‘Hope’; ‘Goldfields’ Vignettes’; ‘Early Small Works’

20 February – 13 April 2014

Mixed media by Heather Barrett

Photogravures by Stephen Tester

Monotypes [1995-2004] by Wayne Viney

Wayne Viney’s early [1995 – 2004] monotypes, in the upstairs gallery space, explore natural phenomena and convey a range of moods from quiet contemplation to dramatic effects of nature. His work is characterized by a simplified abstract form and a rich colour palette, depicting dramatic evening clouds and approaching storms.

The monotype printmaking technique involves painting onto a plate [glass, metal or acrylic] and applying paper onto the plate under pressure in order to lift off a single print. It produces spontaneous, unexpected effects – smudges, streaks and diffused lines and shapes. The blurred, painterly results are most evocative.

Viney is a highly acclaimed Melbourne artist whose mastery of the technique has resulted in awards, commissions and acquisitions by significant public and private collections in Australia.

Castlemaine Art Gallery is holding a retrospective exhibition of his works 1 March – 13 April and the Falkner Gallery exhibition will show and sell many of his early works at the same time. All are printed on Arches BFK Rives, 300 gsm paper and framed using 6 ply Canson Archival mount board.

The second exhibition, in the front gallery space, is of photogravures by Castlemaine artist Stephen Tester entitled ‘Goldfields’ Vignettes’.

He writes: “The robust and distinctive nature of the nineteenth century gold rush still defines the character of many Central Victorian towns, villages and settlements today. At the same time as these structures were being built, the process of Photogravure [photo–etching] was being refined as a means of reproducing photographs in newspapers and magazines”.

It seemed appropriate to Tester to use the photogravure process to produce works on paper that would convey the sense of history and presence of these beautiful buildings. The original camera negatives were made during 2012 on cameras that would be familiar to gold rush era photographers.

Many photographs were made in the pre dawn hours lit only by street lights. All prints are printed on Somerset cotton rag paper and ink made by Charbonnel, a company formed in 1862, was used. All prints are editioned to 15 copies.

Also showing downstairs is the exhibition ‘Hope’ by Castlemaine artist Heather Barrett. It comprises a series of Mixed Media works expressing her concerns and hopes for the environment, given the realities of climate change.

Circles are an ever-present theme. She writes: “For me, circles evoke feelings of old worlds, new worlds, looking through and looking beyond.  Circles within our minds: the dissonance as we live with the impact we are having on the planet. Yet circles remind me of hope – we can reinvent ourselves.”

The works on canvas utilise a range of media including collage, acrylic, oil and water paints, photography, encaustic, print and textiles.

All three exhibitions commence 20 February and will conclude 13 April. The artists will be present Saturday 22 February 2 – 4pm.