Finding place in a travelling exhibition

Fiona Reynolds and Judy Dorber at the exhibition opening by William PJ Kulich for warragul baw baw citizen newspaper

GIPPSLAND is feeling the love with an exhibition of works by Briagolong printmakers celebrating the region.

Above: Fiona Reynolds and Judy Dorber at the exhibition opening. Photo by William PJ Kulich.

First published in the 15 May 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.

Fifteen artists from the town of Briagolong, almost two hours east of Warragul, have each created a unique piece which shows how they see the region. The exhibition, “Genius Loci ~ Spirit of Place,” is now on display in the West Gippsland Arts Centre.


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Through works ranging from abstract representations of spirits dancing to a lone deer in the pitch black night, each artist from the Freestone Printmakers group shows what Gippsland means to them.

The group is made up of like-minded artists from Briagolong who have collaborated over the past two months to create the exhibition.

Printmaking remains one of the oldest forms of art, where an artwork is pressed or printed onto a piece of paper using a variety of mediums and materials.

The works in the exhibition have been made using many different printmaking techniques, including etching, copper plates and linocuts.

Freestone Press Printmaking Studio owner Gillian Kline told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen each artist displayed what they considered importat in Gippsland through their work.

“Each artist has chosen a place which has a certain attraction and gives them a certain indefinable sense of wellbeing,” Ms Kline said.

She said some were more poignant or political, while others conveyed the beauty of the region.

However, the focus of the pieces remained the meaning of “place” in relation to humans and animals, and indeed, the “spirit”.

This is exemplified by Kye Handley’s piece “The Enduring Ancestor”, which depicts a massive bird-like dinosaur skeleton buried under a mountain range.


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Dominated by an orange hue, looking almost like blood, the print speaks volumes about the cyclical nature of life.

Fiona Reynolds’ simple depiction of a deer in “Night Vision” represents the overall isolation of nature and gives a real sense of the spaciousness of the night time.

The deer is a stark white figure, looking for food, against the absolute black of night.

Other works concentrate on the human race’s ability to be a destructive force on nature.

For instance, Maxine Salvatore’s “Breathless” portrays two power plant cooling towers, using a dark black and white contrast.

“Bridge of Separation,” created by Adelaide Macpherson, paints a dark and dreary picture of a bridge destroyed by the violence between Aboriginal people and European settlers.

The exhibition is made up of of several beautiful artworks, some simple and definitive and others complex and more symbolic.

However, it is obvious within each frame and in the exhibition as a whole that the artists find solace in their place in Gippsland.

“Genius Loci ~ Spirit of Place” is a diverse and often strikingly beautiful exhibition which illustrates the need to acknowledge and appreciate one’s place in life.

The exhibition will be open every Monday to Friday until 29 May from 09:00 until 17:00.

For more information, please contact the Baw Baw Shire Council on 5624 2407.

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