12 – 23 May 2021
Opening Reception: Wednesday 12th May, 6 – 8pm (RSVP to attend)
Meet the Artist: Saturday 15th May, 11am – 2pm
Catalogue & Price List: View PDF Catalogue (5.4 Mb)
We are excited to welcome back accomplished Australian artist, Ochre Lawson. After several solo exhibitions, including a successful solo show at Saint Cloche in 2020, we are excited to reveal her latest body of work ‘Mungo to Mutawintji – Interior Habitat’.
This new body of work is a definitive reflection of this artist’s appreciation and love of Australia’s magnificent, unique landscape. Ochre manages to capture the harsh yet beautiful isolation of the outback in bold form and muted, earthy, colourful lines. There’s a richness and vibrancy to this work that truly condenses and communicates the spirit of the outback with a contemporary perspective.
“The word ‘landscape’ and what it means as a painting genre doesn’t accurately reflect how I feel about being in the Australian bush. When I walk through the Australian wilderness landscape, I see an interior habitat full of intimate places made up of myriad homes for different animals and plants. The diversity of plant and animal communities continues to change as I move through, each, a place unto itself and each place, somewhere I could stay a while.
To me these small environments are like the interiors of homes and I realised that I have been more influenced by interior paintings than landscape paintings. My compositions are often close-ups of an intimate environment or habitat rather than a long-distance viewpoint.
I love getting close-up to the feel and colour of a tree trunk in the rain, the colour and texture of lichen on a rock, the spindly plants burned by fire and the hollow in an old tree. This is what inspires me and fills my heart.
On a more abstract and painterly level, working with simplifying forms, creating new shapes, and finding the drawing line, I find more interesting on a closer view – more micro than macro perspective. I am inspired by colours and textures I observe in real life but love to take those inspirations and create my own colour palette that is an emotional and physical response to what I see and feel while doing en plein air sketches.
This body of work is inspired by a recent trip to Mungo National Park and Mutawintji National Park near Broken Hill in July and September 2020. Mungo is a dry ancient landscape that has the oldest recorded human remains in Australia and has incredible sand formations caused by the wind on the dry lake, kicking up and forming a Lunette. But this place is not just about the dry lake; the Spinifex communities in the sand dunes, the beautiful blue bush against the red sand still creates a living, diverse eco-system of plants and animals in at what first appears, a barren landscape.
Like Mungo, Mutawintji National park (the first Aboriginal owned National park in Australia) also appears barren and forsaken from the outside. However, once I walked into the landscape and through the red rock gorges, I realised there was an interior landscape full of intimate places protected from the harsh Australian sun, places where humans and animals can survive and have survived for thousands of years before colonisation and climate change.”
About Ochre Lawson
Ochre completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at National Art School, Sydney in 2007. She has had five solo exhibitions and has also taken part in numerous group shows around Australia as well as the New York Art Fair.
Ochre has been a finalist in many art awards including the NSW Parliament Plein Air Prize, Waterhouse Natural Science art prize, The Fishers Ghost art prize, the Gosford Regional Gallery Art Prize, and the Waverley Woollahra Art Prize and has won awards in different categories. Most recently Ochre has been selected as a Finalist Muswellbrook Art Prize, Muswellbrook.
Ochre also tutors in painting and drawing at Art Class Sydney. She has facilitated many community art projects and taught at the Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory, and artist in residence at several Sydney high schools.