You get two exhibitions for the price of one (which is free anyway) in the Gallery at Centre 64 this month. Downstairs in the Main Gallery is an exhibition of photographs by Kimberley photographer Neal Weisenberg featuring mainly wildlife, landscapes, and nudes. Upstairs in the Upper Gallery are watercolours by Wasa artist Ursula Kaufmann, featuring landscapes, birds, and flowers. While Weisenberg’s photos are rich in colour, often dramatic in content, several of them big, bold, in-your-eye portraits of impressive birds and animals, and Kaufmann’s watercolours are small, delicate, often presenting their subjects with a few deft strokes of brush and pen, both artists display qualities that make these two exhibits interesting, visually pleasing, well worth spending some time with.
Neal Weisenberg has long been known around Kimberley as an obsessed wildlife photographer, exhibiting his animal portraits and landscapes annually in Kimberley Camera Club shows and from time to time at Centre 64. A few years ago he extended his range of animal subjects to include female nudes of the human kind. This exhibition at Centre 64 clearly indicates the level of mastery this artist has achieved in recent years, not only in taking impressive photographs but in presenting them effectively. Many of the photographs on display here would not be out of place in a glossy coffee table book. Very impressive is ‘Bull Moose #64’, displayed in the gallery lobby, a photograph that made it into the National Geographic’s Daily Dozen last November. Jim Lawrence, look out! Others that this reviewer particularly liked include the large photographs on stretched canvas of a grizzly bear and a wolf that greet you as you enter the gallery, a moody landscape of the ‘Denali Road’, a group portrait of ‘Barren Land Caribou’, and a startling picture of a ‘Ground Rainbow in Denali Park’. Given pride of place in the central alcove in the gallery are three bird portraits of a loon, a humming bird, and a great blue heron, that would make fine plates in that glossy coffee table book
Weisenberg has photographic prints and fridge magnets available for sale, too.
Upstairs the atmosphere is quite different. The bold drama of many of Weisenberg’s photos gives way to the tranquility of Ursula Kaufmann’s small watercolours. There are only 15 of them in the limited confines of the upper gallery and they are the kind of pictures you stand close up to in order to absorb their details. They are, for the most part, quiet and peaceful pictures of birds and flowers, with a lovely rendition of a ‘Girl on the Beach’, a van Gogh-like ‘Sunflowers’, and a delightful ‘Wheelbarrow’ among them.
Both exhibitions continue until Saturday, April 21, and can be viewed between 1 and 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free.