Sunday, 25 December 2016

Four Western Australian Women artists - Chelle Bourne, Lynne Norton, Cynthia Ellis and Connie Petrillo

Audience Discussing Cynthia Ellis's artwork

Currently on show in the main gallery at Gallery Opera Labo 201 Nishi Ku Kobe there is four very individual woman artists from Western Australia which is the sister to state to Hyogo Prefecture, Japan and this art space continues to support artists from Western Australia along with their unique aesthetic visions, as seen within this exhibition. And in the above image one can witness the Kobe audience engaging the curious sensations that radiates from the  artworks within the gallery space. 

Artwork by Chelle Bourne 

It is not so long ago that Japan allowed westerners and others into the country to exhibit this started from around the 1860’s which roughly is in line with the end of the Edo period and the start of the Meiji time, which on world trade terms has not been a long time. 

Kobe was one of the first ports selected by the authorities of the time to allow foreign influence into this country. This recent opening up of Nippon by alien pressure and ther nurturing of external knowledge through artworks can be seen throughout the many fine art museums of Nippon and galleries like Opera Labo and its an important because art history is necessary to learn from and go forward into the future, this Japan has excelled at and continues.

Artwork by Cynthia Ellis

So this exhibition from Western Australian continues in that vein of enlarging the store house of memories to the local audiences. And what is most enjoyable about this idiosyncratic group of artists, is there individual praxis which reveals that some Western Australian artists are not influenced by international trends or current theories on art, they prefer it seems to maintain a journey outwards towards there own unseen aesthetic horizons that includes the ups and downs of any long and epic campaign within ones art. 

Title: Fluctuating Focus by Lynne Norton

It is not unusual for Australians to travel and influence other peoples or artists who they come across in different lands. For example; the Australian painter John Peter Russell 1858 - 1930 from Sydney had a rather large influence over one of the worlds great modern artists being Henri Matisse. 

Artwork by Connie Petrillo

So when international artists do visit various lands as they have here in Gallery Opera Labo one does not know what the results will be in the future, as one is sure Russell or Matisse had no idea just how far there collaboration at the time might travel but it certainly went on a substantial and influential journey throughout world aesthetics with the fine arts. 

One can only hope that those who encounter the artworks of Chelle Bourne, Lynne Norton, Cynthia Ellis and Connie Petrillo will extend their own Japanese aesthetic store house of knowledge to what art might be experienced as an artwork.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Xmas Concert Gallery Opera Labo

Makiko Karitani
full soprano flight in front of the Wild Swans Artist operatic screen print by Lynne Norton
 Gallery Opera Labo whose father the former Director at The Art Gallery of Western Australia is currently having a retrospective at Fremantle Arts Center

The afternoon Christmas concert by Makiko Karitani was a joyous affair those who were there enjoyed wonderful voice and music, Kandinsky is right in the aforementioned quote; painting and music really do add another dimension to ones pleasures
 from all of us here at Gallery Opera Labo have a great Xmas and Happy New Year 

Monday, 5 December 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New year

To all our friends in Japan and around the world have a safe and Happy Christmas with a 
New Year 

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Yuki Kimura's Calligraphy

Photograph by Makiko Karitani 

In speaking to Yuki Kimura she stated; 'that some of this calligraphy on show was inspired by her love of Jazz' and this cross fertilisation of two very differing forms of artistic praxis but at times tremendously spontaneous being a jazz musicians improvisation of sound and the charcoal traces on paper  in Yuki's praxis that almost automatically responds to the sensations of sound whilst being placed as visual traces on paper presents a wonderful show.

Calligraphy by Yuki Kimura 

What is also so likable about Kimura's artworks it appears to take an idiosyncratic spur of the moment note or sound then brings it into the visible world in the now, a single sweep of a sumi e brush on paper,  its like pure unadulterated artistic praxis, not something arcane or buried away from the common audience in deep esoteric theory, but seemingly basic like a singular lingering note in jazz, a floating/haunting sound like a lover's happy but saddened gaze through the window of a departing train that everybody at sometime of the life is able to relate too.

The calligraphic reflections with Kimura's sumi e

And talking about windows the afternoons light reflecting off the floor in the gallery streaming softly from the autumn sun seen here in the above image on the wall,  presents a kind of visual poetry to Kumira's calligraphy, like a beautiful tension one static, the other being the sunlight from outside that is at the whim of a clouds movement to come and go as its pleases, the sensation at play within Gallery Opera Labo really do make the space a memorable place to be in, so if your in Nishi Ku Kobe do make an appointment to see this most interesting  show.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Yuki Kimura - Calligraphy and Peter Davidson Drawing

Yuki Kimura - Calligraphy

Yuki Kimura has studied calligraphy over the last twenty five years and has  exhibited regularly in a gallery in Ginza and Tokyo Metropolitian Art Museum, she has also been an exchange student at 
Australian National University in Canberra.

Peter Davidson 
Mixed media on arches paper
56 cm h x 228 cm w

This is Yuki's first exhibition in Nishi Ku, Kobe at Gallery Opera Labo with Peter Davidson who also went to and graduated out of the Australian National University with PhD in Visual Art. 

Peter has been a painter for over 30 years, exhibited nationally across Australia and internationally, he is represented public and private collections in Australia and internationally and is a member of the Wild Swan Art Group from Western Australia. 

Exhibition opening 

Gallery Opera Labo 
Opening party at 13th of November 2 pm to 4pm
Exhibition runs from the 12th of November to December the 12

Contact or viewing appointment for Gallery Operalabo 
神戸市西区竹の台6-3プラウドシティ102 Tel 09093439601 (Karitani)

Article by Peter Davidson

Sunday, 11 September 2016

International exchanges for artists and its benefits

Drawing by Tastuya Yano

More recently a student from a local university went for an exchange to Western Australia that was organised through Gallery Opera Labo due to its international connections in Perth and it appears to have turned out to be a fruitful one for the young up and coming artist.

One might consider that there is benefits for a young artist doing an international cultural exchange within the fine arts as it appears to increase their store house of memory on what they can draw on when they return to their studio praxis and how that interacts with the local remembrances when creating an image.

 When young or old artists for that matter take on International art exchanges or travels abroad like William Turners one thing is almost certain their remembrances when painting  will never be the same and for the most part this is a positive outcome.

For example; the artist will more than likely encounter differing  sights, sounds, colours. textures and nuances of light or different art materials to create images on an expanding store house of memories, that  now oscillate along their nervous system and at times intertwine with current memories, that are now manifesting themselves as oil, water or pencil traces, either on paper or canvas.

These new sensation received by the artists hopefully will push his current studio praxis out into unseen aesthetic horizons, presenting new challenges to in studio praxis which is a good outcome and necessary.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Chihoko Yamauchi's Glass and Aiko Sanogawaya's Ceramic

 Chihoko Yamauchi's Glass

Aiko Sanogawaya's Ceramic  

Currently on show at Gallery Opera Labo is a craft exhibition by Chihoko Yamauchi whose medium is glass whilst Aiko Sanogawaya's praxis is with fired clay.  It is interesting to note that when visitors come to the gallery space to view the afore mentioned artists craft exhibition there is this desire to touch the artworks, to feel the textured the objects, hold them up to the light to see how prismatic tones and hues behave as the days sunrays travel through the artworks and at other times, it's simply just to admire the public surfaces of the object as it is illuminated by natural or electrical light.

Chihoko Yamauchi hails from the Nagoya region where she works at Atelier Seize Glass and makes her own glass ware and within the gallery there are some stunning glass pieces that use the natural sunlight to accentuate the delicate patterns of leaves and insects which have a long tradition in Japanese craft. 

There is also pieces within this exhibition by Yamauchi where electrical illumination is used so the pieces can be enjoyed at night, giving any living quarters a kind of tranquility by the way the soft light decimates through the glass ware.

Close by are the ceramics Aiko Sanogawaya who is a self-taught artist from around the Wakayama area this is not unusual in Japan, many artists do this and in some ways its gives the artist a certain amount of freedom. Sanogawaya's ceramics are about function meaning that they have a everyday domestic purpose by being constructed into plates, cups and other kitchenware but nonetheless the aesthetic pale bluish hues designs she has applied with her glazes create a harmony within the utensils and are delight to hold. 

There is nothing better than having coffee and cake from a well-made and very pleasurable tactile ceramic set, my mother used to collect Shelley Tea sets and it was always pleasant to have afternoon tea with a favorite cup and inspect the design shape and texture of the utensil. So if you’re near the gallery in Nishi Ku Kobe please contact Makiko Karitani for viewing of this interesting craft exhibition 

Monday, 6 June 2016

The Wild Swan Art Group from Western Australia - Towards Uncharted Aesthetic Horizons

Some of the Audience 

Gallery Opera Labo would like to thank all those who came to the opening for this first exhibition by the following artists Duncan McKay, Connie Petrillo Caspar Fairhall, Kevin Robertson, Cynthia Ellis, Peter Davidson, Michael Doherty, John Cullinane, Chelle Bourne, Lynne Norton and Diokno Pasilan from the Wild Swan Art Group in Japan, from all reports it was well received and the Gallery looks forward to working  with these artists in the near future again please, enjoy the exhibition photographs. 


Some of the artworks on exhibit below

Connie Petrillo - Portrait of a Girl Year 2016          
Media Archival Print on Hahnemühle Fine Art Photo Rag Ed. 1 of 5

Cynthia Ellis 
Blue Series 
 oil on canvas  
13cm h x 33 w

Peter Davidson 
pencil on arches paper

Michelle Bourne 

Textural Study through nature no 1 
2016 acrylic in paper 
13.5 cm h x 13.5cm w

Article by Peter Davidson

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Hanging the Artworks of the Wild Swan Art Group

Artist Caspar Fairhall
title: Projection/ MMXVI
medium: Watercolour on Arches paper
size: 21 cm h x 21 cm w

Today at Gallery Opera Labo the artworks from the Wild Swan Art Group were hung in Japan and it looks outstanding, in some ways it takes one back to the mid nineteen eighties at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, when as a young student I would go and study the landscapes of Guy Grey Smith, Mac Betts and George Haynes for there was something so fresh and alive about viewing  such artworks and this show resonates that feeling. 

Maybe in the nineteen eighties in Perth these aforementioned western artists were travelling to the interior of desert regions and bringing back images of first contact of alien like terrain, not only for themselves but the those who also lived on the green fringe of Australia, they were mesmerising in colour, extremely sublime and so freshly idiosyncratic in vision.

When one looks at this exhibition by the following members being Duncan McKay, Connie Petrillo, Caspar Fairhall, Kevin Robertson, Cynthia Ellis, Peter Davidson, Michael Doherty, John Cullinane Chelle Bourne, Lynne Norton and Diokno Pasilan there is that same crisp sensation and  passion resonating from within these artworks but in another time and in another country. 

On this page there is two images the first being Caspar Fairhall's watercolour painting titled: Projection/ MMXVI and he constructs some very interesting ideas about time with the influence of delay in praxis, as he doesn't paint at the speed of light. 

For example, if light is being projected it travels at about one foot a nanosecond and to get a idea of just how extreme Fairhall's very camouflaged image making is about, here is some information about time;

A nanosecond (ns) is a SI unit of time equal to one billionth of a second (10−9 or 1/1,000,000,000 s). One nanosecond is to one second as one second is to 31.71 years.

Link to Wikipedia

Fairhall's  artwork Projection/ MMXVI seems to use the audiences optics to realise his theory in praxis as the watercolour painting is painted object to test his praxis time concepts with the audiences sight in a nanosecond as they recognise his artworks, its clever .

Artist:   John Cullinane 
            title: A Thought  2010                  
medium: oil on cotton  
size: 30 cm h x 23 cm w

In John Cullinane's above painting titled: " A thought" resonates a particular human condition, maybe a kind of phobia (of which humans if they didn’t have located with their mental system may well not survive for very long as it protects you at times) with the two humans featured in this  painting, existing within the one person. And strangely, one didn't think Simultaneity (happening at the same time) could exist due to the complexities of time but if the earth is a living organism, then all things associated with it must live within the same time frame, in unity and diversity and to paint this is not an easy thing to do but Cullinane succeeds very well. 

Whilst viewing Culinane's painting one starts to realise that humans live and survey there space in present time, as it soon flows into history to be organized  into some sort of  sensorial response with influence, that may be good or effected by some human condition caused either externally or internally.  Again as in Fairhall's painting uses time so does Cullinane but in a different way, his draws out human condition. 

The artworks within this small but brilliant show produces some compelling viewing by Western Australian artists making it a very like able and savvy contemporary exhibition in the now, it is long overdue to travel internationally.

Article by Peter Davidson

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Why the Wild Swan Art Group is an event to look forward to in Japan for Western Australian Art.

Cynthia Ellis - Blue Series 

Western Australian artists have the unique distinction of being in one of the remote cities in the world but nonetheless, if one uses forensic rhopography(looking at the overlooked) in analysing the artworks being created within that particular terrain, something suprising starts to happen and that is how very different and savvy each artist studio praxis turns out to be and that makes for a very interesting exhibition.

Michelle Green Bourne 
Textural Study through Nature 1

There is no doubt in my mind that The Wild Swan Art Group will make an impressive debut at Gallery Opera Labo, Nishi Ku, Kobe for many reasons here are just a couple.

Firstly, there is the idiosyncratic nature of the artist's studio praxis which starts to become evident as one unpacks each box of art being recieved at the gallery from Western Australia.

For example, one can see in the aforementioned artist’s painting up the top of this page that they exhibit a studio praxis which is very different from the other artists that they will be exhibiting with at Gallery Opera Labo.

For instance, Cynthia seems to thrive in the applications of thick sensual paint traces, whilst Michelle uses her family’s histories of embroidery, integrated with her own systems of painting, to create an aesthetic that reflects the memories of her grandmother’s passion for needle work.

Now secondly, there is another likable issue about this exhibition as it assembles far away from the studios where it was made, for it brings a very different set of memories to ones being encountered now by the audiences here in Kobe, and that is a very important matter because it has the potential for the viewers to learn something first hand and take those remembrances back to their studios or homes, to be creative with in work or relaxation. 

And lastly one looks forward now for the rest of the artworks arriving.

Article by Peter Davidson

Monday, 16 May 2016

Update - The Wild Swan Arts Group Exhibition

Lynne Norton's outstanding print that won the “Excellent Prize” in Qingdao Biennial International Print Exhibition 2000 (CHINA) titled “Impetuous Momentum”

 Peter Davidson - Mum
Pencil on arches paper 
Oval shape 20 cm h x 13 .5 

Cynthia Ellis - Blue Series 
oil on stretched linen
approximately 14 cm h x 22 cm wide 

John Cullinane's painting titled; Birdman - oil on cotton - 25 cm x 20cm

Artists participating inthe exhibtion 

  Duncan McKay, Connie Petrillo, Caspar Fairhall, Kevin Robertson, Cynthia Ellis, Peter Davidson, Michael Doherty, John Cullinane, Chelle Bourne, Lynne Norton and Diokno Pasilan

The artworks for the Wild Swan Art Group from Western Australia is now assembling at Gallery Opera Labo in Nishi Ku, Kobe, Japan and we are now looking forward to hanging them and the opening of the exhibition on the 2016/6/5

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The Wild Swan Arts Group

Gallery Opera Labo

pleased to announce

The Wild Swan Arts Group


Western Australia  

Will be coming to Nishi-Ku Kobe, Japan to exhibit in the near future
Please watch this space for further announcements 

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Lynne Norton - Gallery Opera Labo - Nishi Ku Kobe

Australian Wildflowers
Lynne Norton 
Mixed Media 2016

Currently at Gallery Opera Labo there are four works now on show by the Western Australian artist Lynne Norton a graduate from Claremont School of Art and Curtin University. These recent smallish works by Norton may well be influenced by her mothers studio praxis, being china painting with the modernist designs of Australian wildflowers as the motif.

Parents have often influenced there children one way or another within their artistic lives, Picasso's parents supported him, so did Matisse's mother, the list could go on and in Norton's case she was lucky enough to be supported by two brilliant artists, being her mother and her father Frank Norton (Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, maritime and war artist).

These current wildflower artworks on show now at Gallery Opera Labo are more than just decorative images, they reveal an artist confident within herself and passionately painting her chosen subject matter being Australian wildflowers.

Australian Wildflowers
Lynne Norton 
Mixed Media 2016

If Japan with its exquisite floral Ikebani and gardens is highly civilised, the wonderment for Australia is just how these delicate petalled flowers grow so wildly and beautifully in the very short Australian spring. How often did one see the thousands of acres of beautiful wildflowers in the deserts of Western Australia that seemed to stretch forever only to be burnt by the onset of the furnace like hellish heat that the of that long Australian summer.

Within these small artworks by Norton she puts her focus on a few petals and renders with the same driven commitment as any of the other great artists, who has rendered flowers and the results are exquisite and a joy to the human spirit which is pretty much what beautiful flora does raise your mood. 

If you're interested in any of these artworks please contact the gallery link below

Link to wildflowers

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Opera Labo new Performance/Gallery Space Nishi Ku, Kobe

This weekend Gallery Opera Labo opened its new gallery/performance space it will continue to promote and exhibit local and international artists, this weekends collaboration consisted of Makiko Karitani (Soprano), Mariko Komori (Koto), Chihoko Yamauchi (glass) and Peter Davidson (painter).


The second gallery space within the new Gallery Opera Labo 
with the Monet Pond series (from Kochi Prefecture) of Pillar Painting artworks titled by The colour of time: The poetry of light by Peter Davidson 

Above are the very well crafted glassworks
 Chihoko Yamauchi 
from Nagoya 

Contact Page!artist/iv9iu

Link to  Chihoko Yamauchi

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The Western Australian Painter Michael Doherty

Part of the audiences that has continued to come and see this first Western Australian artist exhibition at Gallery Opera Labo in Nishi Ku Kobe. Gallery Opera Labo will continue to support Artists from Western Australia as well as local artists from around Japan.

 Entrance Gallery Looking into the Opera Salon

Opera has its origins from singers performing in front of painting within artist's studios so Gallery Opera Labo continues this tradition 

Hall Gallery 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Michael Doherty Entrance and Hall Gallery Opera Labo

Abrolhos Island 2015
Still Life
oil on canvas 
26cm h x 30 cm w

Michael Doherty hails from Rockingham, Western Australia a delightful seaside town just outside of Perth, speckled with some very minor light industry and sprawling suburbs. If anyone has ever flown into Osaka one might quickly get the idea of what industry is in this world, how big and how people live amongst it but Rockingham or Perth and for that matter every Australian city has the luxury of mostly under industrialised open space, for Australia has some of the great unspoilt wildernesses in the world left on the coast and land,

Batavia Mutiny 2016
Oil on Board
30 cm h x 30 w 
(with frame)

Doherty's memory from his Irish Australian history painted with his unique imagination in studio praxis, reminds one of Eugene Delacroix and his painted travels to the Orient, many of the paintings are alive with imagination from near, far and very distant shores with premonitions of the the odd alien visitation.   

Doherty's motifs from his imagination and family story telling as there is a image of his grandfather seeing the Titanic as it sailed into its own demise reveal the history is important and art history to the painter is still the greatest sources of learning like Picasso and Cezanne stand testament to from there years spent researching in the Louvre.

A Painter's imagination within studio praxis apparently only captures the attention of the audience, if their intentionality's of trace is charges with adventure into uncharted calligraphic horizons in painting. And Doherty does this with savvy there appears no shying away from difficult subject matter, each memory that appears on the canvas from his studio praxis presents new and challenging aesthetic difficulties, this has been intelligently worked out with assorted of hues, tones, half tints, scrapes, scumbles, short, sharp and long brushes marks taking his painting at its most interesting apogee.

Ghost Ship 2015
Oil onm Board
20 cm h x 22 cm w 

Lastly, it is great to see fine art intermingling with the Opera school as it has been been cross fertilising each other for centuries. In listening to a lecture by a Leading Japanese conductor/tenor and as translated to me, it appears Opera started by singers singing in artists studios in front of their paintings, so this historically close relationship is continuing in Opera Labo Kobe.

Audience in the Hall Gallery