Landscapes Real and Imagined
Creativity Cluster held the exhibition ‘Landscapes Real and Imagined’ from 28 February – 12 March 2020 at the Joel Gallery in Altona. This gallery has a lovely ambience with outdoor views. The reflected sunlight gave even greater prominence to the theme.
Landscape as a theme
“Art does not reproduce the visible; it renders visible.” With these words from Paul Klee in mind, members of our Creativity Cluster group have each used our preferred mediums to examine the essence of landscape.
Some of us have been inspired by the visible – the cities and countryside surrounding us. In particular, we have rendered visible the differences among the landscapes where we were born and raised, where we have travelled, and where we have now chosen to live.
Others of us have used the invisible as a starting point. Our dreaming or subconscious minds have led to experimentation and invention. This has enabled our creative processes to render visible these landscapes of the imagination.
One work from each of the artists is shown in the right-hand column (or at the end of this post if you are accessing it via phone). Click for more information about each Creativity Cluster artist and to find a link to each of their Instagram accounts.
Some of their landscapes are recognisable, some not. They are as varied as the artists and their mediums – scenic, humorous, realistic, thought-provoking, colourful, ethereal, geometric, dark, quirky….
Luna Cameron-Parrish – mixed media mosaic
I am not a landscape artist, at least not in the traditional sense. Most of my landscape work is stylised or comprises composite images. I prefer creating pieces that speak about shape and texture, rather than whole landscapes. My works can therefore be considered slices or sections of a landscape.
Marina Chamberlain – mixed media collage
For this exhibition I have explored the effect of landscape on memory and the imagination. My paintings are of actual landscapes, but they are not rendered literally. They have a somewhat surreal and idealised quality, as viewed through the prism of memory and time.
Pat Duncan – oil painting
My landscapes are generally seascapes, as my lasting memories are of water – seawater. I have never lived more than a few kilometres from the sight of the sea. Even now I live in Williamstown, where I see the water every day. These paintings bring together memories that in some sense lift my heart.
Lindsay Hussey – textile collage
I’ve long had an interest in the urban landscape and, more recently, how people live in the landscape in which they find themselves. My work for this exhibition explores people’s response to their local landscape, but it has also been inspired by aerial views of urban landscapes.
Nancy D Lane – found object assemblage sculpture
The Melbourne city skyline viewed from various perspectives and vantage points has inspired my works. In addition, I have been moved by the way the landscape is affected by natural disasters, such as bushfires and tsunamis. As a result, I have tried to encapsulate this concern.
Carolyn Morwood – digital print photography
Altona has unspoilt seascapes, rivers and lakes, with wonderful birdlife. Walking the paths and shores offers amazing moods and shifts of light. Capturing the play of light on a landscape over time offers many versions of that landscape. Living here, camera in hand, has been truly inspirational.
Deidre Ogilvie – oil and acrylic painting
Artists use colours, lines and other elements to create feelings such as happiness or anger, capturing moments in time and hopefully providing food for thought. When I paint landscapes, I like to create a feeling of reverence and comfort that others can take in and absorb by just sitting and looking.
Penny Sharples – oil and cold wax
While studying oil and cold wax painting in Ireland, I took the opportunity to walk to Benwee Head. There I was struck by the majestic cliffs, rugged headlands, rocky coves and jagged stacks. In addition, while travelling around Ireland, the plight of people who had fled the Irish famine so many years ago still moved me.
Mardie Whitla – handbuilt ceramics
Every year I travel widely in Italy, a classic picturesque country, exploring ideas offering creative and expressive potential. Recently I have been able to use my multitude of photographs, both from Italy and other countries, in exploration of ceramic ideas, and occasionally, multimedia creations.
Launch and artist floor talk
28 February 2020: We bumped in during the day and held a launch that evening. At the launch, the gallery manager spoke about the history of the gallery. It was formerly a hospital, and the community played an important role in converting it to a public space.
29 February 2020: Several visitors joined the artists from Creativity Cluster for an afternoon tour of the exhibition. Each artist talked about her own works and what inspired her. We also described how the mediums we used influenced our creativity.
18 February 2020: Prior to the opening of the exhibition, Deidre Ogilvie ran a two-hour hands-on workshop. She designed the workshop to introduce participants to the magic and joy of alcohol ink. As a result, each of the participants went home with their own masterpieces.
6 March 2020: Nancy D Lane offered a workshop at River Studios in West Melbourne in conjunction with both the exhibition and Clean Up Australia Day. Participants created miniature landscapes using found objects from Melbourne’s streets and beaches.
7 March 2020: Lindsay Hussey described her techniques in Fabric and Stitch Collage. The urban environment is the inspiration for her textile collages in the exhibition. They draw on traditional embroidery, as well as layering textiles and stitching, to create a complex whole.
10 March 2020: Nancy D Lane (NancyDee Sculptures) talked about Creating Art from Trash: The Trials and the Treasures. She explained how she got started in the unusual niche of found object assemblage sculpture, and described the travel experiences that have inspired her experimentation.
11 March 2020: Luna Cameron-Parrish (Amethyst Moon) presented a talk on Mixed Media Mosaic and Sculpture. Luna has worked with mosaic for 15 years. Her evolution into more sculptural work has encouraged the use of a diverse range of materials, including polymer clay.
Our thanks to the Joel Gallery team
All of the Creativity Cluster artists were very impressed with the friendly and helpful staff and volunteers at the Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre. Most importantly, we would like to thank them for supporting us. They not only answered our numerous questions, but also curated the exhibition, set up equipment for our talks and generally showed us the ropes.
We look forward to a possible return visit next year.