What's on in Canberra's art scene from July 22
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What's on in Canberra's art scene from July 22

Out of the Ashes…

Artist Bernard Hardy has been making art for decades, and a large portion of his creations were destroyed, along with his house and studio, in the 2003 Canberra bushfires. This didn't stop his drive to make pictures and sculpture, as a new retrospective of his work in Braidwood shows. "Bernard's engagement with image-making is wonderfully multi-faceted, investigative, deeply thoughtful yet playful and fundamentally ebullient," says Julian Davies, the owner of The Left Hand gallery. "He has a truly apt and sharp observing eye combined with a strong transforming imagination." Out of the Ashes, by Bernard Hardy, is showing at The Left Hand, 81 Lascelles Street, Braidwood, for three weekends from July 23-24, 30-31 and August 6-7, or by appointment on 0422 530 846.

Portraits in Bega

It's kind of far, but if you happen to be down Bega way, you really need to check out the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award at the Bega Gallery. Although smaller than the Archibald and less wide-ranging than the National Photographic Portrait Prize, the show, of realistic portraiture, is nevertheless perfectly formed, not to mention a serious prize worth $50,000. This year's winner was Sally Robinson, with her large and arresting portrait of Ella Rubeli, but the other 22 finalists are just as intriguing. Among the subjects are some familiar faces to Canberra audiences, including a magnificent eX de Medici by Alicia Mozquiera, and a haunting image of the late Andrew Sayers, by Matthew Chun. The Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award is showing at Bega Valley Regional Gallery, Council Chambers, Zingel Place, Bega, until August 20.

Bernard Hardy, Roofs, 2006

Bernard Hardy, Roofs, 2006

Photo: Supplied

Sense in glass

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Japanese glass artist and current Asialink resident at Canberra Glassworks Takeyoshi Mitsui is showing the works he has created during his six weeks here: "Mitsui's work reflects boxes as a craft in glass. Through this body of work, he wanted to discover new perspective from his functional work to artwork in his practice, because the meaning to him is something very personal. He feels that closed shape as a box is almost life (space/capsule/vessel/universe) and it reflects his personal world expansion." Sense, by Takeyoshi Mitsui, is showing at Canberra Glassworks, 11 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, until July 25.

Innovation and design at Craft ACT

Local glass artist Judi Elliott has a solo show at Craft ACT featuring works that are something of a metaphor for her life – "colourful three-dimensional houses reflecting the phases we all experience as we grow up, love, get educated, work, experience, and move. This new body of work is an extension of the three-dimensional glass houses Judi has been 'building' for the past five years." Also showing is Craft ACT's sixth annual showcase of artists whose designers have "linked innovation in various forms, such as technology, mathematics and engineering, to influence and create their craft and design work". Black Box: Life, walls and houses, by Judi Elliott, and Embracing Innovation Volume 6 are both showing at Craft ACT, Level 1, North Building, 180 London Circuit, Civic, until August 27.

Sally Robinson, Ella Rubeli

Sally Robinson, Ella Rubeli

Photo: Supplied

What's it all about?

Arts and culture, that is. And all may well be explained in what promises to be a very interesting lecture at ANU this week. Professor Geoffrey Crossick is director of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Cultural Value Project, and co-author of the major 2016 Report: Understanding the Value of Arts & Culture. In the report, Crossick asks: "How should we understand the difference that arts and culture makes to individuals and to society? The case is too often presented in terms of benefits that are thought to be important to the government of the day while neglecting some of the more fundamental benefits that matter to us all. We need to think again about how we discuss these issues, not make claims that cannot be easily substantiated, and also show that methods from the arts and humanities have a good deal to offer as we seek evidence for the difference that arts and culture makes." He will be presenting a lecture to this effect on Thursday, July 28 at 6pm in the Sir Roland Wilson Building, McCoy Circuit, ANU.

Prints from the Griffith Studio

Sydney artist Pamela Griffith loved all things to do with printmaking, and set up her small but influential Griffith Studio and Graphic Workshop to keep the medium going: "Fuelled by her 40-year love affair with printmaking, combined with an inherent teaching gene, she provided a place and space for painters, other printmakers and artists with the wherewithal to produce unique works," says Bungedore Woodworks Gallery, which is hosting an exhibition of works from nine current and past artist/printmakers, produced between 1990 and 2016. Prints from the Griffith Studio is now showing at Bungendore Woodworks Gallery, Kings Highway, Bungendore.

Lightbulb moments

PhotoAccess is holding its last members' exhibition for the year with a series of images exploring movement – in pictures and in life. "A photograph freezes the world around us, but it does not mean that the world within the photograph is frozen. When set to 'bulb' mode, a camera's shutter will remain open for as long as the photographer's finger remains on the release button to create images full of motion and blur. In this exhibition, PhotoAccess members have creatively addressed the theme through photography and photo-based art." The gallery is also showing A Closer Look, the work of 11 emerging artists who have participated in an 11-month-long workshop that gave photographers "a framework in which to make a sustained body of work with the freedom to explore a subject of their choosing". BULB and A Closer Look are showing at PhotoAccess, Manuka Arts Centre, Cnr Manuka Circle and New South Wales Crescent, Griffith, until August 7.

Getting priorities right

Sometimes the only way to get anything done these days is to set a goddamn deadline, am I right? A new exhibition at Belconnen Community Service is by four artists who have done just that: "Although all of them love to create artwork, life often gets in the way. Work, family, friends and time are constant barriers for motivation and creativity. So one of them booked an exhibition. By having an exhibition space locked in, and having deadline, these artists have been able to motivate, encourage, and inspire each other, to find the time in their busy lives to create art, and make the talent and passion they often set aside, a priority." I will if you will, by LeeAnne McEwan, Kaila Smith, Ele Saclier, and Mel Edwards, opens July 26 at Belconnen Community Services. Swanson Ct, Belconnen, until August 5.

Leanne McEwan

Leanne McEwan

Photo: Supplied
Sally Pryor

Sally Pryor is a reporter at The Canberra Times.

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