“ITS A BIRD, ITS A PLANE…

ITS AN ASH KEATING…”



2 april 2022

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Photo Credit : Steve Huntley at Riverine Herald

Artist Confounds Town With

Overnight Endurance Paint On

Yorta Yorta Country.

 

Saturday 2 April  2022

Residents of Echuca and Moama are puzzled and delighted by the site of a wildly rendered modern house structure on Meninya St, the entire exterior of which was painted, phantom style, in the early hours of Monday morning after weeks of preparation by well known contemporary artist, Ash Keating

 

The lauded endurance painter has completely transformed a Meninya St demolition site in an overnight artistic frenzy.  

The bright fluorescent flashes of paint were meticulously applied by Keating as an expressive statement in response to Echuca Moama’s existing natural landscape and indigenous heritage.

 

The outcome of his early morning endurance paint, using fire extinguishers filled with paint, water and pressurised air, recall the expressive large scale work of Jackson Pollock and the eerie, small scale suburban captures of painter Howard Arkley and photographer Gregory Crewdson.

 

Keating generously gifted his highly sought after time and talent to assist the local Bridge Art Project committee in gaining visibility for their project, the bi-product of which they say has "added enormous credibility, intrigue and funding traction to our efforts."

 

Bridge Art Project founding chair, now consultant Barry Donchi is overwhelmed with the gesture of support. 

 

“We have been working on the project for a near decade. Ash Keating has given us a huge leg up in the right direction at a critical moment.”

 

The existing unfinished house structure on the site of the proposed Meninya St gallery is “regrettably unsound structurally,” Donchi said. “and therefore can’t be used for any part of the proposed gallery. It’s set for demolition in a few months."

 

"As bizarre as it may sound to have a great artist render a modern building and then pull it down, Ash seemed to love the idea and we see the genius in it too.”

 

“The demolition is necessary for us to make way for a structurally sound, purpose built gallery and outdoor arts trail that with the right support, we hope to extend through the bush lands, down to the river, around to Horseshoe lagoon and back up into the proposed Meninya St Main Street precinct. 

 

The Donchi family, along with other generous local arts donors, purchased the land and donated it, along with other private land access, to the project which allowed them to offer the unfinished house structure on the Meninya St-facing property as a blank canvas to the celebrated artist before it’s demolished. 

 

Allison O’Brien and Jacqueline Berthaume, who lead arts communications on the committee explained that “the artist was encouraged by our committee to use the unfinished house as an limitless “Carte Blanche” for experimental art work. In other words, the sky was the limit.”

 

“It’s not often you have the opportunity to make such a bold offer,” they said.  “Ash seized it with the exact amount of gusto you’d expect from an artist of his repute. We admire how he has made strong consideration to the First Nations of the area which is a significant component of the Bridge Art Project and one he interpreted beautifully.”

 

Ash explained that “the Bridge Art Project’s acknowledgment of Yorta Yorta heritage and the committee’s artistic support of the Yorta Yorta people’s ongoing guardianship over Echuca Moama is a credit to the project and the twin towns.  My large scale artwork is intended to help launch that intention publicly and more visibly. “

 

“I selected a palette I wanted to work with specifically in response to working on country, directly adjacent to the Murray River (or Dungala in Yorta Yorta language) itself.”

 

“Lengthy consideration was made in regards to the composite use of earthy red oxides, blacks and greys, contrasted with loud neon orange, reds and pinks hovering above the surface.”

 

"Further to this I worked with deep and bright ochre on the structure’s underneath garage, where the land had been excavated to build the existing structure.  Above this I incorporated pinks with greys - much like that of the surrounding gum trees and existing panels on the house itself. At the front of the house, seen from Meninya Street street, I used bright blues on one corner at the structure's highest point to connect almost translucently with the sky above.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The work will shine bright over Moama for a few months before the building is demolished in due course,” he said.

 

Jacqueline Berthaume, who invited Ash to Echuca/Moama around 8 years ago to first discuss the project and a commission, said she has been intrigued by the public response.

 

"Ash's work is much more orchestrated than it looks. As intuitive as it is, an awful lot goes into it, particularly with the paint preparation and aftercare," she continued. "He follows the weather forecast like a hawk in the weeks leading up to an endurance paint, to ensure the wind isn't up and may carry paint mid-application across town. He spied a few cars parked near the site and explained his concerns if the wind was to change mid morning."

 

"These are not the sort of sincere considerations an untamed graffiti artist might make, so I find it mildly amusing to read misinformed comments about his apparent defacement of private or public property. As a committee and as individual members of the local community we are honoured to have an original AK in town, even if only temporarily."

 

"When I hear the utterances, (lowers voice) "my 3 year old could've done that" I think of the very same pejorative statements that are often levelled at everyone from DaVinci to Rousseau, Picasso to Emin. Isn't that the mark of a great artwork? To polarise? To prompt discussion? To usher complaint and ignite debate? A great artist will metaphorically cheat the Emperor of his clothes and provoke traditionally unchallenged responses to be reassessed."

 

For those who can’t make it to past the Meninya St site to see the temporary artwork with their own eyes, Bridge Art Project are relieved to report that Keating will be preserving his efforts in photographic and videographic captures. This will ensure widespread art lovers and curious locals can examine more closely his spectacular work via social media and on the BAP website leading up and following to the demolition.

 

“The artwork has so many dimensions, it’s impossible to appreciate fully in one viewing,” said Jacqueline.

 

“How Ash has managed to create a single work that stands as a physical monument in its own right yet moves across photographic media in other all sorts of interpretive ways is just staggering. In one single morning he entirely alchemised a doomed structure into modern art, it shows you what mammoth results can be achieved in such little time with a little imagination, foresight and some community good will.”

 

Lynne Gillard who is The Bridge Art Project secretary, confirmed the project has been in planning mode for almost a decade. 

 

“It’s creative friends and artistic donors like Ash Keating who we have gathered along the way who galvanise our efforts and give credibility to the long term potential of this unique and frankly very complicated project,” Lynne said. “We have gratefully accepted recent moral support from council who may assist us in moving the project to the next stage as things progress. Ash’s staggering donation of an original and very valuable artwork has been perfectly timed as plans progress.”

 

“Ash’s work is a genuine show stopper,” agreed Allison O’Brien, Local Visual Communication Design and Art teacher. “It’s already started to stop traffic without some even knowing it’s significance in the modern art world. Ash Keating is a brilliant colourist!  The vibrancy and energy of his artwork glow against our beautiful Moama bush landscape. The interplay of moving shadows across the course of the day over these huge, mesmerizing colour blocks is totally intriguing “ she continued. “My students are already excited by the photos alone which bodes very well for the Bridge Art Project’s future impact in the community and as a tourist attraction.”

 

Reactions are already flooding in on social media and word of mouth. 

 

Friend of the project and Yorta Yorta woman, Vicki Walker commented to the committee on the wow factor.

 

“I went for a drive by to look at Ash's fabulous work,” she said. “Might l add I didn't tell the person who was with me where we were going and I made her cover her eyes until we were upon the building. She squealed with delight.”

 

Keating is now personally invested in seeing the long term vision come to fruition.

 

 

“As an art lover and artist who has long term ties to the region with relatives in Deniliquin, I look forward to coming back down the track to see the gallery and sculpture trail slowly unfold. I wish the committee my best.”

 

 

  • LOCATION OF ARTWORK  :

 

The house is between @Madison_Spa and Rich River Physiotherapy. 

 

If coming from Echuca - drive past Moama Bowling Club turn off (don’t turn) and head toward Moama Anglican Grammar School / Woolworths Moama.  

 

If you hit Perricoota Rd. you’ve gone too far.  Park near Moama Bakery to see Ash’s artwork at the adjacent unfinished house site.

 

  • WHO IS THE ARTIST?

 

Ash Keating is know for his large scale, vibrant, urbane and thought provoking works that examine landscape and industrialism with vivid abstractions. 

 

His work has recently expanded into smaller scale works for gallery exhibition and he is set to travel to New York next month for a much publicised exhibition in which he will respond to the growing thirst for his work to the international arts community. 

 

“We feel even more grateful to have him in town due to his demand overseas,” says Jacqueline Berthaume who has been in discussion with Keating for many years and  in the recent months leading up to the activation.

 

“Ash is a fast rising comet in the international art world. We are honoured to have worked with him and to have become the long term beneficiaries of his generosity and the weight his work has added to our project's mission.” Jacqueline said.

 

Lynne said the benefit of large scale, unconventional artwork such as this is not to be underestimated. 

 

“Ash has recently completed a commission to paint the exterior and interior of the Warnambool Art Gallery,” she said. 

 

“The impact it has had on that community is testament to the power of the paintbrush,” agreed Jacqueline. 

 

The Echuca Moama Bridge Art Committee continue to host Ash Keating for the week as he recovers from an all night painting frenzy and reflects upon his demolition project.

 

“Ash is a contemporary artist of much note and critical acclaim so to have him lead the charge as the first cab off the contemporary art rank is a huge boost for our committees long term efforts,” says Berthaume.

 

Ash Keating was chosen by the Bridge Art Project steering committee to publicly exemplify the projects enormous potential as they strive to raise more funds to support the creation of the art gallery and precinct.

 

  • INTERVIEW CONTACTS

 

ASH KEATING
Artist

 

  • JACQUELINE BERTHAUME & ALLISON O'BRIEN

Bridge Art Committee Communications Officers

 

  • CHRIS BILKEY

Murray Shire Mayor and Bridge Art Committee Chair

 

  • LYNNE GILLARD

Bridge Art Committee Secretary

 

FOLLOW ASH KEATING ONLINE

  • Instagram : instagram.com/ash_keating

  • Facebook : facebook.com/ashkeatingstudio

  • Website : www.ashkeating.com

 

FOLLOW BRIDGE ART PROJECT ONLINE

 

END

 

 

 

media kit

ash keating for bridge art project.

3 april 2022.

 

 

Local Press Release

 

LOCAL ART PROJECT LAUNCHES WITH A BANG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 31 March  2022

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - LOCAL MEDIA 

  • press release

  • artist statement (by ash keating)

  • approved artist images

 

A Meninya Street house, half finished, has just become the canvas for renowned artist Ash Keating. The result is an unmissable piece of contemporary art, situated opposite the Moama Bakery.

Ultimately, the now bright pink, house will make way for the project’s keystone infrastructure, a $6 million gallery.  

 

Ash Keating, upon completion of the artwork said, “I hope that I have created a striking and thought-provoking piece that drives a conversation about the benefits a gallery can bring to a community”.

 

Ash’s artwork is a great spectacle and will be captured with photographs and video for social media posting.

 

Ash Keating is known for his large scale, vibrant and challenging works that examine landscape and industrialism using vivid abstractions. 

 

More recently Ash has worked on smaller scale works for gallery exhibition.  He will be in New York next month for a much-publicised exhibition in which he will respond to the growing thirst for his work to the international arts community. 

 

Ash’s past methods have included the utilisation of giant fire hoses to compose fluorescent abstractions of industrial structures in open landscapes.

 

He has recently completed a commission to paint the exterior and interior of the Warrnambool Art Gallery.

 

The Committee is delighted to host Ash this week and secure him as an ongoing friend of the Bridge Art Project.

 

Jacqui Berthaume, Communications manager of the project said, “As we continue to focus on fund-raising for the Project, Ash’s striking work has come at a critical juncture. In the same way Sigrid Thornton's incredible speech last year at the Gala had the town flush with ideas, and her presence at the Moama Lights indigenous lights tour impacted supporters of the early vision, Ash's art instantly raises our profile and illustrates the enormous potential of the gallery and the other elements of the Project, just when we need it most.”

 

Following the successful Bridge Art Project Gala event last year attended by Sigrid Thornton and Tom Burstall, BAP Chair, Chris Bilkey said, “Ash Keating’s spectacular artwork puts the Bridge Art Project’s site squarely in the public domain. Besides providing the community with a stunning spectacle, we expect that the increased awareness of the project will assist us in our fundraising objectives and community support”.

 

INTERVIEW CONTACTS 

 

ASH KEATING
Artist

 

  • JACQUELINE BERTHAUME & ALISON O'BRIEN

Bridge Art Committee Communications Officers

 

  • CHRIS BILKEY

Murray Shire Mayor and Bridge Art Committee Chair

 

  • LYNNE GILLARD

Bridge Art Committee Secretary

 

FOLLOW ASH KEATING ONLINE

  • Instagram : instagram.com/ash_keating

  • Facebook : facebook.com/ashkeatingstudio

  • Website : www.ashkeating.com

 

FOLLOW BRIDGE ART PROJECT ONLINE

 

 

PUBLIC CALL TO ACTION:

  • Have you spotted the Ash Keating art house in Moama?

  • Post a photo on social media and tag @bridgeartproject

 

END

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Ash Keating Bridge Art Project - Photo Credit : Steve Huntley at Riverine Herald

Photo Credit : Steve Huntley at Riverine Herald

Artist Statement

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by Ash Keating

Approved for use as interview quotations.

31 March 2022

It is a privilege to have been able to work on Yorta Yorta land this week to undertake a highly unique temporary painting project.

 

The project involved several consecutive hours of endurance painting, with the utilisation of fire extinguishers filled with paint, water and pressurised air as my applied method.

 

My endurance painting was undertaken early yesterday morning on Tuesday 29 March 2022 on a soon to be demolished building which is the new site of 'The Bridge Art Project' . 

 

The site was purchased privately by members of the BAP Committee and has been parked for some time to facilitate their long term vision while funding support is sought.  

 

The drawcard concept of the Bridge Art Project was devised by ambitious locals almost a decade ago. These locals, led originally by conservationist Barry Donchi and his daughter Jacqueline have long possessed a desire and identified a need to make contemporary art more accessible to residing locals. The grand appeal a project like this holds for potential travellers to the quiet twin towns is obvious. The flow on benefits for the entire region are equally as implicit. 

 

My endurance paint which resulted in a large scale artwork is now highly visible on the Bridge Art Project’s private land on Meninya St Moama. 

 

The project’s steering committee granted me unlimited access to the  site’s existing house structure for use at my artistic discretion. 

 

The house, which was only partly finished when the land was purchased for the project is set to be demolished soon to make way for the proposed gallery. This rendered it highly appealing to me for a large scale temporary artwork.

 

While preparation for these painting applications is always significant, I commenced painting in the dawning hours of Tuesday March 29 and completed the artwork that day, as many passers by started to reveal their curiosity.

 

The artwork is fully self-funded by myself and was undertaken as a gesture of artistic, financial and moral support for the community’s long term attempts to inject art into the regions.  

 

The opportunity that Barry, Jan, Jac, their hard working committee friends and the BAP sponsors provided for me to expand my artistic practice on a large scale and on culturally significant land was irresistible. 

 

I vigorously seized the rare and sizeable opportunity they granted me to experiment freely and without limitation.

 

Much like most of my projects, the painting's composition itself was completely improvised. 

 

I selected a palette I wanted to work with specifically in response to working on country, directly adjacent to the Murray River itself.

 

Lengthy consideration was made in regards to the composite use of earthy red oxides, blacks and greys, contrasted with loud neon orange, reds and pinks hovering above the surface. 

 

Further to this I worked with deep and bright ochre on the structure’s underneath garage, where the land had been excavated to build the existing structure. 

 

Above this I incorporated pinks with greys - much like that of the surrounding gum trees and existing panels on the house itself. 

 

At the front of the house, seen from Meninya Street street, I used bright blues on one corner at the structure's highest point to connect  almost translucently with the sky above.

 

The work will shine bright over Moama for a few months before the building is demolished in due course.

 

I look forward to seeing the Bridge Art Project develop in its entirety as the arts trail launches at the Meninya St site and sinews around the surrounding bushlands back through the town of Moama past Horseshoe Lagoon, the site of the famous Moama Lights spectacular which infused Yorta Yorta folklore into a modern lightscape.  

 

Of particular interest is the gallery construction that is proposed to be erected on this same site of my temporary artwork, near the soon-to-be-opened Echuca Moama bridge crossing over the Murray River. 

 

The success of this planned world class arts precinct depends highly on the yet to be funded construction of the new gallery on Meninya Street Moama which will extend to a raised walkway from the gallery to the Murray River, a distance of approximately 1km through riverine forest.

 

The forest will be aptly utilised for walking and bicycle paths, an arts trail, a sculpture park and rehabilitation of previously farmed land for the growing of indigenous food and fibre.

 

The gallery and arts trail is set for development on Yorta Yorta country, whose clans include the Bangerang, Kailtheban, Wollithiga, Moira, Ulupna, Kwat Kwat, Yalaba Yalaba and Ngurai-illiam-wurrung people. 

 

The river was not a border to First Nations people, but now forms the state border between Victoria and New South Wales. The Yorta Yorta Nation comprises sixteen family groups across a wide portion of North Central Victoria and Southern NSW.

 

The Bridge Art Project’s acknowledgment of Yorta Yorta heritage and artistic support of the Yorta Yorta people’s ongoing guardianship over Echuca Moama is a credit to the project. 

 

My large scale artwork is intended to help launch that intention publicly and more visibly. 

 

As an art lover and artist who has ties to the region, I look forward to coming back down the track to see the gallery and sculpture trail unfold.

 

I wish the committee my best. 

Ash Keating

29 March 2022

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ABC Radio

Interview


[ listen ]
 









Riverine Herald Coverage











Approved Artist Images For Release

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PHOTO CREDITS

- Photography of house by artist Ash Keating. 

- Photography of artist Ash Keating in front of house by Steve Huntley at Riverine Herald

- Courtesy Ash Keating and Bridge Art Project 

- Images below are available for direct media download credited to the above.

 

HIGH RESOLUTION DOWNLOADS

- HI RES VERSIONS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT:

 https://share.icloud.com/photos/0d7oplisqn12L2NMdX4tfeW1w

 

-IF MAX HIGHER RESOLUTION REQUIRED CONTACT ASH KEATING ON ashjkeating@gmail.com

Photo Credit : Steve Huntley at Riverine Herald

PUBLIC PHOTO SUBMISSIONS

Photos In Gallery Below Submitted by Public

Not For Publication or Reproduction Without Authorisation :


Social Tags
@bridgeartproject #bridgeartproject #ashkeating #ash_keating #echucamoama #yortayortacountry

Watch The Project Advance On Social Media :
 

FOLLOW ASH KEATING

Instagram : instagram.com/ash_keating

Facebook : facebook.com/ashkeatingstudio

Website : www.ashkeating.com

FOLLOW BRIDGE ART PROJECT 

Instagram : instagram.com/bridgeartproject

Facebook : facebook.com/bridgeartproject

Website: www.bridgeartproject.com.au

Delivering Package

Interview Contacts

  • TO ARRANGE INTERVIEWS​ CONTACT :

 

ASH KEATING
Artist

 

JACQUELINE BERTHAUME & ALLISON O'BRIEN

Bridge Art Committee Communications Officers

CHRIS BILKEY

Murray Shire Mayor and Bridge Art Committee Chair

LYNNE GILLARD

Bridge Art Committee Secretary