This exhibition showcases the works of a small group of women who have maintained a deep interest and connection with mark making and creative practice since working together through Visual Arts studies at Bendigo TAFE. Keeping in contact over the period of time since, they have provided support and encouragement to each other enabling each to continue to exercise and further develop their individual and personal expression through their arts practice. Each artist has an affinity and connection to their surrounds, and this provides a potent source of inspiration which is reflected in their highly resolved and individual work.
A range of works presented and offered for sale include printmaking, drawing, watercolour, collage and textile works, ceramics and contemporary image making processes.
There will be a Workshop on “Visual Thinking” on Saturday 16th November 1pm to 3pm that will provide participants with a hands-on exploration of thought, word and material. Using a brainstorming exercise, the words ‘found’ through this process are then translated through manipulation of clay medium to create a concrete visualisation of thought. Similar in effect to concrete poetry.
Members of this group exhibiting in Cross Currents are:
Cherryl Fyffe, formerly a local of Newstead and co-owner of Glennwillow Wines and Gallery, located in the Bendigo Pottery complex. Cherryl states that the inspiration for her work has largely been the texture and pattern in nature and is drawn to exploring different print techniques to portray the layers of earth, rocks, mountains, water, clouds and timber grain. Through printmaking, she has used etching methods on copper and lino, collagraphs, drypoint and monoprints, alone or in combinations, including relief techniques. Cherryl shares an ongoing interest with others in the group by mixing techniques and medium in experimental ways.
Barbara Semler first learnt about printmaking while living in Alice Springs where she attended Centralian College in the evenings learning a range of different styles of printmaking. Alice Springs and the beauty of the Central Australian Desert inspired her printmaking and maintaining a strong commitment to the medium, Barbara has been actively involved in the development and ongoing success of the Castlemaine Press at Lot 19. “The environment for me is a spiritual place and so exploring the environment in some detail feels like part of my own spiritual journey. I have found a connection with the shapes of the environment in the printmaking I have done. I have grown to love the beauty in the Box Ironbark forest of Central Victoria. Working with collagraphs, I love to use found objects from the environment in the creation of my plates.” Barbara actively finds opportunities to work collaboratively and through print exchanges both nationally and internationally.
Anne Tyndall is a Bendigo artist and printmaker. She has been interested in art since she was very young and is largely self-taught, but was fortunate to be able to study painting, drawing and printmaking at TAFE in the early 2000s. She has exhibited in two group exhibitions and has taught a printmaking class at Castlemaine Press. Anne’s work leans towards illustration and narrative. For her, stories are a great source of inspiration in that they suggest and give rise to pictures. But it’s also the case that her pictures, often unexpectedly, suggest and give rise to stories, as if they take on a life of their own and demand to go where they will. Related to this is Anne’s interest in trying to show the surprising individuality of beings and things in the world, both animate and inanimate. It is as if in depicting or representing the thing, she is trying to allow it to tell its own story.
Judith Warnest describes herself as a fundamentally curious and eternally restless artist who is drawn to more architectural elements of an observed landscape. Traditional and contemporary practice merge within layering and transparency of image making. A notion of duality of these processes resonates with the observed environment and evidences the tension between constructed and more organic forms. Currently, Judith is tentatively exploring possibilities within installation and 3D ceramic work, spatially expanding the qualities of line and form beyond the 2-dimensional matrix of paper or board. Process and experimentation are intrinsic to this work, with digital manipulation, photography, construction, use and reuse of elements. Judith completed Visual Arts studies through TAFE, Bendigo, is a member of The Castlemaine Press and is currently undertaking Visual Arts Research at Latrobe University in Bendigo and has exhibited within the Bendigo region.
Joan Halpin’s inspiration for her artwork comes from the natural world. She looks to the landscape, whether it is for painting, printmaking or in her ceramic sculpture. The human condition is part of the natural world and the landscapes of nature give scope to explore the nature of people and communities and the connection she feels with our native animals and birds. ‘Women with Attitude’ and ‘Women with Wings’ were the themes of two of her exhibitions where the emphasis was on the inner beauty and strength of women. “I gave some of my women wings not to make them angels but to demonstrate that in a metaphorical sense they have the ability to soar, to fly and achieve dreams”. Joan continues with this theme and uses birds in the same symbolic way as connection to nature, to beauty and our shared environment.
Liz Carkeek as a self-taught artist, has always enjoyed exploring different mediums and techniques. Several years ago, she came across the collagraphs of UK printmaker Brenda Hartill and was instantly drawn to the rich colours, 3D-like appearance and semi abstract compositions of her prints. This prompted her to enrollFlyer in Bendigo TAFE’s printmaking course in the hope of learning how such magic was made. While at TAFE Liz also came across and was inspired by mezzotints, both deeply black images and complex, ethereal, three-plate coloured works. Since then, mezzotints and collagraphs have been twin loves. These two methods couldn’t be more different. “The mezzotint appeals to the “mature” adult in me – careful and serious, the process feels like “real” work”. “The collagraph process – cutting and pasting, searching for found objects and textural treasures combined with an accomplished practice of traditional oil painting, these appeal to my inner child. Both feel necessary”.