Out/About: Gallery Ecosse ‘Autoportrait’
Gallery Ecosse can be found in the picturesque village of Exeter in the Southern Highlands of NSW. Last Saturday the gallery opened ‘Autoportrait’ an exhibition of self-portraits by some of the most impressive contemporary artists working today. The line up includes Archibald Prize regulars Ben Quilty, Wendy Sharpe, Cherry Hood, Euan Macleod, Jasper Knight (also a co-director of the space) Maclean Edwards and Guy Maestri alongside artist’s less known for portraiture such as Luke Sciberras, James Powditch and Tim Summerton.
Introducing a portrait into your home can be confronting, with the personality of the sitter effectively becoming ‘one of your family’. There is something even more elemental in a self portrait, and with the best you are provided with a window into the artist’s psyche, think Vincent van Gogh and those troubled yet beautiful paintings. Most of the artists in this collection have been motivated by the need to share something other than a photographic representation of their physical characteristics. This is taken to an amusing, conceptual end with the work by Julian Wolkinstein where the artist sits for a professional focus group who has been asked to write their observations of him based purely on his photograph.
With a slightly more traditional approach Arent & Pyke favourite Laura Jones, famed for her luscious floral still lifes, gives a powerful, self assured portrait; the glance over the shoulder as strong as the playfully spotted coat she wears. Having recently moved her studio to the Southern Highlands, Laura shares this fertile ground with many of the other artists in the exhibition.
Not only does the show bring together varying approaches to the brief but it is also a great opportunity to see many of these artists, who are represented by different galleries in the major cities, hung side by side. The exhibition is on until August 22 so for those with a desire to escape the city this may provide just the excuse you need!
Words by: Katrina Arent
Gallery Ecosse at ‘Halcyon’
Exeter Road, Exeter, NSW
Open Fri – Sat 10am – 5pm, Sun 10am – 3pm or by appointment
Credits: Gallery Ecosse