DISCOVER the inspiration behind artistic interpretation at talks, workshops and demonstrations with leading artists at Mundaring Arts Centre as part of this year’s Mundaring Shire art acquisition exhibition.
Titled Note to Self, the exhibition will take a retrospective look at the work of renowned Darlington artist Ben Joel, whose paintings are seen in collections across Australia.
A collection of never-before-seen preparatory and digital pieces will be on display in the main gallery from February 10 to March 19, together with work by five of his former students, now mid-career artists, Geoffrey Drake-Brockman, Stuart Green, Bevan Honey, Angela McHarrie and Gina Moore.
Joel was head of painting at Curtin University for almost 20 years, where he encouraged his students to challenge awareness of draughtsmanship, colour, technical inventiveness, form, composition and structure.
The display of his practice spans four decades and includes work on paper illustrating drawing as a ‘running process’; from the early stage of visual questioning to the final creation and solution.
Some of the recurring themes in his paintings focus on what he describes as ‘visual sensations analogous’, a preoccupation that emerges in his sketches, visual diaries and experimental works to form a significant part of the exhibition.
One example of his experimentation is a set of gigantic Polaroids circa 1986, made with the world’s largest Polaroid camera (51cm x 61cm) at a time when only four such cameras were in existence worldwide.
Joel was the WA artist chosen to experiment with one of the cameras when it came on a tour to Australia.
The artists will welcome visitors to take an in-depth look at work on display and work with them as they share their skills.
Exhibition curator Anna Sabadini will reveal the story behind the work on a guided tour of Note to Self on February 22 and in March Joel will host a private tour and demonstrate portraiture drawing.
Other workshops include a one-day introduction to 3D animation with Moore, with a grand finale on the last day of the exhibition when all six artists will participate in an informal public forum.
Places are limited, so anyone interested in an event is encouraged to visit the Mundaring centre’s website or call 9295 3991.
Every year, the exhibition displays work of contemporary significance linked to the eastern region.
The Shire acquires some of the work for retention and display in council buildings.