Trivial Pursuits

Egg Café, Newington
25th July - 17th August 2008

Reviewed by Megan Agnew

Taking in the current Trivial Pursuits exhibition at Egg Café is much like a treasure hunt: explore every corner of this intimate space and you will discover a wonderfully eclectic pick and mix of painting, mixed media and drawing. The exhibition showcases the work of eight artists, grouped together based on the style of their work. You may have difficulty pinpointing a common theme; the trick is not to try.

George Cottier’s acrylic explorations are heavily atmospheric and rich in metaphor. His violent and provoking studies are delivered directly, uniting local sites and contemporary figures with gore and horror. The large canvas Concert Square dominates its space with stark colour contrasts. The opposite wall tells a different story. Lauren Reis’ Protection is a work of calming influence. The dramatic colour scheme employed by both Cottier and Kaya Sinclair contrast dramatically with Reis’ use of pastels. Where Cottier’s work challenges and startles, Reis’ images create a reflective space where the viewer is instantly transported on a wave or a breeze.

Both Claire Weetman’s figure studies and Amanda Roberts’ mixed media prints employ dynamic and experimental execution. Overlaying lines and images, Weetman takes a particular space and captures the movement of people through it. Felicity Rothwell’s Face Series similarly focuses on a feeling of movement over three canvases. She manages to capture the human energy and sense of life without focusing on it directly.

Karen Gilbert uses her medium to deceive and confuse the viewer. Disguising acrylic experiments as mixed media, these pieces jolt the onlooker into recognition once initial assumptions are proved false. In the same fashion, the entire exhibition challenges preconceptions. From large studies, to Esther Ruth Payne’s intricate doodles in biro and pencil, each work speaks for itself and demands enjoyment on its own terms. What follows is a rich tapestry of interwoven meaning, portraying the intimate subtleties of the human condition. With so much variety, you’re sure to find something which strikes a chord.

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