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Real art in an age of plastic

Friday, 9th March, 2012

WOMEN’S TALE: Gaara Arts members Wendy Martin and Jenny Cattonar with new president Betty Pearson (centre) at the art gallery. WOMEN’S TALE: Gaara Arts members Wendy Martin and Jenny Cattonar with new president Betty Pearson (centre) at the art gallery.

The women’s arts group, Gaara Arts, will tonight present its third exhibition at the Broken Hill Regional Gallery.

“Plastic Lives - A Woman’s Tale” is one of three shows that will be opened tonight, the others being a new exhibition of prints by Badger Bates called “Kurnu Paakantji Stories”’ and a show by Jade Manly titled “interActions”.

Formed in 2008, Gaara holds an exhibition every two years to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Wendy Martin, an artist for 34 years, said the theme could be interpreted in many ways in a world too familiar with all things artificial or plastic.

“Anything from credit cards to plastic surgery; the list is endless,” Ms Martin said.

“Credit cards, plastic surgery; they are the obvious interpretations. But I know other painters have taken a different slant,” she said.  

“This exhibition will create a lot of interest, I think,” said fellow artist and Gaara member Jenny Cattonar.

The show promises something new to Broken Hill in the form of ekphrastic poetry, or poetry that seeks to interpret and sometimes confront the subjects in visual art.

“The challenge is to wed the plastic theme as a physical work by the artist with the poet’s rendition of the work - something different to past projects I’ve been involved in,” said Ms Martin.

“How the artists and poets interpret the theme should make for a very interesting exhibition.”

Sheryl Persson is an ekphrastic poet from Sydney whose poetry group, “Diverse” performs regularly at the National Gallery and the Art Gallery of NSW.

Ms Persson will join local poets and the Gaara artists for the opening of the exhibition at 6.30pm. 

It will be opened by local poet, Barbara DeFranceschi, and Mr Bates’ exhibition will be opened by Professor Margaret Somerville.

All of the shows will run until Sunday, April 22.

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