Australian Fine Artist

Works on Paper 2014

Exhibition at the Mornington peninsula Regional Gallery

The Works on Paper is a regular event held by the MPRG in Mornington, Victoria. Artists are invited to enter this award to have their work looked at by a selection committee, who then choose the finalist to be displayed in the gallery. From there the winner and acquisitions are announced.

I have entered a couple of times but not been selected yet and will reconsider for next year depending on how busy my schedule gets. I say that because after seeing the works on display this year I have had mixed emotions about them. Some I liked a lot both just as a viewer of art, others had me shaking my head and wondering what merit the judges saw in them. It was interesting to hear comments from others in the gallery as I walked around expressing similar views.

To have an unbiased, as well as informed opinion in all things arty can be difficult, as I feel that your taste is always going to have a say in the matter. I am learning to look at artworks and try to get into the head of the creators and appreciate what they may be trying to say or what sort of reaction they are trying to get from viewers, but am still having trouble making connections with some work.

With that in mind I decided to select my favourites from the exhibition and those that were on my “no thanks” list. My hope was that I would be able to see a pattern emerging so that I can understand my own tastes and if they are valid in any way.

My favourites from today’s visit were (in no particular order)

  • Ray Coffee
    “Daniel” Charcoal on Paper
    Great expression, realism, tonal values and texture.
  • David Frazer
    “Waiting for the Rain” Lino Cut
    Great Depth, Perspective, Impression of Tonal Values and Detail.
  • Fiona McMonagle
    “The Bird Lady” Ink and Water Colour
    Soft, Peaceful, Fluid and Expressive.
  • Jennifer Mills
    “In the Echo Chamber (if I were you I’d do more listening than talking)” Mixed Media
    Lovely drawing skills for figures, cover use of hand drawn type and beautifully balanced work.
  • Karyn Lindner
    “In the Pink” Water Colour and Pencil
    45 sheets of faces and figures. Really lovely drawing skills and very expressive.
  • Indigo O’Rourke
    “Pale Blue Dot” Pen Drawing
    This was a deceptive artwork, as from a distance you can’t see how much detail can be achieved with a pen. Really beautifully drawn.

There were several pieces that I stood in front of and tried to like or get something from, and failed. They might appeal to others but not me. I found them confusing, the colour if there, all over the place, so couldn’t find composition or design that I could relate to – or anything that I could settle my eyes on that was pleasing in an emotional or intellectual way. The gallery expects to have mixed reactions from any exhibition and this one is no exception. My suggestion is that when you visit, be happy to find pieces that you like a lot, some you think are OK and others that just are not your thing.

One of our tutors who is an exhibiting artist had a work in this year, which as always is beautifully done. We had a brief chat from him talking about some of the works, which made the visit more interesting and informative. Understanding the background of artists, their influences and what they are trying to achieve helps when you look at the work.

My thanks to TAFE for arranging our visit today. One last suggestion is that a visit to the other side of the gallery for the Paul Kelly portraits is well worth while. I saw one large oil painting in there that was stunning and grabbed my attention as soon as I walked through the sliding doors into the main gallery area.

Also worth a look whilst in the area, is the Oakhill Gallery near MPRG which has a very good figurative exhibition on at the moment. These works are for sale by local artists, with some lovely pieces – and doing very well. (I am not in this exhibition by the way – just a free plug!)

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