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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Observatory, Exhibition of Scholarship Work

This Saturday (25th October) is the opening of my scholarship exhibition at the Australian Print Workshop on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. There are three of us who were awarded the printmakers scholarship this year - Elaine Chew and Matthew Roberts and me. You can see our work (and have a glass of wine) from 2 till 4. The exhibition runs until 20th December, so if you can't make the opening there is plenty of time to pop by.


Observatory, an exhibition featuring limited edition etchings by 2008 scholarship recipients Elaine Chew, Bridget Farmer and Matthew Roberts, invites the viewer to explore a world filled with the natural, the treasured and the symbolic.

Elaine Chew’s work explores cultural traditions of superstition and spiritualism. Drawing from the rituals and customs of her peers and relatives, she looks at the way different cultures imbue the everyday world with the spiritual.

Elaine’s suite of etchings in Observatory investigates ideas of amulets and talismans from a personal and intimate perspective, drawing from a history of symbols used to promote good luck, to ward off evil and to offer protection from ill health and jinxes.

Her images form imagined stellar constellations that reflect the idea of the past, the future and the human search for meaning in the unknown. They are personal symbols of longing, commemoration, loss and hope, and a reminder of the unity of all things.

Elaine Chew completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Printmaking in 2006. In 2007 she received the Janet Holmes a Court Artists’ Grant courtesy of the National Association for the Visual Arts. In 2006 she was awarded the Arts Law Centre of Australia Print Commission and her work was acquired in the Silk Cut Award.

Bridget Farmer’s work has developed through an interest in the native bird life of Australia and the idea of documenting new discoveries. Upon her arrival in Australia, the U.K. born artist was astonished by the extent and range of bird life, most of which she could not name or recognise.

Her fascination in the early paintings, drawings and prints of Australian birds inspired Bridget to speculate about the experience of Western explorers and settlers of Australia when they first came across new and different birds and began to document them.

Over the years Bridget has drawn, studied and depicted these birds in her limited edition prints. Utilising the opportunities provided by her scholarship at APW, Bridget’s suite of etchings in Observatory show her recent experimentation with aquatint, spit bite, soft ground, sugar lift and multi plate etching.

In 2007 Bridget completed a Master of Fine Art (Printmaking) following Undergraduate and Post Graduate studies in Design and Applied Art at the Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, UK.

Matthew Roberts’ exquisitely rendered etchings counterbalance his subject matters' suggested absence of location with seductively refined detail. Realist in their portrayal of his subject the Black Swan, his plates resonate with the tell tale marks and scratches of the etched medium. His forms dissolve into their subtle textural backdrops.

Matthew’s interest in the Black Swan suggests his personal identification with Australia. Having relocated often during his youth, Matthew identifies with the swan as a nomadic creature – one that could be found in many lands and habitats, happily integrated into new worlds, but whose origins, or ‘homeland’ was in Australia. The simple pleasure of studying the swan’s curious form and transforming this into an experiential drawing process through hard ground etchings has fascinated Matthew since he began making limited edition prints in 2003.

Matthew graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Printmaking) in 2007. In 2003 he completed a lithography course at Australian Print Workshop. In 2007 he was the recipient of the George Alexander Foundation Grant.

1 comment:

jo horswill said...

Looks wonderful, will definately visit...