I love a good opening night and I especially enjoy celebrating the success of Gen Y’ers. Luckily I was able to experience both of these at the opening night of the first exhibition at the hold Artspace, on Friday, 1 March. The hold Artspace is located on Montague Rd, above the Art Shed, and is run by Kylie Spear and Luke Kidd. The opening exhibition is called Field and has been lovingly curated by Lisa Bryan-Brown.
A few days before opening night I had run into Luke at a coffee shop in West End. Luke and I had gone to school together and I launched into the general ‘how are you going’ ‘what have you been up to questions’. Needless to say I left that conversation in awe, with an invitation to his opening night show.
West End has always been known for its eclectic charm and creative types, but there aren’t many small art space venues these days. Hole in the wall coffee shops and bars down secret alleys have become the ‘new thing to do’ and the hold Artspace seems to be a gallery version of this.
The gallery is a hidden gem that lurks above an art supply shop near Davies Park in West End. I arrived early at the gallery and found a surprisingly calm looking Luke who offered me a drink straight away and invited me to look through the rooms of the gallery. Later in the night I managed to find Kylie and ask her how she was feeling about the night so far. She told me that she’d been pretty nervous earlier on and was about to seek out a glass of wine to help calm her opening night jitters.
The exhibition was comprised of artwork from seven female artists. The flow of the rooms was seamless and I drifted from one beautiful artwork to the next. Some particular favourites of mine were the photographs by artist Madeleine Keinonen, in which the head and torso of the subjects were wrapped in colourful fabric almost making them look like colourful mummies; and an eye catching piece by Carol McGregor, which was a painted canvas filled with rows and rows of papery seeds.
The rooms began to fill with people and the atmosphere in the gallery was of excitement and awe. I stole Lisa, curator of Field, away to chat about her inspiration for the exhibition. Lisa sourced artists that she knew and admired to feature in the exhibition. She told me that the exhibition was a reaction to the lack of female artists and feminine content in the landscape genre. Field is the fourth exhibition that Lisa has curated and her eye for detail is evident in the harmony that exists between the artworks in the gallery.
Camille Serisier’s series of eight vibrant photographs were hung along the far right hand wall of the gallery. Camille’s background in set design for Opera Queensland is evident in her use of large-scale backgrounds and elaborate props and costumes. She told me that one particular photograph of a woman standing in the ocean holding up a baby was about the expectations of women to do and be everything: the perfect mother, a supportive wife, the career woman. The woman in the waves is taking control of her life and doing it her own way.
If the opening night is anything to go by I think that this little gallery is set to make a real splash in the art scene in Brisbane.
Photos by Delong Lin