Photographed on the Isle of Skye using a converted full spectrum camera and an infrared filter, Kate Ballis reinstates Scotland’s mythological fairies as a statuesque powerful goddesses. The series considers the myth of Cailleach who created the mountains with fire and carved them with ice, and depicts this with blood like feminine forms.
Simply titled Colour, Jennifer Goodman's newest body of work examines colour relationships and compositions in a bid to tease out the primary drivers of her work. This exhibition comprises large scale paintings, complemented by some smaller works on linen, exquisite tapestries and delicate works on paper.
Throughout the history of the world civilisations have used botanical symbols and images. They have woven their forms into the cultural fabric of societies, embedding self and community expression through literature and art to form an unspoken crypto logical language... floriography - the language of flowers.
“There can be no transforming of darkness into light, of apathy into movement without emotion.”1
Flock is an ambitious series of figurative paintings by Rachel Coad which revisit the warm, muted palette that dominated her early practice.
The subjects of these works are French backpackers who passed through Margaret River on their Australian travels. In exchange for board and lodging, Coad retained them as sitters in the studio, where she sketched, photographed and painted them....
The Divine Paradox draws upon elements of the Australian landscape to examine the fragility and strength of the human condition. Working both en plein air and in the studio, Charmaine Pike employs landforms as a vehicle for a dialogue on emotional states through personified rock-like formations which lean inwards and out, often precariously placed within bold compositions to create visual tension between space and form.
Pike’s brushstrokes and layers overlap in unorthodox combinations, in defiance of the accepted canon of the landscape genre which delineates fore/mid and background. Despite, or perhaps because of this, her works are assertive and robust. With confident mark-making at the core of her practice, Pike’s works have be likened to ‘drawings with paint’, and are driven by influences from the New York School and the late-career works of artists such as Philip Guston.
In 1834, English explorer and artist, Robert Dale, produced a series of drawings of Australia's south west coast that are widely regarded as the most ambitious attempt to document the Australian landscape in the 19th century. Produced as a series of etchings totaling 3m long, Dale's work depicts rolling hills in a vast panorama and is dotted with depictions of harmonious relations between English settlers and the Nyoongar.
The six paintings which are collectively titled Minang Boodjar re-examine Dale's 19th century imagery at an epic scale in an attempt to focus our attention on the troubled notion of a romanticised account of colonisation.
Tim Allen is a painter in the landscape tradition who works from a studio in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales. His painting career spans more than 20 years and he has been awarded several prestigious awards such as the Paddington Art Prize in 2017. Navigate is his first solo exhibition at Gallerysmith.
Using museum collections as subject matter for still life painting, Dena Kahan plays with ambiguities of scale, space and reflection to undermine the clear containment of the museum case. In her exhibition, Lure, insects are drawn to these artificial replicas of the plant world. This imagery references the tradition of 17th century Dutch still life, in which plants and insects take on symbolic meanings and flowers of different seasons bloom together...
Fiona Hiscock’s oversized ceramic vessels exist within a broader concept of functionalism, as a means to examine her interest in early colonial domestic objects such as water pitchers, basins and bowls. Taking these ideas as a starting point for her practice, her works have evolved to create their own language of decorated utilitarian objects which express her interest in native flora and fauna.
Hiscock’s works are hand-built using the coiling technique, then painted, glazed and fired. The painted images are derived from watercolour studies on paper, developed during intense periods in different landscape environments, most recently around Bundanon in NSW. Other works in this series look at the coastal banksia forests in far eastern Gippsland. Each work then considers the biodiversity of these environments. The result is a series of pitchers, vases, cassoulets and plates which together form an open-ended narrative of Australia’s unique biodiversity.
Adriane Strampp’s process begins with a collection of photographs, obscure and obscured source material, a compilation of information gathered from places once visited which continue to have some pull or gravitas.
In her studio, fragments of reference material are rearranged, merged and edited to create a new ambiguous reality and a sense of discord; a response painted from the artist’s personal experiences and broader response to the current global climate.
A large series of hand painted shields coupled with photographs, paintings and installation will feature in this expansive exhibition which explores Bridgeman's Papua New Guinean heritage.
The shield has always been associated with conflict, used in times of battle as personal armour and as potent symbol of power to attackers. In PNG culture, battles between tribes are a common means of dealing with disputes and maintaining social order. Here, the shield plays an important role in displaying status and power.