From outback Australia to imaginary landscapes, Hazelhurst Gallery’s exhibition program for 2018

Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre has  launched its 2018 exhibition program, which features broad sweep of works from indigenous artists of outback South Australia to the best works of 2017 Higher School Certificate art students, and from richly detailed imaginary landscapes to the work of one of Australia’s first interior designers.

Sutherland Shire mayor Carmelo Pesce said the program, which will be the 18th year of Hazelhurst exhibitions, will present a rich kaleidoscope of contemporary art.

“In the past year almost 236,000 people have visited Hazelhurst,” Cr Pesce said. “That’s 11,000  more than the previous year.

“It’s fantastic to see how hugely popular Hazelhurst is and I hope that even more people visit during 2018 to experience our outstanding exhibitions”.

Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre director, Belinda Hanrahan said the the gallery’s major exhibition for 2018, Weapons for the Soldier.  

“This exhibition will have some of Australia’s most important indigenous and non-indigenous artists including Ben Quilty, Reko Rennie, Shaun Gladwell and Christian Thompson and the works of several major artists including Ray Ken and Mike Williams from the APY Lands,” she said.  

“In addition to our exhibition program, Hazelhurst has art studios, art classes for children, a popular café, magnificent gardens and a theatrette where art-house and award-winning films are screened.”

The 2018 exhibition program kicks off with Play On: The Art of Sport (December 9, 2017 to February 11, 2018) which presents a selection of key works from 10 years of the Basil Sellers Art Prize, a biannual exhibition of new commissions that reflect on sport and sporting culture.  

Play On: The Art of Sport includes painting, sculpture, video, drawing and mixed-media installation by prominent Australian artists.

Individual art works in the exhibition engage with gymnastics, running, community sport, ground-keeping, AFL, race relations and the representation of women in sport.

ArtExpress (February 17 to April 15) is the annual showcase of outstanding art is selected from the 2017 Higher School Certificate practical examination in Visual Arts.  

The exhibition includes a range of approaches to art and expressive forms including ceramics, documented forms, drawing, graphic design, painting, photomedia, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and fibre, and time-based forms.

Exhibited annually at Hazelhurst, there will be 50 works from students from local and state-wide schools.

Vanishing Point (April 21 to June 10) is an artist-led exhibition, that considers the island as a concept where opposing ideas meet.

The five artists Consuelo Cavaniglia, Ellen Dahl, Yvette Hamilton, Taloi Havini  and Salote Tawale consider this in connection to political and personal viewpoints.

From their varied viewpoints the works collectively map the island concept revealing compelling conversations about identity, vision and space.

Marion Hall Best: Interiors (June 23 to August 19) is a major survey exhibition that colourfully charts the work of Marion Hall Best (1905-1988), one of Australia’s first and most influential independent interior designers.  

Best’s career spanned four decades from the mid–1930s, a period of transition from the department store decorators and art furnishers of the 1920s, to the independent professional designers of today.

Her interiors vibrated with bold colours and patterns and a signature of her commissioned interiors was her vibrant glazed painted finishes on walls and ceilings. Best introduced the latest of international modernism in design to Australians through her shops in Rowe Street Sydney and Queen Street Woollahra.

Sourced from the rarely displayed Marion Hall Best collection at Caroline Simpson Library and Research Collection, Sydney Living Museums, the exhibition includes images of Marion Hall Best’s interior design schemes from the 1930s to the 70s as well as original designs and sample boards of furnishings for proposed interior design schemes and a range of furniture and furnishings either used in known design schemes or sold in Best’s shops.

The work of landscape painter Alexander McKenzie is the subject of the gallery’s exhibition (August 25 to October 21). McKenzie is known for his evocative luminous landscape paintings which recall both the themes of Western symbolist painting and the techniques of the 17th Century Dutch Old Masters.

Created entirely in his mind’s eye, the landscapes, which are often of cultivated gardens, are of places that don’t exist but instead are a means of exploring the symbols, narratives and metaphors conjured from his imagination and memory.

The visual symbols located in a maze-like formation throughout each work provide a pathway for the viewer to navigate the underlying narrative in each work.

Continuing Hazelhurst’s series of major surveys of artists from southern Sydney, this will be McKenzie’s first solo exhibition at Hazelhurst.

Weapons for the Soldier, (November 10 to February, 2019) has been curatorially commissioned by Robert Fielding, Vincent Namitjira and Anwar Young will be Hazelhurst’s major exhibition bringing together artists from the seven art centres of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunyjatjara (APY) Lands with a group of diverse Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian artists.

The exhibition examines the complex and varied responses to and interpretations of themes of weaponry, warfare, and their connection to fighting for and protecting land and country.  

The exhibition will explore diverse perspectives on war as well as a shared history of struggle and survival.

The project, as the first Anangu-curated exhibition involving non-Indigenous artists, marks a historical moment in the Western Desert Art movement.

Individual new works are currently being developed by the artists. Relationships established between participating artists will see some collaborating artists visit the Lands, and APY artists reciprocally visiting the studios of their counterparts.