Summer - RenewalAnnabel Butler, Janet Dawson, Viola Dominello, Ashley Frost, Steve Lopes, Corinne Loxton & Tiziana Tringali
4 February - 29 February 2020
Opening Saturday 8 February, 3 - 5 cm
At this moment our thoughts are with those impacted by the bushfires scorching our homeland. This has been a summer that has given us all pause for thought. As an Australian gallery who represents Australian artists, we would like to offer up a selection of works that speak to the artists experience of an Australian summer, with the desire to regain natural balance we’ve taken for granted and hope of regrowth and renewal. The practice of plein air painting, and landscape painting brings with it an appreciation of the unique beauty and qualities this country offers. Each artist strives to capture something vivid and precious in their work.
ANNABEL BUTLER’s painterly landscape vignettes evoke the dry heat and strong light of and Australian summer in Sydney’s Centennial Park. Painting en plein air, BUTLER has worked on the small 9x5 format in the tradition of the Heidelberg School.
JANET DAWSON’s ongoing desire to explore and expose the resonance of a place emerges through her pastel drawings and watercolours of, often, rural Australian landscapes and the everyday of her still-life.
VIOLA DOMINELLO finds inspiration near her home in and around the Hawkesbury and the hinterlands. Working en plein air she captures and instant of changing light and tone. Through painterly gestures DOMINELLO’s practice is imbued with a sensitivity that reveals moments of intricate and transient beauty of the landscape. Her current work observes the effects of the current soaring temperature and drought conditions in and around the Hawkesbury. The high key palette captures the harsh light and crackling heat of summer in this region.
Painting at the turning points of the day ASHLEY FROST’s works capture the sublime transition of early morning or evening dusk light. Fluid in form and composition, His paintings engage with the relationship between bodies of water and vast skies and their otherworldly evocations of light through a vivid and viscous palette.
Also painting en plein air, STEVE LOPES offers up a brief summer oasis in his latest coastal studies. His energetic paintings of the vast beach at low tide, seaside cliffs and rocky plains, and the native pandanus tree along the coastline radiate with the heat of the day and the promise of cool relief from the sea. The figures in these landscapes are nameless, featureless and fully immersed in their surrounds.
CORINNE LOXTON’s focus is often on the sky and its transient light, colour and form; uncontrollable and ephemeral. Her paintings recognise the potential for both beauty and harshness through her depictions of land and sky amidst the devastation of the bushfires; a familiar scene during a hot, dry Australian summer. Other works suggest promise and hope for the artist through their cool, soft palette and golden hues of the sky at the break of dawn.
TIZIANA TRINGALI probes the beautiful and the cruel aspects of our natural environment; ultimately seeking to celebrate nature. Her work is romantic and minimalist in style, with nods to Chinese traditions of watercolour landscape painting. These works reflect the artists perception of the landscape, aiming to be sufficiently abstract to provoke observer’s perception of the natural environment. TRINGALI plays on contrast of light and dark, evoking the wind, position, and movement in the landscape through the brushwork. Her works embody the sense of place and the human desire for connection to the environment.
Kintsugi IIAnoma Wijewardene
3 March - 28 March 2020
Opening Saturday 7 March, 3 - 5 pm
Over the past twenty years Sri Lankan artist, ANOMA WIJEWARDENE’s oeuvre has consistently grappled with crucial issues of our time. Her art practice has centred around themes of sustainability and inclusivity; with particular focus on the earth’s climate crisis, and ever-present issues of coexistence, diversity and unity. The works in Kintsugi II embody the artist’s passionate concern and provide a metaphorical response to these global, yet deeply personally felt issues.
Kintsugi (“golden joinery”, also known as Kintsukroi, “golden repair”) is based on the Japanese art of pottery restoration by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Similar to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi (an embracing of the flawed or imperfect), Kintsugi treats breakage and repair as a part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. ANOMA embraces Kintsugi as both a methodology and a philosophy in her works as she searches for harmony and renewal in a turbulent, entropic world. Her material practice is layered and eclectic. A collaged mix of smooth, translucent, plant-based vellum paper against rough, recycled more organic papers are torn and layered. These, often amoebic, yet human-shaped voids, provide small windows and glimpses onto her depictions which are at once both figurative and abstracted. Vivid paintings and underdrawings of humanoid figures are shown traversing abstracted fields of colour. They appear isolated and self-reflective in moments of quietude; shrouded and obscured through layers they are yearning to re-connect with their surroundings and each other.
ANOMA celebrates rather than disguises the flawed and the broken through a flurry of layered materials and imagery. She contends that her work is a response to the increasing normalization of unconscionable intolerance, hatred and the crises unleashed by war, poverty and climate crisis, when she writes:
“As the desperate seek security and survival, societies are wounded, people are broken physically, emotionally, psychologically. We all yearn for healing whether it is in Sri Lanka, Christchurch, London, Damascus or Australia… Art inspires us to rise from the shards of our shattered lives, to rebuild and heal; and reflect upon our common humanity in the face of conflict, religious fervour, and human insecurity. It invites us to accept shared stewardship of our fragile planet.”
The poetry accompanying the work is by the acclaimed and finalist in the Man Booker Prize in 1994, Sri Lankan writer, ROMESH GUNESEKERA, who has specifically composed these words for the art, combining fragments of poetry and prose in a single unified poem. A monograph book, printed in Singapore, includes 200 images alongside five essays and contributions from several renowned writers. It documents the process with images from her sketchbooks, collectors’ details, a biography and chronology.
ANOMA WIJEWARDENE is an alumna of Central Saint Martins College, University of Arts, London. She was the first Sri Lankan solo artist invited to show at the European Cultural Council, during the 58th Venice Biennale 2019, and has amassed international recognition for her works spanning five decades. She has had several international exhibitions in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Her works was featured on the cover of British Vogue 1974 and she has exhibited in 2016 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery.