LOCAL politician Steve Whan will make an appearance in the arts scene this Sunday when he opens “Colours of Australia,” an exhibition at Bungendore Wood Works of landscape, flora and fauna watercolours by a noted Canberra region artist, Helen Fitzgerald.
Over recent years Fitzgerald has visited to outback parts of the Australian environment as a landscape and botanical artist.
Trips in 2012 to outback Birdsville and its ‘track’, her annual Lockhart botanical field trip to the Galore Hill Arboretum area (complete with students) and a 9000km odyssey to Albany in West Australia have ‘recharged’ her artistic batteries, she says.
In wanting to reproduce this palette in her latest body of works, Fitzgerald decided to go about making her medium from the original materials – the ochres.
With the exception of cobalt blue they are made by grinding up clays, charcoal and ochres gathered from the New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian landscapes. The colours are provided by iron oxides in the soil, the white from white clay, the black from charcoal.
Some grittiness is apparent due to the hand grinding of the ochres. These paintings are truly tactile and tangible pieces of Australia.
In this exhibition she combines her new landscape techniques with the detailed and botanical representations of the Australian flora and fauna for which she has received numerous prestigious National and International awards, among them the Gold Medal of the Royal Horticultural Society and recognition by the Society of Floral Painters both in the UK. she is also a long time member of the American Society of Botanical artists. This is Helen’s seventh solo exhibition at the Gallery.
“Colours of Australia,” opens at 11am on Sunday May 5 at Bungendore Wood Works, all welcome. The show continues until June 9.