AUGUST 4 – 28
COLETTE JONQUIERES – PENELOPE OATES – BOYD McMILLAN
OPENING EVENT – Saturday August 6th from 2pm.
I love owls!
For many years now I have undertaken a series of paintings of animals that I felt strongly connected to. In my last two series I focused on sheep and then goats, now it is owls…. but with a twist.
The sheep, goats and owls are all portraits of people that I have met and who possess strong personalities that I felt could be represented in this way.
Other than the facial characteristics of the subjects, my main focus is on the shape and colour of the eyes of the person I was painting. A person’s eyes are, in many ways, the most powerful aspect of their identity.
The works take a lot of time, but I love it. I really get to immerse myself in the image and am fascinated by the incredible detail in the feathers, the talons, the intensity of the eyes or the bark of a gnarly branch.
Penelope has had an extensive and varied career in the arts spanning a period of some 20 years. She completed a degree in Fine Arts in Sydney at COFA at a young age which was followed shortly by a degree in Stage and Costume design which she completed at the highly prestigious acting school, NIDA. She worked for several years through to her thirties in Sydney as a designer, concept illustrator and model maker before finally completing a Diploma of Teaching in Visual Arts which has allowed her to finance her foray into her own art practice. Today Penelope works from her studio in rural Grose Vale NSW, where she lives with her furniture designer/maker husband Darren Oates and at the moment, one dog.
Material and Conceptual Practice
Penelope’s technical approach to her practice is highly layered with its mix of coloured inks, acrylic paint and a trusty soldering iron which allows her to lightly etch into both timber panels and canvasses resulting in a distinctive, tapestry-like patina of overlapping lines. This introduction of a soldering iron into her artmaking practice has allowed her to introduce more of a drawing element back into her work and she sees herself as more of a ‘mark-maker’ than a painter.
Inspiration is drawn from Penelope’s own experiences and memories of the landscape with its shifting colours, merging textures and evocations of place and time. She feels a strong connection to the works of 19th Century metaphysical poet John Keats whose poetry expresses the notion of being able to transcend our negative experiences of the world by contemplating upon ‘a thing of beauty’ In this sense her work provides her with an escape from the strains of an otherwise contemporary urban existence and allows her to indulge in the practice of making, often a very solitary experience but one which suits her perfectly. Art does, however, need an audience to give it meaning and context and it is every artist’s joy when that connection is made between the viewer and their work of art.
Presenting the Australian Landscape an accessible way to provide an experience of natural areas that may encourage consideration of the bush and its values.
Painting is from the direct experience of walking in the bush with a foundation of drawing to show response to change and present the lightness and transparency of the Australian bush. Tree Portraits engage with older trees as enduring records of the conditions in which they grow.
Sculpture is based on low impact techniques of basketry using the natural structure of plants. Earlier this year I won the Peter Collins Memorial Prize at the 2022 Sculpture Bermagui Festival.
I studied art in Queensland in the 1970’s. I began to exhibit in a range of media.
Works have sold to clients in Australia and overseas.