17 May 2019
I recently travelled to the Dandenong Ranges (about 50km from Melbourne) and was fortunate to see the art installation Empire by Rone at Burnham Beeches.
Located on Sherbrooke Road, Burnham Beeches is an Art Deco Streamline-Moderne 1930s mansion completed in 1933. It was designed by architect Harry Norris to be the home of Aspro brand magnate Alfred Nicholas. The mansion was last occupied in 1991.
In 2010 Melbourne restaurateur Shannon Bennett and investor Adam Garrisson purchased the property to be redeveloped into a luxury hotel. Eight years later Bennett approached artist Rone, aka Tyrone Wright, to transform the mansion into an art installation whilst it awaited development.
Rone has completed a number of projects whereby he goes into a building about to be demolished and transforms the interior into a stylised recollection of what it was. The Omega Project is another recent example.
Rone paints directly onto the walls, Jane Doe images, and styles the interior to create a memory of the space. He photographs the interior, which in time will become obsolete, encouraging viewers to purchase a memory of the recreated space. The home/warehouse is then opened to the public to view before it is scheduled to be demolished.
To date Burnham Beeches would have to be Rone's most ambitious work – it took a year to complete with the help of many other creatives.
These projects are so desirable as they are not permanent. They pop up for a short amount of time then disappear just to become another impression.
15 February 2019
Sanctuary (2018), by Patricia Piccinini
It is always a challenge to exhibit two artists together. Not only do their works have to relate, but also be visually pleasing. Currently at TarraWarra Museum of Art, in Healesville, the exhibition Patricia Piccinini & Joy Hester: Through Love... presents the work of two very prominent female Australian artists: Joy Hester and Patricia Piccinini.
Joy Hester was a significant Australian modernist artist, acclaimed for her highly expressionistic personal drawings. She was supported by John and Sunday Reed, who were patrons and collectors of the arts. Hester was the only female artist to participate in the avant-garde Angry Penguins group. Even though Hester's drawings were often made rapidly, they were still quite intimate artworks reflecting on personal relationships.
Patricia Piccinini is known for her large-scale, life-like sculptures. Piccinini blurs the line between the human, animal, artificial and natural worlds using drawings and technology to examine the boundaries.
Patricia Piccinini & Joy Hester: Through Love... explores the relationships of love, partnerships, togetherness, human and non-human relationships. Hester's series Love 1949 and Lovers 1955–56 is on display, as well as Piccinini's drawings, sculptures, photography and video works.
Love, c.1949, by Joy Hester
Even though Hester was a major influence to Piccinini, I would have preferred to have seen Hester's beautiful works separately. The stand out artwork by Piccinini was the sculpture of two elderly people embracing in the back room. Their tenderness and affection for one another was touching and reinforced that love and intimacy is ageless.
Patricia Piccinini & Joy Hester: Through Love... is on until 11 March.
TarraWarra Museum of Art
313 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road
Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm
Please note: Closed on Friday 22 February and Sunday 24 February, and restricted viewing (1.30pm to 4.30pm only) on Saturday 23 February.