The current exhibition at Traffic Jam Galleries focuses on portraiture and the body. Five artists from across Australia are featured who have not exhibited together previously . The divergent works are occasionally challenging, playful, nurturing and at times melancholic and whimsical.
The subject of the works vary from identifiable, enigmatic and iconographic through to evocative. We are invited to consider conversations surrounding the body, our relationships with other people and the art of portraiture and the figure.
Anthony Breslin’s use of mixed media includes items such as toothpaste, jigsaw pieces, paint tubes, pencil sharpeners , paint tin lids and paint brushes , swirling paint often combined with paper and cardboard in collage like three dimensional results.There is a particular style Breslin frequently uses – a distinctive round face, huge eyes and long nose. His characters have an enormous boisterous Presence, at times perhaps somewhat bizarre .
A couple of works are haunting and ghostly portraits with round faces while other works are dynamic and colourful, leaping out at the viewer. There are distinctive, vibrant portraits of a frog and also a fly also included.
Presenting the body as a map of life’s experiences, Stacey Korfiatis’ paintings cherish what could be regarded as flaws and imperfections, appreciating the human body as more than the sum of its parts regardless of size, age or ability. Stacey’s works have been shortlisted for numerous prizes and awards including the Lester Prize, Stanthorpe Art Prize, Waverley and Graeme Hilderbrand Art Prize and the fortyfivedownstairs Emerging Artist Award. Stacey holds a Bachelor of Visual Art from Monash University.
Baring all surgical scars, birthmarks, stretch marks, wrinkles, and body hair, Stacey’s subjects tell their stories via the visual effects of time and experience. While many of her models require mobility aids, by presenting them with neither aid nor costume, Stacey avoids positioning her subjects as ‘other’ and instead draws attention to what makes us similar. [They are extraordinarily sympathetic yet possibly confronting nudes revealing all ]
Jennifer is a large, proud nude, facing away from us yet revealing her various tattoos.
Feet First features the very sore feet prominently displayed in all their glory
I’ve got a hunch is a nude bent over with long hair obscuring her face and if you look closely you observe the reddish angry skin from stomach to toes and the angry very large scar.
Julie Hutchings is another regular exhibiting artist at Traffic Jam Galleries . Her works are at times fragile, delicate and dreamy ( remembering a lost childhood ? ), here featuring some wistful portraits and also showing her love of horses.
Danielle McManus, another regular Traffic Jam Galleries artist, is represented by quite a few works in this exhibition. They feature her trademark huge eyes of the humans, and incredible detail in her depiction of the birds and animals . In the works included there is a whimsical fairytale approach to some of them ( Looking for her Prince , with three huge frogs ), or a nursery rhyme (Sing A Song of Sixpence) as well as a couple of striking quasi-historical portraits . Plus allusions to famous works by 19th century Australian artists that also has the eerie atmosphere of say Hansel and Gretel (The Lost Children triptych).
Is represented in this exhibition by both paintings and photographs. The paintings are all bright bold and colourful , include one glorious landscape and the portraits feature very strong lines and huge eyes. There is a diptych portrait of artist Danielle Mcmanus and I Am Not Myself is a portrait of a mind in turmoil . Awaken the Minotaur with its balls of string alludes to the legend.
Two vibrant cheeky self-portraits are included, one in black and white one in colour.
TALKING HEADS runs at the Traffic Jam Galleries until August 28.