BAG
Botanical Gardens
Bridge Street, Benalla VIC 3672
Telephone: 03 5760 2619
gallery@benalla.vic.gov.au
Open 10 - 5pm Closed Tuesdays


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Previous Exhibitions

Goggomobil D’Art Project
25th May 2018 - 24th Jun 2018 
Goggomobil D’Art Project
Simpson Gallery

The iconic Goggomobil Dart car, with its painted paper darts by Melbourne contemporary artist Robert Clinch, is a distinctive and unique ‘objet d’art’. This engaging painted art car will be on show at Benalla Art Gallery from Friday 25 May to Sunday 24 June 2018, along with paintings, drawings and a documentary. The Goggomobil D’Art Project is being exhibited to celebrate the annual Benalla Historic Vehicle Tour and the Historic Winton weekend.

The Goggomobil was named and designed by Bill Buckle who thought ‘Dart’ summed up the tiny, good-looking little sports car. The sense of flight and fun implied by paper darts is a perfect fit for the Dart car.

This classic 1960s Australian designed and built Dart sports car is an aesthetic object in itself, peppered with painted paper darts by artist Robert Clinch.Classic car collector Jeff Brown, son of renowned art dealer Joseph Brown whose collection is a highlight of the National Gallery of Victoria, collaborated with Robert Clinch to conceive this stimulating project. Robert’s hyper-real paintings and works on paper depicting urban Melbourne often feature paper darts, which have become a signature motif for him.

Image: Robert Clinch, Goggomobil D’art Project 2017. Image courtesy the artist, Jeff Brown and Lauraine Diggins Gallery.

Squatters and Savages: Peter Waples-Crowe and Megan Evans
27th Apr 2018 - 5th Aug 2018 
Squatters and Savages: Peter Waples-Crowe and Megan Evans
Bennett Gallery

Squatters and Savages is ‘an eloquent contemplation of the colonial period, its legacies and ongoing impact’. (Professor Lynette Russell)

A collaborative exhibition by artists Peter Waples-Crowe and Megan Evans, Squatters and Savages brings together reflections on both colonisers and Indigenous people in a creative reimagining. Waples-Crowe is Ngarigo and his work reflects on the representation of Aboriginal people in popular culture. Evans is of Scottish, Irish Welsh heritage, born on Wurundjeri land, and her work examines the role of her ancestors in the brutal history of this country.

Image: Peter Waples-Crowe, SAVAGES letters 2017, digital prints on calico with cotton on recycled blankets. Art Gallery of Ballarat Collection.
Image courtesy the artist.

Three Storylines
19th Apr 2018 - 20th May 2018 
Three Storylines
Simpson Gallery

Three Storylines captures the poetry of place as seen by three artists, Glenda MacKay, Christine Upton and Barbara Pritchard. The exhibition explores their connection to place and the process of making and creating images of Riverina, Murray River and North East Victoria landscapes.

Christine Upton is a printmaker who lives in Corowa on the banks of the Murray River. Her depiction of landscape comes from memories, journeys and connections to particular places.

Barbara Pritchard lives in Walwa in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains. Her work reflects a love of natural fibre textiles and fascination with the process of dyeing with natural dyes. Using leaves, berries, bark and seeds from the land on which she lives Barbara employs traditional and contemporary dyeing techniques to create textile pieces bringing a feeling of connection to the land.

Glenda Mackay lives in Rutherglen in North East Victoria and creates aerial landscapes through painting, collage and assemblages. She references the grids of farmland and the grids of quilts to explore the connections between home, the land and a sense of place.                                                                                                     


Image: Glenda MacKay, Summer, when we harvest wheat (detail), 2016. Assemblage of painted wood blocks.

Dead Set Legends: An Anthology of Individuals
10th Mar 2018 - 15th Apr 2018 
Dead Set Legends: An Anthology of Individuals
Bennett Gallery

Tom Gerrard’s art started appearing on Melbourne’s streets in the mid-1990s. Imbued with an intense wanderlust, he is an inveterate world traveller, roving for many years throughout Latin America, USA, Europe and Asia, adorning walls and holding highly-successful exhibitions.

Tom’s subjects are the people, architecture and objects that surround him. Heavily featured in his art is his sympathetic renderings of middle-aged men sporting receding hairlines, mullets and unique facial hair. These portrayals are inspired by the characters Tom has observed during his travels.

The characters in Dead Set Legends: An Anthology of Individuals are a time-capsule of style.They know exactly who they are and don’t get caught up with the distractions that affect our modern-day egos: the fashions and the trends of 2018 are irrelevant to them. They are truly free to express themselves and you know that they like what they see in the mirror.

Supported by the SANDREW Collection.

Callum Preston's MILK BAR
10th Mar 2018 - 15th Apr 2018 
Callum Preston's MILK BAR
Bennett Gallery

Callum Preston is a sucker for nostalgia. In his latest solo mission, the multi- talented Melbourne creative shares a childhood dream that anyone who grew up in the ‘burbs have their own version of.

As a child of the Melbourne suburbs in the 1990s, Preston well remembers his neighbourhood milk bar as a place of wonder: the buzzing neon, the faded posters of Diet Coke-loving windsurfers, collector cards, musk sticks, jelly snakes, cigarette ads, the ubiquitous smell of pies and the enticing crack of opening soft drink cans.

In Callum Preston’s MILK BAR, the artist has turned his efforts to recreating his own childhood milk bar, completely by hand — one chip packet and Coke can at a time. Like any milk bar, Preston’s is filled with the usual suspects — magazines, chocolate bars, soft drinks — but take a closer look and you’ll see that each one is completely handmade by the artist.

Presented as a 360-degree art show - Callum Preston’s MILK BAR features over 500 items, with thousands of tiny details all contributing to a unique and immersive experience which Preston describes as “a lo-fi recreation plumbed from the depths of memory and feeling.”

More than just a nod to nostalgia, the project seeks to capture the magic of a long lost time — invoking a sense of childlike wonder in all who view it.

Supported by the SANDREW collection.

Ray Hearn: True Ned
4th Feb 2018 - 4th Mar 2018 
Ray Hearn: True Ned
Simpson Gallery

Ray Hearn’s True Ned presents a different view of the Ned Kelly story to that depicted in Sidney Nolan’s famous series of paintings. Through Hearn’s paintings, ceramics and assemblages, he examines the artistic influences on Nolan during his early Kelly period including the relatively new phenomenon of the cartoons of Walt Disney.

Underpinning Hearn’s exhibition is a view of Kelly as a bandit hero, a kind of renegade who emerges in rural societies where sharp divisions exist between rich and poor, and where rural communities are facing a period of sudden change or distress.

SPECIAL EVENT
Join us to hear renowned academic and Ned Kelly historian John McQuilton speak on the exhibition and its related themes on Sunday 25 February from 3pm.

Image: Ray Hearn, Bang, 2006. Found object, timber, corrugated iron.

Jazmina Cininas: Enter the Lair
2nd Dec 2017 - 28th Jan 2018 
Jazmina Cininas: Enter the Lair
Simpson Gallery

Enter the Lair is a family friendly interactive exhibition that presents a selection of works by Jazmina Cininas that provide an imaginative window into the fantasy world of the female werewolf.  Interactive elements including mask making kits and a large photographic backdrop have been produced especially for the exhibition, enabling visitors to immerse themselves into the imagined worlds and histories of the female werewolf.

Jazmina Cininas is a Melbourne-based artist, arts writer and curator who lectures in printmaking at the RMIT School of Art. For over two decades now, Jazmina has been charting the various incarnations of the female werewolf as a vehicle for her printmaking practice. Her PhD research project saw her create a Girlie Werewolf Hall of Fame by identifying women from throughout history who may qualify as female werewolves and selecting a number of them to portray as reduction linocut portraits. 

Image credit: Jazmina Cininas, Christina sleeps on both sides of Grandma’s bed, 2010, reduction linocut. Courtesy of the artist.

Rona Green: Champagne Taste and Lemonade Pockets
2nd Dec 2017 - 4th Mar 2018 
Rona Green: Champagne Taste and Lemonade Pockets
Bennett Gallery

Tattoos, science fiction, B-grade movies and secret societies –  this is the fodder of Rona Green, an artist renowned for her prints and paintings of anthropomorphic characters.  Champagne taste and lemonade pockets presents a menagerie of identities drawn from the last decade of Green’s printmaking practice.

Adorned with the tattoos and uniforms of archetypal gangsters, urban legends and ‘Aussie’ stereotypes, Green creates a fantastical world where dogs postulate as stand over men, cats become villainous masterminds and rabbits are fierce cyber warriors. Funny, charming and habitually disturbing, Green’s work highlights the link between social and cultural identity and matters of power, value systems, and ideology.

A Bendigo Art Gallery touring exhibition

Image: Rona Green, McGoohan, 2015, hand coloured linocut. Courtesy the artist and Australian Galleries.

The Botany of Desire
21st Oct 2017 - 18th Mar 2018 
The Botany of Desire
Ledger Gallery

For millennia the beauty, wonder and uses of plants and flowers have been subjects of fascination for artists. The earliest surviving botanical illustration dates back to the year 512 and formed part of a pharmacopoeia of herbs and medicines. In China, brush paintings of old trees, bamboo and rocks by scholar-artists evolved into an independent genre during the Tang dynasty (618-906). By the 1600s many European artists were producing still life paintings of combinations of flowers and fruit, and the creation of flower studies for pure visual pleasure became widespread during the tulip mania of the mid-1600s.

The Botany of Desire exhibition takes its inspiration from a book of the same name published in the early twenty first century which explores the reciprocal relationship between people and plants. It highlights the human desire that connects us to plants and the ways in which plants have shaped our behaviour to their own ends. The exhibition presents work by a wide range of artists from the late 19th century through to the present day, and includes painting, photography, sculpture, video and decorative arts.

Image: Milan Milojevic, Night and Day (The Tree) 2016 (detail), digital/etching/woodcut print. Courtesy the artist and Colville Gallery, Hobart.

Prue Acton: The Excitement of Colour
29th Sep 2017 - 26th Nov 2017 
Prue Acton: The Excitement of Colour
Simpson Gallery

Prue Acton is widely known as Australia’s ‘golden girl of fashion’.  Acton once described herself as “an artist who chose to work in the field of fashion”. She originally intended to become a professional artist, but after her move into fashion in the early sixties she rapidly became known as one of Australia’s top designers. 

Prue was born in 1943 in Benalla. She spent many years in the fashion industry and won several awards.  During the 1980s she returned to her first love, painting, continuing her study under the mentorship of Clifton Pugh and partner, Merv Moriarty. This exhibition comprises of a collection of still lives and native flowers recently painted in her coastal bush home and studio in rural NSW. 

Image: Prue Acton, courtesy of the ABC.