Arts / Poppies to star in ‘red rash’ art exhibition and sale

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IT’S Remembrance Day so it must be time for artist Selena Smith’s annual poppy art exhibition.

Some of last year's poppies by Smith
Some of last year’s poppies by Smith
In the “3.6.5 Poppy Project” for 2016, Smith moves on from last year’s “A poppy a day project”, yet still plays with the same numbers 3, 6 and 5.

The official opening today will be performed by Canberra Legacy committee member and legatee, Leigh Wrighton-Jones.

Smith is married to Brigadier Dave Smith, a veteran of Afghanistan, Timor and the Solomons and every November for the past few years she’s been exhibiting poppies to benefit Canberra Legacy.

 Prefired clay pears by Elisabeth De Koke
Prefired clay pears by Elisabeth De Koke
This year she has painted watercolour poppies in different sizes and 25 per cent of all sales in this exhibition go directly to Canberra Legacy.

Different from many exhibitions, Smith exhibits her poppies for purchases on the spot, so if you spot a poppy you like, you can take it home.

You may say that poppies evoke feelings of sadness and remembrance so to balance that, alongside Smith’s works, Gippsland artist Elisabeth De Koke will be exhibiting her ‘Pears’ ceramics “Partridge in a pear tree” paintings that follow the cycle of life. De Koke will also invite viewers to take their purchases home on the spot.

Purists may raise their eyebrows, but both Smith and De Koke say that in their experience such ‘red rash’ exhibitions have worked well and it is exciting to see the red dots where once art stood.

“3.6.5 Poppy Project” at Canberra Artworks, 8 Townshend St, Phillip, opens at 6pm today, November 11 and runs until Monday, December 5, 9-5pm Monday to Friday and 9-2pm Saturdays.

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Helen Musa
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