While on a visit to Melbourne recently I was determined to go to the Melbourne Gallery where I had heard that they had works of artists from all over the world. I was not disappointed as I noticed the fascinating range of subjects of these young artists – from the vision of William Blake to animal distortion to Greek myths, insect and flower preservation.
Patterns are the base of the work of Julia Bergin for instance and they have attracted many an art buff.
“It could be as simple as the cracks in the sidewalk or the way books have fallen on the shelves,” she says. Julia observes the shapes, patterns and trails and transform them into geometric designs. ‘Devaluation’ is what Julia calls a bombardment of geometrical shapes. She loves Maths, she says. Her ‘Devaluation’ creates the illusion of geometrical shapes. “It creates the illusion that where once stood a figure is now a pattern in space.”
At first Julia wanted to do prints. She experimented with acrylic paints—first applying a coat of black ink. “That is because society does not harmonise: It dominates.”
Staphenie Berlangeiri, another artist whose works are displayed says: “We are all consumed by desire. It’s what incites us to try extraordinary things. Desire is the work of Milton, in certain passages from the Bible.” She found a tiny etching by William Blake which extends from the earth to the moon; Stephanie explains that it makes you wonder.
The eight pieces that make ‘The end of desire’ were created from the texts of travel books. There is a cyclic sequence through our lives. She deals with children’s books and dictionaries. She says that in many books there are many things which are interesting and ageless.
Alexis Bouras wants to express how myth was relevant to the modern world. His ‘Journey’ oil on canvas expresses Greek mythology. He has done a deep research of Greek myths. No other art, it is said creates a sense of space, apart from Turner. The journey is a connection between Homer’s ‘Odessey’ and the world today, in which Alexis lives. His work is full of colour and resonance. It is in shades of greys, browns, greens and reds and other earthy colours.
Nathan Parker deals with the ‘Seven deadly sins’. He says that vice is always interesting. As for the medium, he says ‘The seven deadly sins’ is a series of animations dealing with modern western society and the seven deadly sins in the Bible. He wanted to create the psychological needs behind the character’s needs. The pictures follow images in his mind of a story board. He goes on changing the scenes – as they come to his mind. Nathan does not want to work for an animation studio—he likes writing as well as drawing. Yet he believes that he improves with time.
Oliver Reed wishes to make a bigger, better world with his multicoloured squiggles. His ‘Amulet’ is in enamel paint on vinyl and is from Abbotsford, Collingwood College. For him ‘Amulet ‘ is only the beginning. He works both indoors and outdoors.
Glen Clancey’s work ‘Can I keep is synthetic polymer paint, which is worked up with fine-tipped pen. He expresses emotions such as a monkey’s scream and the suffering behind the outpouring of anger and frustration of the animal. In the animal sanctuary where he worked, the volunteers prepared for the sale of the animals in the black market, removing teeth—for example. He found these in the alley ways and streets of Melbourne. This can be difficult to work with if transferred to paints in a studio of an artist. Glen’s work made him capture the feelings behind some of the outrage. This, he says, required concentration and slow work measuring the passing of nature. He says that he had to work quickly and aggressively with his brush.
Sarah McDonald believes that in the modern age, one has to know all about the world and be fully connected to it. Human beings have lost their appreciation for Nature, she says. It is the beauty of it that she hopes to create with her painting, which deals with plant leaves and insects—seen in details – in monochromatic colours.