Geraldton Regional Art Gallery, Geraldton Western Australia
The Past Stops Now … well, not quite yet for this retrospective exhibition.
Shown at the Collie Art Gallery in May, “The Past Stops Now” exhibition has opened at the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery for a further run in October 2021. With a few tweaks and changes, this retrospective of Peteris Ciemitis’ work over the past 12 years is one of the gallery’s feature exhibitions throughout October, alongside IOTA21 (the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial).
The Past Stops Now deals with three themes; Heads, Anxiety and Place. All are explored as it they were subjects of portraiture, from the Albert Tucker/Joy Hester referenced examinations of ‘Future Shock’ anxiety, to the floating, placeless depictions of trees and land.
Over 200 guests attended the opening night (Friday 1 October) which was officiated by City of Geraldton Councillor Steve Douglas and Gallery Coordinator Marina Baker. Dozens of guests also attended the artists talk by Peteris Ciemitis the following day as part of the Big Sky festival.
“The Past Stops Now” is a survey of paintings and drawings from 2008 to 2021 by Peteris Ciemitis
This exhibition deals with the effects of societal and technological change on behaviors and psyches, particularly the part runaway change plays in generating a background anxiety which has become commonplace today. Rather than simply depicting the outward effect of these changes, the works focus on our internal state, and our loss of groundedness.
“Drawing is central to life. Almost all the works in this exhibition are drawings, some on canvas and some on paper. As an artist I have been interested in working with inks and liquid paint, and the rigour and constraint it places on my practice. Every mark is purposeful; there is no turning back or redoing it. The works present the viewer with interpretations of place and the idea of absence. Similar shapes and structure are found across subjects. Much is left out deliberately. Do we see shape, movement, texture, shadow, light, fragility, strength or transience?” Peteris Ciemitis, 2019 more
The Latvian word kopā means ‘together’, or ‘in unison’. So it was fitting that participating artists Jillian and Peteris Ciemitis jointly produced a body of work for a show with that same name; “Kopā” – an exhibition of art by Baltic-Australian artists.
Taking out an entire upstairs gallery at Moores Contemporary Art Gallery in Fremantle Australia, Jillian and Peteris Ciemitis have a joint showing that explores the fading ripples of the post-war diaspora that fled northern Europe in 1948.
Jillian Ciemitis’ series “Occupation” is a dark ‘noir’ exploration of the impact of Soviet occupation of Latvia, both in terms of physical trauma and displacement, as well as the echoes of psychological impact. These dark images are counterpointed by a contemporary constructed memory of Latvian culture in “Kokle”.
Peteris Ciemitis examines the relationship between a ‘Latvian self’ and the willful subconscious identity in “ES+ID”. These themes are touched on further a series of pen and ink sketches the “Portret” series, which amongst other things, features one of the working drawings of Peter Greste (- a sketch that was undertaken following a sitting with Greste which led to a series of major paintings that now have a variety of homes, from the offices of Amnesity International in Sydney, to the Qiajiang International Museum of Art in China).
Jillian and Peteris were delighted to open their urban studio in November to the Friends of Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. Amidst a balmy Perth day, over 30 art lovers scaled the ‘ladder’ to the two formal studio spaces, and enjoyed artist talks, a leisurely wine and an art chat under the leaves in the artists’ “secret garden”.
Sincere thanks to Jeffry Campbell, Pauline Faulds and Catherine McCloy from Friends of Lawrence Wilson Gallery for their consummate professionalism and efficiency in organising the event. The “Friends” are an integral part of the prestigious Lawrence Wilson Gallery of the University of Western Australia, and provide support for its activities, ranging from the acquisition of new works to providing artistic and technical facilities.
Jillian Ciemitis and Peter Ciemitis both participated in the inaugural Culture and Arts Festival in Sivsagar in February 2018, along with Vittorio Tonon, Maria Balea, Tone White, Maneswar Brahmaand our Arts overseer, Utpal Barua.
As well as a host of international visual artists, the four day festival featured a vast array of musicians, dancers and performers (including the Deputy Commissioner, Narayan Konwar).
Peteris Ciemitis proudly formed part of the line-up of the State’s leading portrait artists in the “Skin Deep” exhibition opening at Moore’s Gallery Friday 9 March 2018.
‘Skin Deep 2018’ was the fourth annual exhibition by the WA Portrait Artists Association which comprised over fifty portraits by the fourteen participating artists whose work ranges from small to very large, from photorealism to expressive interpretations. The exhibition presented a diverse range of concepts and techniques representing contemporary portraiture at its very best.
This year, the exhibition also included a secret room; “Hidden”. What was there?
Currently, one third of the world’s Biennales take place in Asia, with the first being the Tokyo Biennale in 1952. However, it is the Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh, a breakaway in 1981, that remains the oldest in the region, now in being held for the 18th time. Its also a Biennale in which Australia has had patchy presence. Until now.
The Australian artists to be included in the 18th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh are west-coasters Jillian Ciemitis, Peteris Ciemitis, Judy Rogers and Monique Tippett.
The Biennale is based in the National Art Gallery, Dhaka and opens with official formalities on September 1, followed by two days of Symposia exploring the topics of “Between Art and Narratives” and “Pedagogy and Promotion”.