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Review: Artmode 2015

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artmode_the_palmsIt is not rare for a variety of artists to be showcased in the same space. But it is almost unheard of to find all of the actual artists in that same space, not just exhibiting their work but caught in the very process of creating it.

Artmode is a unique experience, a chance for art-lovers to meet art-makers and have the opportunity to interact with them and gain a new understanding of the process of creativity.

For this second Artmode event, The Palms in Woodstock was a rather fitting setting. As a backdrop for this “collaboration of art, music and creativity”, it is also a site of interest for the architecturally inclined.

The Palms dates back to the early 1900’s, originally a biscuit factory, now an arty hub of galleries, interior décor stores, ceramic art and imported goods. The steel structure and the voluminous foyer space – covered by a vaulted glass roof – give the place an old-world, industrial feel; and the lack of ornamentation provides the ideal blank canvas for the array of art and craft on display.

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Ink Portraits by Leigh Tuckniss

As the event took place on a ‘Late Thursday’ (the Woodstock edition of First Thursdays) I was anticipating a much larger, much rowdier crowd. But instead there was a small group of well-mannered, considerate people. Greeted with a welcome drink and a live piano performance, it felt distinctly as though everybody was there for the art, and not for the party, as is so often the case with First Thursdays in town.

Once again Artmode proved an excitement for the senses. Sounds rang out from a very energetic drum circle in the foyer, tastebuds watered at the gourmet burgers and other edible treats, the strong scent of spray paint wafted through the exhibition space, and all the while visitors gazed about them at the score of artists, young and old, absorbed in their work.

Most of the artists seemed at first to be unsurprisingly self-conscious, keeping their heads down and immersing themselves in their work. But in the generally convivial atmosphere they soon adjusted to their new, very public studio, where people could peek over their shoulders and ask questions about their work.

Many artists proved eager to converse with their viewers, seeing the opportunity not only to advertise themselves to a willing audience, but to interact and connect with the other artists present.

artmode_graffitiWith such a diverse range of arts and genres, Artmode offers something for everyone. Traditional painting of still life and nude models, colourful ink portraits, photorealistic graffiti, expressive animal and human-like sculptures from clay, resin and bronze, elegantly crafted wooden furniture, interesting multimedia and installation pieces, and live music and dance performances. With all of this manifesting in one space at the same time, it is easy to understand why this event is an essential cultural experience for any creative to attend.

Kelsey Kaplan

Artmode took place at The Palms in Woodstock on 21 May 2015.

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