Our guest curator, Emily Kennel shares her thoughts on the exhibition Something New Something Blue: New and Earlier Works of the Permanent Collection (18 July – 30 August 2015):
and a silver sixpence in her shoe.
Most English speakers will know some, if not all of this old adage. The rhyme has become synonymous with weddings and their ritualistic focus on the bride’s inclusion of all four elements in (her) apparel to invite good luck. The line ‘something blue’ was understood in its literal sense prior to the late 19th century, with many wedding dresses or accessories being blue. Queen Victoria’s choice of a white wedding gown changed popular opinion and sparked the ongoing trend towards the white wedding dress. Despite changes in trends, the association with the colour blue and virtue remains indicative of complex relational connections between colours and certain psychological impacts.
Informal linguistic and emotional associations with the colour blue at times seem endless and even conflicting. A person feeling blue is rather depressed or sad, while a person looking blue is perhaps cold or struggling for breath. A blue movie indicates a sexual or pornographic focus, just as a blue joke or blue story points towards lewd or indecent content. Within the Australian vernacular the word blue can mean almost anything including an argument or fight, a mistake, a redhead, or the supporter of a certain political group or sports team. While the list continues, two common associations stand in contradiction – a feeling of melancholy or sadness and a state of calm relaxation.
Brian Sollors, Searoad Mersey Dockside, 2015, pigment print on archival paper
The Gallery recently acquired works by Ilona Schneider, Brian Sollors, Troy Ruffels and Lisa Garland following the success of the ReViewing exhibition. The works collectively speak volumes of the fascinating history of the Gallery and its Collection; the city and its surrounds. Each artist was invited to study the Robinson Photographic Collection and find inspiration to create a new series of work. The works were then displayed alongside their historical inspirations, effectively making new of the old.
Joel Crosswell with his work Galaxias, 2014, ink on paper
Joel Crosswell’s five-panel drawing Galaxias was selected as the winning work in the acquisitive Tidal: City of Devonport Art Award. It is an impressive flirtation with the world of the macabre and the way daily life may flit between dullness and extinction in an instant. The Clarence Galaxias is a species of endangered fish found in the Skullbone Plains area of Tasmania. They have been endangered mainly through human interference that has removed the bulk of waterside vegetation that pumps oxygen into the water. In desperation, the galaxias has established the unusual habit of jumping from the water to collect oxygen through their skin. This sense of desperation in the brawl of life is prominent in Crosswell’s oeuvre and is echoed in older works from the Collection selected for this exhibition.
Image: Emily Kennel (left) with Devonport Regional Gallery Director Ellie Ray
Extract from: Kennel, Emily. 2015. Something New Something Blue ISBN: 978-0-9942474-1-4