There are a few rental space galleries on Smith St. But, as I found, often the better art on Smith St. isn’t in the galleries but alternative exhibition spaces in cafes and shops.
Sekure D’s Daylight Hallucinations is an exhibition of custom sneakers, skateboard decks and paintings on canvas at Hogan Gallery. There are 27 colourful Nike and Globe sneakers, 3 decks and Sekure D’s robot illustrations. These are hardly ‘daylight hallucinations’; the work is competent but unimpressive. I have seen more psychedelic images in Greer Honeywill’s current exhibition at Flinders Lane Gallery. Sekure D’s whimsical paintings are full of arty drips and splatters. His cyclopedia robots play at pop culture references, or simply play. This is lowbrow illustration fun but nothing to get excited about.
Collingwood Gallery has an exhibition of Alan Gemmell’s naïve-style landscapes; the red center of Australia features prominently. And the best that I can say about Gemmell’s paintings is that they are not over priced.
Further down Smith St. at 69 Smith St. there is an even more horrible exhibition. I thought that Ronnie Woods had the monopoly on overblown paintings of Keith Richards. But as if there weren’t enough of them the ground floor of 69 Smith St. was full of more by Hans Erftemeyer. Erftemeyer seem to take Ronnie Woods’s art as an inspiration. If only it wasn’t all Keith Richards I might have been able to endure more than a glance.
The Sculpture Garden at the back of 69 Smith St. was in use again with work by various members of the gallery in blocks of Hebel stone. I helped build the sculpture garden and it is good to see that it was getting some use. Upstairs there was a group exhibition of art by members of the gallery; 69 Smith St. is an artist run gallery. This exhibition, with its red, yellow and green theme, had more variety and originality than anything that I had seen so far on Smith St.
The best art that I saw on my walk down Smith St. in Collingwood was not in an art gallery. It was in Smart Alec’s, a men’s hat shop. If 50s retro sci-fi robots and rocket ships are your style then you must see the objet d’art of Graeme Shaw. Graeme Shaw’s sculptures of rocket ships are made of found metal materials, retro chrome and brassware that perfectly suit their style. There is even a ray gun by Shaw behind the counter.