Art exhibition promises ‘new tricks’

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CIT Visual Arts graduating class of 2019… From left, teacher Sally Adair, Peta Hudson, Brendan O’Loughlin, Deb Wolkenhorst, Niki Van Buuren, Holly Treadaway, Tina Albert, Chris Marland, Doug Jackson and Raf Villarreal. Photo: Holly Treadaway.

“NEW Tricks” is the title of the graduating exhibition for the Canberra Institute of Technology’s Diploma of Visual Arts, opening tomorrow (June 26). 

According to course member and exhibitor, Doug Jackson, the course members, all of them “part-time mature adult students” with an interest in the arts, had toyed with titles like “A Mixed Bag” Or “The Odd Bunch”, but eventually settled on the idea that “you can teach an old dog new tricks”, no doubt accounting for the dog shown on their invitation card.

Peta Hudson hanging work for the show. Photo: Holly Treadaway

A case in point is Jackson himself, by day an information security specialist, who went to a CIT open day about five years ago and asked a tutor, “can you teach me how to draw?“ explaining that what he meant was, he had no background in drawing at all. It turned out that they could.

Photographer Holly Treadaway

Jackson says that the class includes painters, designers and all kinds of artists, saying: “Being able to take the courses is a wonderful experience that allows us a full new experience and maybe something to build a new career with.”

His chosen medium is watercolour, but when he started out a couple of years ago he tried several different mediums. He said he was fortunate in that his work gave him one day off a week, but all of them had studied at different paces.

Doug Jackson. Photo: Holly Treadaway

“One of the good things about CIT is that it is so open, that makes it very, very easy,” he says.

Starting out by studying drawing painting and sculpture, Jackson said, he’s eventually worked out where he wanted to be.

“I love watercolour because it’s just me sitting on a park bench with a brush, a sketchbook and a watercolour palette—totally disconnected from my day job,” he says.

“New Tricks”, Canberra Institute of Technology, F block, Design Space, 37 Constitution Avenue, Reid, opening 5.30pm, Thursday, June 27, then the exhibition runs 10am to 2pm, until June 29, all welcome.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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