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


Netty said...

wow these are all fab, x

Paul Burman said...

I'm waiting for a book of Anna Platten's paintings to be published (in December, I think) so I can have a closer look at them - even if they're only colour plates and not the real thing.