carmel-wallace_bare-bones-of-toolangi-forest_2016 (view film clip)
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 have been selected as a finalist in this year’s Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize with my work Daphne.
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.
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 2015Flora 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/132408467 Bare Bones of the Cobboboonee 2006 -2015 copyright Carmel Wallace 2015