This solo exhibition is a survey of prints by Carmel Wallace, including early screen-prints developed at Portland Community Access Print-shop and etchings, relief and mono prints made at Portland Bay Press and in the artist’s studio. Review by Marguerite Brown
“I am interested in exploring the resonance of repurposed materials and the impact of multiples as compositional elements. For this installation I have woven beach-found fishing ropes to create a colony of enigmatic forms. My inspiration comes largely from the volcanic vents punctuating the plains [and ocean-beds] of southwest Victoria and the organic forms that inhabit them. Fishing practices and environmental issues are also referenced in the materials and construction of the pieces.” Carmel Wallace 2016
My work Hybrid Reef has been selected for this exhibition.
‘Our fifth biennial Petite – Miniature Textiles exhibition goes from strength to strength, with artists from around the country participating in this project, displaying contemporary textiles that are no larger than 30 x 30 x 30cm.
Techniques and themes exploring everything from the joy of pure colour, texture and decoration, through to more serious contemplation on environmental and social issues and elements that propel textiles into the realm of art.’ wangarattaartgallery.com.au
My work Blue Wedge Forest was recently selected to be in the Toorak Village Sculpture exhibition in Melbourne, Australia. It was inspired by my local Portland environment and the wooden cargo wedges used on ships and sometimes found washed up along the coast.
Daphne was inspired by the Laurel tree in the Portland Botanical Gardens and the myth of Apollo and Daphne that has been interpreted widely in art and literature. According to myth, Daphne is transformed into a Laurel tree so she can escape the advances of Apollo. In the words of Andrew Marvell:
The Gods, that mortal Beauty chase,
Still in a Tree did end their race.
Apollo hunted Daphne so,
Only that She might Laurel grow.
The Garden 1681
This myth is pertinent in a contemporary environmental context where recognition of our relationship with the natural world and the interconnectedness of all life forms underpin the development of solutions to current issues.
I am pleased to have been invited as the next Artist-in-Residence at the Sofitel Melbourne On Collins, beginning Sunday 31st May 2015. This residency program is organised by Global Arts Projects, consultant curators to the hotel. Previous artists-in residence have been Donna Marcus, Andre Hemer, Anne Zahalka, Rolande Souliere, Bruce Reynolds, Gosia Wlodarczak, and Robyn Stacey.
FLORA is a short film by Carmel Wallace and Colleen Hughson with music composed by Michael Wallace Flora is played by Ella Eade. Portland Victoria Australia 2015
Flora celebrates the richness and fecundity of nature, personified by a young woman wearing a cloak* made of flowers. The singular beauty of indigenous species is displaced by seductive mass plantings of exotic flora as introduced by successive boat people to these shores. Whilst we may question this displacement, the film presents a post-colonial view of harmonious co-habitation: the bees happily feast on the nectar of both indigenous and introduced flowers, and we as audience also enjoy the extravagant beauty of both.
*Titled Flowers for Gardens, this cloak was originally created by Carmel Wallace in 2013 for One River, a Centenary of Canberra project, supported by the ACT Government & the Australian Government, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, The Sidney Myer Fund and the Australia Council for the Arts.
This exhibition includes my newly finished installation Bare Bones of the Cobboboonee.
Bare Bones of the Cobboboonee 2006 -2015 copyright Carmel Wallace 2015
This work began as an investigation into the inner life of our local native forest, the Cobboboonee. Mimicking the style of many a naturalist before me, I collected specimens for a work to be created as part of the Great South West Walk Art Project in 2006. However, to be properly seasoned the wood needed to be oiled and stored, so it is only now that I have it ready to show. Whittling away the bark became a meditative exercise. I felt rather like a surgeon, or a miner, as I cut back the bark to uncover the richness of the bare branches – the bones of the trees – beneath.
A short film of the work, including some footage of the Cobboboonee Forest here: https://vimeo.com/132408467Bare Bones of the Cobboboonee 2006 -2015 copyright Carmel Wallace 2015