This February sees the culmination of an art school dream come true, albeit (ahem) twenty something years later… I will be having my first solo Sydney show with a real gallery, the Michael Reid Sydney Gallery. I have been showing in his Murrurundi Gallery for a few years, which showcases emerging artists in the beautiful country town north of Scone. It was early last year that Michael Reid shared this amazing idea with me. I was currently working towards an exhibition to be held at the Murrurundi gallery last November, and the idea was to work on the two shows concurrently, and Michael Reid and his amazing team, Toby Meagher and Daniel Soma would ‘curate’ the Sydney show out of what I was working on. Now, being me, and the way I work, I get bored if I do the same thing over and over again… and I figure that my followers and supporters must get bored too… so I was working on a few different themes at the same time. One theme, which was a kind of painted ‘fete’ which included birds with bunting and cakes became my Garden Party which was held last November, and then the other theme which is ‘Ginger and Honey’ became this upcoming show.
So what is ‘Ginger and Honey’? Putting the local wildlife into a still life situation as I have, however whimsical, taps into our need to control that which is wild. I am taking them out of the life they find comfortable and putting them into something we has humans feel more comfortable with. Ginger and Honey refers to my mother’s cure all from my childhood, as much of my work is about nostalgia. When there were still wrens flitting around the yards in Sydney, when beautiful objects such as ginger jars and vases took time to make and were treated with suitable respect for their preciousness. The honey of the title refers to the honeyeaters, all native, often overlooked, who rely on our flowering trees and gardens to survive. I feel very lucky that these special creatures call our place their home. Rest assured no bird or lizard is ever forced to pose on crockery or drink tea in the making of these paintings, and all my models are still wild and carefree. Even the flowers used in my still lifes were left in the wild as they are the food source for so many creatures, refering to the numerous photographs I have taken of them instead.
What a truly amazing and exciting way to kick off 2019! I have to stop pinching myself.
My ‘Ginger and Honey’ solo show starts at Michael Reid Sydney on the 31st January and runs through until the 23rd February 2019. Open Wednesday through to Saturday 11 to 5pm.