Centre for the Arts
Hunter Street, Hobart
Introduction: Paul Zika, Essay: Jonathan Holmes.
10-page catalogue: ISBN 0 85901 365 0
Ray Arnold’s involvement with Chameleon began, coincidentally, with its move into the old Blundstone Building. As the co-operative established workable studio spaces and developed a comprehensive exhibition programme, Ray provided Chameleon with an immediate public face through his regular posters. His poster work, however, extends beyond a catalogue of Chameleon’s range of activities, it chronicles much of the exhibition and performing arts initiatives in Hobart and beyond, as well as a variety of programmes by other institutions. In this extensive body of work, Ray is the true chameleon allowing each event to assert its identity while evolving a personal style. Beyond the immediate impact and “look” is the subtle manipulation of very particular imagery, pertinent to each subject. This work contributes much to the tradition of poster art, and the specific print medium of screenprinting. There is a debt to, and yet considerable advance upon, the silkscreen genre of “image scavenging” – which preceded current postmodernist tendencies by twenty years; as well as a continual cross-referencing between these posters and his extensive “private” body of prints and paintings. Paul Zika