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Sunday Arts Magazine

21 Feb 2016

White Night, Geelong Gallery, Phantom Ride, Violet-the musical

Arts, History, Music, Performing Arts, TV & Film, Visual Arts

White Night, Geelong Gallery, Phantom Ride, Violet-the musical

Our 3 hosts all attended White Night. David was disappointed saying it was the worst out of the four, apart from some highlights, and there was not enough happening on the street and too much stage music. Our trio discuss their experience of it as well as issues associated with the event. They all loved the huge number and the diversity of people attending. Brendan and Daniel talk Oscars with their views on who should win Best Film, Actress and Actor and who is likely to win. They review one contender—the film Brooklyn, starring Saoirse Ronan as a young Irish woman emigrating to New York in the 1950s and a dilemma she must eventually face. Daniel was moved by it. David read the book and loved it. Brendan thought it lacked punch.

David later talks about the musical Georgy Girl which has been playing to ‘record-breaking houses’ in Melbourne. It’s the story of The Seekers, the hugely successful Australian 1960s folk group. It’s on until 20 March in Melbourne and then starts in Sydney on 2 April. There is even talk that it may go to London. The Seekers themselves have praised the show.

Special Guests today are:

29:33 to 56:39 mins—Director of the Geelong Gallery Geoffrey Edwards –who is departing after 15 years. From childhood, Geoffrey had always been interested in drawing and art and his mother supported this interest. He later studied painting, sculpting and art history and had a great interest in galleries from all over Victoria. The regional galleries emerged from goldrush money and the bigger ones (Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat) have enormous collections of artworks. When still a student, Geoffrey got work at the NGV as a junior curator and worked his way up to be head of a big department. After 20 years at NGV, Geoffrey applied for and got the director position at Geelong Gallery. The gallery’s desired works for collection are colonial, impressionist and contemporary works that make some statement about the wider region. A very sought after work was Eugene von Guerard’s panoramic painting from 1856 (in the Goldrush days) called View of Geelong which its most recent owner Andrew Lloyd Webber offered the gallery for $4 million. Geoffrey describes the involved and exhilarating process of acquiring the painting and the celebrations afterwards. The gallery’s latest exhibition is Land of the Golden Fleece – Arthur Streeton in the Western District 27 February to 13 June 2016. Geoffrey will now curate exhibitions privately, finish two books and do speaking tours.

57:12 to 1:10:34 mins—Artist Daniel Crooks talks about his background and his exhibition at ACMI called Phantom Ride on from 16 February to 29 May. Daniel always had an interest in geometry and the convergence between art and science. He studied graphic design but was more interested in moving images. He moved from Auckland to Melbourne to study animation at VCA. By the time he graduated his work morphed from animation and experimental film to something like a moving and changing painting. Phantom Ride is a series of shots of ‘railed spaces’ from about 50 different locations connected into a series with the tracks being ‘the constant thread between worlds’. Prior to this he did a project on laneways. Daniel talks about what compelled him to create this type of moving image and audience feedback about it. Daniel worked for ACMI for 7 years right from the start. He outlines his own view of ACMI’s role and the difference between his video art and film. The work he submitted is part of the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission series. It was an open submission and he was shortlisted from that and then selected. At 6pm on Tuesday Daniel will introduce some older works. 4 x 5-7 minute videos.

1:16:59 to 1:30:22 mins— Producer/cast member Damien Bermingham and lead cast member Luisa Scrofani are here to talk about their musical theatre production Violet-The Musical on at Chapel off Chapel from 3 to 20 March 2016—after a very successful showing at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre. Damien and partners had wanted to put on a medium sized production in Sydney and on the suggestion of a colleague who had seen Violet on Broadway, he checked it out, loved it and decided to stage it—allowing some previously background performers and director to shine in the limelight. Luisa had auditioned for the role of young Violet amongst many hopefuls and this is her first show. She’d done school musicals, learnt singing and drama and then had done part of a fulltime course in musical theatre when the audition came up. The eclectic music is by Jeanine Tesori who also wrote Thoroughly Modern Millie and Shrek the Musical. Set in the American South in the 1960s, it’s the story of a young woman with facial scarring on a journey to a faith healer and the events and people on the way–and puts audiences and cast members through the ringer with the rollercoaster emotions. It also has flashbacks as to how the facial wounds happened.

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