Art Candy


As you know, I recently visited Port Noarlunga.  While I was there I thought I’d venture into their art gallery and have a look around.

The sign on the door said it was open on weekends if there were volunteers on hand to staff it.  The door was open, we ventured in.  It was tiny but quaint.  It had a “small country town” feel – which I instantly loved.

This is the first piece that presented itself to me as I walked in.

Artist: Jo Flynn

My first reaction was “oooh look at the pretty colours” followed immediately by “mmm licorice”!  There is something distinctly “candy-like” about them and I’m a sucker for sugary treats!

Considering them artistically, I thought they were quite simple at first but if I consider how I would create something like that they seem more complex and would require a more than “average” skill level.  If you study them closely you will see that the “licorice strips” flow through the tangle – you can find the start and the end of each.

My friend Bel had an instant reaction of “nope, I don’t like that”.  Her view was that the picture didn’t make sense and she didn’t perceive it to be art if the painting is not of something she could “understand” or identify with.

So that got me wondering – what do people base their likes and dislikes of art on?

For me, I have a few criteria:

  • Could I create it?
  • Level of difficulty/skill required to create it.
  • Would I want to create it?
  • Would I hang it in my home currently?
  • Would I want to change my decor to suit the art simply so I could hang it?
  • Do I like the subject matter? (eg how does it make me feel?)

So do I like this piece?  I think it’s ok – I liked looking at it on the wall in the gallery and I liked that it started a conversation between Bel and I.  I could appreciate the skill required to create it.

I think it would look good in a kids room or a lolly shop.  The subject and colours are cheery which is a plus but no, I wouldn’t hang it in my home and I don’t believe I’d want to create it myself.

I don’t know who the artist is in this instance as we were quite limitied in our time there so I didn’t collect my usual information to credit.  As it turns out the Centre was not open but was being used by some Christian performers practising for a show.  Unfortunately their Christian charity did not extend to allowing us to be present while they were there (maybe because we declined an invitation to their performance later that evening in favour of Bel’s roast dinner…)  So we were effectively “shushed” (in joke with Eve Yllanside!) and ejected from the premises…

Do you like the paintings?  What is your evaluation criteria for art?

Click here for more info on the Port Noarlunga Arts Centre.  

UPDATE: 7 March 2012

I was unable to get the artist’s details due to being rushed out.  I’ve emailed the gallery so if I get a response I’ll update with the information to credit the artists.

I have been advised, via an email from the Arts Project Officer of the Noarlunga Council, that the artist is Jo Flynn.

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10 thoughts on “Art Candy

  1. For me it’s mostly color and composition. I generally prefer abstract or near abstract art (love Milton Avery), and am drawn to crisp forms. I also love impasto painting style (e.g., Wayne Thiebaud). I don’t pay much attention to complexity or how difficult it may have been to create something because I think that’s sort of a “labor” measure that is not necessarily applicable to whether a work of art is great. Fabulous art can happen over years or within seconds. If I catch myself thinking “oh, I could have done that,” to me that means I might be able to copy it but could not have necessarily formed the idea and executed it.

  2. You make some really good points there, thanks for commenting!

    With regard to “labor measure”, I was sort of referring to the level of technical skill as opposed to actual effort, energy or time taken (I think!). Some people can whip up what I perceive as a technically difficult piece in no time at all where as I might do something that’s appears really quite simple but it takes me a while to achieve it. Does that make sense?

    I totally agree with you regarding your last comment too. Sometimes I see art that I think “I could have done that but I wish I thought of it!” There seems to be two elements – skill and creativity. The ideas have to be there then the skill required to carry them through – art is created when both are present!

    I guess ultimately it comes down to “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” or “to each his own”!

    Did you like the art work in this post?

  3. Yes, I totally understand your point about technical skill. Often the stuff that looks the simplest is the hardest to do! Re: the art work, I actually don’t like it, and I’m not sure why. It may be the dark background with all the bright color on top.

    • That’s fair, it sort of reminded me of something “commercial” – like a label or logo or something? I don’t know – it’s good that it entertained us and provided something to chatter about tho!

  4. I enjoy your blog and art ramblings. We need more open dialogue about art. This image in particular jumped out at me. Its just fun to look at. Sometimes art can get to complicated with lots of subliminal text and angst. But its nice to just soak-up beauty of all kind.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting MKD, I like your blog too! You’re right, sometimes art is just art and you just like it because it makes you feel good without having to over analyse it.

      However, I like to over analyse pretty much everything so if you like art ramblings I’m sure there will be plenty more 🙂

  5. Interesting criteria. The first three (Could I create it?, Level of difficulty/skill required to create it, and Would I want to create it?) are criteria an artist might apply. Any of us (the viewing public) could address the last three criteria.

    I’ve asked myself this question often (why do I like a piece of art?) only to get limited and anecdotal answers. I know what I do like: realism, still lifes, landscapes & portaits, art that reflects skill, emotion & meaning. And then I go and fall in love with something completely different…

    Our artistic tastes, like our bodies & minds, evolve and change. Not a bad thing really…

  6. Hey Madsilence, thanks for visiting. I like your analysis of my criteria – I guess I hadn’t thought of it in that way (artist vs viewing public).

    I agree, it is good that tastes change too. Life would be simpler if there was no change but much, much duller!

  7. This piece of art is creating quite a conversation, therefore bring learning and understanding
    between people. Maybe the intertwining of colour is the interaction between people.

  8. That is a wonderful way to look at it Ali – I love that creative people seem to be so chatty! I’m learning a lot along the way. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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