We speak to Sam Everett about this diverse and creative exhibition that showcases over 30 local artists.
What can people expect at the Mixed Bag exhibition?
Mixed Bag is a playfully dynamic group exhibition showcasing local established artists alongside emerging artists, working in a variety of different mediums. Jenni Catt approached me with the idea during her exhibition Buzz Art earlier this year, and this developed into Mixed Bag.
How many artists are exhibiting?
Between the Manning Fibre Artists, Other Side Gallery, our Regional Gallery, The Curious Weaver Studio and all who have exhibited here, around 30 artists are exhibiting.
There’s a lot of local talent in the area. Can you tell us a bit about the artists and their work?
Robyn McGrath, Susie Oldfield, Pat Land, Faye Collier, Helen Breingan, Helen Bryan, Jana Pearce, Janice McKay, Jennifer Dayment, Kath Soper, Lyn Bemet, Marilyn Rutledge, Olga Conacher, Pam Oakes, Pat Davidson, Penny Green and I exhibit as The Manning Fibre Artists.
Robyn McGrath is exhibiting, Susie Oldfield has beautiful bags to sell, Janice McKay is making her entries from felt, Pam Oakes is entering, Olga has already dropped off her artwork – it is fantastic! Her 15 year old granddaughter has also entered an amazing drawing! Fibre Artist Kaz Madigan from The Curious Weaver Studio at Old Bar is exhibiting; her woven artworks are truly beautiful – she has clients all over the world. Her involvement and support is so encouraging. Emerging Artist Kevin Griffiths paints with ink on Yupo Paper. The lovely Mrs Sheperd is participating; the whimsical characters she paints are sure to be recognised from the walls of Other Side Gallery, or from the pages of her published books. Wendy Patch from Other Side will have a painting or two in the show; Gemma Cross is producing an artist’s book from felt; Ali Haigh, Jane Hosking and Rachel Piercy from our Regional Gallery are all participating – I can’t wait to see what they do! The rest is a surprise!
This is your first themed exhibition where you have invited artists participate, based on their involvement and support of your gallery. What are the guidelines you gave them?
To create an artwork based on a favourite or personally significant bag, handbag, purse, suitcase, or backpack, that could be depicted Representationally, Expressionistically or Abstract; as one work or in a series, from 2 dimensional drawings, paintings or print, to 3 dimensional sculptures, textiles or jewellery. The work must be accompanied by a written piece explaining the bag’s significance.
Are the artworks for sale?
YES, all artworks are for sale. We want to create an opportunity for people to purchase original artworks from local artists at affordable prices.
What’s your artistic process?
I work mainly in textiles; I also paint, print and carve timber. For this show I am sculpting with paper and printing on to gum leaves!
What’s the story behind your Mixed Bag artwork?
The bag is a little suitcase; my first school bag.
What inspired you to create such a piece?
I wanted to create a piece that reflected my love for learning, and the precious fragility of childhood.
What’s the next exhibition we can look forward to?
I will be showcasing my students’ work next, and then Mrs Sheperd and I are having a joint exhibition.
When and where is the exhibition?
A Little to the Left Studio & Gallery is in the Taree Literary Institute Building on the corner of Victoria St and Manning St, in Taree.
Mixed Bag opens on the 28th November and will run until the end of December, with the official opening on Saturday 1st December at 2pm, to coincide with the gallery’s second birthday. We look forward to sharing the festivities with our community!
Thanks Bronni, for the interview; the FOCUS crew are especially invited!
Interview: Bronwyn Davis.