A regional art tour: 5 galleries to visit this summer

Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion at the Bendigo Art Gallery. Photo credit: Leon Shoots

In the mood for a cultural fix over the holiday season? Look no further. These five regional galleries have you sorted.

Artwork by Celia Rosser

Gippsland Art Gallery

Celia Rosser: Banksia Lady

Until 28 February 2021

Flower lovers unite. This show commemorates the 90th birthday of Celia Rosser – artist-in-residence at the Celia Rosser Gallery at South Gippsland’s Fish Creek – who’s drummed up serious cred for her meticulous renditions of banksia created between 1975 and 2000.

Awarded an OAM for her services to botanical art in 1995, Celia’s banksia renderings have even been praised by no less than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who received publications of her works as gifts from the Australian Government during three separate visits to Australia. “I’ve met with the Queen three times,” says Celia. “She took a lot of notice of the work and how I’d done it.”

Although Celia trained as a fashion illustrator at Melbourne’s Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, she began illustrating wildflowers, native orchids and banksias after moving to Orbost and was immediately hooked.

Included in this exhibition are botanical specimens collected by Celia over the course of her career plus banksia cuttings on loan from the National Herbarium of Victoria at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

More details on the Gippsland Art Gallery website.

Artwork by Kate Beynon

Geelong Art Gallery

Kate Beynon: Kindred Spirits

Until 17 January 2021

Take a supernatural journey with Hong Kong born, Melbourne resident Kate Beynon, winner of the 2016 Geelong contemporary art prize. In this exhibition, Kate has created a body of works inspired by an ancient story, An-Li: A Chinese Ghost Tale, which explores two young spirits, one aquatic, the other earthly. Taoist calligraphy, scroll paintings and modern comic book graphics all feature.

More details on the Geelong Gallery website.

Bendigo Art Gallery

Piinpi: Contemporary Indigenous Fashion

Until 17 January 2021

A stunning world-first exhibition of Indigenous fashion curated by Shonae Hobson, a Southern Kaantju woman from Queensland’s Cape York. Through viewing these designs, you get an insight into sustainability, bush foods, culture and storytelling… themes that go back 65,000 years.

Watch this curator-led walk through on YouTube:

More details on the Bendigo Art Gallery website.

Image of art installation of Montages

The Art Gallery of Ballarat

Tracey Moffatt & Gary Hillberg: The Full Cut: 1999-2015

Until 14 March 2021

A provocative edit of Hollywood films, television and arthouse cinema are on display here in this ode to the silver screen. View eight montage films exploring love, race, gender and destruction by Tracey Moffatt and her long-time collaborator Gary Hillberg.

Lip, 1999, depicts black female servants talking back to their white bosses; Artist, 2000, portrays Hollywood clichés; Love, 2003, references classic cinema’s depiction of romance; Doomed, 2007, explores cinematic doomsday scenarios; REVOLUTION, 2008, confronts social power struggles; Mother, 2009, references archetypal maternal characters; Other, 2010, explores colonialism; and The Art, 2015, examines art world commodification.

Of both local and international acclaim, in 2017, Tracey became the first Australian Indigenous artist to present a solo exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Her work is held in major collections including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum, Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art and London’s the Tate.

More details on the Art Gallery of Ballarat website.

Artwork by Murray Griffin

Castlemaine Art Museum

Cloudy: A Few Isolated Showers

Until November 2021

Clouds as a metaphor for 2020 seems pretty apt. As this exhibition states: “In times of uncertainty, the sky is always there; blue, limitless and clear. Except for clouds.”

That theme is explored in this collection, featuring both historical (Frederick McCubbin, Rupert Bunny) and contemporary painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics… and even acoustics. Ros Bandt and her collaborators have choreographed a magical soundscape, Jarra Jarra Seasons, recorded in the nearby village of Fryerstown.

Like clouds, the selection of works on display in this exhibition will also change from time to time.

More details on the Castlemaine Art Gallery website.