21 January to 16 February 2011. Launch: 22 January, 12–2pm.
An exhibition of new paintings and sculpture at the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, Nowra by artist Max Dingle explore the dark recesses of the heart.
Since holding his first exhibition in 1972 in the same location – as the former Shoalhaven TAFE building at 12 Berry Street Nowra – Max Dingle has exhibited his paintings broadly across Sydney. In recent years Max has turned his focus to sculpture and was most recently awarded the Catalyst Award for best new sculptor at the 15th Annual Miniature Sculpture exhibition held at Defiance Gallery in Newtown in late 2010.
Returning with a major solo exhibition in both painting and sculpture within that same building, now the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, Max completes the full circle.
The paintings and sculpture in this exhibition titled Phaedra: Explorations in the Abstract explore obsessive, autoerotic suffering and goes, via deep seams of emotional truth, into the dark recesses of the heart and the psyche of people attempting to deny a natural life-force such as sexuality or emotional release, and it all ends in suicide, death and tragedy.
These works are influenced by Jean Racine’s 1676 play Phaedre based on a Greek myth which tells, via insights and poetry, the story of the Athenian queen who falls in love with her stepson.
In their early thinking, the American abstract expressionists generally believed that Greek myths are eternal symbols upon which we must fall back to express basic psychological ideas.
Dingle has said that “in producing these abstract paintings and sculptures I had the Phaedra myth at the back of my mind, and tried to use its psychological insights to inform the images expressed in paint and steel. This provided the framework, giving the works enough in common to be considered part of a series, however each work was produced as a standalone without any need to reference other works, Greek mythology or historical art practice.”
Having lived in the Shoalhaven area from 1962, Dingle originally studied art at night at Nowra adult education before graduating from the National Art School. Up until two years ago he worked in museums and is now a full-time artist.
On view: 21 January to 16 February 2011. Launch: 22 January, 12–2pm.
Grey Gallery: Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, Berry Street, Nowra. 2541
Hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am–4pm. Saturday 11am–3pm. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Contact: Tracy Glenn, Manager, Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, 02 4422 0648, glenn[at]shoalhaven.nsw.gov.au
Artist email: Max Dingle