Manly Art Gallery & Museum

Tilt: Belinda Fox & Neville French

An intriguing and beautiful exhibition is currently on at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum.

As I walked into the exhibition, I was first taken aback by the beauty of the large work on the main wall.  It takes a while to take it in and to realise that it is very much a political statement.

There are many artists who undertake political statements through their artwork. Unfortunately for many artists they are so concentrated on their statements that their delivery suffers. Too much of political based art may succeed in getting their message out but fail in creating something that engages on a deeper level and intrigues – and is aesthetically attractive.

For me, these works by Belinda and Neville Fox succeed on many levels where many have failed.

Their artworks are wonderful and I can recommend a visit to Manly to see this exhibition – open till 3rd September 2017.

For more about TILT – click here

in the gallery’s own words:

An exhibition by collaborators Fox and French of evocative paintings coupled with luminous porcelain vessels which capture the current political environment within an interrelated painted and ceramic aesthetic.

Over the past 6 years Neville French and Belinda Fox have worked together on a number of collaborative projects that link the art of ceramics with that of printmaking and painting and in this latest project we have combined our skills and expertise to create porcelain vessels that reference the sea and a sense of unease that is evoked in her recent 2D works.

Neville French writes; “We began our project with discussions about humanity and the plight of refugees that are forced into dangerous situations through circumstance and the lengths people will go to be safe.

One of Belinda’s large works depicts waves that ebb and flow and increase over the drawing to evoke a sea, ‘a raging sea, mad, wild, messy, unforgiving, beautiful, powerful, uncompromising – a metaphor for the world we live in.’

Within the wall of waves a ship is depicted tipped on its side with people being washed into the sea. It is drawn from a news image of a boat of refugees and is a distressing record of an actual event.

Belinda says, they ‘hold on, let go, scramble, help, hinder, brave, scared, Humanity in all its guises – survival, cruelty, luck, compassion, desperation, death, life, instinct, humility, harshness, family, fate. We all know this cannot end well – the ship is falling….the world is tipping.

The drawing evokes a feeling of imbalance and disquiet and we aim to strengthen this feeling by relating the ceramics vessels.

In the ceramics works, elemental porcelain vessels are used to distil a sense of place and through collaboration they aim to add heightened intensity and breadth to the concept and mood that Fox has conceived.

The tangible and evocative quality of the ceramic forms and glazed surfaces will have strong associations with the imagery and feelings evoked.

Ceramic vessels have been used to record the joys, fears and beliefs of people for over 15,000 years and represent a continuing expression of our universal humanity. The artists intend their vessels to convey an uneasy feeling and a sense of the instability in the world at present.

Exhibition dates: 14 Jul – 3 Sep 2017


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