Blackstone Gallery opens this year with Glenys Holmes. A Novocastrian Canvas paints the working harbour and beach culture around Newcastle with accuracy and fondness. Her body of works is both impressive in its technical prowess as it is, in its ability to transport the viewer into the scene. Large coal-ships being guided by their tug boats are painted with austerity as they leave the port while Merewether ocean baths is painted on a joyful sunny day, full of activity. Holmes paints with an idealistic brush, children playing excitingly in the sand with their parents, beach-goers splashing in the water while the salt-air creates a haze on the horizon in the distance. Holmes' Newcastle is one of beauty and charm that locals and visitors are sure to enjoy. RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org for the official launch Saturday, February 6, 3-6pm. View until February 27.
Museum of Art and Culture (MAC), Lake Macquarie is currently showing the travelling National Gallery of Australia exhibition Body Language until February 14. Each year the United Nations chooses a critical issue to raise awareness around the globe, in 2019 it was International Year of Indigenous Languages. Kelli Cole, a Warumunga/Luritja woman from central Australia, curated Body Language with this sentiment in mind.Each piece chosen to highlight the importance of maintaining traditional language to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Where story, dance, song and kinship are used to capture time-honoured modes of communication for future generations and carvings, paintings, markings on bodies and objects showcase how culture and identity is preserved and implemented. Jeremiah Bonson's Warrah Bun Bun (2010) welcomes the viewer as they enter the exhibition, consisting of eight striking black and white dotted "mimi spirits" or "Moky" totems from his mother's dreaming. This central piece stands commanding surrounded by the lines, symbols and patterns of works on paper, paintings, printmaking and sculpture. mac.lakemac.com.au
Don't miss the interactive Adaptation ending this weekend at Maitland Regional Art Gallery,Fusion at Timeless Textiles until January 30 and the inaugural Lake Art Prize 2020 at MAC until February 7.