Tim Bowtell - 'Greta Thunberg leading the Next Generation' - Upstairs Downstairs Exhibition, Gallery 2 to Saturday 7 March
Title : Greta Thunberg leading the Next Generation (work in progress)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Artist : Tim Bowtell
Although this painting is not finished – there is more to do, the artist Tim Bowtell has kindly agreed to the request to exhibit it for this collection of NEA Studio Artists’ work.
This is a traditional painting with a contemporary and topical subject. Actually, the idea of a traditional painting with a contemporary and topical subject is traditional as well. Artists such as Delacriox, David, Picasso, Arthur Streeton and Juan Davila and an army of others have successfully stung the public consciousness with artworks which bring timeless ideas and values to the fore.
Jacque Louis David’s “The Oath of the Horatii” (1875) depicted a Roman patrician holding swords upward for his sons to take in commitment and pledge to defend Rome. Originally exhibited in the Paris Salon, the painting created a great controversy which carried across to the evolving political climate in France at the time. 1875 was the year of the establishment of the Third Republic in France. The painting now stars in the Louvre.
Arthur Streeton painted “The Last of the Messmates” in 1928. The painting depicts a lone tree standing in a cleared landscape. Cleared as far as the eye can see. The land is littered with the trash of the former Dandenong Ranges forest. Streeton and the Australian painters of his “Impressionist” group focussed on the Australian land, the environment and its particular beauty. “The Last of the Messmates” was a protest painting, foretelling the end of the forestation of the Dandenongs – once called the lungs of Melbourne….
The centre of this composition is Greta Thunberg. The three figures on the ground in blue suits raise their arms and form a pyramid composition drawing the eye to Greta. Behind Greta are her followers. They are all young. She leads them away from the devastation of the landscape ravaged with fires and polluting smoke. The blue suited figures in the foreground attempt to stop Greta, but her eyes are firmly raised above their entreating arms. One of the raised hands holds a lump of coal.
This painting was commenced well before the current fire season began. Some people will find it quite unsettling.
Over the past few years a 'between exhibitions' tradition has been established of exhibition team members bringing work from the upstairs studios into the Exhibition Gallery (Gallery 2). These exhibitions now have a title - 'Upstairs Downstairs'..
The current, 'Upstairs Downstairs' exhibition features work from studio artists Mervyn Beamish, Bruce Buckley, Frank Burgers, Katharine Martin-Burgers and Simon Klose; costumes from the Killer Pig Productions team and a large work in progress by Tim Bowtell. There may also be works on display by other local artists during the exhibition.
'Upstairs, Downstairs' exhibition, NEA Exhibitions Gallery, 12 January to 7 March 2020
"It's not easy being green" - Tim Bowtell reclaiming Greta - 2 January 2020
"Merry Christmas to all the NEA family, it’s been a wonderful year at NEA. Thanks for all that you do to keep the dream alive. Let’s make 2020 even better! " Tim Bowtell, NEA President
Tim is pictured here outside the Benalla Rural City offices with the portrait of Greta Thunberg he painted for the Window to Window Festival. in early December 2019.
This year was the second year for two new annual festivals in Benalla, 'Benalla Rugged Up' in August, and 'the Window to Window' Christmas Festival in December. Like the Wall to Wall Festival in April, Benalla Rugged Up and Window to Window encourage the community to 'See the art in everything', which is the vision of Benalla Rural City's tourism strategy.
While 'Benalla Rugged Up' caused a flutter on social media, a veritable storm of activity developed surrounding the art work of NEA founder and president Tim Bowtell on Benalla Rural City's Mair Street window during'Window to Window' .. Picked up early by Sky News, also appearing in the Daily Mail in the UK, it was pleasing to see reports over the following days on regional television stations becoming better informed and balanced,
Discussions have continued, with most of the Letters to the Editor (three pages) in this week's Benalla Ensign about Tim's painting -- nearly all of which were positive!
Tim's compelling portrait of Greta Thunberg, draws from and is representative of Tim's current work. Tim describes being surprised that around 90% of people who spoke to him while he was painting weren't aware of Greta Thunberg, and is pleased that his work has acted as such a catalyst for conversations about climate change.
The announcement by Time Magazine of Greta as their Person of the Year a few days into the controversy on social media proved a wonderful endorsement of Tim's choice of a portrait of Greta for his window.
Here are two of the later reports from mainstream media, the first featuring an interview with Tim at NEA.
The second item from 9 News Border North East includes responses by Renewable Energy Benalla's John Lloyd and Benalla Sustainable Future Group's President Peter Holmes
An occasional BLog
NEA members Mervyn Beamish, Tim Bowtell, John Holschier, Irene Korotkow, Mike Larkin, Cathy Pianta, Tanya Tabone, Sally Wallace and Mal Webster in action!
Photographs: thanks to Annie Longmuir, Bev Lee, Rustik Cafe, Mal Webster
The brainchild of NEA's Exhibitions Coordinator Simon Klose, the $50 Christmas Exhibition is now underway in the Exhibitions Gallery (Gallery 2). Featuring works by NEA members, early sales are promising - new works will be installed as works sell! If something takes your eye, our Gallery Shop volunteers will assist you.
Photos - Annie Longmuir, Bev Lee, Simmon Tan; Cooinda, with more to be added.
Tim Bowtell's entry into Swanpool Art Festival's SCRAP exhibition in 2018 is on display in the foyer window gallery space at NEA.
Title: 'Treadmill of Perpetual Happiness' (2018)
Artist's Statement: "Climate Change is my inspiration, it speaks of mass production and the over consumption of 'stuff' we don't need. We live in a system that plugs in to our insecurities, selling us stuff to make us feel better. Using SCRAP to create a positive move towards a healthier planet!"
Materials-Medium: 'Old conveyor belt and frame, buttons, switches, castors, electrical wire, plugs and security camera all salvaged from scrap yard. Human form from scrap metal frame and papier mache.
NEA's Merv Beamish, Tim Bowtell, Janet Leith, Kirsty Maclean, Ruth Mollison and Cornelia Selover will be among 30+ artists painting murals with a Christmas icon somewhere in the picture on shop windows in Benalla from 11 am to 6 pm next Friday 30th November. Watch the artists working on Friday! Follow up visits over the festive season to see the finished works will make being in Benalla extra special over the festive season.
"The ‘Collins Street farmer’ represents the corporate organisations that have taken control of our food chain. He looks down at a hamburger that consumed around 2,500 litres of water to produce.
The city scape in the background describes the affluent Western world fed by these farming practices, people disconnected and too busy to think about where their food comes from and how it is produced.
Look carefully in the top left corner and you will see a bulldozer clearing the last remaining old growth forest. Acres of monoculture corn and soy sprawl across the horizon where these forests once stood. The primate on the stump sits helplessly wondering where its home has gone. The dead canary sends an alarming message to stop these unsustainable practices before all species on the planet are doomed.
The cows are locked in small yards. Part of the production line, they are force-fed corn on a conveyor belt. The markings on the cows form the world map indicating that this is a world problem, while on the other cow the face of an African child peers out, wondering why that corn isn’t grown to feed his starving country.
The whole scene plays out in knee-deep rising water caused by global warming and rising sea levels.
My mural was inspired after watching a documentary called ‘Cowspiracy - the sustainability secret’. For me it was a game changer. I became a vegetarian the very next day.
“Filmmaker Kip Andersen uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organisations are too afraid to talk about it.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.”
An Occasional Blog
Tim's ‘Cornography’ – mural can be found on the Benalla Senior Citizens Community Centre building, 17 Fawckner Drive, Benalla on the wall looking towards the Sir Weary Dunlop Learning Centre.
‘Cowspiracy – the sustainability secret’ at www.cowspiracy.com/facts/
Tim Bowtell's 'Asha' portrait the first of a series of artwork by NEA artists on display at the Benalla Rural City Council Offices in Bridge Street
Over the coming months artwork by a NEA artist will be exhibited in the display window of the Rural City of Benalla offices in Bridge Street. This is the result of an arts bank like leasing project inspired and facilitated by Benalla's Mayor, Councillor Don Firth.
The first painting, on display in the Council window, is Tim Bowtell's portrait of 'Asha'. .
Tim Bowtell loves to paint all manner of subjects and executes them in the most appropriate medium.
Tim is fascinated by building and architectural images – many of his works reflect this. Paintings of buildings of local interest – the Benalla Council Chambers prior to restoration; BPACC; the signal box near the railway station, are now in private collections.
Tim’s interest in social issues is reflected in works including his acquisitive prize winning painting for the 2016 Tatong Art Show ‘Chinese New Era’; the Gandhi wall opposite NEA; (Wall to Wall Festival 2016) and his thought provoking 'Sticks and Stones' wall on the railway side of the 'Primal' gym building (Wall to Wall Festival 2017). Tim's latest wall (on the library side of the Benalla Senior Citizens Community Centre has roots in his reaction to watching documentary film 'Cowspiracy'.(Wall to Wall Benalla 2018).
Street Art painting has taken a grip since Tim had the opportunity to paint a mural in the 2016 Benalla Wall to Wall festival. Tim enjoys creating aerosol works on canvas as well as on walls and enjoys the challenge of commissioned work. His commissioned works at the Mokoan rest stop and Winton Wetlands are much admired.
Tim works from his open studio at NEA.
'Asha' Tim Bowtell 200cm x 150cm
An occasional BLog.
After identifying a need for training to start more actively using NEA's Instagram account, the media team called upon Candice (@candicejanecreative), who had helped to set it up. Here's Tim's first choice as a post - Mal Webster's 'All Star Sneakers'.
Thank you so much for spending time training us, Candice. Your presentation and practical support were excellent!. We are going to recommend another training session for our volunteer exhibitors and would recommend you highly to anyone seeking Instagram training.
There are links to our Instagram page on the News Page and in the footer - here's the direct link. https://www.instagram.com/northeastartisans/
Occasional Blog by Bev Lee
NEA;s Tim Bowtell is currently exhibiting work at Chocolate Lane
Pamella Francis from Chocolate Lane cafe in the lane near the Bridge in Bridge Street loves art. An active member of the Hay arts community before coming to Benalla, Pamella has created a unique 'chocoholics heaven' in a little lane next to the Commercial Hotel.
Late last year Pamella and NEA's Tim Bowtell developed the concept of a partnership between Choolate Lane and NEA which has resulted in an occasional program of exhibitions featuring NEA artists or artists recommended by NEA members.
Merv Beamish's Pop Up Exhibition commenced the exhibition program in mid December 2016, with Merv's warm, impressionistic oil pastels and acrylics perfect for a cafe environment and adding to the welcoming atmosphere at Chocolate Lane.
To add to the atmosphere during the Wall to Wall Festival, Adam Knapper was suggested to Pamela. Adam, who has strong links to the Molyullah area and NEA through his family, exhibited at Chocolate Lane from March 31st to May 13th.. Adam's engaging collection of quirky, affordable café art clearly drew upon his involvement in the graffiti art movement of the eighties. You can read Adam's bio here.
NEA's Tim Bowtell. is currently exhibiting work at Chocolate Lane. Check out Tim's paintings during Chocolate Lane's winter opening hours - Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings.
**'The Occasional Blogger' is open for submissions by NEA members.
Send copy to email@example.com
Tim's workshops have been deferred while he works on a range of other projects. News of upcoming workshops will be included in the emailed newsletter (if you are not on the mailing list - send details to firstname.lastname@example.org) and this website.
Some photos from Tim's previous intermediate workshop in March.
Photos -Tim Bowtell, Nicole Reed, Benalla Ensign,, Bev Lee and Jeanette Clarke
Wall to Wall Benalla Festival
Benalla Street Art Map to 2017
Wots4Me Benalla Youth
Juddy Roller Wall to Wall
Benalla Art Gallery
Shepparton Art Museum
Goulburn and North East Arts Alliance (GANEAA)
Wangaratta Art Gallery
Benalla Camera Club
Broken River Potters
Broken River Painters
Table Top Games at NEA