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What does one expect of an exhibition called Erotica? In very general terms we all have an idea, but what exactly? This was possibly the first exhibition in Mt Isa where the gallery was never empty in a week. The variety of reactions testified to the fact that people not only expected many differing images but also often saw images quite removed from what they were expecting.
Some twenty local artists were involved in the presentation of Erotica, which was organised and curated by local artists Jill O'Sullivan and Mandy McGuire. There is no art gallery in Mt Isa, however an empty shop in the main street proved ideal as an exhibition space. The timing was also important. What better time than rodeo week when the town population swells to many times its capacity for several hectic days?
The artists were given the exhibition title but had free reign in how they interpreted this. Works were to be newly executed, and to explore "ideas within ourselves, projecting those ideas-being very personal".
The results were spectacular. Images in the main gallery were as varied as the media used to depict them. Copulation explicit on silk or suggested in charcoal. Animals, plants, footballers, nudes of both sexes in a variety of media from vividly coloured and dramatic oils to sombre black and white photographs and pencil drawings. The female form was dominant in the 'life-art' room, in poses so relaxed that we seemed to be peeping into the boudoir.
Some found the show 'confronting' but almost all reactions were favourable. This exhibition was a celebration and an appreciation of the human form and of sexuality in all its uninhibited glory.