Cooks Hill Galleries (CHG) presents George Gittoes, paintings from Chicago, Miami and Iraq. This is an in gallery and online exhibition opening Friday 21 February 6 - 8pm.
Official opening and artist talk is at 6.40pm; followed by a book signing and sale of the book "Blood Mystic" and songs by Hellen Rose.
If you are unable to attend the opening you can watch the event LIVE on our Facebook page at 6.40pm and view the collection on our website.
Exhibition continues until Monday 9 March 2020.
"I grew up in the 50's when my parents talked about the 'roaring twenties' as a carefree time when they met, fell in love and went dancing. Their later stories about the Depression and then the War got dark. My sister was born during the war and I followed in 1949, just after. Growing up in Rockdale our favourite TV show was ‘The Untouchables’ with Elliot Ness and the gangster scene in Chicago. Prohibition Clubs with amazing blues and jazz music accompanied by the ratta-tat-tat of machine guns.
We have just finished our film White Light after spending almost two years in Southside Chicago where gun deaths are more common than any war zone I have witnessed. There, the young gangs do not like to be called gangs , explaining "George , there are no good guys or bad guys. If you met the
guys are killing our friends and families you would like them as
much as you like us". I went to Englewood (Southside Chicago) because the media had renamed it Chi-Raq. I've spent years in Baghdad during the height of George Bush's war , so was surprised to hear here were many more streets shootings in Chicago than at any time in the Iraq War.
As my wife Hellen and I prepare to go back to Baghdad, where we will spend much of 2020, I have been reworking many of my drawings from 2003 into paintings. This is my way of psyching myself to return to where I made Soundtrack to War.
In 2020 Baghdad is coming apart with thousands of young
protestors occupying Tahrir Square while Government snipers
shoot at them and burn their camps.
My exhibition 'On Being There' is at Newcastle Art Gallery and my Chicago Film is screening at Kotara, Event Cinemas.
While 2020 will be spent in Baghdad, February will be spent in Newcastle - a City I have loved since making my Heavy Industry works at BHP three decades ago.
This exhibition brings Iraq and Southside together in anticipation of what is to come. Re-starting in Baghdad". - George Gittoes 2020
Newcastle Herald news article - February 6, 2020: https://www.newcastleherald.
NBN news article - Newcastle Art Gallery - February 8, 2020: https://www.nbnnews.com.au/2020/02/08/a-glimpse-into-the-horror-of-war-at-newcastle-art-gallery/
Newcastle Herald article - February 20,
View the trailer to 'White Light' George's latest film here; http://miff.com.au/program/film/white-light George and his wife Hellen will introduce the entire film at the Event Cinema, Kotara Westfield 6:30pm, February 11 and 25.
Please register your interest to preview the exhibition from Friday 14 February by calling Mark Widdup on 0418 492 259.
Monday: 11am - 5pm
Friday,Saturday: 11am - 5pm