Saturday 6th February – 13 March 2021.

Exhibition Opening :

6pm, Friday the 19th February. Bookings essential.


Alex Parrinder, Kate Buerckner, Margot LaFontaine, Joan Comisso, Annie Marshall, Sasha Maniov, Julia Hughes AND Malyan Gilbert.

What is an artist? They can be all sorts of things.

For most of his working life, Jack Featherstone would have been labelled a dentist not an artist. Until he retired art was just something that he did in his spare time, to unwind. That is not really what an artist does. Is it?

What is an artist?

Within popular culture, artists are often portrayed as a caricature, a vague and romanticized fusion of historical, artist, biographies. Artists are usually represented as romantic, eccentric and tortured souls, living hedonistic and untethered lifestyles, guided only by passion and spontaneity. Artists never have 9-5 jobs. They do not do “regular” things like catch a bus, get a home loan or drop kids off at school. Artists are usually portrayed as abstract painters or sculptors living in comically enormous and unattainable New York loft apartments or large villas in southern Europe. Wherever these artists happen to be located, they are clearly living a life of parties and privilege and notoriety.  

Good examples of this are fictitious characters such as, Maria Eléna and Juan Antonio, (Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, in Vicki Christina Barcelona, 2008). Or, who can forget Maude Lebowski,(Julianne Moore, The Big Lebowski.1998), swinging harnessed and naked across her studio, secured in the air by two, semi-clad, artist assistants, as she splatters paint on a canvas beneath her.Wherever it is that this idea of an artist originates, it is not reality (at least not the reality of an artist in Australia, living in 2021). Sadly, these fictitious artist characters limit popular understanding of what or who an artist can be.

Like with most things, pop culture homogenises the truth. What is an artist? The truth is that there is not one formula that makes someone an artist. Gender, cultural background, ability, training, time, resources, location, eccentricity, all these things do not determine what makes someone an artist. Some artists, like Jack Featherstone, laugh when you call them an artist. Sure, there are constructed systems within the artworld that determine what a “professional” artist is. Plus, the people most likely to make a living from their art, are still most often white, male and university trained.

But perhaps, at the heart of what makes someone an artist, is an open mind, along with a need or desire to put some time aside, just to create things.

Allsorts at Tuggeranong Arts Centre, is an exhibition of paintings, drawings and collages by a selection of visual artists from the community. Allsorts is not a survey of diversity within the visual arts, it is a small snapshot of the art being made every day, by people that we might not instantly recognise as “an artist”. Allsorts is an exhibition that celebrates some of the varied attributes, experiences, skills and interests of the exhibiting artists. Some of these artists have studied at art school and have exhibited before, some might still be getting used to calling themselves an artist, while others might not be interested in what or who an artist is as all. But together they illustrate that it takes Allsorts to make an (art)world.

This exhibition is showing in conjunction with Jack John and Kempsey by Jack Featherstone, in the upstairs galleries.