Florentina Munteanu was born in Bucharest, Romania and migrated to Australia in 1991. She completed a BFA (Painting) with First Class Honours at Monash University in Melbourne 2005 and continued her Masters of Fine Arts by Research at Monash University being a recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award. In 2006 she obtained a studio residency at Gertrude Art Studios and in 2009 became a Teaching Associate for the Faculty of Art and Design Drawing Department at Monash University.
Her group and solo exhibitions include Corina Bus Gallery Melbourne, The Colour and the Shape curated exhibition Glen Eira Gallery, Drawing Symposium Exhibition The Atrium Gallery Monash University and House collaborative project with International artist in residence Marie-Jeanne Hoffner The Atrium Gallery Monash University.
Currently her work concentrates on the problems of painting from observation, still life and outdoor studies. Looking at the poetic space of representation, Florentina draws inspiration for her still life from small life subjects such as fruit as they offer humble interchangeable forms.
Her work celebrates the small intimate daily encounters with objects both in still life painting as well as being drawn to en plein air painting, observing nature, searching for an equivalent for her experience rather than a record of a particular place. The scale of her work is usually quite small coming from the fact that she paints outdoors with a small painting box sometimes taking cover from the elements in the comfort of her car.
Bird’s gallery has recently become one of the participating galleries with Art Money.
Art Money has been created in order to support the Contemporary art by providing free interest loans to assist buyers to purchase art. Art Money stimulates the art industry by supporting both artist and buyers and it is now available at Bird’s Gallery.
How does it work? To buy artworks with Art Money, a 10% deposit must to be paid at the gallery and the remaining 90% will be paid in 9 monthly instalments. Loans are available from $675 to $30,000 and they are approved online immediately. The application is made online; it only takes just a few minutes to be completed. All you need is your driver licence or passport and to enter some simple personal details. Once approved, your loan is valid for 30 days and available at use at the gallery.
To be eligible to apply for an Art Money loan, you will need to:
- Be an individual applying in your own name
- Be 18 years or over
- Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- Have an income of at least $30,000 p.a. from all sources ,including investments
- Be currently employed or have a regular income that meets our requirements
- Have a clear credit history (no dishonours, defaults, court judgements or bankruptcies within the last 5 years and not be an undischarged bankrupt)
- Hold a current Australian driver licence or passport
- Have a nominated account or credit card which Arts Money is able to debit
You can apply for an Art Money loan now at www.artmoney.com or visit us at Bird’s Gallery.
BRIGITA LA | Works on paper | until 7 May 2016
A few years ago I came across my old paintings & drawings stored in the attic. Some of those artworks were emotionally old & incomplete and I decided to rework or recycle them to give them new life. I started reclaiming them by cutting and weaving various pieces together and the result was astonishing and fresh. I love the aspect of spontaneity and accident in art, as it forces you to let go of the familiar, logical ways and surrender to the process, and in some pieces to embrace the uncertainty of the final result. The abstract visual aspect resonates more with me than the concrete aspect, therefore I often deconstruct the obvious visual images and conceal and encode them behind the abstract repetitive patterns. It gives the mind freedom to imagine, be intrigued and explore the unknown factor.
The recent series of woven work focuses on the new process of combining 2-4 specially made separate drawings into one woven piece according to the chosen theme. The work “Grandma’s Linen” is more emotionally charged, than others. I have spent my childhood summer holidays at my grandparent’s farm in the remote village. And I have a very alive and authentic memories from those times. The Grandma’s Linen conveys my appreciation of the hand-woven, hand-made aspect we lived with over there. I feel the work reflects alive & pulsating feelings of nostalgia to those times, which are alive only in my memory, as my grandparents, as well as the house are already gone. The subtleties of my childhood memories are interwoven into this monochrome “linen” piece, which invites the viewer to enter and explore it for themselves
I invite the viewer to leave logic behind and enter the realm of imagination where you are guided by your feelings, associations and intuition.
Born 1951 in Iasi, Romania |
Since 1980 based in Melbourne
RECENT SCULPTURES - MADE FROM RECYCLED COMPUTER PARTS
9 APRIL – 7 MAY 2016 , Exhibition Opening Saturday 9 April 2-4 PM
13 February-7 March 2016
Barbara van Oost was born in The Netherlands and moved to Melbourne in 1997.She is a self-taught ceramicist and began exploring the medium while working as a contempory dancer in her native Holland.
Her handbuilt ceramics are void of hash angles and excessive surface decoration. Barbara’s organically formed works are created using mixed clay bodies, oxides and stained slips and fired to stoneware temperatures.
Alongside her sculptural practice she designs and creates a line of jewellery and womenswear under the label Klei.
We are pleased to announce that Bird’s Gallery will have the lovely Ngaio Lenz for the month of August in our Featured Artist Programme.
Ngaio is a Melbourne based artist, recently relocated from Queensland, working in abstracts and installation. Her EQUILIBRIUM series is an exploration of the organic shapes of the natural environment. They are the shapes and surfaces Ngaio is drawn to in a world of harsh sharp edges and cold interiors. These works are a balance to the fast pace of modern life and a way of feeling connected to nature and the gentle softness of a weathered surface.
Read more about the artist here.
Top image: Equilibrium 37 | 91 x 121 cm | Mixed media on canvas
Bottom images: Equilibrium 31 | 101 x 101 cm | Mixed media on canvas, Equilibrium 32 | 101 x 101 cm | Mixed media on canvas
Photo: Detail of VAN GOGH PARK | 177 x 150 cm
On July 9-30 we are pleased to present an exhibition by photopainter Min Simankevicius. ‘FRACTURED’ is a carefully curated selection of his ongoing studies of natural and urban landscapes via the media of photography and digital manipulation.
In looking at landscapes I have always admired the way the drama of the ever-‐changing landscape
evolves over time -‐ with the shifting of light, the effect of wind, the viewing of different points of
perspective. I am not content to capture one frozen moment alone but am driven to find a way of
expressing the shift of time and place in that one image (without resorting to video or moving records).
Photography is generally lauded with the honour of a single “click” and what is captured in that brief
moment, yet seeing the work of David Hockney and his photo-‐collages opened a whole new arena of
capturing a landscape for me.
My images are a combination of many photos, taken from slightly varying angles and of course, across a
short period of time. The combination of these many impressions create a juxtaposition of parts that
make a whole, yet show the parts in various aspects of viewing. Clouds drift, tree limbs move, the cliche
is no longer.
These images are far from collages, as they are not assembled from varied images, but assembled from
aspects of the same image.
Photo: Detail of TREE OF LIFE | 90 x 90 cm
Photo: Detail of GALAXY | 90 x 90 cm
Photo: Detail of FIG TREE | 100 x 100 cm
Currently at Bird’s Gallery we are featuring beautiful ceramic vessels by Nadia Dusselberg. She is a Melbourne based contemporary ceramics artist with a background in the film industry.
Nadia grew up in a creative environment as a daughter of two ceramicists and with a little encouragement began her own explorations in clay in their long established art space, Studio 32. It wasn’t long before she began developing stylistically and her own identity emerged.
Inspired by nature, Nadia’s work has a fresh quirky take on the typically mundane. She sees practical objects and makes them fun. It’s within this joyful spirit that Nadia playfully names all her works after familiar childhood memories.
Gillie & Marc | Featured Works | 22 June – 8 July
For the period of three weeks we are featuring wonderful anthropomorphic sculptures from Australian artists Gillie and Marc. As husband and wife, they collaborate to create art as one, applying the iconic imagery of the dog/human hybrid to celebrate the powerful spiritual relationship that exists between man and animal. Gillie and Marc reference their own remarkable love story in their works, perpetuating a pursuit of happiness and encouraging us to challenge the status quo and the perceived safety of societal convention. 20 years ago the artists married in the foothills of Nepal’s Mt Everest, 15 days after having met in Hong Kong. They now live in Sydney with their 2 children and golden retriever Moby. With a 15 year history of collaboration, Gillie and Marc’s works have received acclaim worldwide and are held in collections both nationally and internationally.
Lolly Dogman & Rabbitgirl
Clear resin | 35 x 28 x 20 cm | 45 x 26 x 17 cm
Price $480 each
They Thought Together No Wave Was Too Big
Bronze | ed 20 | 38 x 26 x 40 cm | Price $2800
“He Wondered If She Remembered Their
Romantic Nights Together | Bronze
Edition 20 | 14 x 12 x 21 cm | Price $980
VAIDAS ZVIRBLIS | Featured Works | 10 June – 8 July
Aussie Land | oil & mixed media on canvas | 182 x 122 cm
This exhibition features a selection of Vaidas Zvirblis’ paintings and small sculpture, a glimpse into his extraordinary world of colour and weird creatures. Vaidas is a Melbourne based Lithuanian artist working in a range of media, regularly exhibiting locally and overseas. Full bio here
Here is his recent interview with DPI magazine for their Winter issue:
Q1: Would you share something about yourself with us? Like your education background, your homeland, your career, or anything you want to say.
A1: I received my art training in Kaunas (second most populous city in Lithuania ). My parents noticed my tendering in that direction from in early age. When my father asked me whether I wanted to be an artist, I answered that I did. when I had completed grade 4, father handed me some pencils and enrolled me in an entrance examination for a children`s art school . I was accepted and so began my career in art . After completing the art school I unrolled in the Kaunas Art Academy (Vilnius Art Academy) in Lithuania. In 1998 I with my family moved to Australia, since then I am based in Melbourne, but come back to Lithuania often for various projects.
Girl and Her Cats | oil and mixed media on canvas | 102 x 76cm
Q2: How did you describe your art style?
A2: I would describe my style as primitive/naive with an effort to distance myself from given art streams. I make an effort negate the influences I was exposed to at the art academy.
Q3: What material, techniques, or tools do you use for creating?
A3: I work in variety of materials. I feel free to improvise my own techniques and supplements. I like using recycled materials, like timber, empty cans/ bottles, straw, variety of my own rendering mixtures made out of sand, clay, oxides and oil paints. I use those in my paintings as well as in my sculptures. In my illustrations, on the contrary, I choose fine ink pens, pencils and watercolor. I never use computer to enhance my drawings. I like the old fashion way of drawing.
Brown Dog | mixed media | 31 x 25 cm
Q4: What influenced your art the most?
A4: I am most strongly influenced by primitive /tribal art –the kind of art created before man had a notion of “the artist”. I am inspired by the beauty of aboriginal art as well the old Lithuanian folk wood carvings.
Q5: Your painting works hold strong personal style. How do you develop the way you paint now?
A5: I enjoy larger formats which allow scope for free flowing brush strokes. Initially I am driven mainly by colour, mood and texture from which more specific images emerge.
Q6: Besides painting, your sculpture work is impressive, too. The characters are so lovely. How do you start to create sculpture? What do you want to show in the creatures you designed?
A6: I think of my sculptures as 3D paintings, colour and texture being of more importance to me than form .The imagery which keeps surfacing is basic, simple: naïve creatures unable to survive in the buzz of the modern world, and find a life other than in painting or sculpture.
Sitting Rabbit | mixed media | 36 x 22cm
Q7: Besides painting, do you have any hobbies? As a freelance artist, how do you balance work and life?
A7: Otherwise I enjoy spending a lot of time in the countryside. For about 7 months I’m with my family in Melbourne where I’m an hour’s drive away from fishing in the ocean or walks in the forest. I spend other time of the year in Lithuania. It is my way of avoiding the cold and wet of an Australian winter.
Q8: What do you want to achieve this year?
A8: I would like to resume my work as an illustrator. In Lithuania I am friends with writer Vytautas Landsbergis with whom I have successfully published a number of children’s books . One of these earnt a prize as the most beautifully illustrated book of that year (Briedis Eugenijus 2007 Kronta). I am open for all opportunities for new projects to illustrate.
JOSEPH WEIDENBAUM | New Relics | 23 May-6 June
Exhibition Opening Saturday 23 May 2-4 pm
Please join us for a glass of wine!
The work is a series of sculptures /masks composed from vintage metal petrol funnels adorned with a variety of materials. Alongside these sit some larger 2 dimensional works also constructed from found materials.
As an artist, who is also a collector of vintage and historical objects, stemming from my own family’s history, I came across a small selection of vintage petrol funnels. I was struck by the form and primitive figurative shapes also by what they represented historically as used objects with their embedded memories.
As a 3rd generation holocaust descendant the themes in my work are often around transformation of the historical. What interests me is the objects and materials and the meaning they hold juxtaposed with what it could be now and in the future.
My father came to Australia when he was 17 as a refugee from war torn Europe upon the infamous ship The Dunera and then had to transform or recreate his world. In a sense, these are the themes that emerge somehow in all of my work.
I began the journey of seeking and collecting these petrol funnels with great fervour. Their conical shape was somehow suggestive of a camera lens, a periscope poking up and into the world and capturing and inhaling global situations. There was also a playful and definite human aspect to them that I was drawn to and the possibilities to create varying characters from these seemingly innate objects.
The process of transforming these forms into masks happened spontaneously in the studio and as I created one, the need to add more, almost like a family then became my purpose. Tribal masks are one of the first forms of Art as projections and expression of people and spirit created by ancient cultures. Subsequently these artefacts became the driving influence of the Cubists in the early 20th century who I admire and draw influences from as well.
As I created the masks something else happened. They became characters with their own unique traits and personalities. I began to see them as my quirky left of field friends part of a tribe with their own fictitious story’s to discover and unpack .
During the process I also asked friends to reflect on personality traits they saw and was amazed at the endless possibilities from different perspectives and viewpoints.
The themes in this sense are conscious and unconscious and much of the synthesis or understanding takes place after the creation as I am an artist that starts with materials and works intuitively. Somehow though the themes in my heritage, my culture and history return eternally. War Zones, refugees, the displaced, the old world meeting the new and how one forges their own identity combining these different aspects are some of the themes I grapple with here.