Cooks Hill Galleries opens 2018 with new talent

New work: Devil Mountain Desert Dreaming, by Kathleen Petyarre.

New work: Devil Mountain Desert Dreaming, by Kathleen Petyarre.

Mark Widdup is opening the new year at his Cooks Hill Galleries with a burst of new work from a variety of artists.

The show, Insights 2018, provides a peek into what artists and shows are coming to the gallery this year. The exhibition, which opens Saturday, February 10, at 4pm, has an emphasis on diversity as well as an introduction to some new faces.

It showcases a wide range of all styles and mediums.

As Widdup, who has been in business for more than 40 years, makes strides to stay relevant in an ever-changing world, the show’s opening will be shown live on CHG’s Facebook page from  4.40pm on Saturday.

Among the artists in the hang of 25 works across two galleries:

James Freiberg – a Sydney-based artist showing with CHG for the first time. “He has two fabulous pop-type works, as well as some still life, with beautiful, energised direction and beach subjects,” Widdup says.

Ben Kenning – The Newcastle artist was selected as a finalist in the Muswellbrook Art Prize again this year. His works include some black and white sculptures that Widdup calls “fun, quirky and exciting”. His offerings are a taste of the work he will exhibit in a show scheduled for June at CHG.

Kathleen Petyarre – This will be the first time the work of this indigenous artist has been shown at the galleries.

Rebecca Pierce – This is the first time in three years she has shown at CHG. The Sydney-based artist works in an impasto style, showing still life, landscape and some figurative pieces with her signature brilliant colours and big, bold textured slab-type style.

Paul O’Brien –  On show is a major piece, It’s like swimming in champagne, an Impressionist painting of Merewether pool with the pump station. “It’s very iconic,” Widdup says. “Incredible detailing, light play, the water chop across the surface … he has an amazing control of colour.”

There is also new work from James Willebrant and David Beschi.

All told, Widdup is pretty excited by the fresh start. “Some of the works are quite large, with a wow factor. If you are looking for modern contemporary, there’s a good range of styles,” he says.