‘Highly effective’ testomony to resilience within the face of covid
Images / “Reflection on Nature”, varied artists, on the Outdated Barn Gallery, Pialligo, February 9-12. Reviewed by CON BOEKEL.
THIS exhibition focuses on engagement with nature by artwork in an effort to promote private wellbeing.
The strategy belongs to a wealthy philosophical custom that, inter alia, drives nations to create nationwide parks, botanic gardens and concrete inexperienced areas.
Mission director, Julia Landford, acknowledged that this NatureArt Lab undertaking had its genesis simply as covid was starting to tighten its grip. The three-year undertaking ended formally with greater than 600 members, who between them posted many hundreds of their works on Fb. The variety of contributors continues to develop and has now topped 700.
Clearly, one thing vital is going on. Past a easy assertion, how would possibly the exhibition exhibit its wellbeing thesis? I have to confess to an enormous bias. I really like being in nature. I really like photographing nature. I really feel full sympathy for this undertaking.
However the undertaking shouldn’t be a double-blind science experiment. Nothing is demonstrated statistically. As a substitute, the undertaking depends upon the artworks to mirror actuality because the moon displays the solar.
Fourteen thematic collages type the core of the exhibition. The collages comprise the works of a subset of round a few dozen members. Every theme is accompanied by thought-provoking texts. The collages range in inventive coherence – all the time a problem with so many contributors, with such an enormous potential topic, and with such a combination of media. The stand-outs on this respect are “Important Timber” and “Water”.
The pictures is nearly all within the style of pure realism. The creativity arises by the choice and mixture of topics, factors of view, cropping, scale, shapes, traces, colors and textures. The chosen works are virtually uniformly of a really excessive technical high quality. A lot of the photographs mirror an exquisite depth of seeing.
The collages are complemented by particular person works. David Rees’ nature movies have steadily improved over current years and at the moment are wonderful. The viewer enjoys normally hard-to-see crakes and rails going about their enterprise – accompanied with stunning temper music. Rees is branching out from birds. The thistle-feeding hawk moth sequence is excellent.
The character journals are overtly reflective and intimate – maybe extra practically bearing instantly on the undertaking imaginative and prescient than the pictures. Most of the drawing/textual content combos are very satisfying.
There’s a elementary and inescapable irony underpinning this exhibition. Rees’ video mediates nature for the viewer. The prints and the journals are abstracted from nature. These abstractions are transposed from en plein air to the partitions contained in the Outdated Barn. The then-fresh moments-in-time are lengthy gone.
Given these ironies, the problem is whether or not the created objects can encourage contemporary moments of being within the current. Are we trying on the solar or on the solar’s rays mirrored on the moon? I think the standard of the engagement will rely to a big diploma on the person viewer.
There’s a joie de vivre on this exhibition. There’s a shared objective. There are shared experiences and shared feelings. The wide-open barn doorways join the within and the skin, the previous and the current. The nice and cozy summer time air flowing by the door caresses me whereas I benefit from the artistic bounty.
“Reflections on Nature” places the bush into the “Bush Capital”. It’s a highly effective testomony to the Canberra group’s resilience within the face of covid.
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Ian Meikle, editor