Saturday, July 14, 2012

When Rainforests Ruled
ArtCloth Exhibition
Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

My artwork has appeared in a number of exhibitions which have been featured on this blog spot. For your convenience I have listed these posts below.

ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions (Marie-Therese Wisniowski - Curator's Talk)
Sequestration of CO2 (Engaging New Visions) M-T. Wisniowski
Codes – Lost Voices (ArtCloth Installation) M-T. Wisniowski
Unleashed: The Rise of Australian Street Art (Art Exhibition) Various Artists
Merge and Flow (SDA Members Exhibition) M-T. Wisniowski
The Journey (Megalo Studio) M-T. Wisniowski
Another Brick (Post Graffiti ArtCloth Installation) M-T. Wisniowski
ArtCloth Swap & Exhibition
When Rainforests Glowed (Eden Gardens Gallery) M-T. Wisniowski
My Southern Land (Galerie 't Haentje te Paart, Netherlands) M-T. Wisniowski
The Last Exhibition @ Galerie ’t Haentje the Paart
Mark Making on Urban Walls @ Palm House (Post Graffiti Art Work)
Fleeting - My ArtCloth Work Exhibited @ Art Systems Wickham Art Gallery
My Thirteen Year Contribution to the '9 x 5' Exhibition at the Walker Street Gallery & Arts Centre
Timelines: An Environmental Journey
Man-Made Fish Kills
My Contribution to: The Lake Macquarie's Water Exhibition

The dual exhibition “When Rainforests Ruled” (Marie-Therese Wisniowski) and Floating (Helen Lancaster) opened on the 7th July 2012 at Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery (Freemans Reach, NSW, Australia). The dual exhibition was reviewed by Irene Manion whose article will appear in the August Edition of Textile Fibre Forum. The exhibition will close on the 31st of August 2012 - giving ample time for those who are in reachable distance of the Gallery to view the exhibition.

This blog is the first in a series of three. It will give coverage to the place, the exhibition opening and the rationale and technique behind my artwork that was exhibited. The second blog will cover Helen Lancaster’s component of our dual journey - Floating. The third blog in this series will cover my wearable art – My Velvet Scarves@Purple Noon – that were especially created for sale at Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery.

It was a delight to work with Robyn Williams, Carl Stringfellow and Caitlin Hietanen, who made exhibiting at Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery such a relaxing venture.

Purple Noon
The gallery name - “Purple Noon” - was inspired by Arthur Streeton’s (1867-1943) painting titled - “The Purple Noon’s Transparent Might” – an oil on canvas that he created in 1896 when he visited the Hawesbury region - a region that is on the outskirts of Western Sydney. Streeton took the title from lines in Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem – Stanzas Written in Dejection, Near Naples:

The sun is warm, the sky is clear,
The waves are dancing fast and bright,
Blue isles and snowy mountains wear
The purple noon's transparent might,
The breath of the moist earth is light,
Around its unexpanded buds;
Like many a voice of one delight,
The winds, the birds, the ocean floods,
The City's voice itself, is soft like Solitude's.

Streeton created the artwork on a very hot January day as he stood on a cliff overlooking the Hawksbury river, not bothering with an easel, but instead using a dead sapling to support the canvas as he worked. Later he reflected that:
“…the atmosphere 10 degrees higher than my own temperature crept round my face like a flame; and it seemed like working in a fiery trance. I paused and found that in two hours two thirds of my canvas was covered with paint, I had stamped my big impression upon it, I had made my picture.”

Arthur Streeton’s, Purple Noon’s Transparent Might (1896).
Courtesy of the National Gallery Of Victoria.
Note: The location of Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery is at 606 Terrace Road, Freemans Reach (NSW, Australia) which is near where Streeton created his painting.

The Place – Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery
The gallery opened its doors to the public in November 2006. Since its inception, it has gained a reputation of being one of the finest commercial galleries in regional NSW and Western Sydney, with regular exhibitions and a permanent collection of both local art and sculpture and “…with a strong focus on high quality artwork from leading artists, emerging artists, and Indigenous artists from around Australia”.

Inviting street entrance to Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery.

The gallery initiated and so hosts the Hawkesbury Art Prize. The art prize is for a painting, photograph or collage that is inspired by contemporary Australian identity. The purpose of the prize is to promote art in the Hawkesbury region and to increase the awareness of art and cultural activity, to the mutual benefit of community, artists and students alike.

The prize is non-acquisitive, with a monetary value of $10,000 for the winner and with three additional “Highly Commended” awards of $1,000 each. Maggie Scott, a well-known art patron who lives in the region, generously donated the first prize of $10,000.

The charm of the gallery lies not just in the staff, but also in the building. The gallery was purposely built to yield a rustic ambience that oozes warmth, friendliness and a relaxed atmosphere - three of the most important ingredients that enable visitors to immerse themselves into the artworks that are exhibited and more importantly, to do so at their own leisurely pace - away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney.

Entrance fa├žade of the Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery.

Entrance doors to Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery.
Note the beautiful sandstone wall that George built.

The sparrow-picked solid sandstone walls, old timbers, leadlight windows and corrugated iron complement one another to create a gallery that is aesthetically pleasing and furthermore, does not need to compete with the exhibited artworks, but rather the building aims to perfectly frame them.

“When Rainforests Ruled” framed artworks on gallery stone wall.

The Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery does not usually exhibit ArtCloth, Fiber Art or Textile Art etc. and so this was their inaugural exhibition using ArtCloth as the medium. They do sell Wearable Art such as scarves etc.

“When Rainforests Ruled” framed artworks on gallery corrugated iron wall (including selection of ArtCloth scarves for sale).

However, as this was a dual exhibition, and because my ArtCloth pieces and my wall hangings could be framed, the Gallery took a risk with my ArtCloth works. Thanks guys!

“When Rainforests Ruled” framed Artworks and ArtCloth wall hangings on gallery back wall.

The People At The Exhibition Opening
The exhibition opening was well attended. There was wine to consume, food to enjoy, people to converse with, and live music to listen to. Conversations filled the gallery as art lovers re-acquainted themselves with each other or met each other for the first time. And of course, there was art and lots of it to appraise, to enjoy and imbue.

Marie-Therese with the hard working, supportive and professional team at Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery. From left to right: Marie-Therese, Robyn Williams, Carl Stringfellow and Caitlan Hietanen.

The official party. From left to right: Robyn Williams (Owner and Director of Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery), Louise Markus (Federal Member for Macquarie), Marie-Therese (Artist), Kim Ford (Mayor, Hawkesbury City Council who opened the Exhibition) and Helen Lancaster (Artist).

Rhiannon Lawson entertained the opening night crowd with her delightful songs and ukulele playing.

Friends and colleagues at the exhibition opening included (from left to right) Susan Hutchinson, Marie-Therese, Gail McDonald, Maz Beeston, Jim Beeston and Judi Crawford.

Also at the opening were Irene Manion, Ellen King, Jennifer Hawkins, Karen Macpherson, Sue Bellantonio and Kath Wilkinson - to name a few.

My Opening Address
“I’d like to thank the Mayor for opening the exhibition and Robyn for her warm introduction. It is always a pleasure to work with Robyn, Carl, Caitlan and staff who understand the nuances that underlie artworks and art practices. I should add that my exhibited wall hangings would look wonderful in frames and we all know who could easily do the framing!

Helen and I have journeyed similar byways and highways in the past, but in this dual exhibition our signatures are happily complementary but different. This juxtaposition is what makes it so exciting to co-exhibit with Helen – a doyen in her art fields.

I’d like to talk a little about my background and the works presented in the exhibition. I worked as a professional graphic designer for 30 years and for the last 15 years as a full time studio artist, researcher, author, curator, speaker and tutor. Together with my husband, we established Art Quill & Co. I am also a casual lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia. I curated the inaugural international exhibition - ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions - that was held at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery in 2009 and that toured nationally for a further two years. Helen was an invited artist in that exhibition.

I specialise in the area of ArtCloth as well as fine-art limited edition prints. My current artworks explore contemporary urban and natural environmental landscapes. In some of my artworks I juxtapose the two.

I have been fortunate that my ArtCloth, artist printmakers’ books and fine-art limited edition prints on paper have been exhibited nationally and internationally and are held in major public and private collections in Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Sweden, Thailand and the USA.

Some of the collections that my artworks are held include the National Gallery of Australia, The National Library of Australia, Monash University, University of Queensland, Murdoch University Art Collection, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, University of West England in Bristol, The London Print Studios and the Special Collections, of the University of Colorado-Boulder, USA etc.

In the late 1990s I started to work with disperse dyes on polyester and synthetic fabrics employing transfer techniques. Disperse dyes are a commercial dye type which are light fast, color fast and wash fast and have been specifically created for synthetic fibers. I was captivated by the richness, depth of color and over layering possibilities that could be achieved using them. My experiments have led to a new signature technique that I have developed and termed - MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS). I have been teaching the MSDS technique at international and national conferences and workshops, textile forums, to textile groups and in university courses.

Let me give you an insight as to how I have created my artworks that I am exhibiting here today. I create color paper plates using my disperse dyes – one plate per dye hue. You can think of my color paper plates as the equivalent to an artist palette. My canvas equivalent or rather my art medium is satin – a tightly woven fabric that yields images of great detail. My paintbrush – now wait for this – is a very hot iron; that’s right, one that you all have in your home. By ironing the color dye paper plates but positioning flora between the plate and the satin, I can control the vaporized dye to form an image onto my canvas. Every one of my artworks is unique, not only because of the composition that I am imposing on my work, but because the layering and repositioning can never be duplicated. The completed artworks are rich in color, light, shade, contrast, movement and depth. The multiple layers also imbue a painterly aesthetic and textural three-dimensional quality to the finished piece.

Exhibition Synopsis
The artworks in this exhibition, “When Rainforests Ruled”, weave through a narrative of our natural national history, its memories and reflect on the land’s resonance with Australia’s indigenous peoples. Through research and field trips, this narrative and resonance has impacted on me and reflects my passion, commitment and care to the native flora and fauna of Australia, an intrinsic part of the world’s natural heritage.

In noting the fragility of our rain forests in the modern world, I have intentionally created the artworks on delicate synthetic cloth substrates highlighting this most important but threatened biological resource. Rainforests cover barely 0.3 per cent of this continent, yet more than half of our plants and animals use the forests for sustainability. If we are to honor that trust for future generations, we must protect all that remains, repair the damage we have wrought and restore what we can of what has already been lost. Within this mindset, I has created artworks with deep shadows, revealing rich layers and imagery but alluding to what you do not see – the spiritual, the magical, the ethereal, the threatened - underlying the content.

In closing, let me just say this – remember the next time you are ironing your satin skirt or shirt you are playing with my paintbrush and my art medium.

I hope you enjoy Helen’s and my artworks. Thank you for your attention."

My Artworks
A total of eighteen framed artworks and three ArtCloth wall hangings were on display for my component of the exhibition – “When Rainforests Ruled”. In order to extend the verticality of some of the pieces, Robyn suggested my ArtCloth scarves should also be on display – a suggestion that I was delighted to implement. Below are all of my artworks in the exhibition. The technique employed for all the artworks was my signature MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) technique on satin.

Title: Nura Nura.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Fire Storm.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Memories.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Autumn Filigree.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Shadow Play.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Jandabup Wetlands.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Another Time.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Cradle Mountain Splendour.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Reflections.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Warrawee I.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Warrawee II.
Framed Size: 45 cm (width) x 55 cm (height).

Title: Dryopteris Erythrosora I.
Framed Size: 33 cm (width) x 38 cm (height).

Title: Dryopteris Erythrosora II.
Framed Size: 33 cm (width) x 38 cm (height).

Title: Myaree I.
Framed Size: 55 cm (width) x 45 cm (height).

Title: Myaree II.
Framed Size: 55 cm (width) x 45 cm (height).

Title: Daintree.
Framed Size: 55 cm (width) x 45 cm (height).

Title: Sherbrooke.
Framed Size: 55 cm (width) x 45 cm (height).

Title: Dancing Lightscapes.
Framed Size: 55 cm (width) x 45 cm (height).

Title: Flames Unfurling (wall hanging - full view).
Size: 60 cm (width) x 120 cm (height).

Title: Flames Unfurling (wall hanging - detail view).

Title: Life Returning (wall hanging - full view).
Size: 60 cm (width) x 120 cm (height).

Title: Life Returning (wall hanging - detailed view).

Title: Re-Growth (wall hanging - full view).
Size: 60 cm (width) x 120 cm (height).

Title: Re-Growth (wall hanging - detailed view).


Annette said...

Gorgeous work, congratulations on the exhibition.

Linda Stokes said...

Congratulations Marie-Therese - I wish I could see it in person - both yours and Helen's work looks stunning. Lovely gallery too.

Lesley Turner said...

Congratulations, Marie-Therese, on an important body of work and for enlightening another gallery about the textile medium