MARCH 3rd – 27th
CATRIONA POLLARD, MICHELLE PERRETT, GARY SHINFIELD & CHERYL McCOY
Where Mountains Meet Infinity explores our relationship with mountains as we traverse over them and how they impact our sense of space, time and perspective. Bringing together three exceptional Australian artists who use nature to influence their works of art – Fibre Artist Catriona Pollard, Ceramist Michelle Perrett, and painter and printmaker Gary Shinfield.
Running from 3 March to 27 March 2022, this exhibition will include natural sculptures, ceramics and prints that explore colour, texture and organic form of the inspirational wilderness of the Blue Mountains NSW.
OPENING EVENT – POSTPONED (Due to weather) to Saturday 12th from 2pm
CATRIONA POLLARD – Fibre Artists
I have established a reputation as a distinctive fibre artist who uses traditional basketry techniques to transform foraged plant fibres into organic sculptural works.
My unique sculptural work offers glimpses of shapeshifting natural forms, from unnoticed branches, leaves and seedpods into evocative works that celebrate the abundance of nature and investigate our personal connection to the natural world.
With a intuitive minimal aesthetic, my abstract sculptures use foraged and discarded plant material with traditional basketry and assemblage techniques.
My work highlights the link between raw foraged organic materials, like vines and seed pods, with earthy materials like base metals including copper, and natural elements like charcoal, clay and ash. Most contains nothing but the organic material – no glue or synthetic dyes, and most don’t even use anything to bind it together, such as thread or wire.
Through my sculptures, I use nature as a way to connect with people that goes beyond physical beauty, but touches them in a personal and profound way.
Transforming discarded organic material into sculptures forces the viewer to observe the natural world and explore the concept of controlling it or being in harmony with it.
It adds a layer of wonder and contemplative engagement, and can also lead to a reflection on our inner landscape and the question of what would happen if we saw aspects of our lives in different ways.
Through this reinterpretation of nature, my work offers up the concept that we should actively see nature as part of us rather than simply an object that has no meaning or spirit. This investigation also leads to a reflection on our inner landscape and questioning control versus harmony within our lives.
The forms I weave tell stories relating to emotions, concepts, energy and experiences. They are about truly seeing the extraordinary in everyday moments. For me, it’s about being still, and letting the beauty surface.
Growing up in the country, with summers at the beach and every other school holidays camping and walking through National Parks has resulted in a deep connection with the natural world around me.
As I walk through the bush tracks inspiration presents itself. I see a fallen tree with the roots exposed and an idea for a sculpture is illuminated. Or as I wade through the rock pools, the shape of the water against the rocks becomes an idea for a story to be told through sculptural form.
MICHELLE PERRETT – Ceramicist
Michelle Perrett is a visual artist working in the medium of ceramic sculpture and installation. Her delicate porcelain works respond to the history of threats to flora within unique local ecosystems. The clay work involves shaping and attaching petals, making moulds, extruding, and inscribing. The sculptures incorporate textures pressed into the wet clay from nature, so the environment directly influences the finished work.
Patterns and repetition in her waratah sculptures, for example, represent earthly time and capture experiences of wandering on the tracks in National Parks seeing rock art and ancient flowers.
GARY SHINFIELD – Printmaker
Gary Shinfield is an Australian artist who graduated in 2004 with a Masters in Fine Arts/Printmaking from the College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales, Sydney. He has exhibited in solo and group shows both nationally and internationally. His work is represented in Australian and overseas collections.
Shinfield’s practice focuses on various forms of printmaking with particular interest in the relief print. Over the last decade his work has expanded to include drawing, installation and mixed media works on paper.
“To live in the Blue Mountains is to inhabit a high place, on top of a mountain at 1050 meters. It is close to nature, subject to constant change and sometimes extreme conditions. A thread of habitation stretches through vast areas of wilderness; the nest is precarious, fragile and temporary.
This place has a way of seeping under the skin, into the imagination and shaping interior landscapes. Mind and being are permeated by its presence; restless, inspiring and offering a place of refuge.
Certain elements of the physical landscape – plateau, escarpment and valley – become and remain beacons for traversing the ground of imagination. The plateau is a safe, flat place where human experience is played out. The escarpment forges an edge, an abrupt change in direction and a fall into an unknown wilderness. The valley is verdant where water flows, and a place for healing and nurturing. This is the landscape of anxiety where physical aspects of place are mirrored in the shifting images of interior spaces.”
CHERYL McCOY – Printmaker
“I am a printmaker of Gamilaraay, Dharug, Scottish & Irish descent living on Darkinjung Country. It is here that I find my inspiration.
Our family’s Aboriginal history was for a long time not spoken about and cloaked in shame while our European convict history was seen as a point of interest. This has now shifted with family exploring our cultural history with some pride. Understanding the impact of colonisation on so many levels of our existence, not least of which has been our environment, has driven our desire to discovery better ways of being with Country.
Country is a spiritual place she offers so much – she is not an exploitable object. Everything has its place and purpose. We need to honour not just the extraordinary beauty and complexity of Country but open our hearts and minds to what she can tell us. We need to observe and listen – there is much to learn about our place in this symbiotic relationship. We need to work in partnership with Country to restore her health and ours. Country is waiting for us to respond.
For the majority of my artworks wood and metal plates enable me to reflect the myriad of textures, patterns and details we don’t always observe in the Australian bush. I do hope that you enjoy this work and the stories contained within as it comes from the very consciousness of my being with Country.”