Roslyn Kean has kindly made a full length video catalogue of our work in our 60th Anniversary Exhibition at Manly Gallery and Museum, ‘To the Edges.’ Here it is for all to enjoy, with many thanks to Roz! The video is nine and a half minutes long.
Barbara Davidson showed a collection of her books at Sydney Contemporary this year.
Only six days to go to see this impressive exhibition!
Splash page image: Nathalie Hartog-Gautier, Looking for Paradise, Handmade raw cotton paper in collaboration with Darren Simpson from Creative Paper Tasmania and Penelope Lee, 12 books, unique state.
Purpose of the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize
The Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize was launched in 2002 and commemorates the birth of the South Australian Museum’s first curator, Frederick George Waterhouse. The prize is an opportunity for artists to investigate the world around them, and present their perspectives on natural science. It encourages artists to make a statement about the scientific issues facing our planet, and offers a valuable platform for them to contribute to the environmental debate. Over the years the competition has become a much loved fixture on the arts calendar, allowing artists and audiences to explore natural science through a range of creative outlets.
Two main award categories are available, these being an Open Prize with a $30,000 prize and an Emerging Artist Prize with a $10,000 prize.
Visitors to the South Australian Museum exhibition can also vote on The People’s Choice Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize, awarded to a finalist artist who has been judged by the people to have communicated the most significant scientific message within the spirit of the competition.
The People’s Choice Dr Wendy Wickes Memoriam Prize is generously provided by her life’s companion.
Entries may be submitted from Monday 25 October 2021 until 5pm Friday 25 February 2022.
The selected works must arrive at the South Australian Museum between Monday 2 May and Friday 13 May 2022.
For further information, including full competition rules and entry form, please CLICK HERE.
For further information please contact email@example.com.
The exhibitions page has links to a short Film of the installed work, the online catalogue, and Sasha Grishin’s Opening Address.
How does your work address the theme ‘To the Edges’?
For myself, this has been a very apposite theme for a number of reasons. The initial reason being direct experience of the bush fires in 2019/2020. I live on a hundred acres in remote NSW South Coast and watched the sky turn a livid brown and the sun turn an angry orange as the flames from the Currowan Fires crept closer, until we were surrounded and parts of our land a-flame. Myself, husband, dog, were literally ‘on edge’ for days and nights with fire hoses out, water pumps on and waking every couple of hours through the night to check that fallen and smoking trees had not re-ignited and started a fresh fire. So the first piece in the trio deals with this aspect of the theme.
The second piece ‘Chaos’ suggests that humanity’s greed, carelessness and poor behaviour has lead to chaos and disaster – a theme influenced by Mario Vargas Llosa’s book ‘The Storyteller’ – and here we see flood, fire, calamity inflicted on the world. Finally, man’s poor environmental record has brought man and planet to the edge of extinction – sea levels have risen and imagined, monstrous sea creatures dominate …
Can you describe the technical process you went through to achieve the finished work and what technical challenges you encountered along the way?
Technically, the pieces were reasonably straight-forward, any difficulties tended to be in cutting the detail and ensuring clarity. Perhaps my choice of fibrous Japanese Unryu paper – chosen because I felt the woody fibres would enhance the message of the pieces – did make it harder to get solid blacks where I really needed them and as a result I did end up printing them all by hand.
What do you see as the role of Sydney Printmakers for the next 60 years?
Like other successful printmaking groups, we can show the great expressive possibilities of our craft, the wonderful images that can be achieved using only print techniques; that printmaking skills are great tools for everyone to use either alone or in combination with other media.
How do you see the role of printmaking in general, contributing to the conversation about contemporary art practice.
Printmaking utilises numerous flexible and dynamic tools and can probably lead or assist art practice to move in a multitude of directions.
To the Edges is open for visitors again, but if you just can’t make it, here is a video walk through of the show hosted by the curator, Katherine Roberts. The exhibition closes on the 7th of November.
Thanks to Nathan Lewis and Matt Creswell for making the video.
As a student at the National Art School in the 1960’s I was introduced to Taoist philosophy and discovered Indian tantric art. At that time, I didn’t realize the influence this would have on me.
After graduation I exhibited paintings and taught at TAFE for many years. Then I studied and professionally practiced Traditional Chinese Acupuncture for ten years alongside my art practice. Working with subtle energy systems of Five Element Acupuncture, naturally influenced my artwork.
Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s I worked as a stills photographer on documentary film and book projects with Aboriginal elders and began to see expression of that elemental energy in their stories, song-lines and country, this changed the way I viewed landscape.
Some photographic projects that personally influenced me were the documentary “Flight of the Windhorse” about the first Australian Himalayan hot-air ballooning expedition in Nepal in 1985 (my introduction to Tibetan Buddhism). Photo research and photography for the book “Burnum Burnum’s Aboriginal Australia – A Traveller’s Guide” produced for the Bi-Centenary in 1988. The documentary “Kakadu Man” about Bill Neidjie, of the Bunitj clan Gagudju language group of northern Kakadu in 1990. (he invited me back to draw and paint his country).
In 1992, two favourite assignments as photographer were for the Sydney visit of the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and photographing the handover ceremony for the remains of Mungo Lady at Lake Mungo, both in 1992.
Lake Mungo, like Kakadu, became a place that draws me back and I have produced and exhibited paintings, drawings, etchings and photographs from these places over the years. I always took a sketch pad, pencils, inks and crayons with me to sketch during breaks from photographing. Back home in the studio, many paintings, works on paper, experiments with etching and chine-colle came about because of these projects and journeys. Initially I worked with painting, printmaking and photography as individual practices, now I equally enjoy mixed media.
In 2000, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory included me in their exhibition “Artists in the Field: A Retrospective’ and bought one of my drawings for their collection.
In 2001, the Manly Art Gallery and Museum presented a survey show of my work based on 13 years of desert journeys called “Alchemic Wilderness: a survey 1988 – 2001- Lake Mungo, Desert and Kakadu”. It included photographs, drawings, etchings and paintings. They acquired an etching for their collection.
I decided to investigate Tibetan Buddhist ideas of the Five Elements as a portal into concepts of landscape, (including Australian Indigenous) for the Master of Philosophy, Visual Arts Graduate Program at ANU. I completed five bodies of work from landscapes as diverse as Lake Mungo (earth) Mystery Bay (water) Central Western Desert (fire,) Glasshouse Mountains (air) and Space as the fundamental basis of all the elements … inner space, outer space, the bardo, pictorial space, mind space. Chinese, Indian and Tibetan cultures have variations in their philosophical and visual traditions of the Five Elements. This was an opportunity to examine the diverse knowledge systems and spiritual practices I have engaged in over many years and explore how my Buddhist practice interfaces with the methodology of my art practice. I actively reviewed my painting practice as a contemplative art practice and investigated traditional and contemporary Australian, European and Tibetan artists. This research became part of my exegesis titled “Contemplation and Immersion: Exploring the Five Elements and Australian Landscape” awarded in 2020. My work is suffused with Buddhist philosophy and overlaid with environmental concern.
To see more of Carmen’s work go HERE.