lovegrove_2020_557_AS

Surfacing

25 Sep 2020 - 17 Oct 2020
Exhibited at Bett Gallery, Hobart

Gazing into ponds is an immensely pleasurable and Romantic thing to do. It has been the subject of many poetic and artistic pursuits over the centuries – the historical figures of Claude Monet, Gaston Bachelard and Henry David Thoreau immediately come to mind. Water allows a private space of reverie reflecting both the physical environment; the fluctuating colours, light and sounds of life from the surrounding landscape, as well as psychological and emotional states of being. As Bachelard says in Water and Dreams,

“one drop of powerful water suffices to create a world and dissolve a night”, he suggests the notion of the pond is like an eye that reflects the world as well as being a site of dormant power. It’s because of water that life exists. It gives life to this planet and yet in our climate stressed environment, its presence is transient and increasingly rare and precious. 

The exhibition is comprised of two series, The Voice of Water, and Interiors.

The Voice of Water, is a selection of miniature paintings that are featured in my recent publication of the same name in collaboration with Tasmanian poet, Adrienne Eberhard.

These works celebrate and pay homage to the ephemeral life of freshwater wetlands, in particular Seymour swamp and the Punchbowl wetland, both located on the east coast of Tasmania. These paintings are intended as a meditation on the fragility and fleeting nature of life in a lagoon – the embrace of its reaches, the constantly shifting light patterns, the melancholy darkness and the movement of wind imprinting on both the broad expanse of shallow water and feathery grasses. I have also tried to capture the soundtrack of place, the rhythmic pulsing of frog calls, the rustle of wind and the invisible presence of creatures beneath the surface.

The second series of miniature paintings, Interiors, is a more introspective pondering and peering into the dark tannin stained water of Tasmania’s mountain creeks and rivulets. At times they are quite abstract with intricately woven areas of layered tiny brush marks combined with fingers and skeletons of branches creeping in from the edge. They are in part about the dark, enigmatic mysteriousness of the water but they are also intended to be a contemplation of edges and the threshold between the visible and invisible, where water and land or water and air meet. For me these paintings are like enclosures or interiors of a minute natural world where the natural elements are strong rich and abundant but also isolated and separated from the human world. These works were painted during a solitary time of the first half of 2020. 

The paintings in this exhibition are intended to draw the viewer into an intimate, private and poetic contemplation of the surface and threshold space of water. I hope to create a space to reflect and ponder the mysterious and at times abstract worlds both above and below the surface of water in the ephemeral wetlands, swamps, ponds and tea tree tannin stained creeks of Tasmania. 

Sue Lovegrove


Artworks in Exhibition

8209_202095453Lovegrove_9.12_72
No 9.12, 2019, from the series, The Voice of Water
24.4cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8209_2020951624Lovegrove_9.34_72
No 9.34, 2021, from the series, Surfacing
24.4cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8209_202095183Lovegrove_9.36_72
No 9.36, 2020, from the series, Surfacing
24.4cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_2020952631Lovegrove_11.1_72
No 11.1, 2020, from the series, Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_2020964337Lovegrove_11.2_72
No 11.2, 2020, from the series Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
No 11.3, 2020, from the series Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_2020952958Lovegrove_11.4_72
No 11.4, 2020, from the series Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_2020953148Lovegrove_11.5_72
No 11.5, 2020, from the series Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_202096481Lovegrove_11.7_72
No 11.7, 2020, from the series, Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_2020953351Lovegrove_11.10_72
No 11.10, 2020, from the series, Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_2020964939Lovegrove_11.11_72
No 11.11, 2020, from the series, Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_2020953523Lovegrove_11.12_72
No 11.12, 2020, from the series, Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_202095371Lovegrove_11.13_72
No 11.13, 2020, from the series, Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_2020953831Lovegrove_11.14_72
No 11.14, 2020, from the series, Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_2020964327Lovegrove_11.15_72
No 11.15, 2020, from the series Interiors
12.2cm (W) x 8cm (H)
Watercolour and gouache on paper
8215_2020963327lovegrove_2020_557_72
No 557, 2020, from the series, Surfacing
90cm (W) x 60cm (H)
Acrylic and ink on linen
8215_2020963727lovegrove_2020_558_72
No 558, 2020, from the series, Surfacing
90cm (W) x 60cm (H)
Acrylic and ink on linen

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