Racheal Bruhn Exhibition + Arch Lane Public Art 1989
By Rachael Brühn
Here are a few images from my exhibition at Arch Lane Public Art in 1989, Portraits (For a few years I’d taken photos of people I knew as a reference material) I exhibited 150 small paintings of these, oil on linen.
Basically white, oil, graphite with the outline of the head in glow in the dark paint on linen 30cm x 30cm. I liked the idea that at night, when no one was in the space, the show would be there for in another way to see or not see. The line work created a landscape line of outlined faces, it was like the presence of the people had changed yet again, leaving a residue.
The marks even more distinct than the images seen in daylight. The distinct outlines left no doubt who was pictured, atleast I could see that the outlines were cues enough to imagine the person. Each portrait was a group of three, just like mug shots. They were shot in sequence, one landscape format format, another set portrait format. The final painting sets were square. It worked well within the Arch Lane Public Art space, an artist-run off Adelaide Street.
It turned out to be like a catalogue of friends, family before I left Brisbane. A little bitter sweet thing. I had never intended that the show was to be the last one, as I had a show I had set up in the Salvation Army Warehouse, Teneriffe of my jugs on TV paintings (30 oil on linen, 840 x 840mm).
Artist John Hill had a friend who worked there as a manager and he had agreed for me to hang them off the big posts throughout the space. In one of those true Brisbane instances, the night before I was going to hang the work, the warehouse burnt down. No, it wasn’t the one that infamous burnt down during a big thunderstorm genre, but as I understood, just one of those things. That was going to be my last show, as I was fast running out of time… but it didn’t happen, so the Portrait show at Arch Lane became my final solo show in Brisbane (while I was still resident).
So, most of these paintings ended up with my mother, until I would bring more down to Canberra to paint over and remake into new work. My mother was the one who manned my shows so she has recollections of the shows
Many of these photos were taken at both the Pink Palace and Hillside Crescent, two of the many shared houses and apartment blocks where artists lived throughout the 1980s. And the photo of Terry is at the famous Cosmopolitan Cafe in Fortitude Valley.