Gallery comes to life this winter

Leila Jeffreys' artwork on display at the Gallery. Photo: Tom Parry

Gippsland Art Gallery has officially launched its Winter Season to great fanfare.

The launch took place at the Port of Sale building on Friday, June 10.

Among the exhibitions being shown as part of the Winter Season is Fragile Earth: Extinction, which explores the complexities and challenges presented by climate change.

According to Gallery director Simon Gregg, the exhibition stemmed from a desire to work with the Concerned Artists Resisting Extinction, or CARE, which had been curating projects elsewhere.

“They’ve been talking to us for a while and we said, ‘We want to be part of this – we need to be part of this, but we need to plan properly for it and make it a really world-class event,’” Mr Gregg said.

With its bold and striking pieces, the exhibition has been purposely curated to provoke.

“That’s the job of art – it’s not just pretty pictures on walls, it’s there to make us think and sometimes to challenge us,” Mr Gregg said.

“If people leave the exhibition a little bit more aware, or just thinking more about what they can do for the environment, then that’s a big win for everyone.”

Speeches were provided at the event by Mr Gregg and Wellington Shire Councillor Jill Wood, who previewed the new exhibitions prior to the launch commencing.

Cr Jill Wood addressing attendees at the Gippsland Art Gallery’s Winter Season launch.
Photo: Tom Parry

“I was blown away by it all – it’s beautiful!” Cr Wood told the Gippsland Times.

“It really catches your soul, it’s just lovely, lovely work.”

Much of the attention on the night was drawn towards Leila Jeffreys’ installation “Nature is not a place to visit. It is Home” which saw videos of birdlife displayed across three television screens.

Both Cr Wood and Mr Gregg considered the piece a highlight of the exhibition.

“I’ve seen a lot of video-art and most of it just hasn’t impressed me, but this one I thought was a knock-out,” Mr Gregg said.

In addition to Extinction, the Gallery is also displaying artworks by Annemieke Mein, Adrian Mauriks, Danny McDonald, and First Nations artists Richard Young and Aunty Eileen Harrison.

A follow-up Fragile Earth exhibition is being planned for later in the year.

“The next one will be imagining the post-human world, after we’ve made ourselves extinct,” Mr Gregg said.

“Each of these series of exhibitions that we do is going to be designed to make people think; maybe to ask some uncomfortable questions, but to show how artists are responding to it in a beautiful and poetic way.”

More information on the Winter Season is available at www.gippslandartgallery.com