Exhibition: Endless Answers, One Question

Yesterday I visited the Grace Cossington Smith Gallery to see the range of works on exhibition by members of the Open Bite Printmakers group.

open-bite-exhibitionMy first impression was of a professionally hung event with good lighting, spaciousness, a wide range of techniques and quality pieces – and I wasn’t disappointed as I perused the individual artworks.

Here I showcase a few pieces which caught my attention for different reasons (Note: all artworks are under glass so photography has some reflection and colour reduction) :


Megan Edwards, The silence amidst many voices, etching & monoprint

Megan Edwards is exhibiting 4 pieces in a series she relates to silence.

I enjoy the orderly abutted ‘boxes’, the differential but unifying content in each section, the partial imagery, the repetition and the severely reduced colour palette.


Up close it is possible to see some detailed texture, both from imprints – possibly on both the etching plate and the monoprint – and incorporated textile fabric (seemingly a cotton weave/scrim).

Her artist statement says, in part:

These four pieces reference the threadbare and tattered clothing of Australia’s early European settlers when pitted against an unfamiliar and unforgiving natural environment.

Jutta Fuhrmans has produced 2 lovely pieces combining several prints in a woven fashion.


Jutta Fuhrmans, Tidal Weave 2 & Tidal Weave, linocut woven collage/chine colle

My first impression was of rocks, pebbles, tidal pools and water movement but the artist statement reads, in part:

I pursue my fascination of the ballet, its movement, grace, vitality and flow in some of my work, continuing exploration brings me new ways of expression.

Not at all what I picked up from the pieces myself.  Which brings me to the question of the meaning of individual artworks.  If an artist creates a work which has a specific meaning that satisfies the desired outcome they are trying to achieve, does it matter that the viewer takes away an entirely different experience, their own interpretation of what they have seen and may view the result in a very different manner?  Seeing as my strong belief is that all art is extremely subjective, some very personal, and every human being brings their own life experience when either creating or viewing, then no I don’t think it’s necessarily important for everyone to view creative endeavours in the same light.  Take what you will: enjoy or move on.


Monica Chivas, Cloud views, aluminium etching

I had to include this piece by Monica Chivas.

Why?  Well, of course having done some aluminium etching myself recently and come out with swans on a rough sea, in the middle of a storm (!),  instead of swimming serenely on the lake I was delighted to see this technique worked so effectively.

I know how hard it is to achieve what she has done here.  I love the colour gradation, the depth it brings to the image and variation in size, shape and tone of the clouds.

Of the artworks I’ve shown here this next piece by Terese McManus attracts me the most.


Terese McManus, Landscape 1, collagraph with rollup

I have an ongoing love of terrain, landscape, heat & shimmery surfaces, rocks, water pools, and such like (also plants).

I’m not very urban.  I enjoy space, walking in the bush, strolling on the beach, sitting on a bench watching the natural world – and this collagraph portrays for me a vast expanse of empty landscape; somewhere quiet in this mad noisy world, no telephone, no TV, no computer, no commitments, no-one pushing for things to be done, just a huge amount of quiet solitude to rest and refresh the brain and body.

outback-terrainTo the right is my landscape.  Some years ago I attended a workshop in encaustic art.  One of the pieces I produced is entitled ‘Heat Haze’ and it’s my view of central Australia and the heat rising from the parched terracotta coloured earth, with an occasional dwelling almost visible.

Check out Joshua J Smith Photography for some stunning imagery of Ngura in the central Australian desert.  Just outstanding.

My next post will be a short study of two pieces in the same exhibition by Rew Hanks.  The detail in his linocuts has to be seen to be believed.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
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