of rabbits on the lounge room carpet, a picturesque Austrian tourist attraction in China, a Victorian séance generator, leaping salmon against a paint by numbers waterfall, possum skin cloaks made from Elmo pelts and paintings that reflect a sense of imminent global annihilation. As elements of Ripley’s Believe it or Not emerged and took hold, a dark cloud gathered over this hypothetical exhibition. The ‘devil’ occupies all of these works.
Featuring works by Bianca Beetson, Claudia Chaseling, Richard Grayson, Jay Kochel, Catherine Laudenbach, Rebecca Selleck and Jay Younger
Image: Rebecca Selleck, Lapin Fam, 2016, Found rabbit skin coats, found rug, planetary motors, heat conductive wiring, electrics, steel, stainless steel, polyester, synthetic stuffing, 135 x 300 x 200cm (approximately); courtesy of the artist
Richard Grayson is represented by Matt’s Gallery, London and Yuill Crowley, Sydney
Claudia Chaseling is represented by Yuill Crowley, Sydney and thanks Australian National University and artsACT for their support
Me Time - curated by Sabrina Baker
Featuring Tully Arnot, Grace K Blake, Benjamin Forster, Claudia Greathead, Anna May Kirk, Janis Lejins, Claudia Nicholson and Giselle Stanborough, Me Time explores increasing integration between life, art and technology. Posting everyday moments to Facebook, twitter, instagram, snapchat and plenty more social media platforms are now second nature and our phones just an extension of our arms the boundaries between our digital lives and our physical ones are increasingly blurred. Me Time focuses on the absurdity of living one’s life from app to app incorporating everything from lifestyle and wellness to relationships and dating apps. With artworks printing Justin Bieber tweets and website interventions to painted portraits from Tinder profiles and selfie sticks, Me Time brings together artists and technology thinking about digital culture and how it’s influencing life in the 21st century.
Image: Anna May Kirk, Alice (Human Unit), 2017, 3 selfie sticks, 3 iphones, 3 channel video, voice to text generator, lyrics from The Police 'Every Breath You Take'; courtesy of the artist
Canberra Contemporary Art Space’s annual emerging art exhibition, Blaze, is one of the local art community’s most anticipated events. Held in CCAS’s flagship space at Gorman House, the exhibition showcases Canberra based artists at the outset of their careers. This year’s edition, BLAZE XI, features the work of seven new contemporary artists working across video, painting, sculpture, installation and performance art practices. Like the previous ten instalments, BLAZE XI includes ambitious and challenging works – it is a celebration of the here and now, the up and coming. While no grand theme was intended for this survey, the collected works of Tom Buckland, Alex Hobba, Kon Kudo, Alycia Moffat, Cat Mueller, Josh Owen & The Uberigine, do offer an opportunity for reflection. Particularly, I think, BLAZE XI asks two relatively simple questions with potentially complicated answers:
how did we get here?
where are we going to next?
Image: Josh Owen, 4 States (detail), High Definition video with sound; 10'30". Courtesy of the artist
Currents is an interactive, physical map of the global network of undersea cables that carry the communication signals of the Internet. It challenges how we conceptualise the Internet as a 'wireless' technology rather than a physical infrastructure. Remapping a communication system normally regarded as invisible highlights the evocative fragility of a world physically connected by cables.
Viewers are invited to interact with the work through an analogue switchboard that illuminates specific pathways around the world. This interaction reminds us of the materiality of the Internet, where digital communication is entangled, chaotic, and subject to disruptions of the natural world.
The artist would like to acknowledge for their technical support; Daniel Hovenden and Keytie. This work was made for SafARI 2016
The artist would also like to thank ArtsACT for their support through project funding for this exhibition.
Image: Anna Madeleine, Submarine Cable Map, 2016, EL wire and electronic components, approx. 200 x 400 cm. Installation view, Kudos Gallery for SafARI 2016, Sydney. Photograph: Document Photography