Michael Glasheen Drawing on the Land : Garigal Country. Paintings, Drawings and Works on Paper, 360 Virtual Reality Benefit Exhibition. Curated by Juno Gemes and Adrian 27 – 30 June 2020 Cooee Gallery 326 Oxford Street Paddington NSW
Michael (better known as Mick) Glasheen has been a pioneering force in the fields of experimental film and interactive media since the late 1960s. Glasheen studied Art with Brett Whiteley, Martin Sharp, Tim Storrier and Lyndon Dadswell at the National Art School (NAS), and Architecture at The University of New South Wales between 1959 and the early 1960s, and was amongst the first of its graduates to work in experimental film documentary of Aboriginal Australia. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller’s visit to Sydney in 1964, he began to create the 16mm film entitled The Evolution, which was released in 1966. In the May issue of Oz magazine in that same year, Glasheen produced a pop art centre-spread he called the Oz Pop Shop Catalogue — a collage of advertising signs and packaging labels. From it came works that were included in the exhibition Oz Super Art Mart, at Terry Clune’s Kings Cross gallery. In 1970 Glasheen became a founding member of the Yellow House alongside Martin Sharp, Albie Thoms, Juno Gemes, Peter Kingston, Brett Whiteley, Peter Wright, Antionette Starkiewicz, George Gittoes, Bruce Goold, Greg Weight, Garry Shead and David Litvinoff.
In 1972, Glasheen became the founder of Bush Video, a collaborative group of filmmakers, artists, and experts in electronics and computer technologies, who together produced experimental video art. He has made numerous experimental films, videos and interactive media since that time. During the past twenty-five years, living on the northern beaches of Sydney, Glasheen has drawn and painted the Australian landscape with a vision of creating art as an immersive 360-degree experience, with multiple vanishing points. Inspired by Aboriginal rock carvings, he has developed a new way of drawing Country, in relation to the traditional custodians of the land.
Following a series of recent health issues, including a series of small strokes, this benefit exhibition is being held to raise urgently needed funds to support Glasheen’s rehabilitation at home. Glasheen developed a deep knowledge and respect for Aboriginal traditional culture and its spiritual connection to Country. This exhibition includes his surreal renderings of Australian landscape based on the rock art sites, coastal vistas and caves of the Sydney/Hawkesbury and South Coast regions. True to the tradition of plein-air they have been painstakingly executed in pencil, onsite over many months. These are subsequently used as source materials for further experimentation. They are photographed then printed in various scales and visually dramatised with colour and imposed imagery where they are variously coloured using pastel and paint.
The Michael Glasheen benefit exhibition, Drawing on the Land : Garigal Country, at Cooee Gallery draws together works from his last four exhibitions including paintings and drawings from the show at Manly Art Gallery in 2017. Also included are previously unseen works from the artist’s studio. Through this significant body of work, Glasheen reveals a fresh and exciting view of the most ancient form of Aboriginal Art, employing completely original techniques devised by him to honour these sites and their deepest meanings.
The benefit exhibition only runs until Tuesday 30 June at the Cooee Gallery 326 Oxford Street Paddington, NSW, phone (02) 8057 6789 or email email@example.com
Click on the link above to open an on-line catalogue of the exhibition.
– Linda Adair and Mark Roberts