The latest Artists' Collective Studio exhibition exemplifies the term 'good things come in small packages', with a follow-up to last year's inaugural Australiana Art Prize 9 by 5 exhibition opening this Friday, March 13 at the studio's Tenterfield Gallery in Rouse St.
Curator Anni Washington said entries are down a little this year, what with the distraction of drought, fire and coronavirus. But with last year's experience under their belt artists have given more thought to the Australiana theme, producing works which fully-embrace the subject.
Local artist Margaret Dowe has even managed to embrace catastrophe as well, with her entries reflecting the recent bushfires that ravaged her properties. One piece features handmade nails rescued from a razed farmhouse, set against a fiery backdrop.
In all there are 27 artists contributing 66 works, to be judged by Warwick Art Gallery's Karina Devine. While the bulk of entries are by local artists, entries also came from nearby Glen Innes' artists Kathy Pollitt and Ian McKenzie and Deepwater's Alan Rose, and from as far as Armidale, Mullumbimby and Stanthorpe and even Melbourne and WA's Port Headland (although there is a local connection).
"Entries are so much more widespread," Ms Washington said.
The exhibition celebrates the Australian Impressionist movement of the late 19th century championed by Tom Roberts, where artists applied obvious strokes of colour and tone directly onto the surface to create an 'impression' of a subject rather than a detailed reality of it.
This new style was exemplified in a 1889 exhibition of works in a 9x5 inch format, not coincidentally the proportions of a cigar box lid which often served as a canvas in those times. The size restriction encourages some creative thinking, as evidenced in Tenterfield's Australiana Art Prize.
Kerri Swain of Jennings & Kneipp Lawyers is sponsoring the prize money, with $400 for first, $200 for second and $100 for third. There's also a special $100 viewers choice award, to be declared at the close of the exhibition on April 13.
Everyone's invited to the opening at 5.30pm on Friday at the gallery, with drinks and eats turned on and the announcement of the winners.