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Gallery’s back with four new shows

Saturday, 21st November, 2020

John Hart in his studio with one of the 22 paintings from his exhibition ‘Sample’. PICTURE: Annette Northey John Hart in his studio with one of the 22 paintings from his exhibition ‘Sample’. PICTURE: Annette Northey

By Annette Northey

A series of paintings meticulously developed over two years by local artist John Hart is one of four exhibitions that opened yesterday at the Regional Art Gallery.

Along with Mr Hart’s show, titled “Sample”, everyone is welcome to come and see an exhibition of paintings by Max Berry; the latest show by the local GAARA Arts Inc. (a group of female artists in Broken Hill); and this year’s offering of outstanding works by local HSC art students.

Mr Hart’s exhibition consists of 22 large abstract-like landscape paintings immediately arresting for their striking colours, but there is much more substance to these innovative works.

Artist, writer and publisher, Gavin Fry, has described John’s creative process as “controlled and random at the same time.”

“He takes a piece of paper, cardboard and metal foil, twisting and crushing them into random shapes, which are then photographed and the resulting images processed on a computer to imbue them with colour and texture,” he said..

“These images then become the studies on which the paintings are based, the brushwork carefully applied to mimic surfaces and textures of the original forms.

“There is a clear parallel between the man-made elements and the landscape the artist wishes to express, for the folds and creases of the paper forms are a metaphor for the great folds and fractures of the Earth’s crust, no better expressed than in the bare rocks and gullies of Broken Hill,” Mr Fry said.

The “Sample” exhibition was so named because the work was based on random samples of Broken Hill’s landscape.

Mr Hart said landscape as a subject was based on hundreds of years of tradition and that he wanted to find new ways of exploring the genre.

“Where do I go from here? What could I possibly add to the conversation that has not been covered before?,” he said.

“Opening it up, creating new forms constructed from paper and aluminium foil, that become the subject matter of my paintings.

“As an artist, my primary concern is the formal aspects of art; that is, the aesthetics of a painting, the techniques used to establish a sense of order with the painting.

“Concerns such as composition, perspective, colour, line, visual pathways, the grid, colour balance, variation of pattern and shape are the motivators for me to make art.

“I understand that it would be impossible to produce any work of art that is free of meaning but I strive for an image that is a distillation, something evocative of, the subject but not representative of it,” he said.

“To avoid anything representational, I used tin foil to act as a reflector, to give me the colour and light while removing reference to any actual objects.”

The Regional Art Gallery usually opens its exhibitions on a Friday night but cannot have any large gatherings due to COVID restrictions.

Today, artist Max Berry will hold a Q&A session at the gallery between 9am and 10am when he will present an overview of his exhibiton of landscape paintings called “Monument”.

Due to limited spaces, bookings may be made online at bhartgallery.com.au or by phoning 08 8080 3444.

All the exhibition and will run until Sunday, February 21.

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