Approaches to the Australian Coast
29 August – 4 October, 2009
Extended in the Main Gallery
A group exhibition featuring the diversity on approach to representation of the Australian Coast. The exhibition will also examine aspects and issues on the role of the notion of "coast" in the Australian social, physical and creative pysche. And in a wider context, of the world environment and the concept of human activity induced global warming and its resultant rises in sea level.
Allan Baptist, Jim Birkett, Glenda Borchard, Philip Cox, Chan Dissanayaki, Ken Knight, Robert Simpson, David Voigt
Opening Saturday 29th August 2pm by Richard Morecroft
On opening day from 2pm - a mini forum with speakers addressing aspects of the Coast. These will include Allan Baptist, Artist, speaking on approaches to the Coast from an artistic and creative viewpoint, Philip Cox AO speaking on the social experience of living, building and preserving the Coast and Richard Morecroft who will open the exhibition.
This is a companion exhibition to Bungendore Wood Works Gallery's 2007 exhibition Landlines - Approaches to Land and Landscape.
Coastlines is a group exhibition about artistic representation of one of the most fragile elements of the Australian landscape - the Coast.
This exhibition, like its 2007 predecessor Landlines, continues to evaluate through the eyes of the participating artists, the magnificence and grandeur of the unique Australian landscape, in this case its coastlines with all its moods, colours, movement and social activity that the majority of Australians can readily identify with.
The artists range from full-time professionals to passionate practitioners all on equivalent footings in terms of vision and dedication to their craft. None could be termed realists, and each has chosen their vehicle for conveying their feelings and passions for the entity broadly termed as the coast.
Some achieve their aims of representation by abstraction, romanticism or mysticism while others employ metaphor and implied symbolism to make their case. All are concerned environmentalists who share common concerns for the earth’s natural welfare: that, is part and parcel of the intelligent and creative mind that resides in every artist.
In these challenging times of environmental degradation and climatic uncertainty, Coastlines – approaches to the Australian Coast brings together artists Allan Baptist, Jim Birkett, Glenda Borchard, Philip Cox, Chan Dissanayake Ken Knight, Robert Simpson and David Voigt, each depicting the notion of ‘Coast’ by way of diversity of medium, technique and subject matter.
Stan d’Argeavel – Exhibition Coordinator
ALLAN BAPTIST weaves between the realms of reality, emotion and colour. The Coast provides a seductive and creative source, and the motivational inspiration for many paintings and fuels his soul. Living in the ‘Shoalhaven’ his works reference place and experience, and evoke a gamut of emotions from calm to awe. Brooding and menacing storms at sea, a fierce bush fire raging on a distant horizon and the ecstatic pitch of cicada song on a searing hot summer’s day - this imagery constantly returns the viewer to the spirit of ‘Coast’.
JIM BIRKETT lives on the NSW South Coast and is the education officer for the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre, Bundanon Trust. He explores the landforms of islands, headlands, and bays, examining their structures, and playing with the relationships between the landscape elements and the ocean by simultaneously juxtaposing their vastness and minute detail. Jim manipulates scale and viewpoint, challenging the viewer to explore multi perspective concepts and horizons, incorporating geometric devices such as periscopes, cameras, telescopes and surveyors’ apparatus.
GLENDA BORCHARD has a strong affiliation and emotional connection with the coast. Through an exploration of colour she presents a romantic and sensory experience to the viewer through the use of symbolism and metaphors as a visual narrative. The familiar objects and natural representation become memory triggers. Although abstracted through a naïve and stylized painting genre, there remains a tension between surrealism and abstraction with organic shapes reflecting the notion of social activity, investigating concepts of collective and personal histories leaving an imprint on the coastline.
Professor PHILIP COX AO, founding partner of Cox Architects and Planners Pty Ltd is responsible for the concept design of most of the firm’s Australian and International projects, but the place he calls home since the early 1970’s is Thubbul where the Murrah River meets the ocean near Bermagui on the Far South Coast of NSW. Philip’s whimsical, beautiful and almost naïve paintings abound with colour and passion for his “Place on the Coast:” a living, breathing and naturally evolving monument to the coastal romance and folklore that informed his upbringing.
CHAN DISSANAYAKE was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to Australia with his family. An early talent for drawing was recognised as far back as his pre-school days and the passion for art was never lost. He uses the native qualities of the watercolour medium to create atmospheric effects indebted to the intense Australian light. Chan’s imagery, a product of his ethnicity blended with the Australian landscape and coast, displays an inherent beauty tinged with nostalgia that imbides a sense of calm softness to the eye of the beholder.
KEN KNiGHT's earliest memories connect him with the sea. As a child he collected shells, fished, explored rock pools and watched waves roll up the beach or explode on the rocks. He realises this most beautiful area is also a fragile and pressured landscape. Ken has total command of the vital and essential blues of the Australian coast, be it metropolitan harbours or open beaches. This transition between earth and ocean continues to fascinate the artist, and regardless of rod or brush in hand, it is totally satisfying and precious.
ROBERT SIMPSON's somewhat unique approach involves placing objects, whether real or imagined, on a background that alludes to the landscape without completely describing it visually. The resulting association often illustrates the disconnection between man and nature that has resulted in escalating problems particularly in his home environment of the Southern NSW Coast. Rather than focussing on how the landscape looks, he is more concerned with our relationship to the land: he investigates the shift of being part of nature to domination of nature.
DAVID VOIGT's visions are rarely of specific places, but emanate from recollected visitation. There are the major concerns of light and colour and movement in his coastal imagery. The passion and power of the effects of the waves and weather on the non-permanent landforms contrast with the determination of the space and its wildlife to endure. His works are almost figments of his imagination, but in reality are real experiences informed by light and point of view and transpose the viewer into the moment through stunning clarity and simplicity.