The Boat
Murat Urali ‘The Gift Of Art On Paper’

Murat Urali’s exhibition AN EPIC REVISITED currently showing at Traffic Jam Galleries in tandem with FLOAT by Joie Villeneuve is exotic and dramatic, possibly disturbing at times .The texture and detail are incredible , occasionally cool and glittering like finely detailed like mosaics or jewels .

Urali ,a Turkish-born Australian artist who has studied at the National Art School here in Sydney , blends culture, history and geometric composition with nightmare/dreamlike depictions of Persian poets and Ottoman finesse and views them in a fresh way . Imagery of Western art is melded with spiritual symbolism of the Islamic world.

His works range from The Miniaturist , depicting a green/jaundiced skinned , almost smirking male , who stares directly at the viewer in a red robe over a long sleeved top with blue fur for the hood over his hair , a jewelled mandala surrounding his head. He is accompanied by flying nude angels with huge wings and there is wonderfully detailed depiction of mostly dark blue flowers in a green bush behind him.

There are several paintings of Serosh, a mighty presence in Persian mythology. The Third Flight depicts a large red feathered eagle with a nude, bejewelled , tall pig faced creature on its back . Birds fly with the eagle and there is an angry frill-necked lizard on a branch towards the bottom of the work.

In The Seventh Flight of Serosh we see sulphur crested cockatoos, butterflies and a koala , with Serosh shown as a laughing ass-headed figure with floppy ears and huge wings.

Also included is a heavily detailed and texture tondo of an apparently somewhat concerned and disconcerted male Medusa with glittering red and blue snakes in his hair .

There are two tondos of mysterious , glowing ,extremely delicately detailed blue and white – Sudaba’s Failure and The Death of Sudaba .The robes , floors , rugs , details of the architecture etc are superbly caught and we see strange tall human sized animal faced figures .

Hushang Was a Wise Man and Just is a compelling illustration of a large male antelope faced human sized figure, with his female accompanying him lying on a rug. We also observe a leopard, butterflies, trees and flowers.

A work really blending Western and Eastern art forms is The Gift of Art ,after del Cossa – with a kneeling angel depicted in Western style , large wings and a halo , facing a standing person holding their face in their hands ( possibly female? ) in a glorious detailed red and gold embroidered Eastern robe over a white undergarment .All is controlled by a person in the top left hand corner and we see lines taking us to the person in red , pigs flying and blue flowers – inspiration ?

A series of works about Ahriman (the Zoarastrian Devil,or evil spirit) is also included –

In Ahriman’s Kiss we see a nude young human male with a large sword ,large red swirling snakes with terrifically textured skins ,fangs and tongues and red and green flowers.

Ahriman at Play shows a tall, fiercesome, angry crowned creature with a green face and its tongue poking out in a delightfully textured beaded costume .A silver urn on a small table is beside him with emerging, drifting threatening skulls .

Ahriman the Schemer portrays him as Death, skull faced, with a cane , tall and imposingly reclining in red and yellow against a cushion for his back. There are Rosella parrots flying but dying and grey encrusted tortoises at his feet.

An Epic Revisited runs at Traffic Jam Galleries 28 September – 17th October 2023

FLOAT by Joie Villeneuve.

Villeneuve’s exhibition uses buoys and what at times look like sea life traps or small Indigenous carry bags , both painted or in mixed media or ‘real’ .For Villeneuve the buoys , used to keep someone or something afloat , symbolise the buoyancy needed to get through life’s challenges, the dual nature of our experiences and life’s dilemmas and the message in the bottle is the way out.’ – she reflects on life’s dilemmas  and the struggle to stay afloat in our troubled , topsy-turvy world .It also expresses our concern for the environment .In this exhibition by Villeneuve , who has been working as an artist for more than thirty years , we use the rhythms of the ocean to travel from Perth to the Eastern seaboard and Sydney , the works capturing hidden treasures we can perhaps discover.

The paintings are semi- abstract, with mostly subdues tones of blues, grey etc and include outlines of boats, whales, music, depictions of floating objects, jellyfish and a great sense of movement in the composition, with an emphasis of the atmosphere of suspension . They are energetic and meditative, densely textured and passionately arresting.

Sometimes there is a feeling of fulfilment as an aquatic being (Villeneuve loves the water, snorkelling as well as grounded land based exercises) and a greater sense of self being absorbed by the ocean and the environment.

We see fish and jellyfish bobbing ,hovering ,darting and quite a few boats are depicted .

As well there is a series of rather colourful Lighthouse sculptures, with a rod at the back and rope and bottles or cages attached with various items in them and assorted wires curved to give a pleasing ‘line’ to the composition.

There is also a series of bollards on plinths, and a series of buoys, hanging painted and suspended , of various shapes and sizes and textures , some with tubes or bottles attached , or rope , or a combination of the above often combined with curved line of wire to express light , breath , turbulence and the seeking of a holistic environment. The exhibition seeks to express how we seek to understand ourselves and develop a higher self through the survival of life’s experiences, good or bad, and attempt to remain resilient.

Again, we see pictures of some of the works elegantly displayed in a home , or being gazed at in a gallery.

A most thought provoking exhibition.

Float runs at the Traffic Jam Galleries 28 September- 17 October 2023