The works you see here are a reflection of how a community responds to transition – an experience many people connected to Belconnen Arts Centre will soon see, feel and themselves be transformed by. In recognition of the journey the Belconnen Arts Centre is embarking on during Stage 2 construction works, we recently welcomed contributions from artists Australia-wide to our In Transit Unframed open exhibition.
Asked to explore ideas of metamorphosis and change on unframed A3 paper, people from all walks of life joined us in taking stock of the past and the future, submitting over 120 artworks that ranged from humorous to heartfelt. Artists expressed themselves in wonderfully diverse ways, connected by the medium of A3 paper yet utilising it differently to convey hopes, losses, apprehensions and musings.
Artist Allison Barnes pondered what the future may look like, taking inspiration from recent celestial events in her work Blue Blood Moon: “Thirty years ago when Australians saw the last blue blood moon there was no world wide web. What will the world look like next time in 2028?”.
Linzie Ellis, conversely, used her artwork Identity Lines as an abstract diary of her daily emotional journey, marking out hundreds of lines at the same time over several days.
Hayley Steel used the classic medium of oil paint to render a beautifully complex artwork titled She Once Was, accompanied only by the words “we are but fragile leaves drifting in the wind of time, never ceasing, never quite the same.” For artist Damien Veal, ideas of transition and change were focused on the literal act of travelling by plane, with his canvas made entirely of airsickness bags. Dinner, 30 000ft wryly sums up the monotony and environmental impact of air transit; “three meals in ten hours, three time zones, no sleep and a big pile of rubbish at the end.”
Valda Johnson sums up her ideas of transition succinctly in her work The Journey, saying: “life changes – we lose someone we love but must survive, for life goes on and we are still alive. So we have to start a new life and live it to the full, for life’s too short to waste time – so I changed the colour of my hair, had my ears pierced, and travelled everywhere.” It’s a sentiment that resonates across all the artworks of In Transit Unframed in one way or another; even novice artist Oliver Thomas understands that change involves a roll of the dice sometimes.
In Transit Unframed will be open for viewing until Thursday 29 March, in the Foyer Gallery of Belconnen Arts Centre. Many of the works are available for purchase, and all are eligible for consideration of the $500 People’s Choice Award, so make sure you come along and vote for your top pick!
Written by Skye Rutherford, with statements by the artists.
Which is your favourite artwork in the In Transit Unframed exhibition?