Anita Beanery / Ben Crawford / Mickey Egan / Ren Inei / Christopher Jewitt / Cat Bailey / Michael McCafferty / Nina Prendergast
16 July - 9 August
Anita Beaney / Found Light
Anita Beaney’s practice is grounded in traditional analogue processes. Her images of sea and sky powerfully capture the serenity of the location, inviting audiences to also look inward for a similar feeling of stillness. Anita explains “I am looking to find peace and inspiration by being in the natural environment, and hope to convey the calm I feel through my subject matter in my images.”
Anita is a freelance commercial photographer with a parallel arts practice. She is based in Geelong, near The Great Ocean Rd in Victoria. She works in portraiture, fashion, still life and landscape. Twice short-listed for the National Photographic Portrait Prize, Anita’s work seeks out the complexity of the human form and the simplicity of the natural one.
Nearness (in time of separation)
Ben Crawford / Mickey Egan / Ren Inei
Nearness explores relationships; Ben’s connection to family near and far, Mickey’s affinity to the natural world around him and Ren’s intuitive response to those closest to him. In this uncertain time of enforced separation, these artists reflect on their connections to others through painting.
Irish born Ben Crawford lives and works in the verdant landscape of Currumbin Valley, QLD.
“As I get older I’m getting more and more nostalgic. I think this stems from a few different things in my life; having children has made me think back on my own childhood memories and given me a desire to relive moments in my past; living in Australia for the last ten years has also caused me to reflect on what home means to me. Coupled with these feelings, the events of the past few months have changed all our lives dramatically and amplified impressions of longing for a bygone era. So this is where my head has been while making these paintings. They’re personal, they’re emotional and even cathartic in a way. Sometimes photographs from my family’s collection in Ireland have been the starting point for the work, but a lot of the pieces in this show are based on memories of events from my life or even a distillation of different moments that have melded into one kind of archetypal story in my mind. I’ve found my painting has become a bit more gestural over the past year or so, perhaps as a response to the personal subject matter.”
Local artist Mickey Egan employs painting and drawing to create a rich visual awareness of his world. Depicting landscapes full of colour and form, that blend between a figurative and abstract depicted space.
“Art interests me from an aesthetic, historic & chronological point of view. It’s a visual form of language that I use to explore my observation, notions of broken narrative, abstract fragmentation, psychology, and the human condition. These paintings are an attempt to record natural phenomena, occurrences and encounters with the landscape, a progressive result of drawing, either “en plein air” or later from memory. My work is created using a process of layered oil paint. Along the way, certain areas become more textured than others, creating dimension, opacity and light. The final result develops over many months of constant work, application and incidental occurrence.”
Geelong artist and Boom Gallery Director Ren Inei’s work is rich with texture and tonal depth, achieved through techniques of layering and exploration of differing materials.
“This recent body of work was made almost ‘automatically’. Little focus was given to the subject matter as my concern was not in depicting a picture or a scene but rather conveying a state of being. The ‘being’ in this case refers to myself and those closest to me. They are figurative works but use the genre of landscape painting as a symbolic means. These are fluid and quite rapid paintings where I try not to get burdened down by knowing what it actually is that I am trying to achieve. Rather the intention of the artwork becomes apparent and clearer as the painting evolves. Upon completion of each piece I really enjoy contemplating and searching for their meaning. My hope is that these paintings are ‘felt’ by the viewer rather than being purely observed.”
Surface + Form
Christopher Jewitt / Cat Bailey / Michael McCatfferty / Nina Rose Prendergast
Surface + Form brings four new and diverse artists to our epic Big Boom gallery space; each demonstrating a unique approach to mark making and exploring the surface in their artwork.
Melbourne based Christopher Jewitt is a self taught multi-disciplinary artist spending most of his time painting and drawing in his Abbotsford Studio. Jewitt’s paintings express his interest for people and everyday objects in a tempest of colour and marks. He draws line based images one on top of the other in roguish figurations until his canvases take on a tactile and whimsical appearance. This allows for multiple angles of sense making.
“Your eyes will bear witness to something unraveling itself as they move from line to dash to dot and back again. This small selection of 3 paintings continues Jewitt’s steadfast refinement of his own signature chaotic image construction. For the past 10 years Jewitt has created line based paintings with hidden narratives for the viewer to take pleasure in finding.”
Cat Bailey is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work responds to place. Living and working in Regional Victoria she paints and works collaboratively with communities and organisations to create innovative, responsive artworks and virtual artistic pathways. Her painting, installations and pathways convey relevant environmental concepts, in a broader social and cultural landscape.
Recent VCA graduate Michael McCafferty‘s artworks document private, interior and architectural spaces, as well as the family, friends and events that once existed and occurred within them. Working from a foundation in drawing Michael utilises a range of techniques to translate the original images and source material into new versions.
“This work is part of an ongoing exploration into diary keeping, meditations, and translation. Simple parts of day to day life; bathroom tiles, schedules, the walk to work, are documented and translated. The translations are simply technical impositions like tracing, collage and re photography. Slowly the materials turn into a composition until finally reduced to a simple painting or print. The final works then have dual meanings. The first is just as a simple, sometimes minimal or abstract composition, and secondly as a kind of material self portrait.”
Nina Rose Prendergast is a multidisciplinary artist, grateful to practice on Wurundjeri land. She is currently undertaking an Honours degree in Fine Arts (Visual Art) at the Victorian College of the Arts, following the completion of her Bachelor’s in 2019.
“The surface figures. It is what we see and know. It is a shield that reflects, refracts, and defends; a superficial manuscript of dynamic past encounters. The surface is a crossroad at the junction between thing and other. The collision of two entities is what drives Nina Rose Prendergast’s suite of artworks. Nina fortifies photographic images with engraved acrylic. The photographs record classical forms; marble sculptures from times past. The acrylic is their evocative second skin. Both parties physically coalesce and mould their presence onto one another. Notions of photographic cohesively are disrupted by the engravings, which become three dimensional when superimposed onto sculpted representations of the body. White powder residue fills cracks like marble dust from the sculptures. Their defaced vitrines are embedded with inscriptions of animalic offerings and fashion motifs. It’s all about sacrifice. A tension between display and obstruction. A juggling act. A dance. The engraved veneers are a maker’s mark, and the conception is an orchestration of pleasure and pain.”
Exhibitions run 16 July – 9 August
For information on the current exhibition and for a full listing of the works head to: