Monday, 6 April 2015

Trip To Ballarat Art Gallery Part 2

The author captured in the glass reflection of a work that forms the inspiration for a forthcoming painting
Radicals, Slayers and Villains
After enjoying the Eikon exhibit, I explored the rest of the gallery, including a fascinating exhibition of woodcuts, etchings and engravings called "Radicals, Slayers and Villains".

Featuring extraordinary prints from the Baillieu Library of the University of Melbourne, I was in for an unexpected surprise of themes dealing with the esoteric, macabre and dark. (Melbourne Uni library - who would have thought???)

I loved the range of ideas about death, Satan, hell, and suffering that this exhibition engendered. The liberal display of nudity (perhaps the notion of nude = evil?), other worldly beings and deities had me as engaged as the previous exhibit, but in a different way.

The following images are my personal highlights from this exhibition:

"Lycaon" by Agostino Musi 
An engraving from 1524, "Lycaon" shows the werewolf king of Arcadia about to attack Zeus!


"Eve" by Eric Gill
The sensuality of this silhouette is stunning. In many ways a simple, uncomplicated image, but it says so much. It is a wood engraving, and a brief read of Mr. Gill's background makes me think he would have been fun to meet.


"The raising of Lazarus" by Rembrandt van Rijn
This is an etching and engraving from 1632, and features my fave theme of non-death and physical resurrection. I wonder what happened after Lazarus awoke and what stories he told having been dead for so many days?

"Satan" by Lionel Lindsay
This 1922 wood engraving by Aussie artist Lionel Lindsay is quite likely what we Australians call "taking the piss" out of the Christian parable of sheep and goats where goats = the devil.

"La tentation de Saint Antoine" by Erik Desmazierres
"The temptation of St. Anthony" (St. Anthony of Egypt or St. Anthony the Great) is a complex and intriguing etching and aquatint. The Moroccan French Desmazierres has created a mutli faceted hell where all kinds of demons and torture abound. I have included a detail from it below. The figure below did remind me of a certain Netjer . . . . 

"La tentation de Saint Antoine" detail

Other parts of the gallery
I include below, sans commentary, other works that captured my eye as we wandered through the impressive gallery:

"Ajax and Cassandra" by Solomon J Solomon
oil on canvas (1886)
"Beneath the arena" by Karl Theodor von Piloty
oil on canvas (1860 - 1880)

"Wake up to the stink" by ELK
spray enamel on board (2009)

"Henry F Stone and his Durham ox" by Thomas Flintoff
oil on canvas (1887)

"Tracks" by Stanislaus Rapotec
oil on composition board 1956

The 8 + 1 painting
I wouldn't finish this post without mentioning the drawing - a mezzotint in fact -that inspired me so. I drew the sketches to interpret this as a painting whilst on the plane over to the US.

The piece is called "Satan presiding at the Infernal Council" and it is a delight to behold. John Martin was famous for implying enormous scale through his grand architectural renderings. Let's hope my homage to this piece can do it justice!

"Satan presiding at the Infernal Council" by John Martin
mezzotint 1827


2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this very unusual exhibition with us! These are certainly very striking images, charged with various layers of meaning and interpretation. I suppose some could see these images as sacred, as icons of mystic initiation, while others might choose to see them as profane. What amazing work collected together!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! I really felt compelled to make sure that this trip and the amazing things I saw at the gallery were not lost in the enormity of the trip I was taking to your country but days later. I think it makes it clearer to see now how the combination of the two exhibitions sparked quite a lot of inspiration.

    ReplyDelete