ELEVEN unique and giant masks are on show at the Art Gallery of Ballarat as part of Locals Rule: Identity.
Each mask tells a personal story about an artist with ties to the region and their experience practicing their craft here.
The exhibition is co-curated by Jay Rankine, who’s also showing during the event, and said many of the works we’re often challenging from conception but satisfying to deliver.
“The highlights are achieving the things that we were told went possible,” he said.
With some of the works almost two meters tall, their imposing presence is tempered by their engageability and detail.
All are different, and clearly personal, and each gives a glimpse into the mind of their creator.
The masks are made with a range of different materials and methods, from traditional techniques and media to industrial fabrication processes in things like sheet metal.
Rankine, who’s sculped before but mainly in wood or paper, said he’d learned new skills in metalworking and was assisted by teams at Deakin University to produce his piece – Interface – a giant and angled, polished aluminium head.
“It’s been a learning curve,” he said. “I mock things up out of cardboard and then go from that to metal.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot on this show, like techniques. Which has been great. It’s a lot of problem solving, that’s basically what artists do, solve a problem.”
Conceived over a year ago as a 2D show of prints, the exhibition took on new life through wall mounted sculpture as planning progressed.
Many of the artists involved had never worked in 3D before and that presented a challenge for Rankine and joint-curator Kat Barrand. “We helped with the process of brining their initial concepts, giving feedback and into the reality of what it is now,” Rankine said. Locals Rule: Identity is currently on show at the Art Gallery of Ballarat until February.
Along with Rankine and Barrand the event also features Bacondrum, Cax One, Cody Joy, Bren Luke, Ben Mangan, Aislinn McKinnis, Travis Price, Karl Stehn and Karl Woodward.