Short-films capture ideas behind artists

ARTS IN FOCUS: Dina Consalvo is the subject of a film by John Cliff.
ARTS IN FOCUS: Dina Consalvo is the subject of a film by John Cliff.

THREE short films will provide a glimpse into the minds and ideas behind the work of three established Newcastle painters. The short-films will be screened in conjunction with an exhibition of the works by Peter Lankas, Dino Consalvo and Paul Maher. 

The exhibition at G139 gallery at the University of Newcastle, currently underway, will showcase the artists works in conjunction with the films of John Cliff. Cliff said he tried to use film to offer insight into how the artists work. 

“A little bit of what is behind the works, why they are doing it that way and what the work is meant to communicate to an audience,” Cliff said. 

Cliff said he admired the work of all three artists and this motivated him to make the films. 

“I am also just a really big supporter of Newcastle artists in general … I think we have a very vibrant arts community here and I like to promote it,” he said. 

The films reveal aspects of the artists work that audiences may not fully understand. Chasing the Changes focuses on Consalvo during his time spent at the seaside in Merewether capturing the ever changing ocean. 

“Dino’s way of working is quite interesting, he works en plein air which is out in the open,” Cliff said.“But with these works he takes them back into the studio, and there is a prime example of that. The one I filmed him at Merewether Baths painting is in the show but looking very different to what it was when he painted  en plein air. 

“He takes it back to the studio and works them up there as well.”

The Everyday Suburban Landscape features the work of Lankas. 

“Peter had problems years ago with oil paints and their toxicity, so he has developed methods of working with non-toxic materials but still to retain the beauty of the oil paint,” Cliff said. 

In the Studio with Paul Maher is the third film in which the painter discusses the influences on his work, including urban design, and the elements of their composition.  

The gallery is open between Wednesday and Friday between 10am - 5pm and Saturday 12pm - 4pm.