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Spirit of Place Exhibition at Gallery M

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by Jo Harris (subscribe)
I love the things we have here in South Australia – the fabulous food, wine, people and places – beauty everywhere. And, for more beauty in my life, I own and operate a gorgeous little gallery called Mrs Harris’ Shop: www.mrsharrisshop.com.au
Event:
Explore the spirit, not just the place
Welcome to the worlds of Mem Graham, Andie Marten, Isobel McGarry and Wendy Wright.

Spirit of Place is a very special exhibition that's currently showing at Gallery M, at the Marion Cultural Centre.

As you might expect, 'place' means something different, and sometimes special, to each of us.

Spirit of Place
Isobel McGarry detail


When these four artists decided on 'place' as the theme for their exhibition, it was with the understanding that each interpretation of 'place' would be different, and very much an individual thing.

Spirit of Place
Mem Graham


Then came the idea of 'spirit' – something that allowed a sense of abstraction and was free of ties to the physical.

Spirit of Place
Wendy Wright


On two occasions now I've spent time attempting to absorb this exhibition.

Spirit of Place
Andie Marten


There is so much to see, with so much detail – and it's deliberate attention to detail. It's something that each of these artists does particularly well.

Spirit of Place
Andie Marten detail


Exploring the exhibition is a journey of discovery, wonder and delight. It is a bit like sitting at a table where more delicious food just keeps appearing – you wonder how you will be able to fit in anything more!

Spirit of Place
Wendy Wright


Around every turn, there is something new to see.

This exhibition deserves time spent on it – time to wander through without interruption or deadline pressure.

Spirit of Place
Mem Graham


It's also an exhibition that is best taken with a liberal sprinkling of reading. While it is a visual feast and delight in its own right, the labels and wall texts add another dimension – the time taken reading them will reap rewards.

Wendy Wright is a talented printmaker and water-colour artist. Botanical drawings have long been a favourite, so much so, that she is a member of the botanical art group at the Botanic Gardens. Her delicate watercolours demonstrate beautifully that her place and its spirit are soundly based in nature. Her works for Spirit of Place, in the main, were inspired by her long walks in the wild around her home in Blackwood.

Spirit of Place
Wendy Wright


Mem Graham too, has taken a distinct physical location – Wedge Island, an isolated and beautiful spot in the mouth of Spencer Gulf. As a mixed media artist, she has served up an amazing array of pieces depicting the many faces of this wild island – from little boats with mystery cargo, to dainty books and her white line prints, beautiful in their simplicity.

Spirit of Place
Mem Graham


Take some time to check out the wood blocks on display against the finished product. They're a work of art in themselves – it's quite special when an artist allows you an insight into their creative processes.

Spirit of Place
Mem Graham block


That Andie Marten has lived in a variety of places is reflected in her approach to Spirit of Place. She has chosen to follow four pathways: memory of place, immersion in place, pull of place and otherness of place. The ideas themselves are at times quite complex and contemplative, and the myriad physical ways in which she has expressed them stop just short of overwhelming.

Spirit of Place
Andie Marten detail


Isobel McGarry's work differs physically from the works of Wendy, Mem and Andie. And Isobel's 'place' is somewhat different too. She has centred her work around the idea of the cataclysmic loss of life, in this case as happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Spirit of Place
Isobel McGarry


It's easy to enjoy and wonder at the amazing work in Isobel's pieces, but it is well worth taking the time to read the wall texts and explore a little more to see how they relate to 'place' and its spirit. The emotion and intense feeling that is stitched into the fabric is palpable; in reading Isobel's statement, there's just a little more to round off the experience.

Spirit of Place
Isobel McGarry


Spirit of Place is on show at Gallery M until 28 October. The gallery is open 10am - 4pm Monday - Saturday and 1pm - 4pm on Sunday.




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Why? Soul food from Spirit of Place
When: daily until 28 October
Phone: 83772904
Where: Gallery M, Marion Cultural Centre, 287 Diagonal Road, Oaklands Park SA 5046
Cost: free
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