March 27 - April 2, 2016: Issue 257

 Pittwater Artists Bring Delightful Colours To Newport Easter Art Festival

 Artists Julie Hickson, Tony Edwards, Elfriede Bartnitzky and Geoff Searl 

On Good Friday evening Artists who are part of the 2016 Pittwater Artists Trail opened their exhibition as part of the inaugural Newport Art Festival.

The event, coordinated by Council’s Enliven Pittwater program and supported by organisers of the Pittwater Artists Trail, featured the art exhibition, running from through to Easter Monday at the Newport Community Centre, and on Easter Saturday a series of events and activities for all ages ran throughout the day.

The art exhibition features the most recent prints and drawings, paintings, ceramics, textile and glass artworks, alongside a selection of hand crafted jewellery produced by 25 renowned local artists; Julie Hickson, Jacqui Giuliano, Elfriede Bartnitzky, Nada Herman, Robyn Park, Martin Wale, Geoff Searl, Penel Bigg and Tabitha Higgins to name just a few. 

The Artists also took part in the Easter Saturday Artisans Market as part of Enliven Pittwater's day of activities and fun at Newport Community Centre and spaces around.

Tony Edwards, beloved as Captain Goodvibes to some, was cajoled into officially opening the Art Exhibition on Good Friday evening, providing the large crowd attending with some fine words in his address.

For those who could not attend, Mr. Edwards!:  

Artists Trail Talk
My name is Tony Edwards, I'm a lapsed cartoonist and a practicing painter.
I'd like to begin my little talk with a conundrum -  If Ken Done is the answer then what was the question ? The prize for the first correct answer is a night in a Surfers Paradise penthouse with a self inflating Clive Palmer love doll.

There's a golden thread that runs all the way from this exhibition back to the Lascaux caves in south eastern France around 18000 years ago. The history of western art is long and broad, Drawing and painting may well have been our second oldest means of communication, the oldest being the traditional neolithic greeting ..... a thump on the head with a club.......The most famous if not the earliest European drawings at Lascaux predate the spoken and written word, which suggests that the ability to draw is innate. Unfortunately this means there's an artist imprisoned within all of us.........and the bad news is that there seems to have been a mass breakout of late judging by the number of people who elect to call themselves "Artist"

for example we have

visual artists
escape artists
fine artists
commercial artists

installation artists
graffiti artists
sound artists
nail artists

pavement artists
hair artists
tattoo artists
make up artists

con artists
retouch artists
food artists
video artists
graphic artists

and last but not least
bullshit artists.

Recently my wife went to the hairdressers salon and was introduced to Renaldo, a flamboyant newcomer described as a genius with the scissors. She sat down and told him how she liked her hair cut, Renaldo interrupted her abruptly and indignantly told her, Don't tell me what to do, I'm an artist.... Not another one she thought, I've just escaped from the one at home.

In these times when almost everyone can read and write, but not necessarily think… we are interconnected to everything from our mummified ancestors to the kitchen sink via our mobile phones, as well as being smothered in a blizzard of imagery, you might think that painting would have gone the way of the dinosaur, But you'd be wrong......

Painting, and sculpture explore territory where language and electronic gadgets can't go. The uncharted world of emotions, ideas and the imagination, from the grandiose to the intimate, the abstract and the spiritual, be it the strangely humid feelings we might secretly hold for Bronwyn Bishop or if you prefer, Bob Ellis or our sense of wonder and bewilderment at the world around us. Whenever we are lost for words, we can always reach for the bottle ...... I mean the brush.

The neolithic cave paintings of Lascaux have an immediacy and freshness that belies their ancient origins They are elegant, clear and convey the excitement and drama of the hunt and the tragic beauty of their quarry. We tend not to be trampled by wooly mammoths or torn apart by wild bears these days, apart from the occasional savaging by a sabre toothed art critic .....but in some respects the task of the stone age artist was simpler than ours.
Today almost every subject has been tackled thousands of times over and over, from every angle in every genre, style and medium, every corner of the human experience has been explored, reimagined and reinterpreted, the burden of tradition sits heavy on our shoulders, and then the wet blanket of irony smothers it. So many great artists, so many masterpieces. Does the world really-need another painting ? Yes please !

Why ? Because every person who has ever picked up a piece of charcoal or brush will see the world differently from everyone else, I don't believe it's a window to the soul, but it does reveal more about the person than they intend to show. Intriguingly, they will capture their subject in the special light and mood of their time, the zeitgeist. We can date a painting by the quality of light that falls within it. The light of Rembrandt is not the same light as falls on an Edward Hopper, a Tom Roberts or a Cressida Campbell. Even abstract work tells us in what decade it was painted. Is that fashion or something mysterious at work ? I put my money on the mystery.

Mystery lies at the core of all the arts, and indeed our very existence. Hopefully it is a mystery that will never be solved, it lends a poetic frisson to our everyday lives, and reminds us that there’s more going on than we can know. The day we can perfectly describe human creativity in words will be the day that art and music dies. So I'll shut up right now.
The question I teased you with at the beginning of this talk is..... What is the name of the most successful artist in Australia's history....... I'm not sure if that makes him the holden, or the rolls royce of the art world.

I commend this splendid exhibition to you.

Below run some images from Friday evening along with a little about the beautiful works on display – if you cannot make it there, Easter Sunday (10am to 6pm), or Easter Monday(10am to 2pm), the Artists may be contacted through their listings on the Pittwater Artists Trail website should you see something you just have to have.

More images are available in the Pittwater Artists Trail Easter 2016 Exhibition HERE
Find out more about the Artists Here:

Current Artist of the Month Jessic b Watson, Tony Edwards and Martin Wale 

Penel Bigg, Lorrie Morgan and Geoff Searl 

Roberta Landers with 'Wetland' - birch plywood  screen (waxed)

Martin Wale beside 'Portal (east)' and 'Portal (south)' - mixed media 

Julie Hickson's stunning works 

Claire Armstrong with -  Fish Daces - oil and acrylic on canvas - Quadriptych

Robyn Park with her beautiful silks and jewellery at Artisan's Market - Easter Saturday 

 Nada Herman between two of her beautiful works

Pictures by A J Guesdon, 2016