Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Syndicate at McClelland Gallery

Back on the 21st of August of this year 'The Syndicate Exhibition' opened at McClelland
Gallery. For those who may not know, McClelland is the premier Australian sculpture
gallery in Victoria and site of the biennial 'McClelland Sculpture Survey and Award'

The show opened with two other exhibitions 'Dreamweavers" by the Curator of the
Gippsland Art Gallery Simon Gregg and a print show-'John Farmer Etchings and

The opening was well attended with several hundred there for the three shows, the
people at McClelland were very supportive, from the install crew to the director Robert
Lindsay, who more than once collected me from Brunswick where I was staying, giving us
the opportunity for some enjoyable art chats.

The work was lit well against the dark grey walls and charcoal coloured floor plates.
McClelland3 curator Penny Teale generously gave me lots of scope in arranging the work
in the gallery.

The congruence between the 'syndicate' and the 'Dreamweavers' exhibition was often
commented upon and during some brief talks with Simon Gregg we both recognised this,
especially the surrealist resonances of both shows. Simon Gregg has just published his
book 'The New Romantics' making a case for contemporary artists return to notions of
truth and beauty in their work. (Heaven forbid!) Hunt it up.

Over the next week I did several artist talks at the gallery to a range of audiences, including the gallery staff, primary and high school groups and art students from the local
tertiary institutions. All went very well.
The remainder of my stay in Melbourne was spent with some ex WA Artists Annie Hsiao-
wen Wang, ( ) Gillian Warden, ( and Gina
Moore and visiting the galleries. One of the inner city galleries is interested in representing
me as well as some other exciting possibilities.

After Melbourne I went to Hobart to visit another ex WA artist Yvette Watt
( and managed to land on the night of the launch of the book
'Considering Animals' that Yvette co-edited and contributed an essay and artwork to.
That night we had a great dinner with Mike Singe ( and
Louise Josephs both artists from Perth living and working in Hobart.

It was great to see Yvette and I spent the next day at MONA, the extraordinary 'temple to
the secular' that is David Walsh's underground gallery of art and wonders! I can't say
enough about how fantastic this gallery is, so I won't - just go ASAP. This was the most
rewarding art experience of the trip without doubt. I wish I had a week there. (

The evening of that day I caught up with some ex students from UWA Claire Krouzecky
and Laura Hindmarsh who have been studying at The Tasmanian School of Art. Claire and
Laura work as 'lntercollective' with another great ex UWA artist Anna Cocks.

The 'Syndicate Exhibition' comes down on the 30th of October and it happens that I will be
sent over to McClelland to pack up. While I am there I will be talking with the interested
gallery over there and doubtless seeing more art and artists. - Simon Gilby.