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4 March – 22 July | WPACC Foyer Gallery
An exhibition of “Still-Life” paintings from the Rural City of Wangaratta and Wangaratta Art Gallery Collection. Both collections have a small holding of this genre but what we lack in quantity is made up for in excellence.
Still Life – a painting or drawing of an arrangement of objects, typically including fruit and flowers and objects contrasting with these in texture, such as bowls and glassware.
Whilst the Still Life tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, it was firmly established by the 17th Century, positioned at the bottom of the French Academy’s ‘Hierarchy of Genres’. At the time, it was believed that genres such History Painting and Portraiture were superior to Still Life, as they depicted more ‘important’ subject matter.
This exhibition challenges this positioning of the Still Life, an attitude towards the genre that still largely prevails. In creating a Still Life, an artist consciously and deliberately elevates an everyday scene to the level of an artwork. This allows viewers to realise the beauty in simplicity, and even in the seemingly mundane.
However, it is important to recognise the distinct gaze and style of each artist; as their pieces are doing so much more than merely translating a particular scene into a photo-realistic painting. We all interpret our lived experiences through our own worldview, and it is through Still Life that we are offered a rare glimpse into another’s way of seeing and being in the world.
image: Patricia Moran, Chrysanthemums, ( detail) 1986, oil on linen. Rural City of Wangaratta Collection. Wangaratta Art Prize Grand Winner 1986.