This exhibition focuses on portraiture from the Gallery’s collection and includes a variety of themes including self-portraits, commissioned paintings of wealthy patrons, paintings of famous faces and those of family members recorded and remembered.
A portrait is an artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent of the artist is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, portraiture has always been a popular artform as the artist can delve deeply to reveal the true characteristics of their sitter.
Wealthy upper class patrons often commissioned artists to undertake portraits of themselves, family members, pets and livestock as a symbol of wealth, prosperity and rank. Today portraits are everywhere in the form of ‘selfies’. We no longer need to commission an artist to record our likeness. We can do it ourselves and retain full control over how the image is presented to the world through social media.
This exhibition comprises several traditional portrait paintings that increase our understanding and appreciation of the people in them through revealing details about their identity, history, social standing, occupation and character.
Image: Albert Tucker, Maria, 1947, oil on composition board. Gift of Barbara Tucker, 2002.
Julie Shiels documents abandoned inner city suburban objects. She works primarily in sculpture and photography and combines text, hard rubbish and discarded objects to create temporary interventions and gallery based installations. She preserves moments in time without any alterations, except for the addition of text.
Shiels completed her PhD at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2015. Prior to that she was awarded a Masters of Art at RMIT University. She is currently a sessional lecturer in the Art in Public Space post-graduate program at RMIT.
Image: Julie Shiels, Do not go gently, found materials.
The artworks in this exhibition use shapes in a bold and defining way. Artists like Robert Jacks, John Coburn and Richard Watkins use a combination of geometric and natural shapes in their paintings. Rosalie Gascoigne (pictured) draws creative inspiration from the discarded to evocatively convey the essence of nature and the transitory and captivating effects of light, air and space. All of the artists in this exhibition explore the possibilities of mixing geometric and natural shapes to create artworks that convey space, depth, mood and feeling.
All artworks on display are from the Benalla Art Gallery permanent collection.
Image: Rosalie Gascoigne, Banner #1, 1992, retro-reflective road sign and linoleum on composition board. Gift of the artist, 1994.