Tuesday, July 19, 2016

T150 - Townsville Past & Present: Artists in Townsville



The opening event for "Celebrating Townsville" featuing Jane Hawkin's sculptures. Photograph: Damien McGurran.
JCU Chancellor Bill Tweddell and Curator Ross Searle at the exhibition opening.  Photograph: Damien McGurran.
The latest round of T150 displays in the JCU Library coincide with the exhibition Celebrating Townsville: the City’s Visual History Drawn from the James Cook University Art Collection, which runs from 8 July to 14 August 2016 at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts.

Bronwyn McBurnie, Special Collections Librarian with the exhibition catalogue for "Celebrating Townsville" which will now be added to the North Queensland Collection.
The displays feature numerous exhibition catalogues, ephemera, books and media clippings pertaining to six of the artists in the Celebrating Townsville exhibition: James Brown, Jane Hawkins, Anne Lord, Ron McBurnie, Bob Preston and Anneke Silver. The work of these artists (all JCU alumni) celebrates the role JCU played in the development of contemporary visual arts in north Queensland during this period.

James Brown
Dr James Brown is engaged in drawing, painting, printmaking, publishing artists’ books and sculpture. Beyond professional practice as an artist, he has a strong interest in the etchings of the Barbizon Group (nineteenth century French artists) and Dutch, German and English landscape prints from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century. He also has an interest in Oriental calligraphy and Chinese and Thai (Ban Chiang) Neolithic pottery.  Dr Brown began teaching full-time in Visual Arts at TAFE in 1978 and has continued working in this capacity until his recent retirement from James cook University. Since 1977 he has prepared (almost yearly) exhibitions of his artworks. He has travelled extensively with some of the more memorable destinations being: India, China, South Korea, South-East Asia, Mexico, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, England, France and many of the South Pacific Islands.

Jane Hawkins
Jane Hawkins is a Townsville-based sculptor. Having attained teaching qualifications in 1979 after studying sculpture under Len Shillam, Jane taught drawing and sculpture at TAFE and later lectured in visual arts at JCU. Jane’s personal practice in her early years was largely informed by her interest in the human form and psyche. Her recent works focus on her observation of and interaction with her environment, using collected materials, drawings and photographs from various sites visited during an extended journey south for the summer. Across her career she has also completed a number of major public sculpture commissions, including Townsville’s statue of Robert Towns, the Brandon War Memorial, the Collinsville Mine Memorial and the Cairns ANZAC Memorial. Jane also finalised the design of JCU’s ceremonial mace.


Assorted ephemera pertaining to Jane Hawkin's artistic career, including an exhibition invitation shaped like a 'paper fortune teller'.
Anne Lord 
Dr Anne Lord is a painter, printmaker, photographer, mixed media artist, digital artist/designer and installation artist. Anne’s childhood, spent in rural north-west Queensland, stimulated a strong and enduring relationship to place that has been ever-present in her art practice and research. During Anne’s extensive history of art practice, spanning over thirty years, her focus has been on producing works that function as “metaphors for environment and change, as well as contemporary issues.” Anne’s works have featured in numerous individual, group, and touring exhibitions since the 1980s. Anne taught at Townsville College of TAFE from 1979 to 1991, then JCU from 1991 to 2013, and currently focuses full-time on her art practice. Anne’s research and publication history dates back to the late 1980s, as do the numerous grants and awards she has received.
Ephemera pertaining to Anne Lord's artistic career, including a standing exhibition invitation.
Ron McBurnie

“Ron McBurnie is an artist who has consistently delved into the suburban psyche of north Queensland since his arrival in 1980. His works chart some of the rituals and peculiarities of that zone between the suburbs of Townsville and the tropical hinterland. McBurnie’s practice shifts between printmaking, artist books, painting and drawing. Peripatetic by nature, the subject matter of many of his recent works is derived from his frequent travels in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. His landscape images draw inspiration from early traditions of British and European printmaking and painting.”
Ross Searle, Curator of Celebrating Townsville: The City’s Visual History Drawn from the James Cook University Art Collection.
Frontispiece from Ron McBurnie's publication titled "Suburban Etchings" 1988, featuring an original signed artwork/etching and artists signature.
Bob Preston
“Trained in London, (Dr) Robert Preston was directly influenced by an English movement of artists who were reassessing the traditions of European painting and emphasising objective realism. Through his lecturer, Euan Uglow, Preston became preoccupied by the system of measured drawing or measuring by proportion from a fixed point. While this was not to be his only influence, it established for Preston a system of finding exactly comparable or divisible distances. This was to come to the fore in his own teaching after his arrival in north Queensland. His work has shifted between the formal, abstract works of the 1970s to a more narrative style which corresponds in part with his study into the mythology of non-European cultures. This play between abstraction, narrative and ‘plein-airism’ marks out Preston’s intriguing practice.”
Ross Searle, Curator of Celebrating Townsville: The City’s Visual History Drawn from the James Cook University Art Collection.
Exhibition Catalogue for Bob Preston from the NQ Collection.
Anneke Silver
Painter, Dr Anneke Silver, first studied Cultural Anthropology at Amsterdam University then Arts and Crafts teaching before travelling extensively. Arriving in Brisbane in 1959, Anneke moved to Townsville in 1961 where she ran a private art school, conducted children’s art classes, and taught at the College of Advanced Education and TAFE. Anneke later joined JCU lecturing full-time in creative arts before retiring as an Adjunct Associate Professor. Anneke has participated in an exhaustive number of solo and group exhibitions, is represented in numerous local, national and international collections, has enjoyed several artists’ residencies, been involved in theatre design and curating, delivered public lectures and runs workshops all over Queensland for Flying Arts. Anneke has also created public artworks and researched and published extensively.


Exhibition catalogue for Anneke Silver currently on display.
To coincide with the displays, there are also several paintings by Ron Kenny currently hanging in this area on Level 1 of the library. Associate Professor Ron Kenny, former JCU biological scientist and keen artist, was instrumental in the establishment of the James Cook University Art Collection in the 1960s. The Collection forms the basis of the "Celebrating Townsville" exhibition currently availble for viewing at Umbrella Studio contemporary arts until the 14th of August.

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