Tag Archives: Women’s Salon

First of the Summer Shows

A community art exhibition doesn’t sound promising but this is an exception. The artistic strength of Moreland is such that it has residents like Sam Leach, the winner of 2010 Archibald and Wynne Prizes exhibiting. And Sam Leach’s two paintings were not the strongest works in the Moreland Summer Show, an exhibition of art by City of Moreland residents (Brunswick, Coburg and Fawkner) at the Counihan Gallery in Brunswick.

Located in the gallery’s vitrine Tony Adams’s installation of foraged natural materials, Circular Insect Hotel was impressively assembled in a neat circular architectural form. Ryan Lesley Cockburn’s Revolution series was outstanding; Cockburn cuts vinyl records into a variation of a zoetrope complete with a little torch to shine the rotating shadows on the wall. Tsvia Aran-Shapir’s biomorphic sculpture was beautiful and surreal especially with its black powder coating. Keith O’Donnells installation of 20 1:48 scale green W-class trams ran part of the length of the gallery. Peter Hannafford’s hand-cranked rotating mixed media sculpture of Australian politics going round and round was very popular. I have to mention Gabrielle Baker’s 66cm diameter pompom – a very large pompom. And Paul Toms’s elegant interpretation of the theme in a triptych using coffee on paper was simple and beautiful.

With 40 artists exhibiting the theme of the circle provided some unity amongst the diverse collection of works from paintings, prints, videos to hand-blown glass.

There was a huge turn out for the exhibition opening on a wonderful warm spring evening. And with all the local artists involved it is not surprising. Lots of people for me to say hello to – artists that I’ve previously written about in this blog, Alister Karl, Julian Di Martino, Liz Walker and Carmen Reid (who wasn’t exhibit but serving drinks at the bar). It was so crowded at the opening that someone stepped on one of Ria Green’s circle of crystalline shapes (woodgrain print, balsa wood, tape, paper).

The show replaces Moreland’s annual Women’s Salon (that I have both reported on and urged to abandon as redundant). Julian Di Martino said that it was the first chance that he has had to exhibit in the gallery since it opened in December 1999. Providing an annual exhibition where all residents, regardless of gender, can exhibit will give more of a focus to the strong artistic community in the area. This is community exhibition that is worth seeing for its strength and diversity.

The Counihan Gallery’s Gender Bias

Is reverse discrimination over for the Counihan Gallery’s annual Women’s Salon?

Pinar Gencturk reports in the Moreland Community News (5/8/08 Fairfax Community News Network) that Moreland Council has presented an agenda item “to change the Women’s Open Salon art exhibition to a bi-annual event and initiate an open salon art exhibition for men and women to showcase their work.”

In the two decades since the Women’s Salon started the position of women in the art world has changed considerably both for women artists and for women working in galleries. The Women’s Salon has assisted in the emergence of many notable artists, for example Nusra Latif Qureshi, Moreland should take credit for, in part, changing the situation for women in Australian arts. In the last two decades the art world has rigorously examined gender issues, promoted the work of women artists and is now probably one of the least sexist areas human activity in Australia.

So there is now no need for Moreland Council to provide special assistance to women artists in the area. The Women’s Salon will soon be, if it isn’t already, a redundant anachronism; this year Brunswick Arts, in the face of so many all women shows, organized an exhibition of all male artists. If the Women’s Salon does not aspire to make itself redundant then it will become an issue of sexism.

The Guerrilla Girls made a name for themselves in the 1980s by listing the names of female artists exhibited in certain galleries or mentioned in art magazines to expose sexism in the art world. Following the example of the Guerrilla Girls I will divide the names according to gender of the entire artists listed in the Counihan Gallery exhibition programs 2007 & 2008.

Female Artists:

Helen Anderson, Maree Azzopardi, Ros Bandt, Liliana Barbieri, Hannah Bertram, Robyn Cerretti, Maree Clarke, Haya Cohen, Lorraine Connelly-Northey, Kate Cotching, Mary-Louise Edwards, Genevieve Grieves, Mandy Gunn, Felicity Rose Hardy, Zsuzsanna Hase, Yolanda Juen, Chako Kato, Jillian Kelliee, Susan Knight, Kathe Kollwitz, Taryn Lee-Styre, Sarina Lirosi, X de Medici, Virginia Miller, Tomiko Miyazawa, Maria Pena, Deborah Paauwe, Luciana Perin, Sonya G Peters, Alex Martinis Roe, Naomi Schwartz, Anne Smith, Wilma Tabacco, Deb Taylor, Georgia Thorpe, Fatemeh Vafaeinejad, Marjana Vuk-Nikic, Claire Watson, Vicky West, Ilka White, Xiao Yu Bai

Male Artists:

Tony Adams, Jarrod Atkinson, Noel Counihan, Lucky Edwards, William Eicholtz, Douglas Kirwan, Goya, Grosz, Gary Lee, Trevor Mein, Millet, Dixon Patten, Amer Rashad, Vin Ryan, Darren Wardle, Yakov Zaper

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