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Monday, January 27, 2014

Connections Renewed - All sold out!

Oooops! How quickly life can speed by while we forget to maintain the everyday -

We (Linda, Lyn, Lily and myself) thoroughly enjoyed the entire process of our exhibition.
The setting up . . . 
Linda Back ceramics

Lily Karmatz

Lyn Derrick - sculpture

My supportive family

The setting up does not just happen - and once again I would like to thank my family for their help and support.

The OPENING. We were thrilled to see over two hundred people attending -  
a big Thank you to you all for being there . . . .

Opening at Gallery Nona

Stephen Newton with us after opening

Sales on night were very good. . . . .  Always nice!!!
Sharon Lee Paintings, Linda Back ceramics

A BIG Thank you to Stephen for his opening speech. We appreciated the time he spent viewing our work and the time he took to write and deliver this speech.

Stephen Newton - Opening speech

Stephen Newton        http://www.visualartist.info/stephennewton

Stephen Newton is an Australian sculptor working in wood and stone
Timeless connections to place through the sense of touch

". . . . Thank you very much Linda, Lyn, Lily and Sharon for this wonderful invitation and May I congratulate you all on a fabulous exhibition.
Welcome everybody to Connections renewed -  a fitting title for such a cohesive exhibition.  I had the exhibition to myself yesterday which gave me time to get immersed in the work, and during that time I felt myself repeatedly drawn into and out on a gentle ebb and flow of visual and sensual delights, and I left  the exhibition ‘soul nourished.’ I put this feeling down to having just experienced a wonderfully designed, and curated exhibition of deeply resonant forms and images, inspired by the natural environment. The word interwoven – used in this exhibition to describe the artists’ careers and life journeys also comes to mind as a fitting title for this exhibition.

I think Connections Renewed is a better title, because it implies the passage of time and the changing nature of things – of connections – between people and people, between people and place. And while all the artists offer us a deeply personal account of their relationship to nature, it is not so personal as to stop all of us, the audience, bringing something of ourselves to the work, because the work invites us in.

And that’s what I’d like to share briefly with you today, some of my thoughts and feelings that surfaced when I was ‘invited in’. Like any observation or reading, the response usually implicates the nature and bias of the reader. I guess that means that I have approached the exhibition as an artist and educator  . . .  .

Linda back - ceramics
Linda Backs ceramic installations show us an extremely confident and sonsistent handling of the medium. The concept ‘vessel’ – such an iconic canon in the seramic world, is conceptually – though not physically – deconstructed into a rigorously arranged multi-object installation. The framing of the forms into beautifully crafted red cedar wall units lends a kind of surreal-domestic atmosphere, familiarly engaging with a slight whimsical twist. I’m also reminded of the textural tonality of the elegant still life arrangements of the painter Giorgio Morandi, delivered to us as robust organic sculptural form and sublime cabinetry. Linda’s tubular works are also vessels of a sort, though I felt them to be reminiscent of  mangrove nodules or tree roots, slowly and surely finding a way out of the earth and ocean into the life and light of the world.

Lyn Derrick - sculpture

Lyn Derrick’s sculptures for me exist as elegantly refined and ecologically renewed modernist forms. The modernist sensibility of ‘truth to material’ is played out through a meticulously crafted architectonic aesthetic. However the ‘truth’ found in Lyn’s material carries the urgency of real environmental concerns about the future of Tasmania’s old growth forests. The poignancy and humanity of our nature/culture condition, reveals itself to us through delicate and precarious balance of wood and steel. Lyns sculptures are not small; there is a sense of the scale-less sensation in each piece, drawing us into the intimate relationship with the work, physically and emotionally.

Lily Karmatz - installation

I viewed Lily karmatz’s work in the exhibition as work in progress, and this is by no means a detracting statement. As Lily herself says in her artist statement, “I am not concerned with creating the object.” How then does one respond? As simply as one responds to leaves falling, wind blowing and water flowing. Of course all art practice is a process, but not all art practice needs to end in a product. Lily’s works on canvas and wood, combined with organic materials such as leaves, twigs and vines are a highly refined moment in time, a time we know will surely pass. I have long known Lily’s passion for Ikebana, and I a also reminded of the Japanese Wabi-sabi aesthetic , which is accepting of change and embraces a natural beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. Lily’s artwork is ‘in process’, but that does not mean it is unfinished. It offers us the rare opportunity to experience the visual art equivalent of what my Lyenga yoga teacher calls a ‘soft exhalation’.

Sharon Lee -  smaller collage works.
Sharon Lee’s pictorially layered collages and paintings remind me in some, of an almost Max Ernst-like landscape. Ernst himself said ‘an artist must have one eye on the outer world, while the other eye looks towards the inner world’. Sharon’s imagery holds nothing of the melancholy of Ernst, her images are always a joyful experience, allowing our eye to drift through a kaleidoscope of layers and colours, allowing us to connect the fragments of our own memories. As Sharon says in her statement – “The individual brings their own emotional history to the viewing, creating their own unique narrative”.

In this exhibition – Connections Renewed – Each artists work is a natural salve for the senses, a balm for the soul.

Connections Renewed is a heartfelt honouring of nature, and a gentle reminder to us that we are all a part – sometimes an ungrateful part – of nature.

To quote Sharon’s words, we all have an emotional history, it’s a history connected with each other and it’s a history deeply connected with nature.

This wonderful exhibition invites us to renew our own personal connections with nature and in turn, with each other.

Thank you . . . . "

Out Celebrating - after the exhibition was complete . . . 

Thank you to everyone involved. Those who exhibited with me, and those who were supportive throughout the entire process. The reporters for writing the articles in the news papers, the gallery staff, those who attended or spoke at the opening, and to the people who bought our work, we hope it brings you enjoyment for many years. . . .  
Cheers Sharon