Friday 15 July 2011

Sinister pools - the story of a painting

Sinister Pools Triptych - oil on canvas
Carol Lee Beckx ©2010
High in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa near Garden Castle, the Umzimkulu River spills out of the mountains and starts its journey to the sea. The river twists and turns its way through fertile farmland. As one turns off the main road from the village of Underberg to drive into the mountains, the river is alongside the road. The water tumbling over rocky cascades thrills adrenalin junkies on canoes.
In between there are deep dark pools that are part of the lore of the local trout fishermen. The mist rises off the river in winter at dawn and I imagine the atmosphere is dark, cold and sinister, hence the name.

The triptych is a gentler version of the scene. I was not up at dawn to photograph the river and I haven’t battled with elusive trout. The day I was there it was sunny and clear. In the distance, the mountains were a soft lilac contrasting with the sharp green of the fields.

For a closer look at Sinister Pools try this link to Google Earth latitude -29.7755769503, longitude =29.4647043761

Sinister Pools is currently on view at Red Hill Gallery , 61 Musgrave Road Red Hill Brisbane QLD 4059

Saturday 2 July 2011

Surrealism through a child's eyes

Viewing Surrealism The Poetry of Dreams through the eyes of a seven year old is an enlightening experience.The exhibition is currently on view at GoMA, Brisbane.  Many adults have great difficulty understanding the often bizarre concepts of Surrealism. In fact, many Surrealists would confess that they did not understand much of what they were doing. Moreover, because the work originated in dreams and the subconscious, understanding the work was perhaps not a priority.

The Gallery thoughtfully has explanatory notes alongside many of the works, helping an adult trying to explain the inexplicable to a child. In GoMA  Surrealism for kids has fun activities that will engage children (and adult children as well). Using a drawer full of various household items they can can create their own Surrealist sculptures, take a photo (the camera is cunningly hidden at the side of the booth) and then send the images via text or email. There is the opportunity to make a collage of cut-outs in the style of Max Ernst, or embellish an ink blot to draw their own ideas.

In the Queensland Art Gallery we were fascinated by Artist’s Choice: Marion Drew - Buoyancy.She has curated works form the Gallery’s Collection relating to water. A mixture of paintings, sculptures and photographs from all historical periods gives an interesting insight into the varied works in the Collection.

Then in another space the photo-realistic paintings amazed us with the precise detail that made each part super- real. Some parts are actually real - the steel rule and the drawing pin holding up the string of the painted album cover aren't painted but the real deal. The tempation to touch is almost over-whelming!

Outside the sunlight shining through a Geodesic-domed sculpture makes abstract patterns on the Zoysia grass, beckoning the kids to play on the grass in the coloured light.