Taking a trip down memory lane, best describes two new exhibitions currently on display at the Devonport Regional Gallery.
I’m Still Standing – Devonport Surviving Architecture is a celebration of the architecture that the Devonport community is surrounded by daily and is the first curated exhibition by the Gallery’s Collections and Curatorial Schools-based apprentice, Ruby Moore.
The Leighland Christian School Grade 11 student said she wanted to showcase artefacts that people of all ages could connect to through the Devonport City Council’s Robinson Collection. A collection of historical negatives which is a rich archive of images of landscapes, streetscapes and crowd-scapes, and architectural landmarks in and around Devonport.
“My inspiration for this exhibition was that I wanted to bring art and the community together,” Ruby said.
“As a young person, I enjoyed looking at the Robinson Collection and identifying what the buildings are being used for today, and I had the pleasure of listening to our art gallery volunteers’ stories about the Devonport of their youth.
“Curating this exhibition, involved selecting from thousands of negatives, and then finding the landmarks so I could document how the buildings look today.
“I was even crawling through the bushes and rock climbing in heels! To engage members of our community, I have created a map of the landmarks displayed in this exhibition. The idea is for people to have a look through the streets of Devonport and make the same connections as I did.”
Devonport Regional Gallery Visual Arts Coordinator Birgitta Magnusson-Reid said through the lens of Albert and Bert Robinson, we are reminded of the enduring, local architecture in Devonport and its service to the community then and now.
“It causes us to reflect on the lives of Devonport locals and relive the stories, bringing the Robinson’s negatives to life,” Ms Magnusson-Reid said.
“Contrastingly, Kathleen Cocker’s watercolours exhibit the delicacy, beauty and fragility of local homes. The combination of these artworks creates a picture that establishes the vital and enduring nature of historical Devonport.”
Locally based artist, and art teacher at Devonport High School Luke Viney is exhibiting as series of ceramic works in the Little Gallery titled Life – Work in Progress.
Luke said the series of ceramic works is an exploration of both memory and time.
“Over the past two years I have created a series of ceramic vessels and dinner plates often adorned with logos and pictures taken from cereal boxes or references to popular culture,” he said.
“Initially these were used as a way for me to create a visually appealing art works which questioned our obsession with consumerism and explored the beauty of advertising. Or so I thought. As I have reflected on these works, I have come to the realisation that I was in fact painting images of memories from my youth.”
Luke said his exhibition aims to show how memory is defined as the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information.
He said human memory is flawed and sometimes we forget or misremember things from our past.
“I have used this process to discuss memories from my childhood with my parents, wife, siblings, and children often finding that we all have alternative versions of how particular events unfolded,” he said.
“When considering which stories to tell I decided to use this opportunity to leave my artistic style behind and to work in a new manner with more complex and symbolic imagery. I have therefore created a mixed bag of works celebrating memories and moving forward in Life: Work in progress, or probably better titled Life: Making it up as I go.”
Luke exhibition is presented under the annual Little Gallery Program for early career Tasmanian artists. The Little Gallery Project Space is available to emerging and early career contemporary Tasmanian artists and promotes experimentation in 2D and 3D art, critical thinking, and engaging concepts.”
Upper Gallery: I’m Still standing – Devonport Surviving Architecture: currently until 27 August.
Little Gallery: Life – Work in Progress: currently until 20 August.