Works from six contemporary artists that were commissioned by Hazelhurst to produce new works responding to the theme of Art Deco.
This exhibition complemented the Art Deco from the National Collection: The World Turns Modern. The new works by artists Tracey Clement, Kevin McKay, Christopher Zanko, Nuba Saad, Catherine O’Donnell and Lucy O’Doherty were influenced by art deco architecture and suburbia.
The Home takes its name from the magazine of the same name, which featured in Art Deco from the National Collection. Published between 1920 and 1942 it focussed on modern ideas about art and design concerning home furnishing and fashion and often showcased the work of Australian artists such as Margaret Preston and Harold Cazneaux.
The Hazelhurst cottage was the focus of Catherine O’Donnell’s drawing installation. Her work is about shared narratives and experiences of the home and she will often include an open window or curtain as an invitation for viewers to revisit their own memories, and in this new work created during COVID she includes parcels on the doorstep.
Memory and nostalgia were the focus of Kevin McKay’s beautifully rendered paintings. He focussed on the Art Deco buildings around the beachside of Cronulla including graceful suburban residences, the iconic beach pavilion and the train station.
Drawing attention to the everyday beauty of the suburbs around his home in the Illawarra, Christopher Zanko created portraits of houses. His hand-carved surfaces echo the facades of the early and mid-century homes that feature in works that have become a documentation of an ever-changing suburban landscape as original dwellings are replaced by modern constructions.
Lucy O’Doherty’s pastel works took us on a journey from the front façade through the interior of an Art Deco house. Her works pay homage to Art Deco design with a focus on rounded walls, the fan motif, chrome lamps and zig-zag patterns.
The decorative and the architectural are central themes in Nuha Saad’s practice. She re-purposes elements from domestic spaces such as finials, cornices and ceiling roses, which she cuts, assembles and applies colour to create vibrant assemblages and installations. She’s drawn to these forms because of their ornamental, middle-eastern and oriental nature which speaks to multicultural Australia.
With obvious references to the iconic Art Deco film Metrolpolis, Tracey Clement’s miniature city represented a modern vision for the future. Resembling Art Deco styled New York skyscrapers, pan-Asian pagodas and Australian bungalows.
Sutherland Shire Mayor Councillor Carmelo Pesce said it is fitting that Hazelhurst has become a temporary home for these exhibitions.
“This year we are not only celebrating 20 years since Hazelhurst Arts Centre was established, but as a community the concept of ‘home’ in 2020 has increased in focus and significance,” Mayor Pesce said. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a fantastic gallery right on our doorstep, as Hazelhurst continues to stage pioneering exhibitions and commission inspiring artworks that are such a drawcard for gallery goers.
“I encourage local art lovers and those from further afield to take a journey through the halls of Hazelhurst to explore the fantastic exhibition, as well as all the other attractions that this award winning gallery continues to offer.”
Hazelhurst Curator Carrie Kibbler also welcomed the significance of the exhibitions.
“It’s timely that Hazelhurst is presenting these two exhibitions in 2020, as the year marks a century since the beginning of the Roaring Twenties and the decade that welcomed Art Deco style into fashion,” Carrie said.
“The original site of the Hazelhurst property owned by Ben and Hazel Broadhurst included an Art Deco styled cottage, which has undergone restoration in recent years, but still stands in the gardens today retaining many of its Art Deco features,” Carrie said. “In a year of much uncertainly, the home and our shared sense of locality has become more important to us than ever before.”
Artists: Christopher Zanko, Catherine O’Donnell, Kevin McKay, Tracey Clement, Nuha Saad, Lucy O’Doherty.
Image: Christopher Zanko Cintra 2020 (detail), acrylic on wood relief carving, 90 x 110 cm.