Engineering and art don’t often sit together in galleries, except in the Backspace Gallery right now where a team of seven Ballarat artists have combined science, technology, engineering, mathematics and art.
The Neo-Gineering exhibition shows engineering and art in a different light – and many of the artworks use light as an important component of their look.
Artist Zlatko Balazic has an engineering background and his sister-in-law Margie is also an artist and together they have curated the exhibition with works from another five artists.
“We were approached to come up with an exhibition about how engineering integrates in to art,” he said.
The result is a colourful array of artworks from traditional paintings on walls to paintings leaping off walls, hands-on musical art, acrylic light painting, glow in the dark furniture, illuminations and more.
Artists have experimented with tools, materials, physics, engineering and technology to create their artworks which cover disciplines including painting, photography, sculpture, fashion, installation and media.
And unlike most gallery exhibitions which are strictly hands-off, there are artworks in Neo-Gineering which are made to be manipulated, moved, played and experienced with senses other than sight.
The soft engineering of Kat Pengelly’s neoprene dress integrates electronics created by Mr Balazic alongside the fashion of Ms Pengelly.
Illuminated illustrations and repurposed skateboards from artist Casey Tosh bring a street-style installation to the exhibition, alongside his “pipe people” made from plumbing pipe.
“My work is about repurposing objects that people might find or you might have around, but the challenge is making it a bit special,” Mr Tosh said.
A small table he made, inlaid with skateboard decks, also glows in the dark when the lights are out.
“Working a bit outside our boundaries was tough but I’m happy with the results.”
Ms Balazic said the concept of neo-gineering was a challenge for artists but the result was a colourful and vibrant exhibition full of wonderful ideas.
One of her artworks weaves together the illustrations that the city’s children created for the Ballarat Children’s Arts Awards and were projected on to a Sturt Street building during White Night.
RELATED STORY: Discarded goods find new life as art
“These artists have all created new content and more than just exploring neo-gineering, they’ve developed a network that will become the next ‘something’ and to be able to emerge in that community is really exciting,” she said.
Neo-Gineering is at Backspace Gallery until Sunday September 16.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.