Saturday, May 8, 2010

Art at the Brisbane

The Nook and Cranny Gallery @ The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Tuesday 4th May 2010
By Anneliese Milk

The Brisbane Hotel’s take on exhibiting artwork is as refreshing as a cold pint of cider. At the Nook and Cranny Gallery, there are no pretensions, and there are no rules. Requesting only your enthusiasm and the desire to have your work seen, Art at the Brisbane is an open invitation to all members of the community to make some art and put it out there. With a new show launched on the first Tuesday of every month, Art at the Brisbane is a constantly evolving, community-rich project.

This month’s exhibition brings together the work of eleven first-year students from the University of Tasmania’s School of Art. Lit up only a shade brighter than the midnight hour, The Nook and Cranny Gallery will have you stumbling about in search of the artwork, negotiating the pool tables and their players in the process. This month, the art feels a bit sparse, nestled spasmodically between various nooks and crannies, and lacks the diversity one would expect from a community project. Nicole Huntington’s Self-Portrait in Focus reveals itself as a diamond in the rough – a coy, bespectacled face emerges from a Polaroid landscape that then fades to blank rectangles: the future waiting to be captured.
Opening Night of Art at the Brisbane is underpinned by an endearing, devil-may-care attitude – there are no speeches, the lights are low, and the artists are rewarded with happy hour prices at the bar. Now in its sixth month, Art at the Brisbane is still very much a work in progress. It’s nothing that time, brighter lights and more art won’t fix. But for now, enjoy it for all its incidental ‘anti-exhibition’ qualities. This kind of nonchalance cannot be fabricated.

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