The exhibition in its latest incarnation, includes several new artworks and and installation of 'Pods'.
In Time is an exhibition of four artists connected through place and practice. James Blackwell, Sophie Conolly, Judith Martinez and Leonardo Uribe reflect personal experiences through a variety of media, from a vantage point of living in the beautiful surrounds of the Blue Mountains. Their practices are process based and involve the use of natural materials, symbolic and found objects, photography, text and paper.
Time is fluid – it is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole – however, we do not experience time as linear. As any given day progresses we move back and forth through time – finding ourselves drawn back to the past in the form of memories or perhaps focussing on the future. We take time, give time, spend time and we can be on time, out of time and in time.
This exhibition reflects the dedicated time taken by the artists to concentrate fully on their practice. The works represent hours in the studio revisiting the past, reconstructing or responding to memories, and imagining the future. Like in meditation, spending significant periods of uninterrupted time with any subject allows deeper understanding. The meticulous and painstaking approach required to achieve these exquisite works is not for the impatient.
Similarly, this exhibition is not a quick-fix viewing experience. The same dedication that the artists gave to making this work must be given by the viewer to fully appreciate their complexity and meaning. Being in the present moment is a fundamental challenge of modern life. The practices of these four artists encourage us to slow down, to reflect and imagine and most importantly to take our time.
Rilka Oakley, April 2018
Blue Mountains Cultural Centre is currently hosting its fifth 'Collector's Edition Exhibition' where small scale artworks are up for silent auction to help the Gallery grow its acquisition fund. Over one hundred artworks have been donated this year and are on display until 6th April 2018. On the final evening (6th April), a live auction event takes place, where the top 5 artworks with the highest silent bids go up for a live auction. I have donated 'Tribal Fruit' 2018 which are a small scale sculpture coloured with local natural ochres and natural materials which I have either found locally, or been generously gifted by locals, David Coleby and Rae Druitt.
Thanks to the generosity of Mr David Coleby, (a long time volunteer at the Cultural Centre & collector of my artwork), I have been commissioned a set of works to be included in the Blue Mountains Cultural Centres permanent collection. This initiative came about earlier in the year via the gallery director Paul Brinkman, who wrote to inform me that an anonymous donor had put forward a proposition to have my work included in the permanent collection. It is an honour to be asked and it represents a milestone for me in my career as a local Blue Mountains Artist.
The four works; ‘Maranatha’, ‘Grassfire’, ‘The Sacrament of a Pause’ and ‘The Language of Trees Verse VIII’ are a continuation of a theme I’ve been exploring for several years. Not only are the works a token of respect to nature and the varied forms and fragments found in nature, the artworks are an attempt to find equilibrium in my personal inner and outer world. At no other time in my life have I noticed the extent to which we are besieged by a dissonance of noise and visual pollution; from garish advertising, to our incessant scrolling on social media, to the chronic noise blared at us in shopping malls, radio stations and on TV... our lives are too loud! The artworks I create are dutifully quiet and meditative, likened to a whisper, to draw you in closer to reestablish a connection with nature, where the quietude can work as a panacea to the clamor of our lives.
The materials collected and utilised in the works have gone through a process to sustain their longevity. The fragments of nature were placed in a deep freezer for several weeks prior to being used in order to stave off the growth of any microbial organisms. Most of the elements were then coated in a watered down archival PVA glue to seal them. The works are not a series, as such, but collectively, navigate our attention to the importance and necessity to pay homage to the natural world.
My deepest gratitude again to David and Rae for their continued support over the years. Thank you also to Neil Haigh of Hoptree Framing, Wentworth Falls for the custom framing.