‘Best in Show: a new exhibition about dogs’

The new Wheatfield Gallery at Millpond Farm, Jembaicumbene, a few minutes outside Braidwood, is a welcome addition to Braidwood’s growing number of splendid venues. Situated on the ground floor of an historic flour mill in the old Jembaicumbene wheatfields, it offers scope to display a wide variety of types of work. 

The artists contributing to ‘Best in Show’ have seized the concept and run with it in obvious delight. From Trevor Dunbar’s free standing dog profiles which share the open courtyard with Suzie Bleach and Andy Townsend’s metal work; to the elegantly impeccable ‘portraits’ by Catherine McMillan, Sam Kidd’s hound dogs, and the many and various works by Robin Wallace-Crabbe this is the ultimate dogophile’s day out. There are Merrie Hamilton and Greg Sugden’s perky, multicoloured ceramic dogs,  there are ‘pop art’ dogs and also zen-like dog understatements by Phil Day. Pascal Geier has a beautiful work which, although clearly a portrait of a dog he knows well, dog avoids sentimentality and lifts to another level through painterly skill. Nero – Braidwood’s dog about town, fixes Olivia Bernardoff with world-weary gaze. There’s not a cat in sight.

Robin Wallace Crabbe has three sculpted pieces. All are variations on ‘Dog contemplating the universe’ and are a new departure for him although presented with his usual wit. Of his hung work showing the many faces of dogdom my favourites were ‘Canine Philosopher’ and ‘Scratch stomach please’.

Maybe because most of the shown works were of specific dogs no one had portrayed that most iconic image of Australia – a collection of raffish dogs grinning from the back of a ute. Nonetheless this is a show to be savoured and well worth a visit.

Wheatfield Gallery, Millpond Farm, 660 Majors Creek Road, Jembaicumbene, www.millpond.com.au   tel 0438 126 987

10am – 4pm Saturdays & Sundays (well behaved dogs are welcome on leads)

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