Coastal artists will take centrestage once again at the annual North West Art Circle’s Community and Awards exhibition, which opens tonight at the Devonport Regional Gallery.
North West Art Circle is a well-known group based on the North West Coast of Tasmania, with a member’s base of about 60 people, who all share their passion for making art and their goal to promote and further develop their arts practice.
According to paranaple arts centre director Geoff Dobson, the annual exhibition is a popular community event, where both well-known and emerging artists can exhibit their works.
“This year’s instalment does not disappoint in the variety of represented media, which includes oil painting, encaustics, watercolour, pastel, acrylic, drawing, wire sculpture and ceramics,” Mr Dobson said.
“As is normal for community arts exhibitions, the standard of the works varies but all artists should be congratulated on entering and the judges will have an interesting task to decide the winning works.”
Mr Dobson said the awards will be decided by judges Dr. Edna Broad PhD, MFA, BFA (Hons) and art teacher Sandra Henderson, and presented on opening night.
In the Little Gallery, the exhibition An Unexpected River by Launceston-based artist Travis Bell is approaching its last week.
Mr Dobson said the exhibition explores of the beauty of unadorned clay and place and delves into a more personal inquisition of the ceramic forms Bell makes and how they and the philosophies behind them are influenced through lived experience.
“An Unexpected River is for Bell both an exploration of new forms and ideas focused on the exploration of clay and the possibilities therein, as well as being a retrospective and reflective show,” Mr Dobson said.
“This exhibition exactly marks the five years since he first picked up clay. Bell is now looking back and investigating the way his work has progressed and grown, and how earlier works are informing and existing within the more recent pieces.”
In the Upper Gallery visitors can enjoy works from the City of Devonport’s Permanent Art Collection.
Mr Dobson said emerging guest curators Soren Risby and Tallulah Eaves were invited to engage with the varied art collection and the historical Robinson collection of negatives.
“The resulting exhibition Undercurrent explores Tasmanian art through the lens of the ocean, tracing the tide lines which connect Tasmanian life and identity across time and the exhibition examines how our island’s unique relationship with the sea shapes our past, the present day and our future,” Mr Dobson said.
“Tracing the tide lines which connect Tasmanian life and identity across time, the exhibition examines how the sea has shaped our Island’s past, present and encroaching future. On an island, the ocean is both isolating and a means of connecting to the outside world. For most of history the ocean was the only means of transportation to and from Tasmania. As global temperatures warm, rising sea levels will reshape the future of coastal life.”
Main Gallery, North West Art Circle: 31 July until 21 August.
Upper Gallery, Undercurrent: Currently until 25 September.
Little Gallery, An Unexpected River by Travis Bell: Currently until 8 August.
Travis Bell studies at the University of Tasmania, where he completed his Bachelor of Contemporary Art with Honours in 2020, including international exchanges at the University of Virginia, USA and the Central University of Tibetan Studies, India. He is continuing his studies at the University of Tasmania with a Master of Teaching.
Tallulah Eaves is studying a double degree in fine arts and history at the University of Tasmania in Launceston. She works in ceramics, creating vessels using the potter’s wheel. Her practice is informed by a love for the natural world and a fascination with story and memory.
Soren Risby is an emerging Hobart based curator, musician, and multimedia artist, predominantly working within the fields of sound art and performance. Drawing inspiration from the intersection of art and religion, his work focuses on how these spheres inform politics, consumption and environment. Outside of the gallery Soren is a member of the Australian Experimental Rock trio The Bonus, and student at The University of Tasmania.