- Cessnock City Council Art Collection
- 27.08.2009 - 20.09.2009
Cessnock City Council Art Collection
27th August - 20th September 2009:
In the early 1960's Cessnock City Council acquired a small work by James Gleeson. One of Council's only direct purchases of artwork it was a prudent decision both artistically and financially. James Gleeson has gone on to become one of Australia's greatest artists, art critics and gallery directors and his work is widely collected. Australia's finest surrealist artist, Gleeson would have been somewhat perplexed to find his painting Suzannah and the Elders embedded in a collection of works that has a strong tendency to traditional forms and subject matter.
Council has, since the late 1960's, been a major sponsor of the Traditional Section of the Weston Art Show, one of the oldest regional art awards in Australia, through which it has acquired a great many of the works in its collection. The first few works hanging here are outstanding examples of this genre. John Earle's Merewether Hill at sunrise, 1980 and Thornton Bush demonstrate lively brushwork, a sensitive use of colour and a great eye for composition which are the cornerstones of any good work of art regardless of subject. While Earle's views of regional scenes are engaging to local viewers, Brian Butcher's Cessnock Castle is as interesting for its clear reference to the regions historic past, the painting powerfully conveying the gloomy weather of the highlands. Charles Raisbeck, who held some of the first painting classes in Cessnock in the 1960's, is also part of Cessnock's historic past. His painting The Studio however straddles the line between traditional and contemporary art just as it blurs the boundary between inside and out, interior and landscape, and prefigures the vigorous paintwork and inventive compositions of later works in the collection.
The exhibition goes on to show the range of subject matter and styles that have been of interest to local artists and judges of the Cessnock and Weston Art Shows over the past forty years and in doing so provides a short survey of late Twentieth Century style. From still life and interior scenes to sweeping landscapes, from abstractions to the lovely nude by well known exponent of this genre Ann Cape, the collection has something to engage everyone. The last work in this selection my personal hollow man by Adam Vauvert won the Wollombi Valley Arts Council Emerging Artists Award in 2009, signaling Council's ongoing support of local and regional artists in a tangible way whilst developing an asset in which the whole community can share and take pride.
Sundays 1pm - 3pm:
Still Life Painting
Every Sunday, during this exhibition, come and enjoy painting a still life. Inspired by the artists in the Council's Art Collection, visitors are encouraged to paint in acrylics at an easel, surrounded by these beautiful artworks. This event is free and available for up to 10 participants with all materials provided. Bookings essential.
Sunday 30th August
Join exhibiting artist, Frances Fussell as she paints her still-life alongside visitors to the Gallery.
‘In Conversation with...' Sundays 2pm -3pm
A series of art and artists' talks followed by afternoon tea at the Gallery.
6th September John Adams, Weston Art Show Judge
13th September Marea Kozaczynski-McCaig, Hunter Valley artist/exhibitor
20th September Simon Eade, Community & Cultural Programs Manager CCC