Blue Period exhibition celebrates women at One Star

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A new exhibition is showcasing the work of great and underrated local and international women artists.

The Blue Period exhibition, now featuring at West Melbourne’s One Star Gallery, explores more than 60 works by 33 women artists curated by Mariella Del Conte and Katy Beale.

This is the fourth themed show curated at this small, influential, independent gallery in West Melbourne and the second show celebrating all women artists.

Ms Beale told North West City News that the group exhibition had received a positive response since opening on December 1.

“The exhibition opening was very well attended and supported by the arts community in Melbourne, as well as art appreciators and that included a certain number of North and West Melbourne people, and happily some enthusiastic passers-by … that is always rewarding!” Ms Beale said.

Ms Del Conte added that the opening night of the exhibition was an “overwhelming experience of artists and guests connecting and revelling in the collective experience”.

“The attendance was such that people filled the gallery and spilled out onto the footpath,” she said.

“The unique difference in the Blue Period is the curatorial brief and the freedom it affords. The artists were free to delve into the theme and respond. The fact that they were participating in a women’s exhibition was indeed a welcome feature.”

 

It has provided a framework for the artists to express themselves with not just the colour blue, but it has left open the gate to explore the wider implications of the most seen colour on the planet.

 

“We spent months mulling over the theme, talking about the meaning of it all, writing down ideas and referencing the colour blue in all its incarnations, compiling a list of artists to approach and selecting works from all the submissions.”

Each presenting their own versions of the concept, the exhibiting artists came from various disciplines, including art educators from the community sector and universities, while all but three were Victoria, with two works sent from Sydney, and another from Paris.

Ms Del Conte said the show mixed affordable and high-end works, known and lesser-known women artists of all ages, as well as immediate and more complex ideas.

“The curatorial brief for the Blue Period exhibition was sent out to a selection of women artists all of whom embraced the theme with great interest and enthusiasm. The subject matter ranges from abstract to figurative and the mediums employed include painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media and spoken word,” Ms Del Conte said.

“The individual responses are moody, whimsical, emotional and so forth. There is no right or wrong response but hopefully just enough intrigue to hold the viewer captive long enough for an exchange.”

Ms Beale said visitors could experience a thematic grouping of photography, painting, sculpture, prints, assemblages, and installation by artists in all stages of their careers, some of whom would not normally show at a smaller independent gallery.

“I also hope this relatable, if vast, theme will give more viewers a ‘way in’ of approaching an exhibition. Colour is something that nearly everyone can respond to, and before you know it you are looking at and wondering about a deeper layer of the art,” she said.

Blue Period, One Star Gallery 301-303 Victoria St, West Melbourne, until December 17. •

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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