If you’ve been to an MRAG exhibition opening you know how much we all love hearing directly from artists about their practice. So here’s a digital version just for you…
See: at home
Whilst the Gallery is closed we are taking a moment to reflect on Stories from Wonnarua Country.
This exhibition featured artworks made by students from seven local schools who explored what it means to them to be living on Wonnarua Country today. The artists were led by their student colleagues who are the leaders of their school-based Junior Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.
“The way the students thought outside the square in creating artworks that connected to Wonnarua Country was outstanding”
Uncle Warren Taggart, Wonnarua Elder
Tarro’s Tree of Knowledge
We all have our own knowledge to share and story to tell. Every student (as well as teachers, parents and school community members) at Tarro Public School has been part of collectively creating this artwork. We wanted to show how individual stories come together to tell the shared story of our amazing and diverse little community. We all live, learn and grow together. Our installation depicts this through the merged representation of two locally found trees – the Spotted Gum and Ironbark.
JAECG students, Tarro Public
Artists Emma Langford, Lexzie-Ann Fraser, Estella Walla and Ryleigh Lewis from Tarro Public Junior Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (JAECG) and teacher Danielle Yeend installing Tarro’s Tree of Knowledge in the gallery as part of Stories from Wonnarua Country in June 2019. This artwork was created by all K-6 students from Tarro Public School and was supported by parents and community members who assisted with plaiting, weaving, sewing, painting and donating yarn.
This video and soundscape was part of Minimbah, an installation by Maitland High School JAECG in Stories from Wonnarua Country.
Thank you to the artists for their permission to include their video and soundscape here.
Many people in the school came together in the making of this artwork; as the stories of Wonnarua connect us to this land and each other. Our intention for Minimbah (teaching place) is to illustrate a sensory experience – as living on country is not just sitting back, it involves deep connection and interactions between living things.
JAECG students, Maitland High
Artists: Jaimie-Lee Beavan, Takara Delmedge, Jayeirra Dixon, Gindah Griffiths, Emma Merritt, Tahneal Simmons, Summer Singh, Natalie Smith, Taneisha Wells, Judd Allen, Kyana Patten, Meg Pearson, Taylor Torrens, Hayley Griffiths, Maineikia-Lei Harris, Shianne Hawksworth, Ronnie Swain, Warrali Griffiths, Ashleigh Heywood, Kaleb Trugett and Killara Drew assisted by Chantal Tanna, Christina Wright, Michael Heitmeyer, Nola Gregory and Jabez Howell.
Here at MRAG we love supporting local makers and creators. Did you know the Gallery Shop showcases approximately 50 artists at any one time?
Vicki Cornish aka Bonsai Woman has been busy wrapping the Gallery in her hand-spun, hand dyed, locally sourced yarn as we prepare for the cooler months ahead. Here’s a peek behind the scenes at the making process.
Vicki has created a special artwork exclusively for the MRAG Gallery Shop. Stay is a 4m high installation crafted through a process of sourcing, dyeing, spinning and weaving Alpaca fleece and raw linen yarn. Stay tuned for an artist talk and online workshop with Vicki in the coming weeks.
This artwork is available to purchase in the Gallery Shop. Give us a call on 02 4934 9859 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to tell you more about Vicki’s work!
Do you have a favourite work? In this three-part series, Gallery Officer Anna Buxton Soldal shares some of her favourites with us.
Part 2 considers an unusual clock by Australian artist Fiona Hall. Wrong Way Time (Cuckoo Clock with News of the World) is one of several significant artworks generously donated to the City of Maitland by Penelope Seidler AM. Read more about the Seidler gift here.
See: Guns to Roses | from the MRAG Collection
Guns to Roses in an exhibition full of beauty and colour with artists deconstructing and diffusing reminders of violence, man-made and natural disasters, and our own mortality in order to entice audiences to look closer. Artists care about the world we live in, and this exhibition includes artworks of beauty and diverse materials that illustrate their concerns about the precariousness of our times and the fragility of life as impacted by weapons, warfare, political unrest and the increasingly imposing threats to our fragile environment caused by climate change.
Artist Simone Patterson shares her work with us…
Explore each work through the exhibition catalogue and essay. Eager to get your hands on your own catalogue? – call us on 02 4934 9859 and we’ll pop one in the post for $12.50 (includes Australian domestic postage).
See: Kei Takemura | How can it be recovered?
Japanese artist Kei Takemura repairs broken objects using silk thread, transforming these ‘wounds’ into objects of beauty. In this way Takemura continues the Kintsugi tradition and questions single-use culture.
“Instead of throwing them away I tried to put them in a preserved condition. The dish is taken from the place where it has fallen apart and is wrapped and “sheltered” in a thin transparent cloth. In this state the broken piece appears as something valuable that has survived its own breakage. The seams on the covering cloth refer to the points of fracture on the vessels. They represent “wounds” which I recognise after wrapping the once broken and then repaired vessel. I pass a white shiny silk thread through the wrapping where the points of fracture are and this way the “wounds” are given a gleam so that the broken object achieves a condition of beauty. Therefore the embroidery represents in this series of works the line of fracture and also a restoring of the image that was once broken.” Kei Takemura
Interview recorded and supplied by Dominik Mersch Gallery. Want to know more? Explore more of Kei’s work at here.
See: Masters & Apprentices | featuring the Lakeview Collection of Old Masters with responses from local school students at home
It is not every day that Masters like Picasso, Rembrandt, Chagall, Destino, Renoir, Goya and Miro hang on the walls of Maitland Regional Art Gallery – a big thank you to the Lakeview Collection for sharing these masterpieces with the Maitland community. Better still, 50 ‘apprentices’ from local schools made artworks inspired by these Masters, to create the ‘Masters & Apprentices’ exhibition.
Can you find your artwork?
Note: To see the Masters artworks, search for them online. We are unable to reproduce them due to copyright restrictions.
View the catalogue here:
See: LET ALL THE BIRDS FLY: THE HYBRID PRINT AT HOME
“Invention and an overwhelming sense of freedom was at the very core of our invitation to this exceptional group of artists” Patricia Wilson-Adams
The nature of printmaking has changed substantially over the past 30 years as artists experiment freely with print media and techniques. Take a (virtual) tour of Let all the birds fly: the hybrid print and explore the work of eleven Australian artists who are challenging and expanding our understanding of printmaking.
Want to know more? Explore each work through the exhibition catalogue. Eager to get your hands on your own catalogue? – call us on 02 4934 9859 and we’ll pop one in the post for $12.50 (includes Australian domestic postage).
See: LUCAS GROGAN’S LONG STORY SHORT AT HOME
Lucas Grogan’s Long Story Short was, ahh, rather short. But alas, the show must and is going on! Lucas has created new content for you to enjoy whilst observing current social distancing protocols. Parents please note that some videos contain adult themes, strong language, as well as epic skills and a little bit of pink…
If you would like your very own copy of Lucas’ excellent exhibition catalogue with its feel-good cover give us a call and we’ll send you a copy for $30 (includes postage)… 02 4934 9859.