We are delighted to invite you to our exhibition Through a glass eye at the Australian Print Workshop. If you are free and curious to see this work with your own eyes, we’d love to see you at the opening.
APW President Joe Connor & APW Director Anne Virgo OAM invite you to the first exhibition of APW’s French Connections project
Australian Print Workshop is proud to present the results of a major international project French Connections, curated by APW Director Anne Virgo OAM, planned in collaboration with the National Gallery of Australia and made possible by the generous support of The Collie Print Trust.
Four leading contemporary Australian artists, Martin Bell, Megan Cope, Gracia Haby & Louise Jennison joined APW on an ambitious research trip to Paris (May 2018), to explore French Connections with our region — with a particular emphasis on the interplay of natural history, the history of science, empire, art and anthropology relating to early French exploration of Australia and the Pacific, as well as other French/Australian connections.
APW and the Artists’ privileged access to study rarely seen and highly significant collections in leading museums has informed and inspired the production of an exciting new body of work in the print medium. This is the first of a series of French Connections exhibitions at APW Gallery.
2 pm – 4 pm
Saturday 1st of June, 2019
The exhibition runs until Saturday the 29th of June, 2019.
Australian Print Workshop
210 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Tuesday to Saturday 10 am – 5 pm
In May this year, French Connections commenced with a two-week study tour of Paris.
French Connections is part of an international project instigated and led by Anne Virgo OAM, Director of Australian Print Workshop, which aims to generate a significant body of work in the print medium.
We were thrilled to be invited, alongside two other artists, Martin Bell and Megan Cope, and now that we have returned, we are keen to make new work inspired by all the incredible material we saw, collections we explored, and places we scampered through.
But before we do, rewind to see the story so far,
French Connections, part 1
French Connections, part 2
French Connections, part 3
French Connections, part 4
French Connections, part 5
French Connections, part 6
French Connections, part 7
Recently landed: A Giddy Delight, Gracia's written response to The Australian Ballet's The Merry Widow, for Fjord Review
At the Paris Universal Exhibition at the turn of the twentieth century, where it was said Debussy first heard Javanese gamelan music, near everything newly-discovered or newly-made could be found. The Eiffel Tower, now synonymous with Paris, for one; the world-encompassing scale of the Galerie des machines where visitors could delight in discovering atmospheric hammers, cigarette makers, phonographs, and telephones, another. Add to this a colonial exhibition of the ‘other’ from across land and sea masses; the Imperial, the largest diamond in the world; and a giant wooden and stucco elephant, which was later purchased and placed alongside an infamous red windmill, the Moulin Rouge, to render complete the Jardin de Paris Elephant. For a franc, a gentleman could enter the elephant’s body, by way of a staircase twisting up one of its legs, and find themselves in an opium den and a froth of belly dancers.
Paris: the city of entertainment. “Paris was where the twentieth century was…. Paris was the place to be,” said Gertrude Stein of that beautiful era, la Belle Époque. Toulouse-Lautrec, Rodin, and Degas. Bonnard, Cézanne, and Monet. Well may I cry, pour me another cocktail of Post-Impressionism, Les Nabis, and ornamental Art Nouveau, but what of all this and a widow, merry or otherwise? This doorway to the past was, for me, what coloured and illuminated The Merry Widow. It was the backdrop to the foreground and the foreground to the backdrop, the very balance of the composition, the lightness of step, its undeterred waltzing heart. The elephant in the garden: frivolity and amusement.
From the palette of the Fauvist “wild beasts”, Matisse et al., to that found inside the belly of the beast, colour radiated mood, and it needn’t be true to the natural world. The emotional state was the heat rubbed into the canvas, into life, and on the stage in Robert Helpmann’s The Merry Widow, originally created for The Australian Ballet in 1975, and felt last night at the State Theatre from a seat in the stalls. Colour as a vehicle for describing the lustre and space of the city of light, itself. Colour to describe high and low art brushing shoulders.
A Souvenir of Paris (2017) is a commissioned, one-of-a-kind Parisian memory folded into a concertina artists' book, which we recently had the good fortune to work on. Six-pages in length, we created a collaged version of the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes upon the page, featuring an original plate from Roemer's Genera Insectorum and Grandville's Les Fleurs Animées. The artists' book is now in private collection (and much loved, we hear).
Recently landed: Parisian cats, a new article on Marginalia (by Gracia) takes a look at two recent commissions, A Souvenir of Paris (artists' book), and Meow: A Genetic Concert for Cats (cover illustration)