The Eye Exhibition
by Michael Edwards
The Eye, Michael Edwards
August 6th – 15th 2012
The Sugar Wharf, Dixie Street, Port Douglas Queensland
Contact Michael Edwards 0412200572 Email m.edwards51ATbigpond.com
A table set with hand painted trompe-d’oeil dishes of sumptuous seafood, paintings evocative of the 1920’s De Stijl movement, writhing rainforests, jewellery studded with fabulous Queensland sapphires and images of eyes everywhere provide the mood for local Port Douglas artist Michael Edwards’ The Eye exhibition that explores the relationship between art and design at the historic Sugar Wharf, Port Douglas in August.
Bringing together the combined talents of four gifted artists, painter and jewellery artist Michael Edwards, installation artist and designer Cynthia Spencer, mosaic artist Danielle Spira and painter Scott Jenner, The Eye runs the gauntlet of styles as diverse as the European masters of the sixteenth century, the bold colours of the 1920’s, the depths of surrealism, the edge of contemporary painting, the pointillism of mosaic art and the opulence of designer jewellery.
The deep blue eyes that define the exhibition are everywhere, they look out from paintings in multiple expressions, from the backs of chairs, from huge eggs in a massive eagle’s nest. They reflect the essence of life itself and provide a window to the soul.
“The Eye” is entertaining, challenging and inspiring taking visitors on a trip through the minds of four artists whose work is quite extraordinary, a must see for locals and tourists alike giving visitors to this quintessential holiday destination the opportunity to soak up iconic images and take away a piece of Port Douglas as a reminder of the freedom of their fun filled days on the beach.
Michael Edwards’ works on canvas expose the muscular tensions of the rainforest transforming the curves and sinews of the plant world into intertwined body forms that compete to reach up to the sky.
A nude siren lures her viewer to an uncertain fate, tropical blooms brilliantly burst from their foliage and sensuously voluptuous fruits are in need of protection from themselves – nothing is quite as it seems.
Michael Edwards’ work is molded with dexterity using the techniques of the great masters to exquisite effect while his contemporary jewellery opens up another dimension teaming silver and gold to clasp the precious gems he digs from his sapphire mine in central Queensland into bold statement designs worthy of the red carpet.
Established artist, Scott Jenner, who lived and worked in Port Douglas before moving to a farm in the wilds of Tasmania, exhibits his latest neo plastic paintings drawn from the De Stijl movement providing a sharp edge to the exhibition and complementing the works of New South Wales mosaic artist Danielle Spira, whose regular visits to Far North Queensland have led her to create decorative pieces with bold blocks of colour inspired by the wildlife of the tropics, the works of Matisse and the bold iconic face of Luna Park.
Cynthia Spencer’s work delves into design itself as an art form using colour and shape to create geometric works on canvas, based on the concept of “self” juxtaposed to her political work entitled “This is not a dress”.
Installation works punctuate the exhibition space.
“The Room”, a tableau luncheon set with trick-of-the-eye gourmet servings of luscious seafood hand painted on porcelain plates by Michael Edwards surrounded by contemporary dining paintings amid the hubble bubble sounds of unseen guests on Eye chairs evokes the relaxing cocktail environment of the tropics, where brilliant mornings drift into sensuous balmy afternoons.
“The Boy” has the sinister challenging edge of a small figure defiantly holding out against unseen threats from inside his blackened booth that at once offers protection and imprisonment.
“Pineapple Crush” a collaborative work by Spencer and Edwards is a functional soft artwork brilliantly conceived and exquisitely executed while “Bookcase” takes the theme of Spencer’s “Self” paintings that leap off the canvas into a piece of furniture that is at once artwork and functional design.
“Cane” provides a connection back to the hard working romanticism of the early cane cutters.