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Perspectives, Issue #023- Lots Happening in the Arts
May 08, 2012

"Perspectives" - Lots Happening in the Arts

“Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye…it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.”

What do you think of this quote by famous Norwegian expressionist painter and printmaker Evard Munch, whose work recently changed hands for billions of dollars?

Ignoring the investment potential of great works of art, which may well have you shaking your head in wonder, what are your thoughts about the ‘role of the soul’ in the making of art and of its appreciation? If you would like to enter into a discussion perhaps you could start it here .

Are you interested in the feelings, thoughts and intuition that inform works of art or is mere representation of the physical world enough for you?

For me, artists and their work are inseparable and their insights, perspective and knowledge, shared through highly developed technical skills, is greatly valued.

Looking back

One artist who has responded to the characteristics of the Australian landscape with vigor and enthusiasm is Linda Jackson . Over a forty year career Linda’s interest in interpreting her emotional attachment to this vast and varied landscape through creative fashion, fabrics and paintings, has never waned. She is indeed an icon in Australian art and fashion history.

At present the National Gallery of Victoria is hosting a major retrospective of Linda’s work at the Ian Potter Centre in Melbourne. Titled “Linda Jackson: Bush Couture” the exhibition runs until 9 September, 2012. If you are in Melbourne be sure to catch it – or even one of the workshops and lectures that Linda and Gallery staff are presenting.

Here and now

Another North Queensland artist, Tania Heben , has had a very busy twelve months, preparing for her recent exhibitions of oil paintings at Cairns Regional Gallery and the Casino Hotel in Cairns. Tania’s inspiration and subject matter for the last twenty years has been the gorgeous, brightly coloured flowering trees , mountains, sugar plantations and tropical beaches that surround her.

Following the closing of the Marina Beautiful Art Spaces in Port Douglas, Tania has moved her studio/gallery to the Pier in Cairns so do drop in to see her at shop G8 when you are next there.

Sharing Tania’s studio is sculptor/painter, Ross Bannister . Ross is new to North Queensland, although he has lived and painted in a number of tropical countries. One of his amazing skills is building huge sand sculptures; I hear that he has something special in mind for Port Douglas Carnivale at the town end of Four Mile Beach on May 26, so don’t miss it!

My turn!

Nature is close to my sense of identity, as I believe it is to most of us, especially to those who are fortunate to live away from the noise and distractions of city and suburban life. Years of living in the Australian ‘outback’ brought responses to the huge textural landscape, with its colours and atmosphere which was so different to the tropics where I now live.

Here there are no far horizons, so mostly I have investigated the up-close aspects that Nature spectacularly reveals in lush plants, trees and flowers. Towards the end of last year I spent time studying plants of the ginger family which grow, almost out of control, in the Cairns Botanical Gardens. Drawings developed into a series of silk scarves that have been beautifully digitally printed in Australia.

It is possible to have fabric printed overseas much more cheaply than here but we need to support our fledgling industries and I am delighted to have such high quality work possible just a few phone calls and emails away.

Here they are – see what you think. If you would like to purchase any, as a reader of this newsletter you will automatically receive a discount of $10 off each scarf.

Art in Tropical Australia website

The website continues to grow, partly courtesy of your contributions, but I am constantly upgrading and expanding it too, with articles about artists and art of the region, for your interest and enjoyment. Have a look at this Virtual Gallery page, which I am working on at present.

Each artist involved in the site has the opportunity to be represented by three pages about different aspects of his or her work. For example, if you look at mine you will see that the image links are to paintings, textiles and prints. The plan is to slowly add extra pages for artists so that much information will be available from that one page, although other pages such as the site map and Tropical Artists page and Tropical Blog also have links to articles.

If you arrange an RSS feed you will be notified when new articles are uploaded (directions at bottom of nav bar).

If you are a Facebook fan, please ‘like’ our page or just ‘like’ any page on the Art in Tropical Australia site. This means that you will be able to check out any news on a weekly basis. Your news and comments would be appreciated, too!

As usual there seems to be a lot happening in the Arts in Tropical North Queensland. See stories on 'YOUR pages' and please contribute to any of the sections listed.

New Print Group Surges Ahead

Last year the Inkmasters Group was formed in Cairns. Based at Theo Tremblay’s Editions Tremblay Studio, members are all practicing or aspiring printmakers. Their collective energy and skills have resulted in exciting exhibitions and workshops – and now a printmaking festival, Inkfest.

I attended the Lithography workshop with renowned printmakers G.W.Bot and Theo Tremblay. Somehow I had never been exposed to the process so it was quite an adventure. Who knows, I may become a ‘real’ printmaker one of these days!

The Weather

Just to make those of you in colder climes a little envious, check out the weather that we are having lately. In between article writing, painting and the occasional bit of gardening, I am drawn to enjoy the beach, just a minute’s walk away. This is also playwright, Jack Heywood’s favourite spot I think as I often see him there – developing characters and writing a new play in his head!

Where do you go for artistic inspiration?

All good wishes to you


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