Wild Visions – Calm Reflections presents the work of two of the Gallery’s most popular and prolific artists from the
9 November – 11 December 2013, in the Octagon ArtSpace
Opening and Meet the Artists Saturday 9 November at 2pm
A Bungendore Wood Works Gallery 30th Year Anniversary Exhibition
Judi Power Thomson offers three differing views of “wild.” Judi is no stranger to the introduction of new approaches and the utilisation of new mediums, materials and techniques to keep her artistic vision alive – and always progressive.
The product of recent travels to Broken Hill, The Menindee Lakes and Lake Mungo depicts multiple views of the same area featuring wild birds from each habitat. She creates ‘time and place’ narratives that impart more depth than normally discernible in a single view. However, two paintings of majestic egrets sitting on a branch in the muddy Murrumbidgee near Balranald capture the birds and the quiet calm of the day in a single view – giving more than sufficient information in these cases.
Judi was captivated by the decorative value of masks in ceremonies in South America and Africa. Traditionally, the “mask” is closely tied to the notion of individual identity – to highlight, hide or decorate. Equally strong is the notion of ceremony, where individual, group or tribal displays and/or performances present colourful ethnic experiences enhanced by the wearing of masks. With her natural feel for design and colour, she makes interpretations of wild tribal masks created within themes of water, wind, fire and earth. Her masks incorporate gems and jewellery collected during travels within Australia. Each mask is totally unique.
Finally she reverts to one of her favourite subjects, using wild colours and brushwork to depict jazz musicians from the old school. Suits, ties, cigarettes and colourful characters, jamming together, take us back to simpler times when music was rife in the streets of Latin America and in jazz clubs around the world.
Judi attended the National Art School in Sydney, the Canberra School of Art and further studied in South Carolina, USA and Taos, New Mexico. She has been a finalist in such prestigious shows as the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, the Portia Geach Memorial Prize, the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize and the Mortimore and Calleen art awards earning two Best in Show prizes.
Chan Dissanayake has an uncanny talent for inciting mood. His works carry an almost negative luminescence devoid of strong positive colour. Yet with mere splashes of primary colours, particularly red, blue and at times muted green, he brings another level of visual power to his imagery in his exploration of reflected light on surfaces in the world around him.
This extremely calming and pleasing technique applies to almost any subject matter he chooses, such as tranquil country scenes, panoramic peopled beaches, slowly moving waters in a coastal estuary, wind and rain-soaked city streets and buildings. Even an airport tarmac evokes a sense of calm in a place that is more often than not, a cacophony of noise and frenetic energy release.
“The contrast between the harsh objects and its soothing reflections fascinates me. The gentle ambiences resulting from these surfaces such as wet streets, calm still waters or dew-laden grass add an aura of mystery.”
Chan’s interplay of light and dark with restful shadows and mid tone reflections creates a sense of harmony. Through trial and error he has pushed the boundaries of watercolour to create his desired effects. In a constant battle with the rapidly drying paper, where a time-critical brushstroke can lead to success or failure, he concludes that the path to success is a result of allowing watercolour to paint itself, where the artist becomes an observant, guiding bystander.
Chan Dissanayake was born in Sri Lanka to an artistic family. He studied watercolour painting with renowned Australian artists, and embarked on a journey of self-discovery. Achieving rapid success, he gained a considerable reputation and created history by winning the overall prize of both major art exhibitions in Canberra in 2013: The Agricultural Heritage Prize; Overall Champion Exhibit at the Royal Canberra Show; and Best of Show and People’s Choice Award at the Artists Society of Canberra Spring Exhibition.