Figure It Out
Date: 17 Jan - 6 Feb
Figurative art by four Melbourne GLBTIQ Artists - Gregg Wilson, Ann McGinley, Robert Hempel and Michael Rigg.
Gregg Wilson Artist Statement
Gregg's paintings explore the male image and male energy in a very colourful and often imaginative way. Painting offers him a means of capturing the essence of a moment by playing around with elements of focus, tone, colour, surrealism and abstraction. These paintings explore the visual representation of a comfortable symbiosis between strength and gentleness. Gregg has a degree in creative arts and diplomas in professional writing and multimedia design. He began painting when a disease in his hands put an end to his career as a professional musician and teacher. Never having painted before he has spent nearly every day of the past four years painting, drawing and now getting heavily involved in the medium of drypoint etching. He is currently involved in travelling around Victoria painting portraits of older men who are members of the Victorian Men's Sheds Association, and he is working on a major exhibition with 60 such portraits, as well as a book that will contain photos of the paintings, 24 etchings of the men at work in their sheds and another 12 paintings of men involved in various acts of manual labour.
Ann McGinley Artist Statement
'When the wind blows.......'
'When the wind blows.....' refers to the old myth: when the wind blows your face will stay like that! The paintings are based on snapshots from lesbian childhoods.
Several women were asked to donate a photograph from their childhood that evinces a strong emotion or connection today. The title, 'When the wind blows.....' is an ironic reference to the prejudiced view that something occurred in these women's lives to influence their sexual orientation. But the paintings themselves refute this misconception by showing the universality of their childhood experience. Ann has studied visual art at RMIT and is currently a VCA student.
Robert Hempel Artist Statement
I have a degree in Fine Arts from RMIT. I have always been drawing and painting, ever since I was a young child, so it made sense to undertake a degree in this area. After graduation I partook in a group exhibition at Melbourne University and had a studio space for a while. As I work full-time as a librarian I sometimes find it hard to fit in my artwork, therefore this exhibition is a great opportunity for me to 'come out' so to speak and finally display and promote my work in a public space after a long hiatus. My primary interest is the human body, in particular heads and hands. I do a lot of life drawing as I prefer to draw from life, using this as a template on which to extend form, shape, texture and line but still retaining a 'figurative' aspect. I have always been strongly influenced by the portraiture of the Flemish Masters such as Jan Van Eyck and Rogier Van Der Weyden and Australian artists such as Joy Hester, Albert Tucker, John Bracks and Godwin Bradbeer. I also have an enduring interest in the art of the Tiwi people of Melville and Bathurst Islands in the Northern Territory, where I lived as a child. What drives me as an artist is to create works that will inspire the viewer, hopefully gaining some form of pleasure, interest and intrigue in what I produce. To leave a lasting memory, something of my own mind, feeling and emotion on paper for someone else to equally interpret in their own way.
Michael Rigg Artist Statement Background
Michael practices in both architecture and as an artist. He completed an extended diploma in visual art at NMIT in 2011 and is currently studying as a postgraduate at the Victorian College of the Arts.