Artists on the Environment
Regionalis is a group exhibition featuring works by six established regional Victorian artists. Curated by artist Steve Gray, the exhibition offers a diverse range of perspectives on contemporary environmental issues. Bold and subtle images directly and symbolically explore notions of land, ecologies, territory and nature on a range of levels, while personal agendas are pushed, reworked and reconceptualised.
The origin of the exhibition lies in the artists’ shared engagement with the unique character of the Australian landscape. The diversity of paintings, sculptures, installation, drawings and prints presented in the gallery reflects the artists’ personal perspectives as well as their critical engagements with nature, politics and the land.
About the artists
Biriam’s vibrant landscapes are executed with a luscious painterly technique and an intense use of colour. As curator Steve Gray notes, ‘the colour is at first overwhelming for the viewer, yet in no time they often find themselves transfixed. On the surface everything is fine, but underneath there is more, from indigenous history to current degradation and abuse.’
Steve Gray’s paintings and photographs bring a literal yet abstract contribution to this exhibition. Working on a theme of harm in all its forms, Steve’s paintings take on the environment from a personal level, challenging the basis by which we look at our ecology through image and text.
An artist with a metaphysical approach to her work, Leonie produces installations involving manipulated photographs, glass, resin and other materials. Her works aim to challenge the way we see things and draw attention to the presence of distortion. As she notes, ‘the body of work in this exhibition relates to the philosophical study of nature based on speculative reasoning and unexamined assumptions that have not been logically examined or confirmed by observation.’
Ursula Theinert is passionate about the importance of art in helping to stimulate interest and discussion in the community about environmental issues. A painter and photographer, Ursula lost many of her works in the Black Saturday bush fires. While saving their house from the impending flames, fire engulfed her studio. Ursula’s dramatic landscapes have now been imbued with a fresh yet deeply dark foundation that in her words ‘touches on the profound spirituality that we have with nature.’
Werner’s photographic works engage with the details and visual intrigue of optical illusions. Simultaneously, however, the inclusion of textual references lends a sense of bare reality to the otherwise abstract compositions.
A vibrant arts practitioner, painter and artistic coordinator, Kerrie describes her abstract paintings as ‘environmental expressionism’. Her perspective on the environment is compelling in its depth and intrigue, while her paintings transport viewers to a complex world of kinetic colour and rhythms.