#ICYMI - Getting ‘Stoned’ at Art Central

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Who says all art is pretentious?


White tents were pitched once again at the Central harbor front from March 26-April 1 as Art Central returned to Hong Kong for the fifth year running to kick off the city’s annual “Arts Month.”

Amid the visual smorgasbord of work on display by local and international artists, what appeared to be an assortment of iconic sports balls atop a wooden table caught our eye. As we got closer, this peculiar exhibit turned out to be large river stones painted with the colors and markings of their real-life counterparts.

On display were an NBA “Spalding” basketball, an American baseball, an Aussie “Sherrin” football and a “Slazenger no. 4” tennis ball.

The work, entitled “Stoned” by Australian artist Danny Morse, had a successful debut at Art Central Hong Kong with all pieces (bar those for display) sold by the end of the seven-day event.

Gallery manager James Kerr from Chalk Horse art gallery in Sydney, Australia, explained, “As a painter and sculptor, Danny Morse wanted to bring these two mediums together in a fun and comedic way. The stones were collected from the riverbed in a town called Bellingen in New South Wales that were then dried out and painted on to resemble various sports balls.”

In this series, Morse plays on everyday humor and the tension between illusion and reality, said Kerr.

“The point isn’t that people will look at these and think they are real balls. He is trying to portray something fun and lighthearted here,” he said.