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Painting by Carolyn V Watson. Me – celebrating the luxury of taking a photo at an art exhibition. Fancy that. Thank you Carolyn! Amputated left arm courtesy of selfie-cam (‘cam-putated’)

I have been so absorbed in doing cartoons for this blog of late, that my texty blog stuff has taken a back seat. Time to balance things up a bit. But, oops, I still managed to get in a damn cartoon.

Ah yes, my little pet peeve – NO CAMERAS ALLOWED to be used in many Art Galleries. What is that about? Copyright? “It might fade the paintings” (?). Or just some sort of art Fascism? I can understand the worry of fading the paintings, if flash is used. That can take its toll over time. But digital cameras are so good now, we don’t need flash. And flash, to me,  makes for a bad photo anyway. Maybe change the signs to NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY.

Copyright? Can anyone really sell a crappy photo they have taken, of a superb piece of art? Or, instead of buying the original – maybe 2 metres square – take a photo of it, to frame for the lounge room wall? If they are that frugal, then I would think there is no sale loss at all: they wouldn’t have bought the painting anyway. So, no loss to the artist. But. Maybe some extra publicity for the artist if that crappy photo (perhaps a selfie with painting behind) is put out there on social media.

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Carolyn V Watson’s exhibition at BRAG this month.

My partner and I recently visited Tweed River Art Gallery, and the Margaret Olley display there (well, a few months back, if that is ‘recent’). A lot of people know about it. You know the one, where Olley’s Paddington home interior has been ‘moved’ and replicated, and is on permanent display inside the gallery. All her trappings: kitchen utensils in disarray, old withered flowers in vases, half-squeezed tubes of paint, and general household mess and chaos.  

Well, that’s how I remember it, anyway. Was I there? I think so. But usually today, “being there” also involves a camera, and some photos. Has been the case for maybe 50 years or so: take a photo or two of your holiday. But no. All around were big signs: NO CAMERAS.

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IMAGINED PHOTO of me at Tweed River Art Gallery, with Margaret Olley painting behind.

Shame really. I would think that many visitors from overseas would not even know who Margaret Olley is. A few photos on Facebook etc. would improve on that. I just think that it is time for art galleries (and artists) to get with the 21st Century, and  allow social photos. Different maybe, if someone comes in with a tripod and a $10,000 digital SLR and sets up in front of an art-piece. That would be inappropriate. But just a snapshot, thanks, of myself and family at the gallery, with artworks behind. Just so I can remember what I have seen, and where I have been. And show other people on social media these great artists, and art galleries we have here in Australia. That would mean more bums on seats I would think. Otherwise, I fear that galleries might eventually disappear, and only be available online (which is happening around the world as I speak).

Even my dear Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery (BRAG, in Australia) usually has the same policy of “No Cameras”. But refreshingly, the exhibition in BRAG’s Gallery 2 at the moment is devoid of this rule. So I took some pics today (see 1st photos above). The Artist is Carolyn V Watson, and the exhibition is “allgloryisfleeting” (sic). I am not a fan of dead animal bits (bones, etc), but it is all rather superbly done. And I do like the paintings. But anyway, I was just like a pig in mud, taking photos in there, and the odd selfie, how crass. This Art Blog is not intended to feature other artists (unless I am involved in an exhibition with them), but I thought I would make an exception here, as she has given the green light for photography. Good one. Thanks Carolyn. I have no permission to put up a link for her here, but would suggest you Google her stuff, and website. Shame I didn’t make opening night.


Footnote: I write “copyright” on all my art on this blog. But if you email me, and ask to use a piece for collage or whatever (as long as it is for the purpose of serious art), I am pretty accommodating, as long as I get credit, with my name and Art Blog (dennismealor.net)  mentioned clearly. Thanks all. :-). Likewise, if you send any photos of my paintings or cartoons to a friend, please credit me. Oh yes, and please share the link to this blog. That would be nice. I don’t make money from it, per se. It is a labour of love. And my CV essentially. Thank you. Dennis.

PS: If you get something positive from this Art Blog, send me an email if you will (in ‘contact’ at top of page). Tah folks. D.


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