Ashley FrostMosman - Through the Bush
6 February - 10 March 2018
A return to a familiar place yields rich results in light and movement for ASHLEY FROST.
From autumn through to early spring this year ASHLEY FROST spent time on Mosman shore reflecting and responding to the beauty of the iconic view that has drawn many painters to its surrounds including Arthur Streeton. In this series FROST references Streeton’s panoramic format to explore the transition of light across the horizontal plane.
FROST attended school close by to the Mosman waterfront at Milsons Point. He remembers compulsively sketching the Opera House during his Latin classes, and at 15 travelled on the Mosman Bay ferry to his first job in Sydney’s CBD. Since then he has been painting Sydney Harbour continuously throughout his career.
During his time FROST created a number of studies including around the Mosman artist camps of Sirus Cove. From his time there he writes, “The wonderfully preserved bush around the camps takes on an almost mystical quality in the late afternoon light. The low sunlight of a winter afternoon, while fleeting, can illuminate large sections of the bush, colouring swathes of trees, forest floor and rocks.”
This focused attention to the movement of light at dusk and dawn captures the signature Australian light at its most ephemeral. The movement of light reflected between the sky and the sea is almost blurred at these in-between hours. From the shore to the sea, FROST pushes his practice to play between vistas of the harbour, and his up close, encounters with the chaotic movement of the bush and scrub. There is an excitement to the bush studies, created in situ, the movement of light, line and tone exude an intensity of the artist’s encounter.
Merran Esson, Judy Holding & Denese OatesShades of Green and Blue
13 March - 14 April 2018
Artists MERRAN ESSON, JUDY HOLDING and DENESE OATES draw inspiration from the palette of nature, distilling the human experience of the land to create works that form a tribute to its many shades.
MERRAN ESSON’s investigation into ceramic vessels began with the container not just as a practical device but also as a structure. Drawing from her rural upbringing on the land, ESSON explores the vessel in relation to man-made catchments such as tanks and dams, as well as naturally occurring catchments such as basin shaped areas and drainage networks in nature. Alongside her works that draw reference to tanks and corrugated iron, ESSON’s latest elegant, bulbous forms defy notions of form and weight, and in their perforated organic forms reject the implied function of vessels.
Inspired by her time in the bush JUDY HOLDING celebrates Australian Indigenous cultures and their intrinsic connection to the land. Employing specific cultural symbols – including the Australian Eucalypt and native birds such as the “cocky” – HOLDING’s practice comments upon the complex history of settler and Indigenous cultures in Australia, and their contrasting relationships with the land. Her sculptures contrast abstract modern textures and shapes with natural forms. Combining natural forms with bold injections of colour - cool purples, bold orange tones and cobalt blue – HOLDING’s playful works spark conversations about Australia’s indeterminate ecological future.
Working with green and copper hues, DENESE OATES transforms ordinary copper wire into inspired and carefully crafted natural forms that are full of undulating movement and rhythmic lines. From her copper wall sculptures that take the form of painterly trees and vines, to her ‘topiary sculptures’ that train verdigris copper vines into boulders and rotund forms, OATES’ sculptures remind us of nature’s remarkable capacity to regenerate, proliferate and multiply.
In their ceramics, sculptures and wall pieces ESSON, HOLDING AND OATES branch out, teasing the imagination to extend our human understanding of the natural world and our relationship to it.