“Feeling the heat” often implies uncomfortable pressure or warmth, or it can be a desirable state. Whether environmental, physical, emotional or political, there is plenty of room for interpretation. This has proven to be a popular theme for the inaugural winter exhibition at the Clifton School of Arts which opens in early June.
Nineteen local artists have explored and interpreted this theme, and will be represented in a diverse show of evocative paintings, sculptures, photography and drawings, showing from 6-15 June.
Ruth Harvey and Vyvian Wilson, who are members of the Clifton School of Arts (CSA) Management Committee, dreamed up the exhibition in order to ‘warm up’ and invigorate a unique cultural space, and to provide an opportunity for more artists to experience and enjoy the venue.
Both practising artists, Vyvian and Ruth are passionate about the potential for this restored historical building and its gallery space, and they have spent the last six months designing and curating this show. The idea of this exhibition is to showcase some of the many artists who are well known in the Illawarra but who have not yet exhibited at the venue.
CSA Committee President, Elide Rudzats, is excited about the energy and enthusiasm shown by artists so far. “With this exhibition we are well on the way to making the community more aware of the School by expanding our audience and encouraging greater engagement with our committee and the venue”.
On the theme of ‘Feeling the Heat’ Woonona painter Jennifer Portman was drawn to the plight of the Arctic polar bears- she reminds us “almost two-thirds of these bears will disappear by 2050 if the decline in ice cover continues at its current rate”.
Intense summer heat is evoked in Tony Hull’s two fresh and expressive ‘plein air’ paintings, while Gerringong artist Sue Irvin has conjured a palpable heat source in her atmospheric, and texturally lush abstract painting ‘Heatfelt’.
Well-known local sculptor Gaby Porter’s exhibits of two seductive figurines ‘worshiping the sun’ contrast with Coledale’s Lizzie Buckmaster’s domed sculptures that pose questions about the ‘hot house’ of consumerism. Lizzie asks “at what price does our consumption come? How much environmental degradation can we endure? Is it all worth it?”
Wombarra based artist Vyvian Wilson’s mixed media triptych “Island” presents us with an apocalyptic nocturnal landscape. Illuminated by an ambiguous source of heat, Vyvian’s work explores the beauty and menace of fire.
Other artists exhibiting their work in Feeling the Heat are Allanah Dreise, Annie Bourke, Anthony Buselli, Arja Valimaki, Damian bancks, David Manks, David Rowe, Gillian Day, Lara Seresin, Lesley Goldacre, Marissa Gunning, Simon Tognetti and Tanya Stubbles.
The exhibition will be opened by celebrated Thirroul artist, Paul Ryan at 6.30pm on Friday 6 June. All artworks will be for sale and will be on show until Sun 16 June.