‘Works on Paper’: Colville Gallery

Mortimer Bay Sheoak 103x153cm Charcoal on Paper

Works on paper: Colville Gallery

Trudi Curtis, director of Hobart’s Colville Gallery, discusses curating the new Works on Paper exhibition (10-22 May).

9 May, 2019
In Exhibitions,
Printmaking, Q&A
From top: Matthew Armstrong, Mortimer Bay Sheoak, 2019, 103 x 153 cm, charcoal on paper.
Kevin Lincoln, Mount Direction, 2014, watercolour and charcoal on paper 50 x 70cm (sheet). Artist represented by Colville and Niagara galleries.
Jane Giblin, Mololo, Backyard series, Lady Barron, 2018, charcoal and graphite on unicartridge, 94 x 31 cm (paper size).
Al Young, dancing to the music, 2019, pencil on paper, 26 x 20 cm.



Q: What were some of the foundation ideas you began with when embarking on this exhibition project?

Drawing is a very powerful medium, it is often the most immediate response to ideas and reference note taking, it brings an immediacy to the artists hand and it is generally on paper. Drawing has a purity and a simplicity where the elegant line can convey the form of a nude or the profile of hills. Sketchbooks and notebooks encourage regular attention and become valuable documentation of an artists compositions and developments over decades, while life drawing is recognised as primary discipline that trains eye and hand, observation, perspective and form, underpinning later figurative or landscape work.

The tradition is long from Renaissance, apprentices and ateliers, mapping, early navel and explorers noting coastlines and hill formations, the passion of cities through Tolouse, to more recent exponents including Kevin O’Connor. It was one particular work by John Brack that recently caught my attention, only approx. 14 x 10cm, the sheen of the charcoal enhanced more than just black and white, a work classically of pencils parading across a table top, yet it had the ability to capture humour, elegance, strength and dialogue.

The drawing line is further extended in its application to etching and lithography

Drawings have an energy and a life, often rapid in execution but where a few lines can say so much and where, if they are not ‘finished’ doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not indeed ‘finished’.


Q: Who are the artists and how did the selection take place?

Colville Gallery has a diverse list of artists that encompass painting, printing and sculpture however drawing is central to all these disciplines and the event was created to highlight the drawing motif, a common thread and the opportunity to create, to play, in the simple and immediate medium of working on paper, an exercise to stand back and consider each owns method of approach and reconsider the basic principles


Q: How does the exhibition manifest – what do visitors experience?

The exhibition is presented at the Colville Gallery and works are displayed framed, pinned and on display tables. A celebration of paper and the expressive line. Through internet this show is also available online.


Q: What are some of the key works and what subject matter do they deal with?

Matthew Armstrong, a highly realistic painter particularly working with reflections and light at night, winner Glover Prize, presented a large detailed charcoal drawing of sheoaks at the edge of the water, the sun’s glare denoted by the absence of the drawing highlighting white light.

Kevin Lincoln a master painter of landscape, still life and portraiture, who understands so critically the importance of empty space and balance to focal objects, has presented a landscape of paddocks with hills forming the backdrop, however it is the drawn trees in mid distance which create the whole elegance of special quiet and distance.

Al Young is a painter who sees the world through wonderfully simple themes and a primary naive dialogues, an outstanding colourist, there is a child like sense of humour that inhabits his work, totally uncontrived, it is his way of seeing the world. His drawing of a robot figure dancing in the rain, resonated with the drawing of Brack’s pencils.

Jane Giblin is an artist and a teacher and has spent decades drawing, drawing, drawing. Her loose figurative works of women or dogs or landscapes are large expressive lines that demonstrate her whole body working in a drawing experience, and her work has more recently has moved into lithography.

Works on Paper is at Colville Gallery, 91A Salamanca Place, Hobart, 10-22 May.