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JADA 2020: DRAWING on the PHYSICAL & VIRTUAL Exhibition Space

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Standing in the gallery before David FAIRBURN’s Drawn together-Double portraits V.H & J.E.L NO5

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The Pandemic and its significant social disruption has reduced the ability for visitors to enter the physical gallery. However the gallery has reached out through Internet mediated platforms to present online formatted exhibitions to not only to those in lockdown just down the street but also to those geographically distanced from the gallery.

This take-up of online exhibitions has been significant that now it seems that every gallery, as well as entrepreneurial artist, have a virtual gallery. Specialist online providers include Matterport, Ortelia Curator and Exhibbit.

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Some of these online programs can not only give the gallery a record of virtual attendances and where those visitors came from through their ‘hits’ stats, they may even be able to track the way visitors navigate through the online exhibition space. Bravo to the galleries who have stepped up to provide art interested people a 21st century solution to the COVID-19 challenge to provide a connection with commercial or institutional gallery spaces.

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Grafton Regional Gallery

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At the end of November 2020 after the relaxation of the Pandemic travel restrictions on the Queensland/New South Wales border we visited the Grafton Regional Gallery and the showing of the 2020 Biennial Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA).

Earlier in lockdown we visited the 2020 JADA quite a few times via their excellent online gallery. On these virtual visits we were presented with an online experience of being ‘in’ the space with enhancements that enabled us to zoom into full size images of the work and through a ‘click’ button, the ability to read the title of the work, artist’s name and other artwork details. While we were online visiting it was interesting to consider that others from all over the country, or even the world, could be simultaneously in the same virtual gallery space.

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The Matterport virtual gallery – JADA 2020

 


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SOME OF THE 2020 JADA FACTS

The JADA exhibition presents a snapshot of the contemporary practice of the drawing artform. The 2020 awards presented 56 works from a record total entry of 659. Pre-selection was carried out by Peter Wood (CEO, Arts Northern Rivers), Brett Adlington (Director, Lismore Regional Gallery, Michael Zavros (artist and 2002 JADA winner), and Heather Brown (President, Friends of Grafton Gallery). The judge of the final Award was Peter McKay, curatorial manager Australian Art at the Queensland Art Gallery — Gallery of Modern Art. A catalogue essay was written by Andrew Frost.

Teo TRELOAR – This is impermanence

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Teo Treloar’s work titled This is Impermanence (2019) was announced as the winner and Sarah Tomasetti’s work titled Kailash North Face IV (2019) and, Noel McKenna’s work titled Hamlet (2020) were recommended for purchase for the JADA Collection.

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DRAWING ON THE EXPERIENCE OF THE ARTWORKS

The JADA exhibition reveals a myriad of techniques, media and surfaces. The view of the artwork in the physical space of the gallery is a sensory experience that provides an opportunity to encounter the actual art object and the potential for much closer viewing that can reveal so much more about the work.

For that reason my physical experience in viewing the actual work gave me a deeper experience of the media used and the way it contributed to the artist’s communiqué. Now this may sound as if I’m proposing that the physical beats the virtual but that is not my point. The online space is critical to the broad distribution of the artworks in any exhibition. In many ways the viewing of a pixel presented view of an artwork is not dissimilar to how we experience art in the printed form in a magazine or book.

The online exhibition can convey extended information about the art and the exhibition through downloadable catalogues that cover artist’s statements, the judge’s comments and an essay. What I’m highlighting is that the online exhibition plays an important role in connecting viewers with art that is inaccessible for whatever reason. Seeing the physical object in the gallery is an elevated experience. So it is important to note that JADA is a travelling exhibition and that the ability to physically view the works will be afforded thousands of visitors during its 2 year showing.

It is important to applaud the Grafton Regional Gallery for their initiative in organising, hosting the physical show, coordinating the online exhibition and the touring component. For without JADA’s significant biennial review of the discipline in Australia the drawing community of practice could be fragmented and isolated.

My discussions in this Blog post has been in response to seeing the drawing artworks in the gallery space and connect personally with the detail of the mark and its surface. So to share the richness of the close-up physical experience I approached the Gallery to provide me with access to the catalogue and the information it contains. I have now linked this information with close-up images of selected works from photographs* made while I viewed the exhibition. Through this Blog post I’m attempting to extend the virtual viewer’s experience – it may represent a future enhancement to the online gallery.

Enjoy …

 

Doug Spowart

*Note some of the photographs contain minor reflections of lighting and other frames from the gallery space.

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View our Blog posts on previous JADA 2018 and JADA 2014

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Download a copy of the JADA 2020 Catalogue 2020 JADA Catalogue

2020 JADA Catalogue Cover

 

VIEWING THE JADA 2020 IN DETAIL

“CLICK” Image to enlarge

 

Jennifer Keeler-MilneBurnt, blackened, charred, scorched burnt offerings 2020 7 domes: charcoal, paper, glass, timber, foliage, paint Courtesy of the Artist and Australian Galleries, Sydney and Melbourne

MEDIUM: 7 domes: charcoal, paper, glass, timber, foliage, paint

MEDIUM: ink and pencil on paper

MEDIUM: graphite on rag paper

MEDIUM: charcoal and pastel on mat board

MEDIUM: charcoal and pastel on paper

MEDIUM: charcoal and ink

MEDIUM: ink, acrylic, oil stick, pastel and hand stitching with string on paper

MEDIUM: ink, pastel and stitching

MEDIUM: ink, pigment, acrylic binder on handmade paper

MEDIUM: ink on paper

 

 

MEDIUM: ink, gouache and pastel primer on cast carbon fibre

MEDIUM: felt tip pen with paper folds

 

MEDIUM: charcoal on Snowden catridge

MEDIUM: charcoal and white chalk on toned paper

MEDIUM: graphite on paper

MEDIUM: charcoal and conte on fabriano

MEDIUM: hand painted ceramic tiles

MEDIUM: graphite and White Conte Crayon on Grey Canson Paper

MEDIUM: graphite and White Conte Crayon on Grey Canson Paper

MEDIUM: graphite on hand built and etched porcelain

MEDIUM: ink and gouache on paper

MEDIUM: digital video: chalk, charcoal and acrylic animation on paper, 5:58 minutes (Detail of digital presentation)

 

 

VISIT THE ONLINE GALLERY  HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you to Niomi Sands, Director of the Grafton Regional Gallery and the Gallery team for their support in preparing this Blog post.

 

In accessing this post please respect the copyrights in the works displayed.

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