Looking back at Iluka Visions 2015

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Amy Nairn, Inner Self, 2015, pen, ink, watercolour, tea and coffee. Dallellup College, Year 11, winner of Iluka Visions Framer’s Choice Award 2015

Iluka Visions is BRAG’s annual exhibition of high school art from around the South West. Laura Bruton, a young artist and intern at BRAG, looks back over the 2015 installment of this important exhibition, and reflects on some of the most memorable artworks for her.

Guest blogger: Laura Bruton

Iluka Visions has always been a goal to aspire towards for me, being an artist myself. It’s always full of the ideas of broad and creative minds, and this year is no exception. It’s mind-blowing the talent that’s demonstrated by the students in these exhibitions, and this year has been one of my own personal favorites.

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Erin Bayliss, Barbarity, 2015, lino print and mixed media. Bunbury Catholic College, Year 12

Though all of the artworks now rest in my book of favorites, some in particular were very eye catching. One such artwork was a piece titled “Barbarity”, by Erin Bayliss. This piece was a triptych using lino print and mixed media. It depicts three gruesome scenes, presented in meat trays like products, that I believe reflect on the cruelty of human kind. The first section is the image of a figure trapped in a small cage, cut and bruised; this image appears synonymous with the practice of slavery. The second image is that of a woman being killed with a harpoon as her child watches. This image is akin to the whaling incidents that occurred in Japan a few years ago. The last panel is the image of a mother, father, and child, hanging on meat hooks. This image, paired with the label on the ‘product’ – “PRICE: The loss of a generation” – pushes me to think that this has something to do with the Stolen Generation tragedy in Australia’s history.

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Amy Nairn, Bird Study, 2015, pen, ink tea and coffee. Dalyellup College Year 11, winner of Iluka Visions Year 11 Award 2015

I saw a few familiar names and art styles in this year’s exhibition, including that of Amy Nairn and her works “Bird Study” and “Inner Self”, which both won awards. I’ve always been a fan of Amy’s work, and to see her appear in this year’s Iluka Visions exhibition was definitely a highlight. I actually watched her artwork take shape, as I was part of Amy’s art class earlier in the school year. She’s incredibly good at drawing feathers, and her work has a very rustic, organic feel to it, which is something I really love.

Overall, this year’s Iluka Visions exhibition, like all of its predecessors, is a sight to see. There’s plenty of new, fresh talent in every aspect of the works.

Zine Market 2015

IMG_6689There was once a time when zines ruled the earth…

Zines, a sub species of printed material such as magazines, were largely thought to have become extinct with the introduction of new species such as blogs and websites. However, recent research has shown that their numbers are once again on the rise.

They are hungry – and they want to take over!

Last weekend, zinesters from around the South West and Perth came together at BRAG to enjoy the wonderful little publications that we call “zines”.

A zine (an abbreviation of fanzine, or magazine) is a self-published, small circulation, non-commercial booklet of original and/or appropriated texts and images. Stall holders at the Bunbury Zine Market brought with them stacks of zines covering every topic imaginable!

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BRAG’s zine and badge making workshop was also in full production during the market with zinesters of all ages getting involved!

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Separate and Together

small IMG_6560The South West Printmakers’ exhibition Separate and Together opened at BRAG on Friday night.

Separate & Together highlights the dialogue between the individual printmaker’s art practice and an inner drive to share these experiences and techniques with others.

The South West Printmakers are a group of West Australian artists who encourage printmaking as a visual language through exhibitions and workshops. This year celebrates The South West Printmakers’ 10th year as a vibrant group of artists. Ten years of sharing the knowledge of various printmaking processes have allowed the group to grow as individuals, and so enthusiastically engage in a dialogue of the limitless possibilities of printmaking as an innovative art form.

Exhibiting artists include Anne-Marie Lapinski, Christine Latham, Denise Gillies, Helen Hulme Gerrard, Lianne Jay, Elizabeth Royce, Lynne Mitchell, Sue Dennis and Yvonne Dorricott.

Thanks to everyone who made it to the exhibition opening! Separate and Together runs until Sunday, 6 December 2015.

Iluka Visions 2015 Award Winners Announced

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Iluka Visions is BRAG’s annual exhibition of the best artworks by high school students in the South West and neighboring regions. The Awards Night last week was a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of these young artists!

Iluka Visions was initiated in 1991 to support upcoming artists in the South West. Now, in its 24th year, the exhibition continues to provide quality professional development opportunities for students and teachers.

The Iluka Prize, the exhibition’s most prestigious award, allows one student to attend a one-week internship at the Perth Institute of Contempory Arts (PICA), with accommodation and a living expences bursary provided. This student works closly with PICAs curatorial team, an invaluable experience for any young person aspiring to a carear in the arts.

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With over 100 works on display it was a difficult task for the judging panel to select only a handful of award winners. This year’s judging panel was comprised of local artists Nicole Mickle and Andrew Frazer, and curator Diana McGirr. The judges looked for artworks that demonstrated how studnets had pushed their skills and the boundaries of their chosen materials to create visualy engaging and conseptualy stimulating works.

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The award winners for Iluka Visions 2015 are:

  • The Iluka Prize: Lucinda White, Dalyellup College
  • Best Over All: Jorja Biggs, John Tonkin College
  • Year 7 Award: Mykayla Slater, Collie Senior High School
  • Year 7 Highly Commended: Saoirse Torr, Bunbury Senior High School
  • Year 8 Award: Lily Osabofu, Frederick Irwin Anglican School
  • Year 8 Highly Commended: Soren Pollard, Australind Senior High School
  • Year 9 Award: Nathan Slater, Collie Senior High School
  • Year 9 Highly Commended: Rachel Hull, Frederick Irwin Anglican School
  • Year 10 Award: Shannon Rampant, Bunbury Catholic College
  • Year 10 Highly Commended: Nitaya Pakkavesang, Bunbury Senior High School
  • Year 11 Award: Amy Nairn, Dalyellup College
  • Year 11 Highly Commended: David Palumbo, Bunbury Catholic College
  • Year 12 Award: Shannon Thompson, John Tonkin College
  • Year 12 Highly Commended: Cassandra Rampant, Bunbury Catholic College
  • Education Support Award: Jake Jorgensen, Collie Senior High School
  • Education Support Highly Commended: Maddie Rowlands, Collie Senior High School
  • Framer’s Choice Award: Amy Nairn, Dalyellup College

Iluka Visions is on display at BRAG until 22 November 2015.

You can download the digital catalogue BRAG website!

Photographs by Sam Beard.

Getting ACTIV

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ACTIV Exhibition 2015

Come and see the latest exhibition by ACTIV at BRAG! These artworks have been created by participants/artists in BRAG’s ACTIV art classes, directed by John Pasco. These weekly classes have now been running at BRAG for over 4 years.

ACTIV art classes provide an opportunity to build a community, encouraging social interaction and camaraderie between those who lead, what can sometimes be, a very isolating life.

The drawings and paintings in this exhibition focus on a number of themes including limitation, boundaries, exploration and thinking patterns.

ACTIV participants/artists work both individually and collaboratively, but it is clear that thematic connections run strong through all these artworks. The individual, or any community, is never alone.

ACTIV Exhibition 2015 will be on display in BRAG’s community exhibition space, the BRAG Wall, until 24 July 2015.

Endless Autumn

David Attwood and Oliver Hull, Freddo, digital print, 2015, courtesy the artist

David Attwood and Oliver Hull, Freddo, digital print, 2015, courtesy the artist

In 1964 Bruce Brown produced the definitive surf movie: The Endless Summer. The movie follows surfers on their worldwide quest for the perfect wave. It was the first ‘pure’ surfing movie – made by surfers, for surfers – which crossed into the mainstream of popular culture. It marked a cultural moment; surfing became a hot new sport, associated with youthfulness and an ideal Californian lifestyle, and shamelessly exploited by the media. The surfer style and antiestablishment identity became a marketing tool to sell clothing, movies and magazines. Surfing culture spawned a style of art which collapsed boundaries between art and design. Hierarchies became established in the art world and the surfing world: between contemporary and kitsch, between locals and wannabes. Endless Autumn uses humour to explore these divisions in the context of the less desirable aspects of surfing: ‘waxed’ car doors, broken thongs and the great white shark.

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Confronting the viewer on first entering the gallery, Stalagmite suggests aquatic shapes: gelatinous sea creatures, the accretion of salt on handrails near the beach, or the sea itself as it swells to a curling abstraction of a breaking wave. Its phallic symbolism punctures notions of the heroic male artist, an idea underscored by the collective nature of the exhibition –Attwood and Hull share authorship of all the works.

Machismo and surf-wax recur in Waxed Again, a work alluding to the practice of local surfers destroying the car doors of out-of-towners. Surfers speak of ‘localism’, being the extent to which surfers mark out their territory using violence and intimidation. Although surfer Tom Trigwell recalls that in the 1960s a certain break was known as ‘Bunbury Break’ in recognition of the number of surfers who made their way down from the regional centre, the waves of the south west now have some reputation as ‘localised’.

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David Attwood and Oliver Hull, Waxed again, Car doors and surf wax, 2015

The two waxed car doors are paired with two paintings of local beach landscapes from the City of Bunbury Art Collection. The inclusion of these works again raises questions of collective authorship of an exhibition, but also provokes viewers to question the forces that determine the course of art scholarship. Just as typical Surf Art incurs the disparagement of the art world, this disdain is echoed by the hierarchy of genres in academic art, with landscape towards the bottom. The question of authenticity and acceptance runs parallel in art as in surfing.

Anti-Shark Abstraction serves up the hard-edged painting style of West Coast geometric abstract painting, in this instance representing the shark-repellent patterning of surfboards and wetsuits. The intense colour and bold unitary forms draws on the human fascination with machine-made uniformity and standardised experiences as contrasted with the thrilling unpredictability of natural phenomena.

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David Attwood and Oliver Hull, Venn Diagram, charcoal, 2015

Blue Tube, an air-conditioning vent painted the colour of Bunbury seas invests a quotidian object with the mystique of the perfect tube. The item is offered as an object of obsession – the hovering mirage a surfer might see if stranded in an art gallery in a town with no waves. This all-too perfect tube can be seen as commentary on the increasing popularity of surfing amongst the general populace, where surfing is compartmentalised and packaged for a mass audience.

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David Attwood and Oliver Hull, Clasic, Plaster, 2015

Similarly, Freddo pokes fun at the ubiquitous surfing imClasic Plasteragery in mass culture. Along with Blowout, it speaks to the hybridity of Australian culture – appropriating American styles of footwear (made in Brazil) and presenting a British candy as a mark of Australian identity. The exhibition as a whole plays on the motif of provincialism in its repeated allusion to the benchmarks of international modernism, referencing Duchamp’s readymade, the monochrome paintings of modernism and the mass cultural references of pop. However, in this instance, the artists engage with modernism to entrench themselves all the more firmly in the regional. Their artworks locate themselves firmly in this specific site, thus anchoring the hybrid, unstable identities of postmodernism firmly in the complex histories, practices and identities of this region.

Text by Alisa Blakeney, BRAG Exhibitions Administrator/Curator

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