Visitors to this year’s ever-popular Archibald Prize exhibition shouldn’t end their journey at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
(min cost $8)
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As part of the city’s promise to fill Ballarat with art for the exhibition’s six-week duration, Backspace Gallery has become decked out with work from four of the city’s best artists and collaborators.
The quartet exhibition features work by Melinda Muscat, Pauline O’Shannessy-Dowling and Megan Anderson and Skipticism – a collaboration between Diokno Pasilan, Scott Fredericks and Pete Greggs.
The show is topped off by Ali Dad Afzali’s work in the ContainART container, which will be parked for the time being in Alfred Deakin Place.
City of Ballarat arts and culture coordinator Deborah Klein said even though there wasn’t any Ballarat art showcased in this year’s Archibald Prize exhibition, the city was still full of talented artists and work worth viewing.
“The season of the arts is about celebrating the arts in Ballarat, and this show is really a showcase of some of Ballarat’s most entrepreneurial and innovative visual artists,” she said.
“So we have three shows in Backspace plus the fourth show in ContainART gallery, all in Alfred Deakin Place.
It’s really an opportunity for Ballarat residents and visitors to get a really strong sense of the vitality and vibrancy and diversity of the contemporary visual arts being created here and now.- Deborah Klein, City of Ballarat arts and culture coordinator
“It’s really an opportunity for Ballarat residents and visitors to get a really strong sense of the vitality and vibrancy and diversity of the contemporary visual arts being created here and now.”
Ms Klein said work from Ballarat and central highlands artists could be seen across the city, including at Unicorn Lane, which was currently displaying work by Glenlyon artist Ryan Kennedy.
She said as of next week, Unicorn Lane Gallery would have a new exhibition by a yet-to-be-revealed artist.
“Last year and this year, through our visual arts program, we’ve made it a point to present work from across the region in parallel with the Archibald,” she said.
She said highlights included the light and sound sculptural installation Skipticism, Muscat’s colourful red, pink and green Colour exhibition and the collaborative work between O’Shannessy-Dowling and Megan Anderson, entitled POD Design and Pink Collar Society.
Scares, by teenage Afghan Hazara refugee Ali Dad Afzali, is another drawcard. Afzali’s largely self-taught work shows the intersection between his old and new lives, with the exhibition including a powerful portrait of his Afghani mother.
The Backspace exhibitions will continue until November 6, at which time it will be taken down to make room for the next artist, Val McGann.
Ali Dad Afzali’s work will remain in ContainART until November 27, until the end of the Archibald Prize exhibition.
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