Arts & Culture

Clarence News & Info

Braddon Snape, Single Fold Hung n Strung, 2016. Welded and mirror polished inflated stainless steel, ratchet strap. Image courtesy of the artist.

Exhibitions opening at the Grafton Regional Gallery

It’s a summer art spectacular with six new exhibitions which opened last Saturday at Grafton Regional Gallery. The exhibitions will be on show until Sunday February 13 providing Clarence Valley locals and visitors with an abundance of inspiration to discover over the festive and holiday period. The exhibitions will be officially opened by Gallery Director Niomi Sands.

Things Are Not as They Appear:  Braddon Snape

Nationally recognised artist Braddon Snape presents a series of mesmerizing sculptures across two venues. Grafton Regional Gallery and Nanda\Hobbs Gallery in Sydney. This Newcastle based artist specialises in three-dimensional practice including large-scale public artworks and his current practice interrogates a dangerously exciting and new method of inflating steel. This performative process developed whilst researching for his PHD gives his work a renewed freedom, where it reveals a delicate dialogue between control and chance that has been aptly described as action sculpture. In this exhibition Braddons mirror-polished inflated steel sculptures transcend form and are objects of paradox. The seductive surfaces reflect and refract light capturing and transforming their surrounds. The works have a miraculous quality that capture the imagination.

Drawn Together:  David Fairbairn

David Fairbairn, DF & SA No1, 2020. Acrylic gouache pastel & charcoal on paper on board. Image courtesy of the artist.

Drawn Together explores the relationship between one of two sitters and the artist. This exhibition could suggest two people who are drawn together by circumstance; two unrelated people in the same drawing; two friends, or a couple in a long-term relationship.  Some of the earlier subjects were men and women from David’s local community who were invited to pose for the artist.  With the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic, David was unable to work with his regular sitters and his partner, Artist Suzanne Archer, offered to sit for him. This resulted in a new and extensive body of work.  The series began with individual portraits of Suzanne (Intimacy) and evolved into Double Lives which included both Suzanne and David. The resulting series reflects a long and sustained personal and artist relationship extending back more than three decades and it is this body of work that has become the focus of the exhibition. 

Materiality in Everyday Life: Cassandra-Lyn Palmer

Clarence Valley artist Cassandra-lyn Palmer challenges traditional approaches to using materials in visual art by making works directly from the landscape and everyday life.  The process of sourcing patterns and dyes often coupled with a site-specific element to her work informs the subject matter and narrative of her art practice. Materiality in Everyday Life presents recent works created during the COVID-19 global pandemic that examine Palmer’s home life and daily experiences as a busy mum.

Blossoming:  Pam Birrell

On display in the French Door Gallery in Prentice House, Blossoming presents recent works in oil and watercolour by Maclean based Artist Pam Birrell. Pam has exhibited extensively across the region and further afield, her work illustrates the beauty of nature and highlights that the natural world around us is an inspiring place.  She shares her work in the hope that other may share her feelings of wonderment and serenity and pure joy of living.

Art Class:  HSC Visual Arts Students from the Clarence

The High School Certificate body of work is the culmination of a two-year course and a full year of intensive investigation.  Students select a subject and develop a set of artworks based on their own findings and personal connections to the topic. This exhibition brings together HSC works from a selection of Clarence Valley high schools.

Summer Sensations: Artists from the Clarence

Summer Sensations celebrates the artists of the Clarence Valley and their wonderful creative contribution to the cultural vibrancy of the area. The open submission exhibition showcases artwork across all mediums and features work from emerging and established artists. The exhibition was inspired by the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London that has been running continuously since 1769 and is the world’s largest open submission art show. This is the third Summer Sensations exhibition showcasing work of artists from the Clarence Valley.

Gallery Director, Niomi Sands said “We are thrilled to open this round of exhibitions which showcase the capacity and versatility of the new Gallery and excited to be presenting work by two nationally recognised artists alongside artists from our region. This round of exhibitions continues Grafton Regional Gallery’s commitment to presenting outstanding contemporary art experiences for our community and supporting contemporary Australian artists.”