The Visual Arts grows in many bubbles, effervescently forming little universes around a gallery, the artists they represent, the work that is curated there, the investment by the buyer, the academic and critical analysis of the work, the art lover and the people who go there for the free champagne.
All these players are greatly invested in their own creative cosmos helping to build an over all healthy, diverse, dynamic ecology within the bigger culture of that city which benefits the community in often invisible but important ways.
But occasionally a concept cuts through these bubbles and the benefits from art for the community are direct, powerful and tangible. Trace 4101 art exhibition and auction is one of these events, placing some of Australia’s most prodigious contemporary art within the public spaces of a community, specifically the shopping precinct of West End Brisbane. Shifting the art out of the traditional gallery setting allowing the public space to be transformed and offering the viewer an experience with the work that can be surprising and immediate.
As Joe Furlonger one of Australia’s most respected landscape artist, whose work is installed in a pharmacy above their dispensary said “Galleries have their barriers…by the nature of the work and the circumstances they are sold in they can be a little bit forbidding.”
JOE FURLONGER POPSART INTERVIEW
Proceeds for the work from the auction will go to Community Plus and the vital work they do with vulnerable and marginalised community members. A percentage will also go to the artists themselves.
This passionate support for the community is expressed by esteemed Judy Watson whose work is in a shoe repair shop, “As an artist and Aboriginal woman I know people can do it tough, for woman especially you’ve got your kids, you’re in a tough situation, you really need the help!”
JUDY WATSON POPSART INTERVIEW
“It’s artist setting a good example” said Josh Milani from Milani Galleries one of the key organisers of the event about this philanthropic giving from artists who are often perceived as the ones that need that sort of support. “A lot of artist tend to be fairly progressive, most artist don’t have a good income, my stance is they tend to be empathetic which is something we could use more of particularly with the government cuts to social service and welfare.”
LISTEN TO JOSH MILANI PODCAST HERE
One of the most generous gifts is of a late Gordon Bennett painting from his wife Leanne Bennett, hung in Avid Reader in which all proceeds will go to Community Plus. This work is from the early 2000’s when Bennett made a decision to shift dramatically from his narrative political work to just enjoy the process of painting stripes.
LEANNE BENNETT POPSART INTERVIEW
Other work on display are a Richard Bell in a mechanic’s garage, Arthur Koo’ekka Pambegan Jr in a Vietnamese grocer and a Vernon Ah Kee in a café, as well as Anna Carey, Megan Cope, Fiona Foley, Noel McKenna and Tyza Stewart.
Founded by Marilyn Trad and Jason Grant the broader community has really embraced Trace 4101 and run with it with, including the galleries Milani, Heiser and Andrew Baker and the participating venues including Ralph’s Garage, West End Bakery, Junky Comics and Jet Black Cat Records.
The exhibition runs in Brisbane’s West End from May 24 until June 14. Online bidding up until 9pm on June 16. To bid on work, see a full list of artist, and view a walking trail map, go here.
See more here POPSART
Headline Photo: RICHARD BELL’S WORK IN RALPH’S GARAGE