Audience Discussing Cynthia Ellis's artwork
Currently on show in the main gallery at Gallery Opera Labo 201 Nishi Ku Kobe there is four very individual woman artists from Western Australia which is the sister to state to Hyogo Prefecture, Japan and this art space continues to support artists from Western Australia along with their unique aesthetic visions, as seen within this exhibition. And in the above image one can witness the Kobe audience engaging the curious sensations that radiates from the artworks within the gallery space.
Artwork by Chelle Bourne
It is not so long ago that Japan allowed westerners and others into the country to exhibit this started from around the 1860’s which roughly is in line with the end of the Edo period and the start of the Meiji time, which on world trade terms has not been a long time.
Kobe was one of the first ports selected by the authorities of the time to allow foreign influence into this country. This recent opening up of Nippon by alien pressure and ther nurturing of external knowledge through artworks can be seen throughout the many fine art museums of Nippon and galleries like Opera Labo and its an important because art history is necessary to learn from and go forward into the future, this Japan has excelled at and continues.
Artwork by Cynthia Ellis
So this exhibition from Western Australian continues in that vein of enlarging the store house of memories to the local audiences. And what is most enjoyable about this idiosyncratic group of artists, is there individual praxis which reveals that some Western Australian artists are not influenced by international trends or current theories on art, they prefer it seems to maintain a journey outwards towards there own unseen aesthetic horizons that includes the ups and downs of any long and epic campaign within ones art.
Title: Fluctuating Focus by Lynne Norton
It is not unusual for Australians to travel and influence other peoples or artists who they come across in different lands. For example; the Australian painter John Peter Russell 1858 - 1930 from Sydney had a rather large influence over one of the worlds great modern artists being Henri Matisse.
Artwork by Connie Petrillo
So when international artists do visit various lands as they have here in Gallery Opera Labo one does not know what the results will be in the future, as one is sure Russell or Matisse had no idea just how far there collaboration at the time might travel but it certainly went on a substantial and influential journey throughout world aesthetics with the fine arts.
One can only hope that those who encounter the artworks of Chelle Bourne, Lynne Norton, Cynthia Ellis and Connie Petrillo will extend their own Japanese aesthetic store house of knowledge to what art might be experienced as an artwork.