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KIATA MASON
ASSOCIATED ARTIST

The Invitation of a Feast of Curation or an Octopus in a Milk Jug!

 

“That one's from a dream,” Kiata says but doesn't elaborate, that's left to me. And so I tell you the fish will cut the onion itself and swim back out to sea. And it's not even that a meal is being prepared so much as laid out raw if you want it —or on the verge of reanimation. And the bushes behind are on fire and encroaching or being kept at bay by the sea and the stream that flows under this meal of life on which we are floating. Arr—see the sky down below—stars setting into the desert of an underworld unconscious. The composition set alight by coriander green: juxtaposition of all that realism and the dream.

 

Kiata tells me that none of the other paintings are inspired by dreams but a careful arrangements of significant objects, creating for the viewer an empathic experience. 'There's always one thing just out of place,' she says, and this is how she draws her audience into the painting's world. This sense of disruption (I'd also call it defamiliarisation) is an opening for the viewer to imagine themselves into—and so we find an octopus in a milk jug!

 

For the Surrealists the archetypal image of this kind came from the French poet Comte de Lautréamont's line: "the fortuitous encounter upon a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella!"1 The juxtaposition defamiliarises both objects and the viewer's perception of reality itself; in turn giving substance and depth to the unique world existing within the frame of the painting. The careful arrangement of deeply personal objects does not offer up all the painter's secrets but rather creates in the viewer a sense of intrigue and curiosity which encourages and supports individual thinking making meaning.

 

So I'm thinking Bonnard, I'm thinking Roy, I'm thinking Frida. I'm thinking the flat assemblage of the stage, which is flat but deep—everything a compartmentalisation brought into conversation, blurring sharp edges with understanding.

 

So I'm thinking it's a feast of curation, of direction—crafting a private narrative, a narrowing into the particular object placed like a vessel for recollections, the invitation of two glasses brimming with significance, triggering in the viewer their own constellation of memories to add to the table—come take a seat it's all there waiting.

 

So I'm thinking Frida but it's my Frida, the black and white Frida with the carriage in the background like the one that ran her down. I'm thinking Bonnard, but it's my Bonnard seen in Paris when I was 24 and so disheveled people would drop coins in my coke can thinking I was begging. I'm thinking Shakespeare on that pillow but it's me with his words in my mouth blinded by stage lights forgetting my lines.

 

I can't know why the octopus is in the milk jug (if it is a milk jug at all!) but the incongruity of the image has me captured, allowing me to imagine myself the dinner party prankster hiding it under a layer of milk for an unsuspecting guest to discover. And so an empathy, a connection, a togetherness with the world of the painting is developed—I reach for the other glass, take my place amid the scene waiting for that first sucking tentacle to reveal itself.

 

1. Comte de Lautréamont, Les Chants De Maldoror, trans. by Guy Wernham, New York: New Directions Books, 1965. pp 263

Dr Gareth Jenkins

Education

2014-16   Master of Fine Arts (Drawing), National Art School, Sydney
2012        Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours (Drawing), National Art School
2004        Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), National Art School

Awards

2023        Finalist Sir John Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Finalist STILL: National Still Life Award 2023, Coffs Harbour                    Regional Gallery, Finalist, 2023 Mosman Art Prize, Sydney.

2022        Finalist Doug Moran Portrait Prize,

2021        Finalist Muswellbrook Art Prize, Paper, Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery, NSW

2021        Finalist Still- National Still Life Award 2021, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW

2020        Finaliat BAM Art Prize, Byron Art Magazine, Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Finalist Calleen Art Award, Cowra Regional                  Art Gallery, Cowra, NSW, Finalist Portia Geach Memorial Award S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

2019        Finalist Calleen Art Award, Cowra Regional Art Gallery, Cowra, Finalist Bayside Acquisitiive Art Prize, Bayside Art Gallery,                      Brighton Victoria, Finalist Outback Art Prize, Outback Regional Art Gallery Winton Queensland, Finalist Muswellbrook Art                        Prize (painting section), Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery

2018        Finalist Paddington Art Prize, Sydney, Finalist Sir John Sulman Art Award Art Gallery of NSW, Won the Works on Paper                            section of the Muswellbrook Art Prize, Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery

2017        Finalist Still’s Art Prize Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, Semi Finalist -  Doug Moran Portrait Prize, on line exhibition, Finalist -                  Black Swan Portrait Prize, Perth, Finalist, Muswellbrook 44th Art Prize, Drawing, and Painting, Muswellbrook

2016        Semi Finalist, Doug Moran Portrait Prize, on line Exhibition, Finalist, Adelaide Perry Prize for drawing, Sydney

2015        Finalist, Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize, Lismore Regional Gallery, Lismore, Finalist, Paddington Art Prize, Woollahra,                            Sydney, Finalist, Naked & Nude Manning Art Prize, Taree
2013        Semi Finalist -  Doug Moran portrait Prize, on line exhibition
2012        Finalist - Dobell Drawing Prize, NSW Gallery, Sydney , Finalist - Mosman Art Prize, Sydney, Finalist - Hornsby Art Prize,                          Sydney
2011        Finalist - Blake Prize, Sydney, Finalist - Gosford Art Prize, Finalist - Flanagan Art Prize, Highly Commended (mixed media) -                    Lachlan Valley Art Awards
2004        Highly Commended Zooman Art Exhibition, Highly Commended  Adelaide Swift Art Award, South West Rocks, First round                      selection Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship Sydney

 

Solo Exhibitions

2021       My Home By the Sea, AK Bellinger Gallery, Inverell

2020       The Artists table Arthouse Gallery, Sydney

2019       The Theatrical Eye Muswellbrook Arts Centre, Muswellbrook NSW

2018       Treasures- An Ode to the Objects We Keep Close, curated by Amber Creswell Bell, Special Group Studios, Sydney

2017       Bea’s Table curated by Amber Creswell Bell at Saint Cloche Gallery

2016       Masters Drawing Examination Exhibition The Interrupted Act Hoff Space NAS Sydney

2012       Impressions, Japanese Gardens Gallery, Cowra
2005       Behind the scenes Manning Regional Gallery, Taree

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023       Feed the Soul, Group Exhibition still life, Armidale.

2022       Still Life, Book Launch Exhibition, Amber Creswell Bell, Michael Reid Northern Beaches, Sydney, Teapots and Hounds, Two                   Artist Exhibition alongside Lucy Culliton, Manning Regional Gallery, Taree, Moments in Colour, Group Exhibition alongside                     Joanna Logue, Tim Allen, Justine Muller, and Charmaine Pike, Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie, Christmas                         Exhibition, Group Exhibition, works on paper, A.K. Bellinger Gallery, Inverell.

2021       Muswellbrook Art Prize, Paper, Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery, NSW   Reciprocity, Broadhurst Gallery, Hazelhurst Arts                     Center, NSW, Still- National Still Life Award 2021, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW.

2020       BAM Art Prize, Byron Art Magazine, Northern Rivers Community Gallery, Calleen Art Award, Cowra Regional Art Gallery,                         Cowra, NSW, Portia Geach Memorial Award S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

2019      Memory &Landscape, A.K. Bellinger Gallery, Inverell, Reflections of a fading sky, Arthouse Gallery, Sydney, Riversdale                          Dreaming, Adelaide Perry Gallery, Sydney, Calleen Art Award, Cowra Regional Art Gallery, Cowra, NSW, Bayside Acquisitive                Art Prize, Bayside Art Gallery, Brighton, Victoria, Outback Art Prize, Outback Regional Art Gallery, Winton, Queensland,                          Muswellbrook Art Prize (painting section), Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery

2018      Christmas Exhibition Part 2 A.K Bellinger Gallery, Inverell, Paddington Art Prize Finalists, Sydney, The Way We See Ourselves                West End Art Space, Melbourne, Movers & Shapers Women in the Land Hazelhurst Arts Centre, Sydney, Big Country AK                        Bellinger Gallery, Inverell, Sir John Sulman Art Award Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Vase & Vessel curated by Amber Creswell                  Bell Saint Cloche Gallery, Sydney, Works on Paper section of the Muswellbrook Art Prize, Muswellbrook

2017      Still’s Art Prize Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, The Design File’s Open House Melbourne], Semi Finalist Doug Moran Portrait                  Prize on line exhibition, Black Swan Portrait Prize, Perth WA State Gallery, Christmas Exhibition, A.K Bellinger Gallery, Inverell,                Spring, The Happen Store, Annandale, Sydney, Ode, Collab Gallery, Chippendale, Sydney, An Unguarded Moment, A.K                        Bellinger Gallery, Inverell, At Home, Birds Gallery, Melbourne, Pen Line + Paint, 220 Creative Space, Woolloomooloo Sydney,                Still & Private Lives, A.K Bellinger Gallery, Inverell, Muswellbrook 44th Art Prize, Painting and Drawing

2016      Semi Finalist Doug Moran Portrait Prize online exhibition, Fundraising Event Dominik Mersch Gallery, Master exhibition NAS                    Gallery, Clay Gulgong Wool Shed Gulgong, Adelaide Perry Prize for drawing, PLC Adelaide Perry Gallery, Sydney

2015      Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize, Lismore Regional Gallery, Lismore, Paddington Art Prize, Woollahra, Sydney, Naked & Nude                Manning Art Prize, Manning Regional Art Gallery, Taree, Five Years On, Articulate Project Space, Sydney
2013      The Nature of Things, Jean-Bellette Gallery, Hill End, Semi Finalist Doug Moran Portrait Prize on line exhibition
2012      National Art School Postgraduate Exhibition, National Art School, Sydney, Dobell Drawing Prize, New South Wales Art Gallery,                Sydney,  Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Art Gallery
2011      Blake Prize - National Art School Gallery & touring regional galleries, Gosford Art Prize, Gosford Regional Gallery, Gosford,                    Talls, River Bank Gallery, Canowindra, Flanagan Art Prize, St. Patrick’s College, Ballarat, Lachlan Valley Art Award Exhibition,                Cowra Regional Art Gallery, Cowra
2009      Local Artists Exhibition The Hub Art Gallery Grenfell, Yellow Brick Road, Rose Street Theatre Space, Grenfell
2007      Group Show 4A At Gallery Sydney, Kempsey Shire Art Prize Kempsey
2006      Two Artist Show, James Harvey Gallery, Clovelly, Port Macquarie Art Society Show  Portrait Competition, Port Macquarie
2005      Emerging Artists, Newport Artworks Gallery, Newport, Port Macquarie Easter Art Exhibition, Portrait section, Civic Centre Port                Macquarie ( Highly Commended ), Alice out of the book, Port Macquarie Regional Art Gallery Foyer Space, Port Macquarie  

2004      Home Exhibition, Newtown Gallery, Sydney, Little Worlds, The Stairwell Gallery, National Art School, Sydney, The Cell Block                    Exhibition, National Art School, Sydney, The Stairwell Portraits, The Stairwell Gallery, National Art School, Sydney, Zooman Art                Exhibition, Dubbo - Adelaide Swift Art Award, South West Rocks

2001      Walkom Manning Art Prize, Manning Regional Art Gallery, Taree

1999      Won, Wingham Art Exhibition, Wingham, Home studio Exhibition, Braddon, ACT

1998      Taree Art Exhibition, Information Centre, Taree

1997      Strange Bedfellows, Two artist Exhibition, Bungendore

 

Artist Residency

2021      Hazelhurst Arts Center, studio Residency

2019      PLC, Adelaide Perry Gallery Sydney

2015      The Butchery, Hill End NAS Studio

2014      The Butchery, Hill End NAS Studio

2013      The Butchery, Hill End NAS Studio

2012      The Butchery, Hill End NAS Studio

 

Collections

Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW

PLC Adelaide Perry Gallery Sydney

Muswellbrook Regional Gallery

 

Publications

2021      Galah, Issue 4, Galah Press

2021       STILL LIFE, by Amber Creswell Bell, Thames and Hudson

2021       Reciprocity, by Gareth Jenkins, Apothecary Archive

2020       Look Magazine July- August

2019       Look Magazine January-February, The Theatrical Eye catalogue poetry response by Gareth Jenkins for the Muswellbrook                       Arts Centre Exhibition

2018       Shout Out to The Girls Penguin Publishing - Illustration of Nora Heysen,

               Art Almanac September issue , Art Almanac November issue

 

On Line

2020      The Design Files, Art Collector Magazine, Art Monthly Magazine

2019      Talking with Painters interview Episode 66

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