This year Saint Cloche Gallery returned to Australasia’s leading contemporary art fair with two booths, revealing four artists: Bettina Willner, Katie Daniels, Evi O and Indivi Sutton. In presenting ‘Future Nostalgia’ the artists explored the themes of Nostalgia and Continuum – looking back to look forward.
We also hosted a great discussion on the topic – ‘Archetype of the Great Mother’, with a panel made up of the four artists that were exhibiting, along with special guest, celebrated Australian sculptor of nature Tracey Deep, and Moderator from Tasmania – award-winning poet, Esther Ottaway.
“In my teenage years, growing up in the country, I rebelled against nature in a way and wanted to be in the city. I wanted to engage in fashion and pop music and I sort of felt that nature was something I wanted to push against, in a way I thought that my artwork would not be considered edgy enough if it was inspired by nature. That has shifted in a big way for me as I’ve matured as a person as I feel our nation has matured….we’ve become aware of the climate crisis and we are more aware of the wrongdoings in this country’s history and acknowledging that the indigenous people have such a strong rooted connection with nature. Today, as a woman artist I feel that I can express myself and enjoy nature and that’s appreciated and respected. I will no longer apologise for things inspired by nature.”
– Bettina Willner
“John O’Donahue the Irish Poet he said something really wonderful about nature and when I heard it, I thought that’s exactly how I feel about it. He talked about beauty and landscape as a threshold that one moves through and it’s an imperceptible experience that happens to us by which we are suddenly transformed deeply, something happens – you’re suddenly a different person than you were two minutes ago. That’s the way I feel about landscape and moving through it, I can’t even tell you about the subjects that I paint as they are so deeply personal to me and it’s just for me. When I finish a painting I want it to be for other people, I want everybody else to find the joy and serenity that I experienced, that’s how I know it’s completed, because it has that quality to it at the end. That’s the resolution.”
– Katie Daniels
“I didn’t grow up in nature, I grew up in Surabaya, Indonesia and everywhere you see is concrete, asphalt, grey, black, white, no green. I came to Australia when I was 17 yrs old, I only climbed my first tree when I was 27 yrs old. Having said that, having lived in Australia I’ve started doing this thing called ‘bushwalking’ and I’ve actually written a book about it. I work with a lot of colour and geometric, abstract forms, and because I’ve been disorientated from nature, I use my art practise selfishly as a way of understanding the world as a lost human being. I realise that I come from nature, I’m a part of nature. Mother Nature is important, but she can be scary – we need to find the right balance between society and nature.”
– Evi O
“As humans regardless of where we come from we all crave elements of air, stillness and breath in our life and nature can give us that. I look beyond what I can see and for me painting was trying to capture the stillness I could feel when I looked at something, but also what was beyond what I could ‘see’, it was more about what I could ‘feel’. For me nature is like taking a pause, a pause in time, a pause from chaos.”
– Indivi Sutton
“My whole art practise is that Mother Nature is my muse, for me she’s elevated to my icon, and I feel a magical connection and my work is a way of connecting to her. Through my art practise I try to translate what’s happening in the environment and I try to be a messenger for Mother Earth through the natural materials I collect and disregarded materials that I then transform into something that speaks to me and touches my heart, then I feel then that can translate into a message from Mother Nature.”
– Tracey Deep
Photography by Andrew Grune