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My Landscape: Irma Denk at Murray Bridge Regional Gallery

Home > Adelaide > Art | Escape the City | Exhibitions | Free
by Julia Wakefield (subscribe)
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A local landscape artist with a unique perspective
art, exhibition, Irma Denk, landscape painting, abstract, Murray Bridge Gallery
In the artist's garden, acrylic, charcoal on PH neutral paper

Irma Denk has a singular vision. She loves Australian landscape, but she sees it and paints it in a unique way. Her paintings can be appreciated on two levels: on the one hand, they are colourful, aesthetically pleasing abstract compositions, and on the other, they can be felt as a passionate response to the physical experience of being in the landscape.

painting, Irma Denk, abstracts, art exhibition, My Landscape, Murray Bridge Gallery
Lone Gull, oil on canvas paper

Irma does not like to talk extensively about her work. She has written a short statement for the exhibition: "I drive a great deal through familiar landscapes. I observe the land in its many moods and seasonal changes and the ever-changing landscape imprints itself on my mind. This exhibition shows the paintings that result from my travels, from the York Peninsula, to the Flinders Ranges and to the salt lakes of western Victoria, captured from the memories of a moment in time."

Irma Denk, My Landscape, Murray Bridge Gallery, Art, Painting
Irma Denk with her charcoal and pastel drawing, 'Vine'

The first picture you encounter in her exhibition does not appear to represent a landscape, but its title, 'Vine' immediately transmutes the vibrant charcoal marks into something familiar. The warm energy of her drawing invites you to contemplate the experience of standing amongst winter vines.

pink lake, oil on canvas paper, art, painting
Pink Lake - Dusk, oil on canvas paper

Many people will be particularly drawn to her Pink Lake series. These paintings are mostly oils and are arresting precisely because they are a series of variations on the colour pink - such an unusual colour in any landscape - counterpointed by the moody skies of different seasons and times of day.

pink landscape, trees, art, paintings
Pink landscape with trees, oil on canvas paper

There are other works in acrylic and charcoal that seem more playful, evoking a sense of movement. Some of them are about the bird life that she sees in her garden.

Pink Lake, oil on canvas paper, art, painting
Pink Lake, Dimboola, acrylic, charcoal on PH neutral paper

acrylic, painting, birds, Irma Denk
Pecking Order, acrylic, charcoal on PH neutral paper

Irma's painting reflects her personality: she is direct, honest and passionate, and is also very modest about her achievements. This is the first major exhibition that I have seen of her work, and to me it is a refreshing change from the self-conscious intellectualism that prevails in many contemporary art shows. This is down-to-earth art for art's sake. Just as a writer can immerse us in a novel, Irma draws us into her world and takes us on a journey through the landscape of her mind, so that we emerge from this exhibition enriched by the experience.

My Landscape continues at the Jean Sims Gallery in Murray Bridge Regional Gallery until March 26.

Two other exhibitions are showing concurrently at Murray Bridge, so why not make a day of it?

Hand Over is an exhibition that reflects on the influences that six generations have had on each other and also on the evolution of artistic traditions in Adelaide. The artists featured are Jenn Brazier, Maude Gum, Simone Kennedy, Mary Packer Harris, Edwin Newsham, Joh Macaskill, Jessie MacDonald, Lee Salomone, Avis Smith, Beverley Southcott (who is also the exhibition curator) and PH Williams.

Water Planet showcases Liz Yelland's visual commentary on the plight of the Murray and the Lower Lakes, in the form of digitally manipulated photographs that have been first distorted by an iPad app and then combined with coloured drawings to produce unique and compelling images. Liz both explains the process and gives valuable background information about the region's environmental problems, which provides valuable insight into her practice as an artist and educator.
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Why? A landscape artist with a down to earth vision
When: Feb 5 - March 26 2017
Phone: 08 85391420
Where: Murray Bridge Regional Gallery, 27 Sixth Street Murray Bridge South Australia 5253
Cost: free
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