Two new exhibitions on show at visual arts centre

CREATIVE: Buen Calubayan's Pasyon and Revolution. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

CREATIVE: Buen Calubayan's Pasyon and Revolution. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

TWO new exhibitions were launched at Bendigo's La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre on Saturday.

Head Case, a stirring exhibition of portraits by Darren Wardle, and Idiot Knows No Country, a selection of videos, paintings and installation by Buen Calubayan, were officially opened at 2pm on Saturday.

Calubayan has been an artist in residence at the Bendigo gallery for the past six weeks as part of a long-standing partnership between La Trobe University and Ateneo de Manila University.

The partnership has included an exchange program for both staff and students and a biennial exhibition of contemporary art from each country.

Each year the VAC offers a residency to one of the recipients of the annual Ateneo Art Awards (for emerging Filipino artists).

As a winning artist in 2013, Calubayan, has been creating new work at the VAC since early May and is now presenting it in his exhibition Idiot Knows No Country.

Meanwhile, Head Case presents a series of confronting portraits by Darren Wardle.

An artist's description says there is "a sense of trauma and they evoke painting's venerable traditions of the grotesque".

The VAC boasts a jam-packed 2014 exhibition program, featuring a variety of contemporary exhibitions focusing on drawings, sculpture, photography, painting, craft and design.

Managing curator Paul Northam announced earlier this year the gallery was extending the exhibitions.

"We almost reached 18,000 visitors in 2013 so we feel, for that reason and a few other reasons, it's time to start extending the program which means we'll go from 22 exhibitions annually down to 13," he said.

"Plus there's also the facade, a national competition, so it's 14 exhibitions annually.

"That's quite a dramatic drop but the shows are longer."

Exhibitions in the gallery's front space will run for two months while exhibitions in the second gallery will be on show for about six weeks.

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