Virtual exhibition – Encounters with Australian Nature

Throughout 2019 and 2020 I’ve been working on a series of paintings which I planned to exhibit in the art space at City Library, Melbourne, in spring. It’s been fun sharing these works one by one online to a small audience, but I had a plan to bring them together in one room and share the positive energy nature gives me and the happiness I feel when painting to many more people.

This year things have played out much differently to what everybody hoped and expected. Visiting a gallery or library is not currently safe so the exhibition has been cancelled. The Library has kindly given me another spot for next year, but I had to make a decision in regards to what to do with my work. Do I do nothing, present the works in a virtual space or save them for next year?

I decided to put my ideas into a virtual exhibition for four main reasons.

  1. Although not ideal, the virtual setting still helps me to share my enthusiasm and positive energy to those who engage in the space. I would rather do my best with the new options available to me than abandon my ideas completely because the desired scenario no longer exists.
  2. I am a product of my time and experiences. A virtual exhibition is representative of what is happening in 2020 and what we need to do to engage with art. It’s going to be an interesting experience and I will learn more about people and myself. I have no doubt I’ll be glad I did it.
  3. A major part of my art is expressing myself and once I have put what I wanted to emote or say into the world, I feel it has moved out of my mind and body. I then no longer need to deal with that moment of my life. These works are related to specific times and places and next year I will have new works related to new experiences. Putting these works in a virtual exhibition gives me closure.
  4. My work is developing rapidly. I’m very proud of all these works, but they are an improvement on what I was doing a few years ago and I expect next year’s work will again be more in depth and refined. I’d like to give myself free space to focus on the future works.

I hope you enjoy my virtual exhibition.

There is nobody on this bike path and no distractions which is probably why I notice the branch of a gum tree with snow-white bark reaching out over a fence as if it’s waiting to scruff my hair with its long twig fingers as I walk by.

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There is a wallaby fifteen meters away in the scrub, already staring right at me. It is using the same technique I’m using to go unnoticed – standing completely still. Had it panicked and hopped away I would have seen it immediately.

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We’re deep into spring and the lorikeets have found homes where there are hollows in trunks at the crowns of these trees, sometimes competing with other birds like corellas. This one’s lover is hiding close to the trunk beneath the cover of the palm leaves with just its head popping out.

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This exhibition features oil paintings created in 2019-20 that were inspired by my encounters with nature in Australia. The exhibition will be available to view on this site between August 14 and October 1.

View the exhibition.

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