Exhibition: 16 November to 22 December, 2011

Petrina Hicks
© Petrina Hicks

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Mark Kimber
© Mark Kimber

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Gilbert Garcin
© Gilbert Garcin

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Marketa Luskacova
© Marketa Luskacova

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Danielle Thompson
© Danielle Thompson

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Gilbert Garcin / Petrina Hicks / Mark Kimber / Marketa Luskacova / Danielle Thompson

Each year Stills Gallery celebrates the passing of the year with a group exhibition drawn from Stills Gallery artists. This year displays new and unseen works drawn from larger series and bodies of work.

Centrestage are brightly coloured concoctions from a new series Hippy and the Snake by the ever popular Petrina Hicks. Weeping Flowers is exquisitely beautiful yet contradictorily etched with the sadness of what could be tears dripping from the flowers. Snake Charmer reveals the back view of a brown haired girl deftly handling a yellow and black snake with expertise. Hicks continues to surprise with her tantalisingly super real portrayals of young women in relationship to creatures and nature.

Mark Kimber’s fabulist works from the series The Cloud Chamber are made with a tiny plastic pinhole camera. Kimber says “Its how things look, how they are represented through the camera that intrigued me then (as a child) and now”. He has created small fanciful worlds that represent large visions, the kind of visions that imprint themselves in a child’s consciousness when they are small and the world seems large.

Gilbert Garcin is a French artist now in his eighties who has been widely exhibited and collected around the world. His whimsical images are strongly influenced by surrealism and it is apparent that he comes from the same culture as Jacques Tati. The work will touch your heart and bring a smile. They are romantic, playful and remind of the cartoons of Australia’s Leunig. His exhibition The Man Who is an Image was part of the Head On Photo Festival in May this year at the Australian Centre for Photography in Paddington.

Marketa Luskacova is a Czech photographer of very high skill and poetic sensibility. She is a peer of Josef Koudelka and has a similarly powerful capacity to portray people in a real situation. This series On Death and Horses and Other People is an exploration of ritual. It interprets the carnival of Roztoky, a small town near Prague, carnival seen as an affirmation of life itself. The work is in colour in contrast to her stunning black and white observations such as Pilgrims and Spitalfields previously shown at Stills Gallery.

Danielle Thompson is well known to Stills Gallery’s audience through her many series including Tears of Ecstasy and Marks of Light. All of Thompson’s work takes the natural world and employs it through striking camera technique to highlight the intensity of personal feeling and emotion. Her new work Glare created in Tasmania, where she now lives, is similarly inviting and raw with emotion. “The contrast of light and shade is stark, questioning the tangibility of the real”.