Australian Fine Artist

William Blake at the NGV

Gallery Excursion with Chisholm Frankston for Visual Art
For those who are interested in contemporary art, William Blake may seem a rather odd choice to recommend seeing. I think, however that Blake has much to offer any artist no matter what style you lean towards. One of our tutors at Chisholm who is originally from the UK was influenced by Blake and now that I have seen more of his work, I can see much of where he gets his inspiration. Philip does very contemporary work and his compositions are imaginative and sometimes very confronting. His mix of body parts with inanimate objects has sometimes had me wondering where he got his ideas from. In Blake’s work today I could see little glimpses of Philip.

Apart from his very thought provoking and different compositions for his era, Blake was a brilliant draftsman. He learnt from such artists as Sir Joshua Reynolds, which explained to me why his rendering of the human body – hands and feet in particular, was so beautiful. The attention to detail in his prints, the tiny details in not only his drawings but his calligraphy had me wishing I had a magnifying glass to see more with. Along with the artworks was the poetry. Blake was and still is known for his writing along with his artistic ability. Tiger, Tiger is one of my favourites, but I read more whilst in the gallery and am becoming a fan of more than just this one work. I now have a book to read about not only his life but one of his publications, with some beautiful colour pages to look forward to seeing.

This collection of Blake’s work at the NGV is a rare glimpse into the thinking behind and production of some work that has not been exhibited before that I know of and well worth seeing. Following the NGV we had a guided tour of the exhibition currently at ACCA. I haven’t been a fan of a few of the past exhibitions we went to there but today’s was a refreshingly different experience. A couple of the artists did inspire, especially the one where a piano had been linked up to a lighting system hanging from the ceiling. As the notes are played the lights turn on, each light synced to a particular note on the piano. Music and visual together, rather nice. We then went to the Niagra Gallery in Richmond. The artist exhibiting there was in the past, a student at TAFE who went on to study at VCA. Brad Westmorland is a colourist, his paintings are vibrant and carefully designed to pull the viewer into a story which they can create on their own. His style is contemporary and modern, but he keeps his colours clean and balanced with enough figurative placement to even keep me interested. His work is well presented and I had a chance to chat with him and was very impressed by his professional attitude to his work. A good sign on a business note was the good amount of red dots in this gallery, a hint of how well received Brad’s work is by collectors. We listened to an interesting chat about his body of work as well as how he operates as a practising artist and gained some valuable insights. A good end to another interesting day of art from our tutors.

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