Erotic art causes uproar in Daylesford

A DAYLESFORD artist might have to find a new space to showcase her craft with her works being labelled as “offensive” and too erotic in nature.

Kristeena Saville from Eros and Rose rents a shop/gallery in Village on Vincent and has been told by the landlord that some of her artwork is inappropriate.

Ms Saville showcases a range of paintings and sculptures in Eros and Rose, including candles modelled on the female form.

“I was told the weekend after the ChillOut Festival that management has received a whole lot of complaints from the public that the nature of my work was offensive,” Ms Saville said. “I  was told that I’d be up for eviction if I didn’t do anything about it.”

Ms Saville has been trading at the premise for about six months and claims she has had nothing but positive feedback about her work.

“I’ve got 50 signatures from people saying it’s beautiful artwork,” she said.

On her website Ms Saville described Eros and Rose and her artwork as “a symbolic visualisation encompassing two dynamic opposing forces, that of male and female”.

She says: “Through my art I explore the essence of truth and consistency, reminding people to seek harmony through balance in their lives, loves and relationships.”

Ms Saville yesterday described her work to the Bendigo Advertiser as “deeply physiological, artistic, subtle work that most people don’t find offensive”.

Village on Vincent landlord Susan Walker said there were 10 shops in the complex and tenants needed to be mindful about what they were selling.

“Our perspective on the Village is that it has family connotations,” she said. “So any one store will affect the other stores as far as appeal to the public.”

Ms Walker confirmed she had made contact with Ms Saville but was not prepared to make any further comments.

The controversy comes just a week after part of a board-style artwork produced by Castlemaine Secondary College students for the Castlemaine State Festival was removed after community complaints. 

The street art exhibition Text Alley in Frederick Street, Castlemaine, included paste-ups stating “Christmas is a lie” and “Let bogans be bogans”. Festival organisers and Castlemaine Secondary College staff removed the word “lie” from the Christmas paste-up after residents complained.

The incident caused mixed community reactions and prompted discussion about censorship of art. 

Ms Saville said an art gallery should be free of censorship.

“In a public place it’s a different story but this is a gallery/shop that we’re talking about,” she said.

“And my artwork is far from offensive.”

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