A North East art show pulls together 40 years of experiences and observations in an emerging venue with a long history of its own.
Carpe Diem can be seen at the Old Beechworth Gaol until September 24, with an artist talk by Alan Phillips on Sunday, September 16, at 10am.
The exhibition comprises more than 30 collages that comment on world events such as the September 11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the death of Princess Diana.
As Phillips said, this is a show “about sticking stuff on paper” with his many diaries providing content and his work in Europe and the Northern Territory also influential.
“I’ve always kept diaries since I was an art student, I just draw and paint in them and write,” he said.
“Artists have always commented about politics and about current events, in many cases they’ve been persecuted for that.
“I suppose this is just extending the tradition.”
The often-serious subjects sit well in a former jail, although fluorescent lights and conduits can make hanging the pieces a challenge.
“You could look at it two ways, you can say, ‘Oh, this is hopeless’ or you can say, ‘This is interesting, I’ll work around it’, which is what I’ve done,” Phillips said, smiling.
There are also moments of humour, notably in The Evolution of the Vespa – Leonardo da Vinci, Phillips’ satirical speculation about the Italian genius.
Involving a carp inspired word play that led to the exhibition’s title, but Carpe Diem could also apply elsewhere.
“I think when you write a diary, you do seize the day, don’t you, you’re summing up what’s happened during the day,” Phillips said.
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