Artists @ Makers Gallery

Four artists will be part of the Makers Gallery, offering music related images and sculptural works. Dean McLaren – Music makers from Newstead Live; George Duckett – Andante; Chrisanne Blennerhassett – Forest requiem; Frances Guerin – cello & ceramics.

Chrisanne Blennerhassett is a visual artist whose main medium is printmaking. Her work is of an environmental nature, a deep concern for the health of the planet is what drives her practice. Forest Requiem reflects on the health of the planet – the driving force behind my practice – and evokes the concept of extinction as we bear witness to the destruction of ecological systems. The aged delicacy of the pianola rolls reflects the fragility of the forest. The black ink echoes a dystopian landscape suggestive of charred remains, negative space and loss.

Dean McLaren is a local photographer. Speaking about his photographs: “It has been a privilege to have been involved with Newstead Live since it moved here and to have been one of the main photographers for the past 7 years. My initial goal was to expose the festival to a wider audience, setting up a FaceBook page, and providing our supporters, followers and performers a reflection of the weekend through the images.

Handmade instruments are crafted with love and attention to detail and hours and hours of workmanship. It is then left to the performer to finely craft the instrument in a different way, so as to express their stories through the music, melodies, and harmonies that they create.

The images that we have chosen, whilst not shot for this specific exhibition, hopefully, give a glimpse of what the instrument means to each and every artist on a personal level.”

Frances Guerin says of her work:“The subject of my work arises from deep mythological sources and an anthropomorphic representation of the wild creatures and flowers of the Wombat forest. Each piece takes on posture and gesture from the western classical art canon.”

George Duckett says “The wall mounted assemblages – Andante – are the first ‘instrumental’ pieces I made after discovering an abandoned piano, without its casing, at the Newstead Racecourse. The keys were pivotal, both as a signifier of what the mechanical intricacy belonged to and evocative of an imagined past in which the piano played host to innumerable exchanges. Rumour has it the piano came from the Moolort Hall, a dance venue, no longer standing.

The keys were so compelling, the work made itself. To reflect the ease of making, the resultant exhibition was titled Andante, and the individual pieces titled ‘songs for a forgotten piano’. Later I made work using the innards and these don’t speak so directly nor poignantly of a past in which the piano was ubiquitous and the ability to play music for oneself and others a more commonplace gift.

The small collages are from a series concerned with language and notation. Not only of music but also dress making and the variables of an instrument, specifically strings. The scale so intimate, there was no need to have an intent other than ‘play’. When the end point of each image came, a recognition of balance, I started another. All together I made 100 and was happy to change tack; the format and ‘play’ element ultimately holding more personal sway than the content.”