Gallery Review

Review of our current exhibitions by artist Deb St Leger

Sharons' Paintings of she oaks on Maria Island appear as groves of old trees haunting in their depiction and haunted by past inhabitants.

They are places where long lost secrets and stories hover in the still air and hide in the shadows. The soft blues and greens of leaves and grasses seem vulnerable to the vagaries of natural forces, as they sigh and whisper to the wind, in contrast, the stoic old trunks are firmly fixed, immutable, to the earth.

Orford Onlookers presents us with a permanent and solid rock face towering up two thirds of the canvas. It contains the beautiful forms and delicate colours of weathered sandstone. While above the exposed vegetation is buffeted by the wind and silhouetted against an unsettled sky.

Maria Island Old Peoples's Home #2 presents us with old, bent and permanently wind-blown stand of she oaks, these have the feeling of a protective sanctuary, a refuge for a weary traveller, a safe and secure resting place. In the work Maria Island Old Peoples Home a rock in the foreground acts a symbolic presence denoting occupation of the land, while the strong silhouetted tree with its spreading branches acts as the protector and defender of the land. Between them are scattered stones and leaves, these seem to act as lives lost and stories untold, scattered through time. Such places need to be protected and experienced.

The Black Wall offers contrasting themes and images with Margaret McAteer's dramatic black and white prints giving us drama with a hint of farce, a sci-fi figure who appears to be a perfect gentleman and a society lady lost to melancholia! While Felicity Edwards offers insight into fire ravaged landscapes, with the rhythms of black vertical tree trunks contrasted with subtle shifts of colour in the ashen earth, played out in a semi-abstract construct which speaks not of what is left but what has been lost. The set of four feline friends sitting in complete stillness and silence on their lovely patterned rugs glare at the viewer with a manic ferocity reserved for cats of a certain temperament!

Why not start your own personal art collection with some of these works purchased through the Collect Scheme from Arts Tasmania.