Donna Davis, an artist who explores the intersection between art and science, undertook an intensive 52-week field research investigation at Purga Nature Reserve, near Ipswich, in partnership with the Queensland Herbarium; documenting fungi species, which grew alongside the endangered Swamp Tea-tree (Melaleuca irbyana).
From this research Donna has created Unseen, a playful and immersive installation work that philosophically and artistically explores inter-species relationships; investigating the intricate web of ‘unseen’ connections with reference to plants and fungi.
In collaboration between artist and scientist, the data and specimens were morphologically and microscopically examined. They were then documented, and classified by Nigel Fechner, Senior Mycologist at the Queensland Herbarium who added them to the Queensland’s important fungi records, as the Purga Nature Reserve had never been documented.
Nigel said, “This work is invaluable in furthering the science of mycorrhizal associations, as well as documenting the unknown fungal flora of the Purga Nature Reserve for the first time.
There is increasing awareness of the vital role that fungi play in facilitating plant species survival in Australia’s mostly nutrient poor soils, but the majority of fungi species are yet to be discovered…
In broad terms, there is an average of anywhere from 4-10 species of ectomycorrhizal fungus for every species of ectomycorrhizal plant. This project has uncovered more than 30 fungi species partnering Melaleuca irbyana at Purga. A number of mycorrhizal species found in the reserve were not previously known to be symbiotic with Melaleuca.”
Unseen uses sculpture, installation and digital media to evoke curiosity and contemplation about the intricate, and often unseen, connections working together to nurture and sustain our living planet.
‘Unseen’ is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. Donna Davis is supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments’. This project is also supported by the Queensland Herbarium, centre for research and information on Queensland ecosystems, plants and fungi.
The research collaborations and artwork concept development for this project was proudly supported by the Ipswich Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). The Ipswich Regional Arts Development Fund is a Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and Ipswich City Council partnership to support local arts and culture. This project was also supported by the Queensland Mycological Society.
Image: Hidden Worlds 2017 Donna Davis Pigment print
Image courtesy of the artist
The exhibition employs recycled plastics to explore ideas around the environment, consumption and our throwaway culture by creating an immersive plastic environment mimicking nature.
It aims to be a playful, engaging environment while still providing food for thought on environmental issues, the importance of recycling and an awareness of the sheer volume of single use plastic employed in our everyday lives.
Saturday 25 May at 10am Official Opening of Mary Elizabeth Barron’s Plastic Doesn’t Grow on Trees
Saturday 25 May at 1pm to 4pm Learn how to make a diagonal weave basket from packing tape, light cardboard or heavy paper. Workshop with Mary Elizabeth Barron $30
Tuesday 28 May 9am to 10am Toddler Tuesday activity with Mary Elizabeth Barron
Tuesday 28 May 12 midday to 3pm Learn techniques for making jewellery from paper or plastic. A bangle will be made with potential to also make earrings (for pierced ears) or pendant. Workshop with Mary Elizabeth Barron $30
Wednesday 29 May and Thursday 30 May 10am to 3pm Activities and tours for school aged children with Mary Elizabeth Barron
This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia.
Image: Common name Christmas cactus, Scientific name Pollutenvirous plasticlipae Mary Elizabeth Barron Image courtesy of the artist
Acclaimed Western Australian Artist Roslyn Nolen announces her latest solo exhibition ‘Habit of Horses’ to be held at Warwick Art Gallery, Warwick in Queensland from 7 March to 11 May 2019. This exhibition will run concurrently with the Adina World Cup Polocrosse event. As the title suggests, the horse in all its glory dominates this forum and the expressive work depicts the noble animal in its truest form.
This exquisite and accomplished collection of 18 works explores the anatomy of the horse in interesting compositions and technical acquisition in a way that will appeal to those in and beyond the equine world.
Growing up surrounded by horses, it wasn’t until adulthood that artist Nolen fully came to realise and appreciate the majestic beauty and soulful intelligence of these creatures.
Both Nolen’s parents came from a lineage of country people, the family had horses and Roslyn’s father was a horse trainer. Nolen reflects that as a child she was never a confident rider and it wasn’t until her nephew, jockey Luke Nolen was given the opportunity of a lifetime to ride Black Caviar that reignited a connection to her past. Painting Luke on Black Caviar sparked a deeply reflective experience; as a result horses now dominate Roslyn’s work.
In preparation for the ‘Habit of Horses’ exhibition Nolen spent time in the Swan Valley in Perth’s’ foothills for the National Polocrosse event 2018 to observe, sketch and capture photo references of the most athletic and tremendous agility; in both horse and rider. Across the week, Nolen had the pleasure of observing this event which she skilfully depicts in this latest work.
Roslyn has also spent time in the remote outback of the Northern Territory observing and photo referencing the most elusive of horses; the wild brumbies. A tremendous and perilous experience, it’s one that the artist says will stay with her forever – in the vast, isolated, empty and sometimes haunting landscapes of the remote Pine Creek region.
With a passion for depicting horses, Nolen continues to explore the animal in its homage to Australia, in both its wild and domestic representation.
Using a range of materials including acrylic, biro and ink, graphite and charcoal, Nolen’s exhibition is a must see.
Roslyn will attend the Adina World Cup Polocrosse event to demonstrate her painting technique in the Polocrosse Australia Museums on the Monday the 22nd and Tuesday the 23rd. You can also listen to Roslyn present a talk about her work at Warwick Art Gallery at 10am on Wednesday the 24th of April followed by a free BBQ.
Warwick Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the Regional Arts Development Fund for supporting the transportation of Roslyn’s paintings from Perth to Warwick. The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Southern Downs Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.
A love of vintage wares and an impulse decision opened up a world of travel and artistic endeavour for emerging local artist Fiona Hayes.
Fiona was enticed into a store by the objects on display but on a whim signed on to do a six week beginner’s watercolour class instead. Describing herself as more a “maker” than an artist, Fiona was captivated by the watercolour technique immediately and motivated by the classes, which she attended three times in a row.
While prolific in the early months, Fiona admits that her early works were plentiful but “pretty awful”. She willingly shared this image of her first watercolour painting done in February 2015. She encourages all aspiring artists to just dive in like she did. Time, practise, good materials and a few lessons will open up a world of enjoyment and friendship.
The opportunity to expand her education and foster friendships with other artists motivated her to attend classes in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney. As she started to develop her own style she joined several international painting workshops in the United Kingdom and Italy.
Since she began painting in 2015 Fiona has achieved acclaim winning awards at several competitions most notably 1st prize for a Landscape at the QCWA Art Exhibition State final in 2018. Even more impressive is the list of countries where Fiona has work in private collections - Italy, Singapore, USA, Canada, South Africa and Colombia.
Watercolour is one of the most prized and appreciated painting techniques in contemporary art. Fiona uses a limited palette of about eight colours and mixes combinations of these to create new colours. She also insists on making no compromises on the quality of paints, brushes and papers that she uses. By doing so, she creates the most beautiful colour washes in soft shades of pink, purple and blue. But every now and then she creates a bolder statement building up layers and washes to create an intense colour statement.
“I really enjoy some diversity in my painting and continue to experiment with new styles capturing beautiful scenes from all over the world.” Fiona Hayes 2019