Beyond the Opening

-- Demystifying Contemporary Art --

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  • Boom Gallery

Jiri Tibor Novak | Isobel Rayson | Natalie Anderson


This space has energy, a vibe, it is good, and it’s worth every moment getting there to soak it up. Boom Gallery is a destination. The exhibition of Jiri, Isobel and Natalie’s work is polished in every aspect. Although the subject matter of each artist is seemingly disparate, walking through each of the gallery spaces is refreshing by the contrast of genres, the quality of the work, the investigation into the relative subject matters, and mediums.

Visit this gallery for a supreme coffee, a browse through the stock room, to find a unique piece of jewellery or pottery, or - to just soak up the vibe.

Amidst Geelong inner suburbs there are a few blocks of sprawling industrial buildings. Built from quintessential red brick around the turn of last century, the spaces on this block are now housing creative sorts. Today the weather is gale force and blustery and there is no one on the street. I open the heavy door and am delighted to find, contrary to the weather, an even bubbling hum drum of pleasant activity. Someone is fussing about the artwork display, another at the coffee machine, and others move about gazing and discussing the work. Delightful.

This is a large industrial space with concrete floors and high ceilings. Perched at the entrance, the café is to my left, the gallery space is in the middle, and the smaller artworks display, jewellery and pottery are to my right, with an accessible stock room towards the back of this section. I head to the gallery space. The exhibition seems to be constructed from a series of fixed and mobile wall panels, and for this exhibition there are three open gallery rooms to view as you walk down a central path. I can see the works of each exhibition as I gaze through the galleries: portraits, contemporary installation and landscapes.

Gallery 1 [Jiri Tibor Novak]

Centralised lone figure portraits dominate this collection of Jiri’s work. Some of the painted figures are against a dark background, others are outside under a tree or with a dog. The compositions have minimal details and subtle textures. They are colourful, and Jiri uses whole geometric shapes with gently shifting tones to depict the compositions. His compositions are surreal and dreamlike overlaid with the geometric characteristics of Russian Constructivism. For example, an oval for the head, the face depicted by one half darker, the other lighter; a gently curved rectangle for the neck, and hair, a triangle to the side. This figure sits within a painted frame and on top of a montage of Melways maps that are massed and jumbled together. I read this work to be of a women, perhaps new to Melbourne, looking out of a window into the maze ahead. There are similar works using music sheets and topographical maps. Another is of a house in the sky with rope ladder extended out drifting in its wake.

Gallery 2 [Isobel Rayson]

From the deep well of inward personal human emotion Isobel wrenches me into more practical considerations: human mark making over time. Her work contrasts magnificently: she is digging into flat blue wooden sheets exposing the soft wood to create linear patterns that spark and jump with a controlled energy. This series of works are displayed along the walls of the gallery and either end are two large round works about the size of a coffee table for two. One is white with a dense multitude of black moulds of the negative space of a clenched fist, each mounted on a pole evenly protruding towards the viewer. At the other end, the work is black by the density of fingertip moulds, perhaps moulds of the same finger. The organic pattern that is created within each of these works, the subtle shifts and variances, make these works incredibly engaging to look at.

Gallery 3 [Natalie Anderson]

And then the gallery space opens up and Natalie takes us to a spiritual realm. She depicts seascapes, broad stretches of farmland and big deep skies. Using a traditional oil painting method Natalie uses soft equal tones that meld and blend with each other to produce contrasts that define the features of her work - there are no hard lines here. The principles and characteristics of Natalie's work are reminiscent of the Max Meldrum art school of the 1930's. She finds the gentle shifts of light and colour whilst maintaining a balance between Realism and the characteristic beauty of painting itself - the brush strokes and paint layers. There is a moodiness in her work, a spiritual omniscience, or perhaps a simple appreciation of her local environment captured by the magnificence of towering clouds, rain showers and shifting sun light. Natalie makes us look up and out.

Jiri Tibor Novak | Isobel Rayson | Natalie Anderson

20 July – 12 August

Boom Gallery

Photo: Boom Gallery

Photo: Boom Gallery

Photo: Boom Gallery

Photo: Boom Gallery

Photo: Boom Gallery

Photo: Boom Gallery

#JiriTiborNovak #IsobelRayson #NatalieAnderson

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