Current exhibition

Seafarers

1 Jun - 1 Sep 2024

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This Online Exhibition invited ASMA Exhibiting Members to respond to the subject of figures and portraiture relating to the Maritime subject. Often overlooked is the value of human involvement within the marine subject, from the helmsman holding the wheel, to the portrait of a sea captain, it brings a sense of life to a painting. Our own Andrea Fleming when running the Mission to Seafarers Exhibition in Melbourne regularly presented the underlying theme of Humanity and the Sea. These exhibitions became a recognition of the human importance in Marine Art and this selection of works endeavours to do the same.

-Julian Bruere, ASMA President

Adjudication by Guest Judge, Eden Alley-Porter:

The subject of this year’s exhibition is close to me; I am a seafarer. I work on the sea. I can sympathise, empathise or even directly identify with every image in this collection to some extent.

The seafarer community is surely global. Since the first humans deliberately ventured from land on craft of their own making, almost every society in the world has had and continues to have a relationship with the sea through the people traverse its waters, whether for work or pleasure. Every person who has ever sailed or rowed or motored has stood up to work hard, gazed skyward at the stars and the weather or in many cases, confronted their own mortality and insignificance when faced with the might and moods of the ocean. They are all seafarers.

I really enjoyed looking at the seafarers depicted in the paintings and reckon you can all but smell the saltwater in their veins. With that in mind I have chosen the following:

Best In Show:  Hauling in No.2 – John Woodland

I feel this painting down to the almost monochrome cold air, the moving deck, the cold water seeping in around your wet weather gear and the fatigue and chafe of the line on wet hands as you fight to take in the slack. This painting takes you right there.

Highly Commended: Pure Joy – Karen Bloomfield

I was drawn to this image because it shows what is rarely mentioned and frequently overlooked; Women are and always have been, seafarers. Whether as volunteer crew, professionals or recreational boaties, they endure the same trials, undertake the same work and feel the same joy on the sea as men. This painting shows that and it is beautiful to see.

Highly Commended: Linesman – Jane Bennett

It was the vivid colour that initially drew me in and then the action of the subject itself. In an artistic subject where seafarers are seen on ships wheels, in rigging of a tall ship or ruggedly gazing at the artist, the very unromantic role of the linesman is downplayed? invisible?. Yet they are critical, everyday, to the safe berthing and departure of cargo vessels in Australian ports. 

Did I say this was hard? Special mention also to ‘Furling the Topsail’, ‘The Master, the Chief Engineer and the First Mate’  and ‘Looking Aloft’. I’m a tallship sailor and I feel like these paintings could be from my own photo album. 

View the full catalogue of works here. If you would like to enquire after the purchase of an artwork, please contact the Secretary at asma.secretary.contact@gmail.com