From the Gallery Director - Susi Muddiman
Visitors to the Gallery have been greeted by a delightfully detailed exhibition of works by regional artist Oksana Waterfall since early May. Object of Affection is a stunning new body of work by Oksana who lives and works in Mullumbimby. In this series of drawings, which incorporates fine embroidery, the artist explores and recreates the favourite objects or possessions of the individuals close to her. The objects she depicts often providing hints as to the personalities of her chosen subjects. In some cases, the artist has not necessarily chosen humans. Oksana has found that what some people deem valuable is a curious mixture of the exotic and the mundane. The incorporation of embroidery also tells us a little about the artist, who enjoyed embroidery during her childhood. This delicate stitching on paper provides us with both a figurative and literal thread linking the artist’s chosen subjects. I know Oksana to be an energetic, hardworking and committed artist who creates outstanding work. She has put so much thought into this exhibition and her professional techniques are truly outstanding. It is a treat to see our visitors admiring the detail and intricacy of Oksana’s fine drawing. You might even recognise some of the people, or chooks, in her artworks!
From mid-July, you’ll be treated to a lovely exhibition of watercolours from the yesteryear. Creative Spirit - Douglas Annand Watercolours celebrates the studio practice of Toowoomba born artist, Douglas Annand (1903-1976). Annand was one of a group of exceptionally talented artists who were active in Sydney during the post war period at the time when modern Australian painting began to flourish. While Annand is recognised primarily for his graphic designs and large public commissions, this exhibition highlights a little known aspect of his practice - his skill as a painter of highly original watercolours. Annand’s watercolour style is characterised by simple wash notations with delicate linear accents, reflecting his natural curiosity and eye for detail, with his works from North Queensland regarded as the finest of his oeuvre. A Creative Spirit demonstrates Annand’s versatility as a watercolourist and highlights the most creative period of the artist’s career.
The Gallery has been so fortunate recently in seeing some extraordinary new acquisitions enter the collection. A stunning painting by Margaret Olley has been acquired as a Gift of the Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation Ltd. and the Friends of Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc., with some funds also contributed by the Gallery’s donations. This colourful still life, titled Pineapple flowers and pears, is a wonderful example of Olley’s celebratory approach to still life within the context of her home studio. In this painting the fruits, flowers, cutlery, crockery and utensils are arranged on the marble-topped bench in Olley’s green kitchen. In the background to the still life we can see the bottom half of a poster displayed in Olley’s kitchen – a homage to French painter Henri Fantin-Latour (1836 –1904). Elements of Olley’s arrangement echo Fantin-Latour’s composition. Further into the background we can see the signature orange of walls of Olley’s living and painting area – the hat factory. Our eyes are drawn into the space by dashes of colour depicting the patterns on the rugs on the floor.
This important addition to the Tweed Regional Gallery collection is a reminder that all areas of Olley’s home studio, including her kitchen, were ‘a studio first and a domestic space second’, re-enforcing the significance of the re-creation of Olley’s home studio at the Tweed Regional Gallery.
Another recent acquisition is a work which I know will captivate visitors with its extraordinary attention to detail and fine craftsmanship. The work is massive in scale, lending a ‘life-size’ sensation to viewing the scene depicted in the artwork. The quality of this woodblock by leading artist Cressida Campbell is astounding, and has been included in major exhibitions of the artist’s work, and is also included in the monograph of Campbell’s practice. Measuring 120 c 240cm, the woodblock remains amongst the larger works executed by the artist, making it both an important and impressive piece. Hand carven and completed prior to printing the accompanying unique print by being hand painted in watercolours, Campbell’s proclicity in limiting her print production to a single print from the block, and then offering the block itself as an artwork is, as far as I am aware, unique in the printmaking world. On viewing this work, I know you will understand why Margaret Olley so admired Cressida’s work. The Gallery is blessed to include this work in our collection as the subject of the block is so fitting, being the interior of Margaret’s home studio. As custodian of Olley’s work, artefacts and memorabilia, we are the perfect home for this stunning piece. This work comes to Tweed through the generosity of Philip Bacon AM, from his own collection, and I couldn’t be more grateful. In celebration of this gift, Interior with poppies (Margaret Olley’s house) 1994 will be included in the upcoming new show from our collection, opening to the public in early June.
On the subject of Margaret Olley, don’t forget we have a terrific range of Olley-inspired merchandise available through the Gallery Shop. Don’t miss the new selection of unique Margaret Olley Art Centre merchandise including a superb 1,000 piece puzzle featuring an interior photograph of Olley’s famous Duxford Street home studio; a boxed set of 12 greeting cards and a range of posters featuring Olley’s paintings from the Tweed Regional Gallery collection. You can also discover an exciting range of locally made and art-inspired products including jewellery, homewares, art books, gift cards and more. We’ve got something for everyone, and have great gifts!
Cressida Campbell (1960 - )
Interior with poppies (Margaret Olley’s house) 1994
120 x 240cm
Pending gift of Philip Bacon AM
Tweed Regional Gallery Collection
Until next time