On the eve of Friday’s World Wetlands Day, Canberra’s NatureArt Lab natural history art school launched its annual tutors’ exhibition, “See What I See”, at the Old Barn in Pialligo.
Fifteen of the school’s tutors are exhibiting. As well, members of the team will be conducting demonstrations on techniques such as making environmentally friendly acrylic paints and linocut printmaking during the exhibition run.
On hand to do the official honours and make the obvious connection to Wetlands Day was Vanessa Lavis, from the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment.
ACT Water Minister Shane Rattenbury told those present how vital conserving wetlands in the ACT was for improving the quality of stormwater, as well as providing habitat for native plants and animal species, cultural sites and places for recreation.
Julia Landford, the founding director of NatureArt Lab, which she established in 2017, now employs about 30 artists and photographers as professional tutors in Canberra and Brisbane, the latter in partnership with Queensland Museum.
Landford said that this month NatureArt Lab would represent the ACT at the Telstra National Best of Business Awards in Sydney having, in 2022, carried off the Telstra Best of Business Award for Promoting Sustainability in the ACT.
Another feather in their cap was that the ACT government’s soon-to-be-released State of the Environment Report would feature NatureArt Lab’s work in the Canberra region over the covid shutdown and post-bushfire periods.
Installed over two rooms at The Old Barn, the exhibited works, large and small, range from unusual aluminium etchings to photography, nature journals, drawing, watercolour, scratchboard, scientific illustration, printmaking and tapestry, all exploring botanical and wildlife subjects.
I particularly enjoyed the photograph of a proboscis monkey from Borneo – one of NatureArt Lab’s favourite destinations on its popular art-making field trips, this year taking groups to Christmas and Coco Keeling Islands in April, to Costa Rica in June-July, and to Borneo in in August and October.
“See What I See”, Barn Gallery, Pialligo, February 2-4 and February 8-11.
Who can be trusted?
In a world of spin and confusion, there’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in Canberra.
If you trust our work online and want to enforce the power of independent voices, I invite you to make a small contribution.
Every dollar of support is invested back into our journalism to help keep citynews.com.au strong and free.
Ian Meikle, editor