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Kerry Cannon, great-grandson of artist James McCan, to exhibit at Nave Museum

By APRILL BRANDON
Sept. 8, 2010 at 4:08 a.m.
Updated Sept. 9, 2010 at 4:09 a.m.

"Oye Oye Oye" is a work by artist Kerry Cannon, who has lived in Australia for the past 15 years, but has close ties to the area. He is the great-grandson of Victoria artist James McCan.

IF YOU GOKerry Cannon's exhibit "Bronze Rave at the Nave" will be up at the Nave Museum starting Friday and through Oct. 24. Museum hours are from 1 to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

Artist Kerry Cannon is a natural storyteller. Ask him about any of his numerous bronze sculptures, and you're likely to get a detailed account that rivals many of literature's great epics.

Cannon calls himself a "narrative" artist. Whether based on stories he's read, interpreted or made up himself, each of his pieces tells its own unique tale.

Starting this Friday, Victorians will be able to see these stories captured in bronze themselves when Cannon's new exhibit "Bronze Rave at the Nave" opens at the Nave Museum.

"This my first show at the Nave, and I'm very excited," Cannon said. "On display will be my Alchemy Series, which is my favorite series. What I'm hoping people take away from this exhibit is the story, which is a lot like a Shakespearean tragedy. It requires a lot from the viewer to get what is happening, and they won't get the full impact if they're just looking at the surface of the pieces."

Although it's his first show at the Nave, Cannon, who has lived in Australia the past 15 years, has deep ties not only to Victoria, but to the museum as well. The artist is the great-grandson of noted local artist James Ferdinand McCan, who passed away in 1925. McCan was the first husband of Emma Nave, who later married Royston Nave. When Nave died at age 45, his widow built the Nave Museum in his honor.

Cannon will be the first McCan to open an art show in Victoria since his great-grandfather passed away.

Growing up in his family's home in McFaddin, Cannon was surrounded by both McCan and Royston's paintings. In 1995, he moved to Australia with his Australian wife and made the decision that he too, sink or swim, would become an artist. One sculpture workshop later, and he was hooked on his now preferred medium.

"It's a very beautiful medium, and it's easier than painting," he laughed. "I love the way it looks and feels and the idea that's permanent."

Every year, Cannon tries to create a new bronze series and is currently in the midst of creating his 12th series, he added. In addition, he also creates two or three sculptures every year to install for his big ongoing project, which is the Ceramic Break Sculpture Park, located on Bondi, the farm where he lives in Australia. The park consists of three art galleries, a gazebo, three bush walks and a gift shop. Cannon installed the first sculpture in the park in 1999 and since then has installed 14 more.

"My greatest joy is creating in the studio," Cannon said.

The "Bronze Rave at the Nave" begins Friday and will continue through Oct. 24. For more information about the exhibit, visit www.victoriaregionalmuseum.com. For more information on artist Kerry Cannon and his sculpture park, go to www.cbreaksculpturepark.com.au.

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