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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.