Collection offers support to art

Dianne Dempsey | Bendigo Weekly | 17-Jul-2015

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seeing red: Louise Weaver with her art. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN
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Once upon a time there were the Medicis, the Visconti, the Sforza, patrons of the arts who underwrote the Italian Renaissance.

In contemporary Australia their equivalent is represented by individuals such as Arthur Guy, Harold Mitchell and on a regional level, Rod Fyffe.

The unique aspect of the Michael Buxton Collection is that the charter of the patronage is to support a range of contemporary artists on a long term basis,
allowing them precious time to expand and develop their work.

One of the 16 eminent artists represented in the Bendigo Art Gallery’s latest exhibition is Louise Weaver who said she is highly appreciative of Michael Buxton’s support.

“Michael’s collection is structured so that he supports you in the long run,” she said.

“By acquiring my work his foundation has allowed me to continue as a professional artist and for that I am truly grateful.

“Michael genuinely loves art and he enjoys the company of artists as well. Many of them are his friends.”

Weaving’s most striking work, the centrepiece of the exhibition, is Taking a Chance on Love (2003). Accompanied by a recording of Harpo Marx’s harp rendition of Taking a

Chance on Love, the sculpture consists of three crochet-clad animals on a carpet island.

The piece is in a vivid cherry red and is both joyous and challenging.

“Red is a colour that is passionate, optimistic and hopeful,” Weaver said.

“The cast of each animal was made from a once living animal.

“Each individual animal speaks for other animals.

“I am pointing to the potential for evolution and growth and metaphorically speaking I am asking that we reflect on ourselves.”  

Established in 1995, the collection now spans three generations of artists, representative of practices from the 1980s onwards. It encompasses a broad range of visual media; from painting, sculpture, photography and drawing, to ambitious installations, and highlights the many ways artists experiment with different forms and subjects.

This is a unique opportunity to view the collection before it is permanently housed in Melbourne. 

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