I haven’t been to Brunswick Street Gallery (BSG) for a while; it has changed a lot since I wrote my last review in my old blog. It now occupies two stories above Brunswick Street with numerous white walled gallery spaces, track lighting and dark wood.
The “first Brunswick Street Gallery Picture This 08 Prize” exhibition filled BSG’s galleries and it stairwells, hung salon style to fit in more photographs. There are some 900 photographs by about 300 photographers in this exhibition – far too many to make individual comments. I did recognize Matthew Harding’s photographs because I had seen them only last month in a larger format at RMIT’s 1st Site gallery. There is great variety of photographic techniques in this exhibition from duotones, b&w, color, and digital manipulated. And the subjects of the photographs are even more varied. The handwritten gallery cards with titles and prices are a bit shabby and some of the artists printed their own.
Not surprisingly with so many exhibitors and the sunny spring Saturday on Brunswick St. there were lots of people in BSG when I visited. And Brunswick St. remains the trend-setting, cultural heartland of Melbourne with its bars, cafés, restaurants and bookshops.
Slide in Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces doorway Tim Hillier’s video “Shackle me not”. The video features two men on a beach wearing a double hoodie, two hoodies sewn together along one side, like a garment for co-joined twins. The video is fun combining avant-garde body sculpture traditions from the 1970s with popular romantic images of running on the beach.
Seventh’s gallery two has “sonance”, a work of sonic and sculptural art by Miles Brown, Monica Zanchetta and Craig Love. It is beautiful and strange with musical influences from LaMonte Young and Luigi Russolo. I don’t know if the three white card pipes and horns contributed much acoustically, apart from allowing the listener to separate the sounds, but they looked the part magnificently.
At 696 artist and gardener Bernadettte Trench-Thiedeman had a small exhibition “Archeology” of pen and ink drawings. What is remarkable about this exhibition is its installation-like hanging. The whimsical drawings are on small linen kites that have become stuck in a tree, their strings trailing down. Bernadettte Trench-Thiedeman has been busy this year; she had the exhibition “Eat the City” at Platform and helped plant vertical garden at Melbourne Central. So the use of the tree branches for the installation is part of Trench-Thiedeman botanically influenced art practice.