The eagerly awaited annual Fine Art at Hale Exhibition is again upon us.
This year’s show, held in the last weekend of July, marks the 25th anniversary of this popular event, showcasing paintings, sculpture, jewellery and ceramics and glass from respected and emerging WA artists.
“Fine Art at Hale has long been a highlight for many art enthusiasts and collectors and this year will be no exception,” says curator Karina Buckingham.
“Whatever your taste or budget, we’re sure you’ll find something that appeals to you.”
Trevor Vickers, Ian de Souza, Eveline Kotai, Bec Juniper, Ben Sherar and Andy Quilty are just some of the talented artists whose creative pieces will be on show, and up for grabs.
Acclaimed Perth artist Gail Dell has three works on display at this year’s exhibit.
“I’m a happy person, and I think my art reflects that!” she tells The Starfish over coffee at John St Cafe, where she and fellow artist Jen Mellor curate and display their works in the new adjoining John St Gallery.
Here, Gail shows us her colourful landscape, Nature Walk, inspired by visits to the NSW and south-west coast, which will be on display at Hale (and it’s yours for $2450).
“Touch it; it has quite an unusual, wax finish. Plus an old Italian artisan taught me his secret fresco technique, how to apply pigment to plaster,” she reveals.
Originally from South Africa, Gail moved to Perth in 1998 and while her background is business and marketing, four years ago she switched to becoming a full-time painter. In that short time, she’s enjoyed astonishing success, with her works at galleries in South Africa, London and across Australia.
“I’m so passionate about it. I’m up early each day into my studio, and I often paint until midnight – it just flows out of me!” she beams. “I’m using a completely different part of my brain to that used in my corporate life!
As time goes on, she’s increasingly drawn to creating more abstract images, inspired by her travels. “When I go to a place, I’ll often take pictures and do sketches, but when I’m ready to paint, I leave all that aside, as I interpret my feelings and experience of a place on the canvas, ” she reveals.
From a family of artists – her father is a respected painter in Cape Town who at 88, still offers her constructive criticism via Skype, Gail says she’s relishing her new creative vocation and is justifiably confident in her abilities.
“It’s important to have confidence, as an artist, and my father instilled that in me; if you don’t have confidence, it’s much harder, because you’re exposing your vulnerable, inner self to the world,” she says.
Gail has also donated a print of Nature Walk, with frame donated by Ben Sherar Artist Framing Services, for this year’s raffle at the Hale show.
Ben will also have several oil paintings at the exhibition.
“My first piece, Carlton Ridge, Lake Kununurra, shows this popular tourist attraction, which, when seen from different angles is called both Sleeping Buddha and Elephant Rock. I spent part of my childhood up in this area,” Ben tells The Starfish.
“My other pieces, Lakeside Afternoon and Lakeside Dusk show Government House Lake on Rottnest Island.
Both paintings are done from smaller works I did on-site during a recent painting trip over to the island.”
The Fine Art at Hale Exhibition weekend kicks off on Friday, July 28, with a “cocktail preview” at the school from 6.30pm. (Tickets, $40, include drinks and canapés)
To be officially opened by Hale old boy Richard Goyder, who attended the school from 1974 to 1977, the cocktail soiree provides the first chance for collectors to get their hands on their favourite work before the weekend hordes.
The exhibition continues on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30 from 1pm to 4pm with entry a gold coin donation. Tickets to the raffle, ($5 each) will be drawn at 3pm on Sunday.
(Other prizes to be won in the raffle include a Spirit of The Sea pendant and travel case donated by Keiko Uno Jewellery, Leeuwin Estate Art Series wine, and a ceramic vase created by Elaine Bradley.)
Says Karina, “Hundreds of innovative and varied artworks will be on display and for sale, so come along and see if something unique catches your eye!”
She adds, “This year, there will be the added excitement of our two new art awards.”
The Fine Art At Hale Committee is sponsoring two prizes for outstanding artwork, with a share of $5000 for the winning artists. Exhibition goers can also vote for their favourite work, with the winning artist for the People’s Choice award receiving $500 donated by MindLink Psychology.
The art show first kicked off in 1993 as a fundraising event initiated by the Old Haleians Hockey Club and Ladies Auxilliary. It was such a hit, in time it grew to become a highly anticipated event annual event, attracting art-lovers and artists from across WA.
All proceeds from the exhibition and raffle support the Hale Art Community.
The exhibition is at Hale School Memorial Hall, 160 Hale Road Wembley Downs,
Tickets to the Cocktail Preview can be purchased online by clicking here:
Starfish Photographs: Peter Rigby