The Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre is very significant to the cultural and social life of southern Sydney.
Ben and Hazel Broadhurst gifted their Hazelhurst home and garden to the public. After community consultation it was agreed that Hazelhurst would become a Gallery that was formally opened on February 26th 2000.
The multi-functional public arts facility is unique in its wide-ranging and very popular mix of exhibitions, courses and amenities. Its four multi-purpose studio workshops run classes in a variety of arts and crafts.
In addition Hazelhurst Cottage has been preserved as a historical focus in the garden and contains the artist-in-residence accommodation and other assorted amenities.
The Hazelhurst Art On Paper Award for 2015 is a biennial award where the outstanding exhibition show cased ninety three finalists who had worked in a diverse range of paper media including drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, installation, printmaking and video.
The artworks were judged by a panel of three artists George Gittoes, Alexander McKenzie and Iidiko Kovacs.
The award attracted over 1500 entries by more than 750 artists.
The major prize of $15,000 was won by Glen Clarke.
This award was funded by the Gallery’s principal sponsor Tradies.
Glen Clarke’s artwork Peace Keeper 2015 was constructed from paper US$ and Iraqi Dinar that were folded to form identical sized and shaped shirts.
The torpedo form of the tower like structure and the repetitious pattern of the paper shirts were very militaristic in configuration.
Red cotton thread was used to create a vertical and horizontal grid.
To my eye the red grid captured the essence of the blood lost, the futility of destruction and the senselessness of an ongoing silent and endless war.
The red cells wove patterns of mistrust and the intensity and power of grief.
This was a challenging artwork and I found it a very sombre statement, objective in its symbolic definition.
Peace Keeper was a striking contemporary work a very potent statement about the conflicts of war and the pain and devastation of loss.
Becc Orszag was the recipient of the Young and Emerging Artist Award for her artwork Rehearsal for all are equal and all may be crowned emperor 2014.
Her prize money of $5000 awarded for this category was also sponsored by Tradies.
The application of graphite, carbon and charcoal pencil on layered watercolour paper was intricate and the details of a past time were heavy in ritual.
For me it posed the question of power and religion as staged performance. It was satirical in intention.
The Friends of Hazelhurst Local Artist Award was won by Louisa Chircop for Interior Monologue – Carousel of Slaughter 2015. She also received $5000 as prize money.
This complex work comprised five panels of mixed media and photomontage on Arches paper. It was a confronting artwork with hard edged subjects contrasted by soft and subtle techniques. This conflicting approach I felt was deliberately unsettling and provoked questioning.
Contradictions in everyday life, the images of death in the hung birds and animals, the recurrence of the gun motif and the push, pull and doubt of self-analysis filtered through the work.
The feeling of falling and being out of control blurred through the content of the panels. This artwork was brooding and tackled inner struggles and vulnerabilities with outer manifestations of human inconsistences and flaws.
The group of Hazelhurst installers and exhibition preparers were responsible for awarding the Preparators’ Residency Award to Teo Treloar Black Geometry 2015.
Teo Treloar was the recipient of a four week residency at the Hazelhurst Gallery.
His five panelled work Black Geometry was skilfully and precisely executed in pencil on paper.
Each of the solitary figures in the panels was absorbed in the construction and deconstruction of line and angle.
The tonal contrast gave the fabrics a textual resonance and the wall and floor surfaces a graphic realism of intersecting shapes. Black Geometry was expertly crafted with finesse and balanced compositions.
The Art On Paper Exhibition at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre was dominated by an exceptional array of astonishing artworks. The standard of this wide-ranging large collection of artworks was impressive and it was difficult to select only a few to comment on. In deed every artist in the Exhibition delivered an imaginative artistic response.
One of my favourite works was Ralf Kempken’s Construct 2014 crafted from hand cut paper.
The expertly constructed diamond panelled patterns of the 3D black paper exposed a face. The optical illusion created by the placement of the hand cut paper and the fall of light revealed the soft features of a face. As the viewer moved further away from the work the features were more clearly defined.
This was an innovative artwork conceptually demanding and visually stimulating.
Paul Snell’s circular lambda print Intersect 201503, 2015 was radiant, sharp and luminous. The intensity of the colours vibrated, discords were created by the horizontal placement of contrasting colours. The meticulous arrangement of the varying horizontal lines of colour drew the viewer into the mystery of colour flickering before their eyes.
This abstract geometric artwork pulsed with the creative aesthetic that fascinates me personally.
Liz Shreeve with Double Gradient 2014 perfected the art of watercolour on cut and folded paper. She took the viewer’s eye on an enigmatic adventure. In creating the intricacies of the pattern in the geometric grid shadows fell and light tilted to produce a yellow glow. The formation of the grid distributed darker blue tones as the eye was drawn to the bottom of the work.
In Gladdy Kemarre’s Anwekety (Bush Plum) 2014 acrylic on paper her dot painting resonated with the shadows and seasonal changes of the bush. The aerial view of the landscape explored the patterns, shapes, forms and textures of the land.
The urban landscape depicted by Matthew de Moiser in Convenience store (state 5) 2015 was crafted from multiple layers of resin-treated paper on board. The precise blocks of flat colour conveyed the regularity of commercialism set against a hot pink sky. The industrial implications of the stark geometric shapes echoed emptiness and an eerie silence. The simplicity of the pictorial image created a very detached veneer.
Shoufay Derz’s Cameron’s Quarry 2013 is a pigment print on cotton paper of resounding authority where the element of light bounced off the exterior and the textures of the ancient rocks were lucidly exposed. The gently rippling surface of the water and the secrets of the location were explored with contrasts of shadow and light etched across the scene.
These were only a few examples from a highly successful exhibition that honoured excellent Art On Paper. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this wealth of imaginative art from a wide spectrum of well-respected artists.
Rose Niland, Special Features, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015
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