A pas de deux revealed by Saint Cloche
Katie Daniels + Bettina Willner-Browne
30 September – 11 October 2020
Saint Cloche Gallery is very excited to bring you this transcendental ‘step of two’ with a pairing of our most resplendent emerging artists – Katie Daniels + Bettina Willner-Browne.
ETERNE expresses Katie and Bettina’s enduring childhood memories that form timeless, ethereal works of art that are forever. Both artists connect through their nostalgic links to spending their childhood growing up in rural Australia, surrounded by awe-inspiring nature. The works are a complementary interface of organic, sculptural ceramics and other-worldly landscape paintings.
Originally, ETERNE was assigned to be Saint Cloche’s offering for Sydney Contemporary 2020. Due to Covid-19 restrictions Sydney Contemporary has been postponed indefinitely. ETERNE will now be brought-to-light at our beautiful gallery in Paddington. One artwork from each artist will also be shown on Sydney Contemporary’s bespoke online platform – Sydney Contemporary presents 2020.
As a curator, Kitty Clark, Founder of Saint Cloche, is always challenging her artists to ‘think big’, to take a creative leap and trust that they can push their practice further. Inspired by Ancient Japanese screens and panoramic landscapes of the Modern Masters for the installation at Sydney Contemporary, led to Kitty suggesting that Katie needed to work on a series of landscapes of grand scale that harmonises poetically with Bettina’s vivid metamorphic monuments to nature.
“I encouraged Katie to paint a panoramic aspect of her dreamy landscapes as far as the eye could see, to present to the viewer a yet unseen depth of perspective of her other-worldly landscapes.”
– Kitty Clark
The result is Katie’s most audacious body of work yet and she will be presenting a polyptych! Polyptychs (an artwork created of usually, a main panel, flanked by wing panels) were most commonly created by early Renaissance painters, the majority of whom designed their works to be alter pieces in churches and cathedrals. The polyptych form of art was also quite popular among ukiyo-e printmakers of the Edo period in Japan. Very apt, as Katie’s work has been described as contemporary landscapes viewed through a European lens with a sense of the orient as well.
Bettina’s works consider the connection between material, form, nature, architecture and memory within contemporary ceramics. Organic sculptural and textural pieces – her latest colour palette for ETERNE breathes life into her biomorphic forms. This body of work draws from a recent residency in Hungary and also has been heavily influenced by a trip Bettina made with her family to the Great Barrier Reef where they sailed around the national park and explored the indigenous walking trails and snorkelled in the most remote, dazzling places. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced before. Beaches piled with washed-up coral bleached and broken, underwater rock formations with sheer drops covered in plants swaying with the current of the water.
Arising from flickering memories of time spent in nature with loved ones, ETERNE is offered by both artists as an honouring and tribute to nature and is something to be cherished forever.
“The body of work has been split into two distinct peripheries. Environments I have found solace, comfort and peace in, as an adult mostly, and places I have explored with my beloved. The other is derived from nostalgic photographs of the small farm my parents owned when I was young, we would go there every single holiday until the farm was sold. A lot of my strongest memories are of being ages 7-12 and wandering the length and breadth of the property by myself and of being alone in nature, mostly by the creek. We called it ‘the creek’ but it’s really the Pappinbarra river. The two peripheries are interconnected by a shared notion of solace and comfort in nature. And that nature becomes a keeper- of-memory, a site of transformative experience.
I think of my paintings as love letters to experience and place, to the environment and the land. Mementos and tokens of my appreciation and delight in nature. I want to convey the joy that I feel for the natural world in my work.”
– Katie Daniels
Katie Daniels is an emerging artist with a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong, a Master of Arts Curatorship from the University of Melbourne, and most recently a finalist in the prestigious Wynne prize 2018. A luminous landscape painter with a distinctive colour palette and dreamy aesthetic, Katie captures the essence of the Australian landscape enhanced with an evocative sense of other worldliness.
“This body of work imagines coral-like architectures that come to represent the body, time and memory. A family holiday to the Whitsundays where the natural landscape was awe-inspiring has hugely impacted my work. On the beach lay coral, shells and silica gathered in a carpet of bone-like forms. Beyond lay the water, I experienced the majesty and the fragility of the reef. An entire cycle lay before my eyes, one glinting beneath the water the other fossilised and washed-up.
Whilst on my residency in Europe unexpectedly, I kept recalling the feelings I had whilst in the Whitsundays snorkelling and exploring the land back in Australia. My European family roots have drawn me there often, to live and to seek personal identity. I was in Hungary, and the amazing architecture and culture with the combination of the vivid memories of my trip to the reef morphed through my work creating fey sculptures simultaneously sitting somewhere between ancient, natural and other-worldly.”
– Bettina Willner-Browne
Bettina Willner-Browne’s studio practice is an enquiry in clay and life – she makes objects in the ceramic medium. In 1991 she graduated from a Bachelor of Art at Monash University and has since exhibited in commercial and public galleries across Australia. Previous Art Fair in 2018, Spring 1883, Dutton (New York) presentation, Melbourne, Australia. Bettina unites architecture, organic, sculptural, textural structures with stunning glazes to produce works that look both contemporary and ancient simultaneously.