JOANNA COLE & AGATHA PUPAHER
PAINTINGS & STONEWARE
22 February – 4 March 2018
This February Saint Cloche presents ‘Sunburnt Country’ – a second collaboration between landscape painter JOANNA COLE and ceramic artist AGATHA PUPAHER. This exhibition explores themes from the renowned 1908 poem by Dorothea Mackellar “My Country.”
Mackellar writes of her unique love for Australia from the perspective of distance, while on a trip to England with her father. Cole relates through oil painting her own love of the ‘wide brown land’, as described in the poem.
As an emerging artist, now based in Sydney, JOANNA COLE regularly travels back to the outback regions of her own rural upbringing on a small cattle stud, in South Australia, and also to those of acclaimed artists and writers; places including Hill End, Bunyah, Mintaro, the Murray River and recently Broken Hill, and Napperby Gorge.
City born ceramicist, AGATHA PUPAHER studied the poem in secondary school and having spent 10 years living and working as a community health psychologist in Bathurst, Lithgow and Orange, she has her own take on the love of the Sunburnt Country. She shares about loving the countryside, especially the raw beauty of nature and its people, but also rocks and mountains, which continues into a love of mixing red clay.
Together, Cole & Pupaher are sharing and exploring concepts, words, images and the physical earth: the clay, the oxide underglazes, the dirt, the three dimensions.
Work in rural regions can be isolating, testing mental endurance, as can work as an artist. Collaborating for this exhibition has involved travelling with pets and family, staying with the rural land owners and other artists on farms and stations outback, working with a studio of clay workers, sharing stories with passers-by from the doors of open studios and committing to ideas with-in the collaboration. It all brings fresh stimulation to the communities touched.
The process starts with the conversations, the trips into the land, and the words of the poem. Cole sketches and paints en plein air on the land, and then returns to the studio in Paddington to translate oil onto canvas or board. The two artists meet and share ideas for the ceramic forms: materials, colour, shape, and concepts. As they sit and talk, they “allow the forms to emerge”. They share an openness, a willingness to play, to explore and to learn, a process which results in unique and interesting forms coloured with marks inspired by the painted images.
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