Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Water Ways is a fantastic exhibition that is currently running at the beautiful Fisher Jeffries building on Gouger Street. Six artists from around Australia have come together to create some of the most beautiful and powerful pieces of art that have a personal twist to it, with regards to how much they value one of the most underrated elements of nature - water.
Through their deeply innovative and creative pieces, the artists hope to add a voice towards the increasing concerns around the current state of our water bodies and how global warming and climate change have impacted on their resourcefulness in the world today.
Starting off with Keren Seelander, Keren's work reflects her emotions towards her ability to create artwork that is simple yet powerful. Having lived with a life-threatening illness since she was 15 and suffering a stroke that left her with limited mobility, Keren found painting and pursuing art as ways of continuing to feel a sense of joy and contemplation. Seelander's work will take you on a personal journey with her, where you can feel your mind and soul open to this new world that has been produced to replicate what it's like to not have the luxury of water available around you.
Next up, Margaret Ambridge - she is an Adelaide-based artist whose artwork primarily focuses on creating art using charcoal to shine a light on her personal reactions towards boundaries and adversities. Her artwork is primarily dark (literally and metaphorically speaking), but it is the kind that will instantly grab your attention and make you wonder and analyse her work in great detail. I was so captivated by her work, particularly of the woman in the bathtub - it is so powerful and when you read the story around it, it leaves you in a state of awe.
We then come across Rod Bax's artwork, which is created using luminous oils and watercolours that truly bring out a hyper-realistic picture of the wetlands and ecosystems around Australia.
Tiny frames encompass Mark Fitz-Gerald's impeccable photography, which needs to be viewed as a group, rather than individual images, in order to create this overarching picture of what it's like to be in the presence (or absence) of water. It brings to light just how valuable water is, in today's society, and how the growing concerns over its scarcity has impacted some of the most recognizable locations around South / Australia.
We then view Ursula Kiessling's brilliant work, which is inspired by her travels across the Outback of Australia. Her artwork is distinctive and captures the different textures and gradients of sand, ground, and shrubs that she has come across, during her travels around Australia. Everything that you notice about her work has been given careful consideration to be as authentic to the place that exists in reality - everything from vegetation to wildlife to rocks! It shows no signs of water, which is strangely unsettling, but at the same time, offers a sense of tranquillity and calm.
Last, but certainly not the least, is Catherine Fitz-Gerald. Creating complementary combinations of blue hues, along with darker and pastel colours, Fitz-Gerald's memories of water's power and increasingly vulnerability are eloquently personified through three mediums - transpositions of images through realism, abstract art that shows water beyond its liquid state, and using oil paintings on a copper canvas to describe her passion for preserving water bodies and their beauty.
What's even more by Fitz-Gerald is her development of an app that showcases glacier-based artwork and its drastic change over a period of 30 years. Viewing the artwork through the 2019 Water Ways AR (free download here), visitors can see real-time images of Canadian glaciers and the impact that climate change has had on it.
Artwork and app by Catherine Fitz-Gerald, photo by Fatema Sitabkhan