Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Anna Platten & Lidia Groblicka in Adelaide

A highlight of my recent visit to Adelaide (the first time in over 10 years) was a trip to the Art Gallery of South Australia.  It's a fine gallery and I would have enjoyed browsing its collection whatever, but the exhibitions of two artists that I'd not come across before made it very worthwhile.  I particularly enjoy coming across artists I'm not familiar with, especially when their work creates an immediate impression, and more so when I find myself thinking about their work (and can feel it influencing the way I think about my writing) long after the event.

The first of these artists - primarily a print maker - was Polish-born Lidia Groblicka (1933-2012). These two images probably don't do her work justice, but I loved the way she used lines and the social commentary evident in most of her prints.  Like myself, she emigrated from Britain to Adelaide, so I was interested by those elements of the migrant's story she drew on too.

detail: Plantation in Spring by Lidia Groblicka

Happy Landing by Lidia Groblicka

And I was absolutely gob-smacked by the paintings of Adelaide artist, Anna Platten (b.1957).  Can't quite get over these.  I'm not always taken with photo-realism if there's little more than the polished cleverness of that to admire, but what I loved about almost every one of Platten's paintings (and her charcoal drawings for that matter) was that she'd created an imaginary stage set on which to interpret, mythologise and unify, to some extent, her experiences and ideas about the world, and particularly how she's viewed and understood aspects of herself at different points in her life - at least that's the way I've been interpreting her work.  Not only was there a symbolic narrative to each painting, but there was a narrative thread between many.

Flower - dedicated to Mark Conway Walter by Anna Platten

Woman and Man in Embrace by Anna Platten

Journey - Landmark by Anna Platten

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Premiere of Simon Hoy's new work

It's been a while.  I've absented myself from the blog, taking a holiday in South Australia - Adelaide and Kangaroo Island - and catching up with reading and the final, final edits of Number Three.

This weekend sees visitors flood into my little town, Port Fairy, for its Spring Music Festival.  I rarely remember to get tickets, and missed out on a couple of concerts I'd have liked to see this year, but was delighted to be able to attend the premiere performance of a superb contemporary ballet this afternoon.

Choreographed by Simon Hoy and performed by three members of Melbourne Ballet Company, this piece was set to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, which was played by duo-pianists Igor Machlak and Olga Kharitanova (they warmed up the audience for the ballet by playing Rachmaninov's Russian Song Opus 11 No.2).

I don't want to write a review, would much prefer to let the wonderful images dance around in my head a while longer by themselves, but five words do the job: wild, electric, passionate, sexy and fun.

Watching this performance, it also occurred to me why I can't dance like this: my ceiling fans are too low.