Michael Retter & Scott Mitchell

Bungendore Wood Works Gallery invites you to celebrate the opening of

An exhibition of exquisite marquetry by Michael Retter (OAM) and fine furniture by designer/maker Scott Mitchell

Exhibition Opening by David Upfill-Brown Saturday 26th November at 2pm, Bungendore Wood Works Gallery

RSVP to attend the opening or just come along on the day

Exhibition continues until January 30, 2012

In essence, marquetry is the craft of assembling shaped pieces of wood veneer to create a pattern, design or picture. In its most basic form it is used to create simple patterns often found on furniture and small decorative items such as jewellery boxes. More elaborate marquetry pieces may depict anything from flora and fauna, to landscapes and portraits.

Michael Retter first took up marquetry as a pastime while at sea as a marine engineer in the late 1950s. In 1984 marquetry became his profession.

Michael's best-known public work adorns substantial areas of Australia's Parliament House in Canberra. His persistence over a two-year period prior to the building's completion secured what was officially called "a commission to fabricate marquetry to the design of the chosen designer."

Over the years Michael has developed his work to the extent that he now supplies many galleries with his beautifully hand crafted depictions now focused primarily on Australian flora.

Retter's work stands alone as wall hangings and at times as more elaborate and extensive triptych and diptych works. The nature of his work lends itself to inclusion in more sizeable pieces of fine furniture. For this exhibition, as he has many times in the past, Michael has been working with Canberra designer/maker Scott Mitchell who is also associated with Bungendore Wood Works Gallery.

The two had first met in the early 1990s working on a large commissioned work for Dick Smith in association with the Gallery. The two artists developed a symbiotic relationship over the ensuing years that has become one of total respect.

At his Fyshwick studio/workshop Scott also applies the finish to Michael's finely detailed works, providing the surface coating that not only protects the works, but also brings another life to the colours and intricacies of Michael's artistry. An artist of international fame, Retter was named Marquetarian of the Year in New York in 1984, and in 1989 he was awarded an Order of Australia (OAM).

On working with Michael Retter, Scott says, "We are now at the point of total trust in each others ability. Ideas flow easily, and when a new combined project looms, Michael has his element in my workshop in a matter of days ready for me to inject it into the finished piece."

For this exhibition the two have produced a series of coffee and hall tables, mirrors and screens that complement Michael's prolific output of wall works.

Stan d'Argeavel - MA (Visual Arts) – Exhibition Coordinator

Wednesday 09 November 2011