Art Unlimited goes on show

18 April 2012

A work by Adrian Segon.
A work by Adrian Segon.

Six artists who work from studios in a former gaol in the Victoria town of Geelong are featured in an exhibition opening this week at the Sydney College of the Arts' Callan Park Gallery.

The Old Geelong Gaol studios form part of Art Unlimited - a program that supports artists producing what is known as 'outsider art', a general term referring to art outside the commonly recognised cultural community. It is also known as 'raw art'.

The current show focuses on the medium of drawing, including works by Dylon Davies, Voula Hristeas, Jack Napthine, Adrian Segon and Susan Stripling, explains the show's curator and the SCA Dean, Colin Rhodes.

"Drawing is a primary artistic medium - immediate, direct, and yet capable of great subtlety and enormous variety," says Professor Rhodes, an internationally recognised authority on outside art and author of the influential Outsider Art: Spontaneous Alternatives.

"Drawing, more than anything else, reveals the character and creative wellsprings of an artist. As a result, we are witness here to five strong artistic personalities, speaking their experiences and truths from the gallery walls.

"The result, whilst highly individual in its elements, is nevertheless harmonious in ensemble, in the way that good art has of living well together. There is a thread of wit and good humour in the show."

The sixth artist and the exhibition's emerging artist, Tara Allitt, creates works with crayon. "Her works are saturated essays in colour and form," says Professor Rhodes. "Depicting some of Australia's more iconic buildings [they] stamp both their character and the artist's vision into the viewer's memory."

A work by Susan Stripling.
A work by Susan Stripling.

Art Unlimited is an initiative of St Laurence Community Services that aims to support artists with disabilities to develop and sustain their practice.

"Whilst we are witness here to the creative excellence of six strong individuals, their practices would certainly be poorer, and perhaps non-existent, without the supported context in which they have been able to thrive," notes Professor Rhodes.

The studio provides professional studio facilities and is staffed by qualified, practicing artists. Artists attending the studio are given full autonomy over their work, which has resulted in a diverse collection of art.

Art Unlimited offers artists' work for sale, providing artists with opportunities to gain an income.

Event details

What: Art Unlimited, an exhibition of outside art

When: 12 to 2pm, Thursday 19 April. Exhibition runs until 27 April (gallery hours: by appointment)

Where: Callan Park Gallery, Sydney College of the Arts, Balmain Road, Rozelle (enter opposite Cecily Street)



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