Freedom of expression
THIRTEEN might be considered an unlucky number for some, but not these artists.
Thirteen WA Portrait Artists members have come together to exhibit their favourite pieces of work in new Fremantle portraiture show, Skin Deep 2016.
With names like two-time Archibald finalist Peter Ciemitis, Black Swan highly commended winner Josh Cocking and local artists Daevid Anderson, of Leederville, and Cottesloe’s Tessa McOnie, the exhibition will be awash with beautiful strokes, eye-catching colours and amazing emotions.
Artist Brad Durrant said the group’s founding members came together after the 2011 Black Swan Prize and since then had grown from a casual gathering to meetings that were more formal.
“In 2014 after a few years of meeting up as a casual group, we started talking about holding a group exhibition as a way of giving the group and the artists some exposure, while sharing the costs,” he said.
“This came at a time when many WA art galleries were closing down, so opportunities to exhibit were reducing.
“We held our first group exhibition in January, 2015, at Kidogo Art House and it was so successful we decided to do it again.”
Inglewood artist Peter Ciemitis said the exhibition might be the public’s last opportunity to view his portrait of Peter Greste following its purchase by a collector.
“I’m particularly pleased to show my portrait of Peter Greste in this show,” Ciemitis said.
“It attempted to deal with his resolve and determination.
“It plays with the idea of his spatial disembodiment, his disconnection with the outside world during his imprisonment, and the bar-like negative spaces between panels are the fractures and divisions imposed upon both Peter and on free speech.”
Ciemitis said Skin Deep 2016 demonstrated the camaraderie between artists in this field and their enthusiasm for sharing knowledge and ideas.
“A group show like this offers the audience a chance to see a ‘survey’ of different practice types,” he said.
Artist Daevid Anderson agreed and said group shows widened an artist’s audience.
“Perhaps people come to see one thing but end up seeing something else they really like, and wouldn't have sought out voluntarily,” Anderson said.
“Portraiture is such a fascinating genre – people are drawn to people – and I think the public will love to see all the varying approaches.”