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ARTFUL ALCHEMY

AUGUST 9 – SEPTEMBER 30

In ancient times, alchemy was the magical transformation of base materials into precious metals, perfumes or elixirs of life. As well as observation and experimentation with minerals, plant and animal extracts, alchemists were also concerned with mystical symbols and spiritual enlightenment.
Today, Artful Alchemy is the virtuosity of an artist skilful with paints and brush, a musician bringing to life their voice and instruments, a chef’s masterpiece equally pleasing to the eye and tastebuds.
Gang Gang Gallery brings you a fully immersive Art of Lunch experience on Sunday 29 Septrember with Artful Alchemy. Five well-known artists present totally different perceptions of Blue Mountains environments, astonishing us with their originality and insight. It is intriguing how each artist’s vision and depiction of the natural environment is so distinctive. They all start off with the same materials – paints, brushes, canvas – and transform these base elements into artworks that evoke emotional, and sometimes spiritual or philosophical, responses.
Often painting ‘en plain air’, Jane Canfield’s tonal studies can capture the seasonal chill of winter, the mountain’s moody atmospherics or distant urbanscapes, discovering their essence in broad strokes rather than representational detail.
French-born and educated at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Nadege Lamy has immersed herself into the Australian environment, which she interprets through the prism of her French-Australian culture and interest in Asian philosophies. She aims to express the meditative, spiritual exchange that she experiences.
From her eyrie overlooking the Hawkesbury River, Mellissa Read-Divine uses expressionistic, immediate style to render vivid and spectacular large-scale paintings of river landscapes, flora and birdlife.
As a youth Ray Harrington frequented famous London galleries, drawing inspiration from Turner and French Impressionists. Since setting out in earnest on his creative path as a painter based at Blackheath, he has developed his own style of impressionism in oils with emphasis on light and colour.
Yaja Hadrys practices a different type of alchemy. She goes on seasonal gathering trips, collecting her Blue Mountains native plant materials – flowers, leaves, twigs, barks. She concocts bundles of carefully selected plants, tightly binds them in a cocoon of silk and steams the bundles in her ‘eucalyptus stews’ . When the silk fabric is released from its cocoon you see its amazing transformation into an echo of nature.
Musician . . . . .
Roy McVeigh, Executive Chef of multi-award winning Darley’s Restaurant, has designed his highly creative spin on Artful Alchemy in harmony with the exhibition.