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Portraits for portraits’ sake

Just Portraits is on exhibition at Yamba Museum’s Old Kirk until November 24; the featured artists are (l-r) Alan Hanson, Kay Cottee, Pat Jenkins, Linda Westmoreland, Pam Fysh, Liz Slater and Graham Mackie, (Julie Hutchings was absent). Image: Graham Mackie
Geoff Helisma Graham Mackie’s exhibition, Just Portraits, opened at the Yamba Museum’s Old Kirk last Friday. Around 120 people turned out, which Mr Mackie said was a “good result”. “The main aim [of the exhibition] is to break away from my traditional end of year exhibition, which was mainly based on the land and river scapes around the area of Coombadjha, where I have a farm, art studio and gallery,” Mr Mackie said. “I thought it would be appropriate to try something at the other end of the art spectrum … and that is portraiture.” Mr Mackie said it was an opportunity to exhibit some of his eight Archibald Prize entries, all of which did not make it to hanging. “I thought it would be a good idea to exhibit them, with seven other artists, who themselves were involved in submitting some works for the Portia Geach Portrait Award this year; with a number of sittings at Linda Westmoreland’s studio outside of Copmanhurst. “These artists have also been involved in artCamp, which I run on a yearly basis at Coombadjha “Many of them do not exhibit their work, so I am trying to provide a vehicle for them to showcase their talents.” Mr Mackie has also included 50 portrait photographs of mainly of local identities in the exhibition, in the museum’s foyer. The other artists who have works on exhibition are: Kay Cottee, Yamba; Liz Slater, Gulmarrad; Alan Hanson, Diggers Camp; Pam Fysh, Grafton; Julie Hutchings, Grafton; Pat Jenkins Maclean; and, Linda Westmoreland, Winegrove.