After launching ARTBOX in October 2020, Waterloo artist Henrietta Manning is curating her second and final show in the Huon Valley’s new and funky shipping container art gallery, featuring the works of 15 artists and makers.
The show, Inside Out, is now on until Wednesday, February 24 in the grounds of Masaaki’s famous sushi shop in Geeveston.
Ms Manning said the name of the group show was partly inspired by ARTBOX itself as an exhibition space, as well as the effects of the COVID- 19 pandemic, which has seen many of us spending more time inside our homes.
“I thought that was an interesting theme, but I was also open to it being very broadly interpreted,” said Ms Manning.
“We ended up with a perfect mix of both experienced and emerging artists and also a really nice mix of mediums as well.”
The works feature ceramics, glass, sculpture, mixed media collage, prints and, of course, painting, from the likes of Kat Scarlett, Wendy Ed- wards, Lysbeth Driessen, John Osborne, Ulrike Hora and Jennifer Raphael Bennett.
Ms Bennett is a mixed media artist and floral designer and, in her piece Unpacked, she has used ephemera from parcels and packages that have been delivered to her, to create a work that Ms Manning says perfectly captures the theme of Inside Out.
Ms Bennett studied fine arts and has exhibited in Sydney and Tasmania, including at the Long Gallery in Salamanca and the Plimsoll Gallery in Hunter Street, and says she is loving the opportunity to exhibit in her local community.
“People just don’t know you’re an artist until they stand in front of something and realise that that’s something that you’ve done,” said Ms Bennett.
Ulrika Hora, newcomer to the Tasmanian art scene and winner of last year’s Art Farm Birchs Bay small sculpture prize, works with seed pods and porcelain to create amazing forms.
“I use collected seed pods, in this case they were liquid amber, those very prickly seeds, and it’s experimental in the sense that I use very translucent porcelain and dip the seed and con- struct my shapes with that,” said Ms Hora.
“It’s a positive/negative, where the seed pods burn out during the process.”
“I think the very forces within nature, they always create these multiples, these geometric shapes, and so there’s this repetition of patterns.
“I don’t set out specifically to a theme, but it morphs along, and it suggests things to me as I’m making it.
“The way I name the piece too, I try to leave it open to interpretation as much as possible because it’s an experiential journey for me.”
Ms Hora’s pieces have been likened to bleached coral, to ice crystals, to the very cells that first formed life on earth and even to the coronavirus structure itself.
“I wasn’t specifically thinking of COVID when I was making them,” said Ms Hora.
“But more that contrast between the positive element of growth and that aspect of growth going completely out of control.”
Ms Manning said that the success of the ARTBOX to date has been phenomenal, not just in the local community, but drawing queries from around Tasmania and interstate.
As a member of the Huon Valley Council Arts and Culture Committee, it was Ms Manning who presented a number of ideas for the creation of an alternative, inclusive, professional exhibition space for the Huon Valley, and says she was delighted when ARTBOX was selected to progress.
“I really love that concept, because it opens it up to such a variety of communities,” she said.
“It’s for everybody.
“As long as you’ve got a flat space and a great concept, you’re away, and then it also brings the art to people who might not be able travel so far, or that don’t usually get to see it.”
Following Inside Out, Huon Valley Council is accepting proposals from local creators who are interested to exhibit their works in ARTBOX.
“The long-term plan, as I understand it, is Council will tie in with certain events, like A Taste of the Huon and Dark Mofo, and then the rest will be open to whatever comes out of the community,” said Ms Manning.
While the dream was to run a curatorial pro- gramme to train local emerging curators, unfortunately the funding is not available, but the Huon Valley Council has developed a set of guidelines for hosting an exhibition and can provide support with marketing.
Ms Manning is an established artist herself and her Studio Waterloo will be open for one day during the Inside Out exhibition at 57 Glocks Road, Waterloo.
See her work, have a chat about an artist’s life and her art practice on Saturday, February 20 be- tween 10am and 4pm, it’s only six minutes’ drive
Growth by Ulrike Hora. from ARTBOX.
Inside Out is supported by the Australian Government Regional Arts Fund, the Tasmanian Community Fund, and the Bendigo Bank Community Bank Branches.
ARTBOX is managed by the Huon Valley Council’s Arts and Culture programme.