Manning Regional Art Gallery is showcasing the versatile nature of a Newcastle artist in ‘Puppets and Paint: The Art of Bruce Rowland’.

Girl with Mandolin, oil on canvas, by Bruce Rowland.

For many, Bruce Rowland is a well known Newcastle-based painter of figurative subjects. Few, however, will know that he is also an accomplished and highly skilled puppeteer and puppet maker.

This exhibition explores the versatility and professionalism of this artist across these art forms.

Rowland has been a finalist in the last three Naked & Nude Art Prizes and continues to develop his commitment to figurative painting with over 50 years of exhibiting,” said Gallery Director, Rachel Piercy.

Bruce studied at the National Art School in Sydney during the 1960s and for many years taught art at Newcastle Technical College and TAFE.

In his final year at art school, Bruce was offered a position as a puppeteer with Peter Scriven’s famous “Tintookie” marionettes and toured with the company through 12 Asian countries. He has created over 150 marionettes and numerous productions through the 1970s and 80s.

Bruce has studied classical figurative and still life art in European and British museums and this exhibition reflects his skill and professionalism in interpreting these influences. The Newcastle Regional and Maitland Regional Galleries have awarded him Survey Shows in the past with record attendances to view his amazing marionettes.

While COVID19 requirements mean we can’t hold an launch event, there are some exciting events planned in conjunction with the exhibition,” said Ms Piercy.

The Gallery will host a special Life Drawing Studio session with instruction from Bruce on Thursday 27 August, from 5.30pm to 7:30pm. The session is $20, and is aimed at all levels from beginners to experienced artists, bring your own materials, easels supplied.

An artist floor talk and puppet demonstration will take place on Friday 28 August at 11am. Both of these events have limited spaces available, please book now through the Gallery.

The exhibition will run at the Manning Regional Art Gallery until Sunday 20 September. For further information on what’s on at the Gallery, upcoming exhibitions and events, head to the website www.mrag.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/.

Bruce Rowland’s marionettes.