Friday the 16th of May marked the opening night of the Art and Design Precinct's newest group exhibition: Pop!
Art & Design Precinct at West End
When you think of pop art, your mind probably strays immediately to the great Andy Warhol with his brightly coloured renditions of rocks stars and pantry items? Or perhaps Roy Lichtenstein's famous 'dotted damsels in distress'?
Well, our local community have a fresh take on pop art and I was lucky enough to be invited to see firsthand, the amazing pieces that adorned the walls of the West End gallery.
Greeted warmly at the door by one of the gallery's directors, Michelle Bowden, I was immediately struck by the bursts of colour on the long, white walls and the intimacy of the gallery itself.
With a champagne glass in hand, I had plenty of room to stand back and appreciate the local talent. Whether it be the colourful and larger than life take on the Mona Lisa or the perky playfulness of a couple of balloon dogs in a standoff, this exhibition certainly lived up to its name. The atmosphere was light and conversations flowed much like the bubbles and nibbles!
I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a couple of the artists and discuss their artwork and their influences of modern day pop.
Ashleigh Newbery's Yolanda series was inspired by the 1950's pinup style beauties. Using a melted resin on canvas, it is a pleasantly different take on portraits. Very delicate and feminine, the use of vibrant reds and pinks really pop on the white background.
Craig Dalton's art is as unique as his passion. His fascinating study of building construction spills over into his artwork creating distinctive pieces focussing on the lines and angles of cranes. Craig has travelled the world photographing his love of cranes and it's evident when you speak to him that the bold statement in his artwork will continue for some time yet.
Local band, The Big Band Theory, were on hand to accompany the artwork with covers of some of today's popular music and a gutsy performance of Bonnie Tyler's, Total Eclipse of the Heart.
As I left, Grant Hiscock's (gallery director) comments on the location of the gallery echoed in my thoughts – the location of the gallery makes it more of a destination, an interesting place to visit, not just a building you walk past every day thinking "one day I should stop in here".
And I can assure you, this destination is well worth the stop.