Local artists to exhibit in 2019 - 2020!

Each year, artists from around the Riverina region are invited to apply for our Community Gallery exhibition program. This program provides emerging and established artists, across all areas of contemporary visual arts practice with a platform to connect with their communities, and with audiences at all levels – local, regional and national.

Through the competitive application process, artists are selected by a panel of industry specialists to hold an exhibition at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery. The Gallery provides selected artists with a supportive environment, high profile exhibition space, professional development and exposure and promotion of their creative arts practices.

In 2018/2019 some of our most loved exhibitions emerged from this program, including Ruth Cummins, On the Origins of Capital: James Farley, Jacob Raupach and Felix Wilson, Christian Bishop, Glenda Mackay and Ann Rayment. These exhibitions presented an incredibly diverse range of media and techniques, from contemporary photography and new media to painting, textiles, printmaking and gallery installations.

In 2019/2020, the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery continues to support artists whose practice demonstrates innovation, artistic merit and relevance to a local audience.

The assessment panel met in December 2018, and consisted of Caroline Geraghty Gallery Director, Andrew Halyday Curator, Exhibitions and Collections, Dr James Farley, Lecturer, Photography at CSU and Elise Magrath Cultural Development Officer at the Arts Centre Cootamundra.

We had a competitive field of applications this year, both in strength and volume. The selection of artists for the 2019/2020 program highlights the strength and breadth of creative practice in the region and celebrates a diverse and innovative range of creative expression.

This year, the first artist to exhibit as part of this program is Juju Roche whose large-scale paintings, investigate the tension in the ways we experience and respond to nature. Juju graduated from the Sydney College of Arts in 2006 and has exhibited on numerous occasions, both solo and collaboratively. Juju currently spends her time working between a shared studio space on Fitzmaurice Street and a discarded shearing shed on her farm in Mangoplah.

Juju’s exhibition Unearth is on display from Saturday 3 August to Sunday 22 September 2019. The works presented in this exhibition embody movement reflective of current perceptions and self-exploration. Each painting is an autonomous creation revealing an exploration and celebration of diverse emotion, impulse, chance, the accidental and the unpredictable.

Joel Markham is a well-known contributor to creative arts culture in Wagga Wagga, through his practice as a photomedia artist Joel is motivated by creative exploration and expression. Joel has presented several solo exhibitions locally, including The Quest: The Pursuit of Meaning (2014) and Time and Place (2017) in the E3 art space. In 2018, hundreds of works from Joel’s photography portfolio were projected onto the Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre’s stage to accompany the Mayoress’ Rural Command Performance.

In Joel’s latest work Heaven and Earth, he aims to push his camera beyond its perceived role of documenting reality to create works that engage with material that sits outside the square. Joel describes Heaven as a metaphor for abstraction, and Earth as a metaphor for reality, presenting a series of works that explore the inevitable mix of both abstraction and reality present in everyday life.

Michael Agzarian is the founding owner of Advision, an award winning creative design studio established in Wagga Wagga in 1982, co-creator of GOFish magazine for independent creative arts and the artist behind the infamous political posters Tony Abbott “Hopeless” and the Malcolm Turnbull “Fizza”.

Michael is fascinated by the human experience, this passion drives his current project, Global Melody Project. The project will be exhibited at the Gallery in early 2020 and reflects Michael’s brief encounters with portrait subjects, resulting in a unique and interactive exhibition combining photographic portraits with audio tracks.

In the E3 art space we have a number of exhibitions that reflect sustainability and the environment, indicating artists desires to respond, react and reflect on current environmental issues and our responsibilities.

Fiona Durman will present an exhibition that highlights sustainability in our environment, choosing materials and processes with a low eco footprint, no waste, chemicals or plastics. Weaving the Riverina will display woven textiles that incorporate leaves and flowers from our region, and use wool collected from the artist’s alpacas.

Robyn Veneer Sweeny’s exhibition Life in the woods - an autobiography in 2.4 hectares investigates the artist’s parallels between her own experiences and history and that of a 2.4-hectare plantation, located within the Bago State Forest. Robyn’s responses are documented and explored through paintings, drawings, photographs, video and sculptures.

Louise Halsey, Churchill Fellow conservator of heritage-listed Adelong Falls, has coordinated Ripples: the Ephemeral, which brings together creative practitioners to respond to Adelong Falls Gold Mill Ruins. The ancient rock formations, the ever-cascading creek and the remarkable stone ruins of Reefer Battery, a significant gold processing mill, influence the participating artists. The works are created collaboratively and individually in harmony with the surroundings, influenced by nature, and using natural materials found on site.

Throughout our exhibition programming, we also highlight local groups, celebrating their unique creative contributions to our community. This year we are excited to welcome Wagga Wagga Art Society: 70th Anniversary, Wagga Wagga Potter’s Club: 50th Anniversary, Wagga Wagga Bonsai Society: Art Alive and the Embroiderers’ Guild NSW Inc – Wagga Wagga Group: Through the Looking Glass.

Please email Elaine Sullivan, Gallery Officer, Exhibitions and Programs: sullivan.elaine@wagga.nsw.gov.au to be added to our mailing list and hear once applications have opened.

Images: 1.) Juju Roche in her studio, 2019. Image courtesy Tayla Martin.  2.) Artist Profile: Joel Markham (film still) 2015, featuring Mum’s scarf, 2014, digital photograph. Image courtesy Next in Line Films.  3.) Michael Agzarian, Protest Design, 2010-2019. Image courtesy Sophie Joyce, 2017.  4.) Wagga Wagga Art Society, Odyssey, installation view, 2015, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery.