New York Bound

The Artist's Chronicle, Issue No 102, May 2005, Lyn di Ciero

New York Bound

“Rob Forlani and Shannon Hamilton, pictured left, are the only two west Australian ar tists selected to exhibit in the annual Down Under exhibition at Agora Gallery in New York.

Each Year Agora Gallery in New York carefully selects artists from across Australia and New Zealand for its annual Out From Down Under and Beyond exhibition.

The Gallery has two locations in Soho and Chelsea at the centre of the fine arts districts. Agora Gallery also publishes ARTIS SPECTRUM Magazine, and is home to the prestigious Soho and Chelsea International Art Competition.

For Shannon Hamilton, exhibiting in New York’s Agora Gallery is the result of a concerted effort following twenty-five applications to various galleries in America over the past year. For Rob Forlani, it was forst time luck, as he stumbled over information about Agora Gallery on the internet, before completing the comprehensive application requirements. For both, it is their first exhibition in New York.

Thought the work of both artists is vastly different in style, the two share a common thread in their use of bold colours reflecting the Western Australian lifestyle. Rob Forlani said this aspect of his work seemed too much for the locals when he exhibited in Melbourne, where he thought the work of local artists seemed dark and brooding. Rob began his career with an impressionistic style, but is now a firm fan of bold abstract expressionism “The mystery of it appealed to me,” he said “and you have the ability to represent phrases such as ‘hot topic’, which is often not an option in traditional painting”.

Shannon Hamilton’s joyous works reflect her love of the West Australian beach culture. She has visited beaches from Broome to Albany in her quest to capture their unique mood. Her work has developed an elegant, sensitive quality as she explores the connection between people, their relationships with others and themselves.

Both artists have exhibited extensively. Shannon last exhibited at the Affordable Art Show in Melbourne, and will exhibit at Margaret River Art Galleries at the end of the year, with the possibility of an exhibition in Singapore in the interim. Rob has a mixed exhibition in Sydney scheduled for June, Jah Roc Gallery in July, the Lynne Wilton Gallery Melbourne in August and will feature at Gallery 360, Joondalup in November.

Both have taken the plunge as full-time artists following alternative careers, Shannon as an Occupational Therapist and Rob as a signwriter. See and