Local photographer Sherene Suchy would like us to pay more attention to public art, particularly the examples scattered around Belconnen, which she has been documenting on camera. She has captured the region's "hidden" collection with her camera, as part of Belco's 50th anniversary celebrations. "Belconnen has a hidden collection of art if you know where to look. There's graffiti, wall mosaics, stainless steel sculpture, wind poles, wall murals, water features, and more. This exhibition features Suchy's unique way of looking at these hidden treasures with hand cut colour photographic collages, which will be displayed as limited edition posters." Look! Celebrating Art in Belconnen's Public Spaces opens August 30 at Belconnen Community Service, Swanson Circuit, Belconnen, and runs until September 9.
There's another thought-provoking new display showing at the Australian Centre on China in the World, built around a gift from artist Zhang Peili in 2014 of one of his last paintings from the 1990s before he moved onto video and media installations. The 1994 work, Flying Machine, has been newly restored and is a starting point for exploring the development of media art in China: "This rare and diverse collection shows how Zhang Peili's practice has continued to deconstruct media and destabilise systems that produce meaning. Whether by systematically smashing and repairing a mirror, or systematically feeding language through translation software, Zhang's work enacts an applied system and logic that ultimately reveals uncertainty in the authority that surrounds us." From Painting to Video, by Zhang Peili, is showing at the China in the World Building on Fellows Lane at the ANU until November 16, and there will be a guided tour on August 27 and 28, at 2pm.
Crispin Akerman continues his exploration of the still life, with a new series of works that include elements of the natural environment and the landscape, all featuring "the elegant simplicity and fine balance he achieves within his paintings". And Bruce Latimer is showing etchings that explore "evidence of human presence within the natural world, ranging from signs of gentle transit in the landscape through to significant domination. His most recent work examines nature's wild behaviour in our tamed and manicured environments. Paintings by Crispin Akerman and etchings by Bruce Latimer are showing at Beaver Galleries, 81 Denison Street, Deakin, until September 11.
By all accounts, Brian Blanchflower's Canopy series is something of an immersive experience, and visitors to the Drill Hall will have the chance to experience his works in the flesh, so to speak, for the next month. "To those susceptible to the powerful emanations given off by the majestic canvases of Brian Blanchflower's Canopy series, one question always arises: How does he do it?" says the gallery. "What inexplicable factor guarantees that these works not only communicate, but communicate with such exceptional power and clarity? Some of Blanchflower's Canopies are so pared back that they have been likened by commentators to minimal art, even though their atmosphere of metaphysical exaltation is utterly foreign to minimalism." The works in this show are from an ongoing series dating back to 1985. Brian Blanchflower's Canopies is showing at Drill Hall Gallery, Kingsley Street, Acton, until September 25.
Three new solo shows have opened this weekend as CCAS Gorman. In The Big Shave, Frazer Bull-Clark delivers "a comprehensive inquiry into the relationship between blokes and their razors", via a 10-minute reel of cinematic slices that "transforms the most mundane ritual of grooming and hygiene into something that can also be seen as exotic, erotic and dangerous". In #inurtiacreeps, enigmatic street artist Byrd, whose work is rarely shown in galleries, brings some of his mural practice into the gallery's main space: "His lively works are constructed from everything around him; words pictures, ideas, materials, reclaimed and reconceived in the gallery. An artist of no-fixed-studio, Byrd's works are tales from the streets of Canberra." And, Jason Phu gets all literal with his exhibition titled, helpfully, I haven't made the work the work yet but I'll be there a week beforehand and which should be plenty of time. This, it seems, sums up Phu's approach to art-making. "The craftsmanship of his ancestors is given a contemporary makeover as Phu adeptly connects the finely tuned calligraphic skills of Chinese painters with street arts of the 21st Century". Sounds wrong but could well be so right! All three exhibitions are showing at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon, until October 1.
It's time for the five blondes to descend on Canberra – that's Les Blondes to you. Which blondes? Why, only the five most emblematic actresses of retro French cinema – Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Jean Seberg, Romy Schneider and Simone Signoret. "Decorated figures of French cinema, with a certain je ne sais quoi, these iconic blondes collectively garnered a myriad of Césars, Oscars and other awards for their performances and films; each artiste is a revered symbol of French culture whose talent and presence has reverberated far beyond the confines of cinema." All five will feature in this year's Alliance Francaise Classic Film Festival, screening from September 2-4 at Palace Electric. Visit afclassicfilmfestival.org for details.
Yvonne Boag has a new show at Nancy Sever Gallery in Kingston, of paintings that are a mixture of "impressions of and strong affection for the places she visits". Cityscapes are her bread and butter, artistically speaking: "By skillfully simplifying and synthesising the forms that she has observed she has created a highly personal vocabulary of abstraction based upon symbolism and expressed with acute aesthetic sensibility." Here and There, by Yvonne Boag, opens August 27 at Nancy Sever Gallery, 6 Kennedy Street, Kingston, and runs until September 18.
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