Give peace a chance

Coffs Harbour City Gallery director Sandra Warner takes a closer look at Ship of Fools which was created by artist John van der
Coffs Harbour City Gallery director Sandra Warner takes a closer look at Ship of Fools which was created by artist John van der

IF you've been looking for an easy way to unwind this week Coffs Harbour City Gallery director Sandra Warner has the ideal setting.

One of the most significant statewide exhibitions is currently visiting Coffs Harbour, titled The State of Art: Peace, the exhibition brings together artworks of wealth from all over regional NSW.

The display involves 37 regional galleries, 37 curators and 49 artworks from around the state.

Ms Warner said that regional galleries had been part of a State's cultural and social life since the Broken Hill Gallery was established in 1904.

"They have since blossomed into a network that continues to expand and develop," Ms Warner said.

"Essentially, this exhibition tells the story of an incredible, vital network of galleries which play a key role in stimulating the cultural life of this state."

In this exhibition each gallery was asked to contribute either a work from their collection, or a work by a local artist, that most suits the theme of peace.

"I invited high profile Coramba painter Guy Gilmour to submit a work on behalf of our gallery. Another of our local artists, John van der Kolk is included in the show," she said.

His sculpture, A ship of Fools was actually selected from the collection of Tweed River Regional Art Gallery.

Some galleries have selected images which look at peace in the context of man's relationship with the environment. Others have looked at interpretations of inner peace and wisdom, peace and war artists in the peace process and the sanctuary of home.

Through painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics and textiles, the exhibition spans nearly 60 years of Australian art from 1944 to 2003.

Other artists whose works are included in the exhibition include John Coburn, Shiga Shigeo, Noel Counihan, Max Dupain, Sue Rosenthal and Gina Sinozich.

The State of Art: peace is being toured by Manly Art Gallery and Museum and supported by the NSW Ministry for Arts, the Regional Galleries Association of NSW and the museums and galleries Foundation of NSW.

The exhibition is on show at the Coffs Harbour City Gallery until July 16. It is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Admission is free.

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