Different strokes at the art gallery: new exhibition all about the laughs

FUNNY BUSINESS: Does Humour Belong It Art? curator Glenn Smith with one of the works in the exhibition, a sculpture by his brother Peter Smith. Photo: STEVE GOSCH
0815sghomourart1

FUNNY BUSINESS: Does Humour Belong It Art? curator Glenn Smith with one of the works in the exhibition, a sculpture by his brother Peter Smith. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0815sghomourart1

DOES humour belong in art?

That is the title of Orange Regional Gallery’s new exhibition and the question curator Glenn Smith wanted to explore through the 131 pieces on show.

Featuring 37 different artists, including Reg Mombassa, Martin Sharp and Orange’s own Victor Gordon and Neil Cuthbert, the exhibition opened on Friday night and will be on show until September 28. 

An illustrator himself, Mr Smith, who grew up in Orange and is now based in Sydney, said the exhibition was originally a collaboration between himself and the gallery’s late director, Alan Sisley.

“Every time I did an exhibition, I always thought about the next one, and how I could make it just as fun as the last,” Mr Smith said.

“When I was younger, I appreciated it when they [Orange Regional Gallery] had exhibitions here that didn’t speak down to me.”

“It’s fun and it’s something I think is an all-ages show.”

Paintings, illustrations, comics and political cartoons line the walls, and Mr Smith said while every piece was different, each added its own magic to the exhibition.

One of the pieces Mr Smith said encapsulated the idea of the exhibition was created by Mr Smith’s brother, Peter, and is a sculpture of a pig offering up his leg, nestled within a living miniature Christmas tree.

“He doesn’t even know he’s in the exhibition. He works as an ambo, and making sculptures is what he does in his spare time before going out to a car crash or whatever to wind down.”

So does Mr Smith think humour belongs in art?

He said “the short answer is yes.”

alexandra.king@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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