After being closed due to Covid-19 lockdowns, the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre is set to reopen on Saturday 16 October with three new exhibitions.
Showing from 16 October to 18 December 2021, thye three new exhibitions will include:
MAX’S HOUSE: TODD FULLER
In a century old house, at the far end of Ford Street, the one with the green door, lived Max.
Residing here for nearly his entire life, the home was an artistic mecca full of the remnants of a life of making, collecting and cultivating the cultural life of the Upper Hunter. Max’s house was a special place, a place where locals would gather to paint, talk-art and learn. A place where all were welcome, treated fairly and given time. Max’s House was a place where his parents had tolerated an exponentially growing eclectic collection, a collection which started to support a beloved brother but grew with community purpose.
Now his collection is a legacy. A gift to the community from a man who wanted to make sure that his hometown had access to gems of artistic greatness. By all accounts Max was a humble giant, he was a man whose actions, spirit and generosity changed the very fabric of his town.
During 2020, not long after Max passed away, Sydney-based artist Todd Fuller commenced a residency to research Max’s life and story. Working in lockdown, he interviewed Muswellbrook locals and undertook a digital residency for the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre to explore the Max Watters’ legacy.
MAX WATTERS: ART IS
A self-taught artist, Max began painting in the late 1950s; encouraged in his art by his older brother Frank, one of Australia’s most influential gallerists for over 50 years as director of Watters Gallery Sydney.
Max established his subject matter early – the rural landscapes of the Upper Hunter Region – and focused on this setting for most of his career.
Max was known not only for his artistic talent, but also his generous philanthropic nature. At the same time as beginning his own painting career, Max began collecting art, amassing one of the largest collections of contemporary art in rural Australia. In 2004, Max signed over his collection to the Muswellbrook Shire Council so that residents and visitors alike could enjoy in perpetuity his vision; to provide art education for generations to come, to inspire visual awareness and curiosity, and to promote culture as a tool for tourism in the region.
Max Watters lived a life in art, with art, and through art. Max was for the people of Muswellbrook a mentor, a benefactor, and a friend. A year on from Max’s passing at the age of 83, Max Watters: Art Is explores the creative, the diverse and the intimate through the lens of the Max Watters Collection together with Max’s own works.
ALTERNATIVE PERSPECTIVE: SEEING THE WORLD IN A DIFFERENT WAY – MUSWELLBROOK HIGH SCHOOL
When taking a photograph we are drawn to capturing the quick ‘happy snap’ or ‘selfie’. We seek to capture the moment, the fleeting memory that sparks an emotion that we want to hold onto forever.
When you slow down and focus on the scene or subject matter before you, considering the conditions of lighting, framing and composition, you let yourself be immersed in new worlds of creating from the ordinary and everyday. We alternate our perspective and change the view, making the photograph enticing, making the viewer question and be drawn into another reality. That being said it is stated that alternative perspectives are places that that emerge through the everyday involvement of human beings, in the way in which people discover their world. Through photography it is a sense of depth or spatial relationship between objects in a photo.
In the case of this exhibition students have developed photographs that alter the way the viewer sees the world, the everyday and the ordinary. It is forcing the viewer to immerse them into another place, focusing, thinking and questioning.