Seven Australian Watercolour Masters
18 June - 03 July 2011
Exhibition opened by Elizabeth Fortesque, Australian Correspondent for The Art Newspaper and Arts Writer, Daily Telegraph Newspaper.
Curated by Max Taylor AM, this is a superb exhibition of recent works by Sydney watercolour artists Graham Austin OAM, John Caldwell, Greg Hyde, Graham Marchant, Venita Salnajs, Brian Stratton OAM, and Marilyn Walters.
Inspired by our unique physical and cultural landscape, the exhibition showcases work considered to be amongst Australia's best watercolours.
I see the Australian landscape as hard, harsh and unforgiving, not necessarily always poetic. I fully appreciate the aboriginal use of spots while admiring the values of western art. Sometimes my work is interpreted as a mix of both. It has also been mused that I step in each value, which may suggest there are variations. I enjoy the visual fusion of complimentary and tertiary coloured spots fusing to make new colours and forming abstracted spaces, says Graham Austin OAM.
John Caldwell’s primary focus is the natural landscape where there is little or no evidence of human presence. The works in this exhibition capture the raw colour and monument presence of the landscape of the Ord River in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia.
In talking about individual works in this exhibition Greg Hyde’s take on our culture is unique:
"Armoire" ...It is a nicer word than 'cupboard' or 'wardrobe' and some clothes are more loved than others for sentimental reasons and in a way they are a part of the portrait of us...and if we wait long enough they are in fashion again, like us!....
"Jane Austen on her Mobile" ...I think Jane would have really enjoyed her mobile BUT she would probably have married Fitzwilliam D'Arcy and never written anymore and we would have missed out on all those BBC remakes….
"Bull Dragging his own China Shop" ...There are certain politicians and envoys who lack the required diplomacy necessary in world or local dialogue and they can create chaos instead of peace, harmony and understanding and this is one of those select few...
Graham Marchant’s work is a delightfully complex matrix of collected objects and fabrics set against the back drop of his studio and home gardens. The simplicity of the domestic or studio scene at first glance belies the incredible skill and intricate delicacy of the detail that is revealed as one moves closer to the actual work. His work is filled with light and colour.
Venita Salnajs abstract landscape capture the essence of our landscape in broad strokes complemented with selected details that capture the emotion of the experience of the Australian Landscape.
Brian Stratton OAM is best recognised for his hyper realist watercolours of stones and pebbles found along the tide lines of Australian beaches. You will want to reach out and pick up a stone or watch the wave recede to reveal glistening wave smoothed pebbles reflecting the light of a bright sunny day. A place for the soul to rest briefly and be renewed.
Marilyn Walters watercolours ripple with movement, as the surface of water moves so too do reflections of light and patterns change. Marilyn’s work invokes a mediative mood in the observer as the surface appears to move with the tides of light.
An exhibition that should not be missed...
Max Taylor 2011