Under Pressure 2014 – Review and gallery

Under Pressure 23

Under Pressure provides a visual feast of glorious colours, patterns and textures incorporating a diverse range of printmaking styles. Something You Said’s Heather Vousden went along with her camera and her notepad: 

Under Pressure, Gallery Red’s fifth annual group printmaking exhibition in Sydney, showcases national and international, emerging and professional artists working within the printmaking medium including, Alun Rhys Jones, Bettina Anderson, Damon Kowarsky, David Fairbairn, Hyun Ju Kim, Jacqueline Aust, Kathy Boyle, Lea Kannar, Mark Rowden, Neale Krahe, Pamela Horsnell, Rodney Grant and Victoria Monk.

The thoughtful, meticulous creative process of each artist is evident through the level of detail, originality and beauty each piece provides. Common elements used by artists include botanical themes, animals and human emotion.

Under Pressure 17Mark Rowden’s striking lino prints of Barry Humphries, and his colourful character Dame Edna, appeared to lure the attention of all who attended the gallery on opening night. Edna’s striking red outfit and glasses, along with Barry’s humourous sparkling eyes, which cheekily follow you around the room, are hard to miss. The expressive eyes and shape have been carefully matched in both portraits of Barry and Edna, and link them well together.

Sharing the same wall as Mark Rowden, is Dobell prize winning David Fairbairn. He has included a number of dynamic and expressive copper etching portraits that are indicative of his style. These are incredible to witness. The eyes and the vigorous overlapping lines capture the energy and spirit of the sitter, along with that of the artist. Each drawing uses the same style, although capturing a different emotion, which draws your eye to different parts of the model’s face. They do indeed compliment each other beautifully as a set.

Hyun Ju Kim’s arresting blue ‘Talking without Words’ print is just as beautiful as anticipated. The detailed, melancholy image of a man peering down at sad faced sunflowers on a rainy day, amidst a beautiful garden filled with a variety of different patterns and shades of blue are eloquently done. The illustration implies a beautiful diverse world that is being coloured by the viewer’s sad emotions and thoughts.

Under Pressure 11Kathy Boyle’s, ‘Terra Flora’, a soft floral installation of orange, white and grey flowers flows across the corner of the room, providing a soft and delicate 3-dimensional texture to the wall. Each is carefully layered and patterned, using kozo paper with pages that have been burnt and waxed.

Continuing around to the back of the room you can find Pamela Horsnell’s small, graphic prints of poppies, highlighted by the warm deep red wall on which they are hung.

Her works are displayed to the left of Alun Rhys Jones’, colourful eye-catching display, ‘Pantone Belief System (1/3)’ which is printed on aluminium. This is a four by four display of different coloured skulls, each arranged in order of the gradation of their individual, varying pantone choices, which change with each rotation of the skull’s facing aspect.

One artist who is worth a closer look is Jacqueline Aust. Her solar plate etchings incorporate delicate elements, such as bird bones, soft white unthreading cloth, inky blacks, deep blood reds, and melancholy blues. Soft lighting further highlights certain areas. The combination of these elements from further reading was found to signify a comparison of dark and light, life and death, warm and cold, stillness and movement with the intention of invoking a cautionary message against actions that reduce rare species to their delicate remains.

Over all, ‘Under Pressure’, provides a diverse, inspiring range of printed works, which are all compatible as well as aesthetically pleasing. There is something to be found for all art lovers within this small space.

Under Pressure is free to view at Gallery Red, which can be found at Shop 11, 131-145, Glebe Point Road, Glebe in Sydney. It runs until the 25th February 2014. Opening hours are Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 10am – 3pm.



Words and pictures by Heather Vousden.