Monday, August 11, 2014

Artist in residence - Grafton Regional Gallery

I've started reading about the history of Grafton's Jacaranda Festival in preparation for my residency in October at Grafton Regional Gallery. Experiencing the Jacaranda Festival first hand will be inspiring, while it celebrates its 80th year, Australia's longest continuing Floral Festival.
As many of you would know I have a passion for trees. There is something special about grand trees, the mature specimens planted long before I was born that will live long after I am gone. My art practice often celebrates the heritage and cultural connections communities have with trees, whether they be street trees or in nature reserves. I'm thinking about connections and the value people feel for particular trees. In a contemporary context, does this translate to caring about environment more generally.
Back to reading for now.
With Thanks to the Clarence River visitor information centre and Grafton Jacaranda Festival Committee for their assistance.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Culture Ecology on show at BRAG

The exhibition openings at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery on the weekend were lovely. A great combination of works on show, artists talks, meeting people and time for travel through the stunning landscapes I worked in during my 2012 residencies.
The opening night began with an artist talk by Jason Benjamin about his practice and the development of landscape works in his solo show 'Everyone is here'. Incorporating pencil drawings, wash works on paper and large scale paintings, it gives an insight into his practice and keen observation of topography and vegetation.

My show 'Culture Ecology' opened along with fellow 2012 residents, Kathryn Orton - 'Hill End Panorama' and Renuka Fernando - 'Disturbing the surface'. These exhibitions worked very well together, each of us manipulating and working with paper in response to our experiences of Hill End, but with diverse results. It was lovely to meet and share memories of the time with Kathryn and Renuka.

On Saturday Gavin Wilson recounted the great story of how the Hill End Artist in Residence Program developed, and magnetic attraction the area has held for artists since the 1940's. His talk accompanied the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Collection exhibition - The Third Wave: Two decades of the Hill End Artists in Residence Program. With a diverse selection of works by artists including Donald Friend, Jean Bellette, Tom Spence, Richard Goodwin and Julie Ryder.

I must give special thanks to the installation team at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, who had a huge week and took on the challenge of pining my large installation work, Making Home - softening the edges, not an easy task! Thank you - you have done a great job. You can see images of the installation team and Renuka hard at work on each of the shows here on the BRAG Facebook Page.

Thanks again to Bathurst Regional Art Gallery for their ongoing support of the exhibition and residency program, it has been a wonderful experience and contribution to the development of my arts practice.