Lionel Bawden is currently exhibiting three sculptures as part of a curated group exhibiton Razzamatazz – the theatre of art in the Hunter Collections at Maitland Regional Art Gallery.
The exhibition showcases a selection of theatrically vibrant artworks which when choreographed together, demonstrate that art can be like a stage show: fun, spectacular, dramatic, poetic and entertaining.
The curatorial text for the exhibition elaborates: “Razzamatazz is more than just showing off. At MRAG, Razzamatazz represents the red curtain that is pulled back, as in the theatre, to create a constructed and fleeting reality which presents a temporary experience and a way of delivering artists’ and performers’ deeper stories, ideas and meanings.
The imagery and visual expression in this exhibition includes paintings, prints and puppets, historical projections and cinematic montage, posters and photography, nuance of sound, and theatrical narratives with undercurrent of darkness; where below the shiny surface lurks shadow and hidden stories.
Artists in Razzamatazz include some of Australia’s most luminous, contemporary practitioners: Tony Albert, Lionel Bawden, Sally Gabori, George Gittoes, Bill Henson, Tracy Moffatt, Claudia Moodoonuthi, Nell, Julie Rrap, Martin Sharp, Wendy Sharpe and more.
Historical works include magic lantern slides, illustrated theatre scenes on paper accounting machine rolls by the teenage John Bell and finely detailed Japanese woodblock prints inspired by traditional Japanese noh theatre by Utagawa Kunisada and Tsukioka Kōgyo.
The sum of all these artists’ works is the exhibition Razzamatazz, and as the audience applauds, the artworks take a bow and Razzamatazz becomes a celebration of the razzle dazzle in red, taken from the storage racks of the collections of Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Museum.”
Exhibition runs until 22 July 2018 at Maitland Regional Art Gallery.