Sunday, September 25, 2011

My stickman is fatter than your stickman

My artistic talents are definitely limited.  I get the cold sweats when my daughter requests drawings of a unicorn or a penguin and when I attempt to comply, the response from my 3 year old is usually.  “No.  That’s not right.”
I can however do a recognisable stick man.  Portraiture if you will.  I differ from the normality of the expected stickman, because, you see, my stickman is not all stick.  Pretty creative huh?  My stickman always has a circle for a belly, and, is offered the non-sexist option of being a stickwoman if so desired. 
Yesterday morning during our morning ‘killing time before you kill the children’ session, (don’t worry mum, this is what I call it in my head, not out aloud), we were doing some art.  I was directed by my prince and princess in the creation of our family portraits.  It made me aware of how my children perceive their family to be externally.  My daughter is under the impression that she has extremely long flowing hair; apparently the only hair that my husband has added to drawings is the hair that comes out of his nose; and surprisingly, I am the only one in my family that is worthy of elbows and knees.  Yes, apparently I am the only member of the Gonzalez family that will not be walking with the jerking movements of a Barbie or Ken doll.
It was by pure coincidence that when strolling down Hay Street that same afternoon we stumbled upon a free art exhibition for the ‘City of Perth Black Swan Prize’ for Portraiture.  Anybody who knows me knows I love to accept anything that is free (apart from germs in public), and my children also seemed eager to look at the art after pressing their noses against the window from the outside.  My daughter had already decided before entering that her favourite would be the one that looked like a princess, (the first portrait that she saw of a girl).   The exhibition downstairs showed the talents of the local youth from grade 8 to 12.  I was absolutely astounded at the quality, talent and originality that was on display.  These pieces were all entrants for the ‘Squire Sanders Youth Portraiture Prize’.  My son, aged 2 was particularly taken by the mixed media mobile, (it had a hanging fish), and my daughter decided that the ‘girl crying a rainbow’ was her favourite.
Girl crying a rainbow

This was my favourite and done by a 15 year old!
Upstairs the more experienced artists exhibited a variety of realistic and representational portraits.  I was unable to  see these on this particular visit as my son undertook the change from Jekyll to Hyde while in the gallery and my daughter decided that quick sharp squeals were the only way to be heard over her brothers strive for attention.  The winner was to be announced that evening so I decided to revisit on the weekend with my husband. When we returned, we all explored the upstairs exhibit to see some amazing Portraitures, and to be able to see the winning piece. The winner was not exactly what I would have chosen, but then again referring to my above attempts at art,  perhaps I would have more specialty in handing out participation awards than achievement awards.

Title: The light is hurting my eyes
Subject: Self portrait (Mother of teenagers)
Artist: Fiona Buchanan
My favourite

Title: Joel Egderton
Artist: Carla Fletcher
Another favourite
It was fantastic to see some modern art and even more interesting to see the children’s reactions to it.  During our time in Italy, we were spoilt with the fact that art surrounded you everywhere, the art was filled with history and culture.  Here, in Perth, it was nice to see art that also had an influence of personality and opinion.  Perth, so far, so good.
2011 Exhibition dates
16 September - 26 September

Location: Perth Town Hall, Cnr Hay St & Barrack Street, Perth - Western Australia
Opening Hours: 10:00am - 4:00pm daily (except Tuesday 20th 1:00pm -5:00pm)

Title: Jack Charles - Robin Hood of the Streets
Artist: Joanne Morris
Peoples Choice Award

Title: Homeless Man (outside David Jones)
Subject: Jaimie Jones
Artist: Kristone Capistrane

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