Heist eGallery is an online art gallery. It’s run by Arts Access Victoria. Heist gives artists with a disability a space to exhibit their work. The website was started with a Victorian government grant. The artwork on Heist is full of color and beauty. It also stirs the imagination and awakens new ideas. Heist has different exhibits with thought-provoking themes. The current exhibition is Disclosure. It examines the relationship between disability, identity and creativity. The exhibition features a diverse range of artists. They use sculptures, paintings and drawings to intrigue and surprise their audience.
Andrew Follows is a man who has a guide dog in one hand and a camera in the other. He does not let vision impairment stand in the way of taking photos. When Andrew wanted to take a photo course it was seen to be a joke. Andrew has since shown others that you can take photos even if you can’t see. Some scratch their heads to see a man with a guide dog taking photos. Andrew has shown his pictures in art galleries. He has trained others with vision impairment to use a camera. He really enjoys what he does.
The Australia Council for the Arts is our national arts funding and advisory body. They have a new Artists with Disability Program. Individuals and groups can apply for funding. Morwenna Collett is the Australia Council’s Disability Coordinator. She hopes many people will apply for the program. A lot of high quality applications might mean it continues beyond 2014. Morwenna is sure the program will fund good art. Information sessions about the Artists with Disability Program will be held around the country. Details can be found on the Australia Council website.
Graffiti is drawings or words written on walls such as buildings. Some people think graffiti is art. Other people believe it is ugly vandalism. A lot of graffiti is illegal. Melbourne’s city centre is well-known for the graffiti on its laneway walls. The graffiti attracts tourists from around the world. Some graffiti in Melbourne is done with permission from the council. Ridding Melbourne of graffiti may make the city look cleaner. But we might also lose something unique and colourful that adds excitement to the city.
This National Gallery of Victoria held an access evening for their winter masterpieces exhibition Monet's Garden. The exhibition featured over 60 paintings by Impressionist artist Claude Monet. Around 50 people attended the access evening. A range of tours were offered on the night. Visitors learned about the visual impairment Monet experienced. They could see how this affected his artwork. The access evening gave people time and space to enjoy Monet's magnificent paintings. Hopefully the National Gallery of Victoria will run more events like this.
A brightly coloured painting of 3 drums sitting on a wooden platform against a corrugated iron wall.
Master of stillness, an exhibition of work by Jeffrey Smart
Jeffrey Smart is famous for his modern paintings of urban landscapes with objects that some find ugly. People have called Jeffrey Smart a narrative painter and a poet. For me, the composition of each of his paintings just begs for a story, but Jeffrey Smart says he did not have one. He says he paints the real world and leaves the interpretation up to the viewer.
Reverie is an exhibition that is rich in both ideas and possibilities.
The current exhibition at The Dax Centre in Melbourne is called Reverie. The name refers to a state of creative imagination. Many of The Dax Centre's past exhibitions have been about mental illness. This one shows some more hopeful aspects of that experience. Reverie is explored through key themes. These include connecting with people, being in the natural world and feeling calm in certain spaces. Some of the art is about night and dreams. Many works use colour to express emotion. The exhibition gives viewers a chance to experience reverie for themselves.
All the art in this collection has been created by people with experience of mental illness and trauma.
There is a special place in the grounds of the University of Melbourne. It is called The Dax Centre. This is where the Cunningham Dax Collection of art is held. All the art in this collection has been created by people with experience of mental illness and trauma. A visit to The Dax Centre gallery can be confronting. However, the art there can teach us a lot about the human experience. Looking at it may cause sad thoughts. But hope can always be found in the exhibitions too.
Doing art can feel good. It can be as simple as picking up a pencil and drawing or shaping something out of clay. Art therapy takes this idea further. It encourages you to tell your feelings and emotions through art. Or it can be used for people who have had an illness, such as stroke, to help the brain and body work again. Art therapy can help people who have gone through difficult times in their life. What you draw or make can be talked about with an art therapist. Art therapy can make people feel happy.