Something Completely Different … ‘Blunt’ …

Tenth Anniversary ‘Blunt’ – ten years since Cairns artists Dominic Johns and Roland Nancarrow created “The Blunt Edge of Portraiture” in a light hearted nod to established portrait prizes … the Archibald and Moran Prizes.

Embraced by Cairns artists of many creative mediums, the invitational ‘Blunt’ has grown massively since inception. Each artist is challenged to create a portrait work that captures the essence of a fellow artist … and on Saturday eve nearly seventy portraits lined the walls of the homely Pink Phoenix Gallery for the tenth anniversary “Blunt of the Decade” celebration … and there is no celebration like a ‘Blunt’ celebration !

I was charged to create a work of young artist Fiona Price … who had her first exhibition ‘Eyes’ just a couple of years back (seems we have a fascination with eyes in common 🙂 ).

To match the unbridled creativity of Cairns artists I thought I’d better create something a little more ‘out of the box’ creatively than my usual work … and with the help of a very receptive Fiona put together my entry (below … full frame (top) and on the wall on Saturday at Pink Phoenix Gallery). Fiona gamely endured body paint and house paint … and the pain of paint in her eye. Thanks Fiona … !

This years big ‘Blunt’ winner was Jessica Roelofs for her portrait of fellow artist Suzi O’Malley.

Sadly … the ‘Blunt’ has outgrown the suburban Pink Phoenix Gallery … but 2017 might just possibly herald a new era of ‘Blunt’ at the wonderful and spacious Tanks Arts Centre. Bring it on …

UPDATE : Pleased to discover that my portrait (below) of Fiona has been selected in a “Best of Blunt” collection to be exhibitied at the ‘Flying Monkey Gallery’ in Sheridan Street Cairns from mid December through to January.

Images © Brian Cassey 2016

2016 Blunt Edge of Portraiture - 10th Anniversary - Portrait of Fiona Price by Brian Cassey


Cutting Edge Work at the ‘Blunts’ …

A truly memorable evening last Friday when twenty four ‘Blunt Virgins’ displayed their various and varied works at ‘crate59 Gallery’ Cairns, vying for places in Cairns answer to the Archibald’s – the ‘Blunt Edge of Portraiture Awards’.

The gallery was packed with guests – the pavement outside was packed with guests (totalling an astonishing 450 odd) – as six artists portraiture works were selected from the sculpture, drawing, painting, craftwork, performance art and photography on display.

It’s a little while since I have been described as a ‘virgin’ … but was more than happy to be invited to take part and produce a photographic portrait of fellow artist and performer Kloe Gee for the show. On the eve Kloe – unlike my rather ‘raw’ image of her on the wall – was beautifully body painted as a bower bird – and performed her ‘portrait’ of fellow artist Maree Nicholson by gracefully moving amongst the gallery audience and ‘collecting’ items to add to her ‘nest’.

The winning half dozen or so artists were announced (or informed personally such was the racket from the enthusiastic and boisterous crowd) and both Kloe and I got a welcome ‘winner’ tap on the shoulder from Blunt organiser Dominic Johns.

For all the noise, excitement, ‘refreshment’ and other carrying on I can’t remember the complete list of winners (and the Blunt web site has yet to be updated with results) … but do remember that the evenings overall winner was a compelling portrait of Darren Blackman by fellow artist India Collins.

A really great evening … and an annual art event that Blunt organisers Dominic Johns and Roland Nancarrow … and the City of Cairns … can be proud of.

Below Is my winning portrait entry of Kloe (top and middle) and the overall winning portrait of Darren Blackman by India Collins (bottom). Works © Brian Cassey and © India Collins.


Blunt Edge of Portraiture Kloe Gee

Blunt Edge of Portraiture Kloe Gee

Blunt Edge of Portraiture …

They bill themselves as Cairns answer to the ‘Archibald Prize‘ … a bold but very tongue in cheek comparison.

The ‘Blunt Edge of Portraiture Awards’ were the brain child of Cairns locals Roland Nancarrow and Dominic Johns back in 2007 and they have been amassing street cred ever since. Unlike the famed Archibald’s the portraits are not restricted to just brush, palette, paint, crayon or ink …  and invited ‘Blunt’ artists may use any (or all) mediums available to create a ‘portrait’ including wet clay, film, mixed media, photography, metalwork, mosaic, poetry etc. One memorable past entry was constructed out of custard !

I have been invited (at the suggestion of fellow photographer Glen O’Malley) to be a part of this years ‘Not Quite Blunt Awards’  – along with twenty three other Blunt ‘Virgins’ or newcomers who will be competing for a spot in the next full scale ‘Blunt Edge’ awards in 2016. Each ‘Virgin’ is drawn out of the hat to make a portrait of one other of the twenty four and the works will form an exhibition and vie for awards announced on the eve of December 11th at Crate 59 Gallery in Cairns.

Indeed fortunate to have been tasked with making a portrait of the delightful performance artist Kloe Gee … whilst artist Maree has the unenviable task of having to make a likeness of me interesting ! The works will be judged by eminent artists from southern climes who are not familiar with the Cairns art scene.

All in all it sounds a load of fun … ‘Thanks’ for the Blunt invitation!