Community support makes acquisition possible

Published on 02 September 2019

Donation of Michelle Black artwork by Friends of Gallery.

Friends of the Gallery have purchased and donated an artwork to Rockhampton Art Gallery collection. The work by artist Michelle Black, titled Overflow I 2019 was purchased from The Bayton Award 2019.

Overflow I represented the talent and artistry of Central Queensland at this point in time, and captures the practice of Michelle Black, an artist who is extending and exploring in a sympathetically way to their practice, the region and the broader arts industry.

The Bayton Award and accompanying exhibition highlights the creativity and variety of artistic endeavour in our region. Drawing on artwork produced over the last twelve months, the exhibition reveals the shared concerns of artists living in Central Queensland. It is a snapshot of the many ways artists create and indicates the depth of creative skill across our community.

Friends of the Gallery is a membership program that supports activities to advance community interest in the visual arts. Friends of the Gallery provide likeminded people who seek artistic and cultural enjoyment, entertainment and education, making financial contributions towards the building, acquisition of artworks for the collection, as well as Gallery programs. Friends of the Gallery are proactive in the enhancement of the collection, increasing awareness for the Project and broader patronage.

The purchase of Michelle Black, titled Overflow I 2019 is only possible thought the support of the wider community at events and programs held by Friends of the Gallery. The purchase was made in consultation with Rockhampton Art Gallery.

President of Friends of Rockhampton Art Gallery, Tracey Siddins said, ‘Overflow I is an exemplar of Black’s developing style and the ongoing experimentation with materials specific to the Central Queensland region, and creating works with materials that echo back the ebbs and flows of the local environment.

She added, ‘The artwork holds great potential to collect against in the future, and will provide the opportunity to compare and contrast Black’s stylistic development with number of other works by Black already held in the collection.’

Over the past 2-3 years the membership Friends of the Rockhampton Art Gallery has grown exponentially and it is through this growing support of the gallery we have been able to raise the funds to make this purchase to add to the collection’ Added Tracey.

“Overflow I is an extension of a body of work that I completed in 2018 where I focused on using materials from the environment (Fitzroy River mud) combined with the news of the day from the local papers to help tell the story of historic floods in Rockhampton in response to the republishing by Coorooman Press of “Early History of Rockhampton” by JTS Bird.”

Overflow I saw me using the same mud to create flows of sediment across a large printing plate, much like the stinky, black oozing sediment that remains after being spread across the landscape during times of flood. A drypoint layer illustrates the winding journey of the Fitzroy to give the work context and different layers and colours enhance the depth of the texture” says printmaker, Michelle Black.

 “Everyone wants to run their hand over the work.”

“This is the first time that I have entered the Bayton Award and I was thrilled and honoured at the acquisition of the work for the Rockhampton Art Gallery. The work by the other artists is outstanding, so it was a great surprise. I’d like to thank the Friends of the Art Gallery for making it possible.”

Chair of Rockhampton Regional Council’s Communities Committee Cr Rose Swadling thanked the Friends of the Gallery for their generous donation.

“We have many local artist producing works of a high calibre and it is great to see another local’s work represented in the Art Gallery’s collection,” she said.