An Exhibition of Etchings, Paintings and Drawings by Pamela Griffith and David Voigt.
22 June to 23 July, 2013 in the Octagon Artspace
Opening and meet the artists Saturday 22nd June from 2pm
A Bungendore Wood Works Gallery 30th Year Anniversary Exhibition.
When Bungendore Wood Works Gallery opened its new doors to the current Gallery in 1994, Pamela Griffith was the first visual artist to grace the walls of the upstairs, exhibition specific Octagon ArtSpace.
Two years earlier she had opened her woodworking brother Andrew Gittoes’ exhibition in the original Wood Works Gallery located in the historic Bungendore Store just across the road. A widely known and acclaimed artist, Pamela’s printmaking and painting skills have been apparent in the Gallery ever since, including her four solo and three group exhibitions.
In 2003 Pamela introduced friend, painter and printmaker David Voigt to the Wood Works. He had an exhibition at the Finnish Embassy in Canberra and she was concurrently showing her Colours of Green solo exhibition at this Gallery. David has since had five solo shows and participated in two group exhibitions here.
The pair first worked together in 1984 as two of eight selected artists taking part in The Lord Howe Island Print Project. The project was the brainchild of French entrepreneur Michel Lefebvre, a devotee of everything Lord Howe, in association with Stan D’Hauticlot the Director of Stadia Graphics Gallery, Sydney’s first printmaking specific Gallery.
The eight chosen printmakers travelled separately on two occasions each to Lord Howe Island to produce plates that captured natural and social aspects of the Island. The resultant etchings would vie for selection to become part of the intended Lord Howe Island Suite.
Pamela was awarded the first major commission for her then recently opened Griffith Studio and Graphic Workshop to produce the print editions of the eight artists’ selected works. The fully subscribed suites now sit in national collections.
Prior to that the two artists had met at various exhibitions in and around Sydney. Born one year apart they grew up in the same suburb and attended secondary schools within a kilometre or two of each other.
She studied as an art teacher at Sydney Teachers College and East Sydney Technical College – The National Art School and later graduated from The Alexander Mackie Art School (now COFA). He studied fine art at The National Art School located in the Eastern Suburbs hub of Sydney’s vibrant arts community.
Both have travelled similar paths to recognition and national and international acclaim. They were concurrent stars of the renowned Barry Stern Gallery in Paddington in the heady art rich heydays of the 1980s, and went on to share relationships with other Galleries in the Blue Mountains, Newcastle, suburban and regional Sydney and in Melbourne.
David Voigt reminisces, “There was a restaurant culture in the 80s. We were all making buckets of money and sat around in cafés having five course lunches and dinners. And it was a real feather in your beret, so to speak, if you managed to win a major art prize.” He won the Blake Prize in 1976 and 1981 and the Wynne Prize in 1981 for good measure.
Pamela believes art is there for everyone and her many public projects included: the original canvas for the cover of Australian jazz group Galapagos Duck’s Lonely George CD; the etchings to illustrate jazz musician Don Harper’s ABC produced Images of Australia CD; the Waratah image for the NSW Drivers Licence; designing the toiles for the Australian Bicentenary and for the Beatification of Mary MacKillop which drew particular comment from the Pope on the beauty of the fabric. The 21 Heads of Nations attending APEC in 2007 received her Australia – an artist’s journey through the landscape publication. Both artists have works in the collections of numerous state and regional galleries, and the National Gallery of Australia.
Pamela Griffith and David Voigt are two artistic spirits traversing a shared parallel universe, their relationship and friendship spans over thirty years. They have lived through the same time and space.
She came to respect him as an artist, believing his work to be outstanding, she loved to watch him draw and the way he worked with colour. He is eternally grateful for her generosity in passing on her amazing technical skills and her ability for discovering and sharing new outlets for their work.
Their skill sets, aesthetics and prolific outputs are equal, yet different, and hang together at complete ease in a state of symbiosis – attractive to the eye and meaningful to the mind.
The personalities and visual output of this enduring, like-minded artistic duo have graced this Gallery with their collective presence for over thirty years. I highly commend this exhibition of their etchings, paintings and drawings to you as an important part of Bungendore Wood Works Gallery’s 30th Year Anniversary celebrations.
Stan d’Argeavel MA Visual Arts (ANU)