The Art in Miniature group known as AIM, was conceived by Jan Vincent and Margaret Brice both local Canberra artists. The first official meeting was held on Saturday 22 September 2001 in Jan’s studio in Weetangera. Isla Paterson suggested the friendship group be named “Art In Miniature (AIM) Canberra”. And so it is today.
The membership numbers over the years have fluctuated, however the essential core group of enthusiasts has remained the same. Currently there are 18 members – please see AIM artists page.
As a group AIM has exhibited every year since its conception. We have mostly exhibited locally in Canberra and the Canberra region. In the last couple of years we have endeavoured to exhibit regionally every second year.
AIM’s inaugural exhibition was held in September 2002 at the Belconnen Gallery. Eighteen members exhibited 56 miniatures in the Gallery and 31 items in the Showcase.
The group is self-funded and essential to the “friendship” is the support and assistance from each member with exhibitions.
AIM Friendship Group aims:
- To create miniature works of excellence
- To foster traditional and modern works in miniature.
- To share the love and challenges of painting miniatures.
THE MINIATURE IN HISTORY
The art of the miniature painting dates back to the 8th Century. It was then that the Islamic influence flowed through to Indian, Chinese and Nth African art. In the Western world the earliest examples can be found in the illuminated capital letters of church manuscripts. The letters were often decorated in pure gold leaf and around them were pictures of everyday life, or from the Bible.
There are many groups of miniaturists in Australia and worldwide. Each group may have slightly different rules which they follow eg. size and type of frame or what art mediums can be used within a particular group. But essentially the rules governing what a miniature is are the same in the groups and societies through out the world.
DISTINGUISHING A MINIATURE FROM A SMALL PAINTING
- SIZE OF PAINTED AREA
- A max 10x10cm painted area thus a total of 100cm square any shape
- SIZE OF FRAMED AREA
- A max 25x25cm framed area any shape
- “SPIRIT” OF MINIATURIZATION
- This is a feeling of intimacy, wanting a closer look, drawing the viewer to closer inspection.
- SUBJECT MATTER
- The subject matter should be miniaturised.
- BRUSH STROKES
- If the subject matter is of very small proportions and approaching life size, eg strawberry, insect then the brush stroke and texture must demonstrate miniaturization.
- Like all paintings composition is important and with miniatures it is significant in that it should withstand close inspection from the viewer.
- Regardless of the style of painting (collage, abstract, traditional) the painting should be able to withstand close scrutiny which will maintain the integrity of composition and miniaturization.