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What's on in the Canberra arts scene, August 12, 2017

Elegant yet sinister

Euan Graham has won Tuggeranong Arts Centre's Global Empire Art Award for his work The Cat Bell (spray enamel on paper).

The theme for the 2017 Award was taken from Mahatma Gandhi who said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

Judges were unanimous in their decision citing the artist's response to the theme and how the work points to a moral conflict regarding the domestication of and love for cats to the detriment of native fauna.

They were particularly struck by Graham's skill in addressing this current local issue in "an elegant and slightly sinister way".

The judges also selected four commendations from the 49 entries: Frank Leskien's From Coat to Arms, Matthew Dunne for Murray River, Phil Styles for his digital photograph Coat of Arms Carnage and Linda Davy for her sculptural piece Caged.

The TAC chief executive officer Rauny Worm said she was delighted with the community's response to the theme.

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"We received a range of responses exploring native and endangered species, animals used in food production and science, and relationships with animals on a personal/domestic scale," she said.

"While some artists took a soft approach to the theme, others presented work that was shocking, articulate and hard to ignore. These works encourage us to consider our treatment of animals."

The exhibition of work continues until Saturday, September 2 2017.

Swinging 60s

The Reel McCoy Film Group is screening 1966's Blow-Up featuring David Hemmings and a very 60s soundtrack. A successful fashion photographer (Hemmings) in swinging 60s London seems to have it all but he feels lonely and dissatisfied with his life. As he travels about, compulsively taking photographs, he begins to suspect that he may have taken pictures of a murder. Has he, or is it just his creative imagination working overtime? This engrossing, very watchable film was a major critical success for director Antonioni.

At CMAG on August 13, 1pm.

Sisterly love 

Light and Heat is an exploration of the relationship between ceramics and photography and a collaboration between two sisters: Jane Kelly, a Sydney-based professional photographer, and Josephine Townsend, a Canberra-based ceramicist.

The sisters chose a botanical theme with images of flowers, trees and ferns as the start point for developing the exhibition. Kelly's images are presented in high quality prints and are reinterpreted on Townsend's pots.

Strong composition, styling and subtle lighting are the hallmark of Kelly's images, whilst Townsend's are essentially tactile, with surfaces, colours and curves that invite the touch.

One of the major challenges of collating the exhibition was the tyranny of distance, with the sisters having to make decisions on the basis of phone camera images and text messages.

At Watson Arts Centre from August 17-September 10.

Also showing at the same is Janet Fieldhouse's self-titled exhibition. Fieldhouse is the Canberra Potters current artist-in-residence. Her work reflects her Torres Strait Islander heritage: "the material culture, rituals of social and religious life, and artefacts which are created to fulfil the functional and spiritual needs of the peoples of the Torres Strait."

Byrd, Adverbs of pandemic proportions, 2017.

Byrd, Adverbs of pandemic proportions, 2017. Photo: Supplied

Unreliable Narrator

Byrd, one of Canberra's pre-eminent mural and graffiti artists, is exhibiting at the Nancy Sever Gallery.

Unreliable Narrator features some of his recent works which have grown out of a longstanding relationship with Australia's natural environment: its fragility, management and the traces of human passage through it. His early ephemeral installations involved weaving architectural spaces from sticks or placements of recycled office furniture in the bush. Through graffiti and mural painting he has now turned his gaze towards urban space.

His work pursues a "reclaim and re-use" agenda, made evident in the ornamental resurfacing of walls and storied objects through the use of an accumulated library of marks, patterns and icons.

byrd's work may be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Museum and Gallery, Craft ACT and various private collections both locally and abroad.

Unreliable Narrator runs until September 3, 2017.

Road trip to Collector

Around Here is a reflection on the community of Collector, with photographer Ann Hegyi documenting some of its people and way of life as part of an ongoing series. Settled in the 1820s there are six generations of farming families still living in the district.

At the Helen Stephens Gallery in Collector from Sunday August 13, the exhibition also includes paintings by Helen Stephens.

Perfect imperfections

Christine Appleby is the winner of the Belconnen Community Gallery Emerging Artist Support Scheme prize and her exhibition Beauty in Imperfection features her textiles and ceramics that form the basis of her work.

In textiles she works primarily with four-shaft looms to explore the possibilities of what weave can accomplish and investigates the use of non-traditional materials. In ceramics her practice focuses on the exploration of form through wheel work and hand manipulation.

Informed by an analysis of colour, shape, pattern and texture found in natural settings, her inspiration comes from many sources, such as a walk on the beach or through the bush.

At the Belconnen Community Gallery from August 14-September 1.

Jennifer Manning, Braidwood Landscape 1, acrylic and ink on board, 70 x 60 cm, detail

Jennifer Manning, Braidwood Landscape 1, acrylic and ink on board, 70 x 60 cm, detail Photo: Supplied

Last chance

Last week to see Jenny Manning's exhibition Layered Landscapes. A photograph was inadvertently mis-captioned a few weeks ago. Sweeps of landscape surrounding Canberra and Braidwood have inspired Manning, this is an intriguing departure from previous exhibitions where her drawings and paintings delved into the fine detail of twisted ropes, woven vessels, tendrils, fungi and veins.

Layered Landscapes will be on show until August 18 in the lobby of East Hotel.