Adventures in Melbourne 1

Art Life Aug 13, 2010 No Comments

Carrie Miller got her frequent flyer points together and went to Melbourne… This is part of what happened…

This year a new Australian art event emerged. Not quite a satellite fair, NotFair ran alongside the Melbourne Art Fair but was more like a large-scale group show than an affordable alternative to the main event. Conceived and organised by artist Sam Leach, arts commentator Ashley Crawford, and artist and arts writer Tony Lloyd, the primary motivation of NotFair according to Lloyd was to produce a show where the audience comes away “talking about the artists and the work, as you would when you visit a biennale”.

And true to their word, the focus remained on the artists themselves both in terms of the tightly curated nature of the show and the fact that the organisers took only a small administration fee from any sales.
The work varied from slick, highly resolved, manipulated digital imagery to quasi-modernist landscapes. Besides the diversity of the work, the striking thing about the show was the generally small-scale of the work overall. Jake Walker took out the Fair’s major prize, the $15,000 Arkley Award (named in honour of prominent Australian artist Howard Arkley), for his strange little landscapes and a work which consisted of laptop perched on a couple of bricks which was displaying a video loop of a digital film of a landscape which Walker had painted directly onto.

From an observer’s perspective, NotFair seemed to live up to the organisers expectations and, judging from the positive reactions from other audience members, it’s likely NotFair will become a significant event on the Australian art world calendar in the future.

Can’t see the video? Click here to view…

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Carrie Miller

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