8 July – 25 July 2009: Sophie Skarbek and Myrna McRae – Another Take



Sophie Skarbek

Acknowledging the work of Queenie Aikenhead

This is a joint exhibition by two long-standing painting  collaborators and friends, Sophie Skarbek and Myrna McRae. Sophie and Myrna’s partnership began when they met in Helen Brack’s  CAE art class in 1985. They studied with Helen for many years and since then have sought her  advice and guidance.

The current exhibition also acknowledges the work of the late  Queenie  Aikenhead, a close friend of Myrna. Myrna and Queenie first discussed the idea of a “paired” exhibition nearly six years ago. Working from the same types of plants, they  produced pairs of paintings exploring different interpretations of forms and colours, reinforcing the diversity of individual perceptions. Queenie completed several paintings in this series before she sadly passed away in 2004.

Myrna Mcrae

Myrna Mcrae

Recently Myrna decided to continue with the project, in memory of her friendship with Queenie. The works by Queenie in this exhibition are distinguished by their precision, verisimilitude and conformity with the conventions of the genre of botanical art. Basing her compositions on the same types of plant specimens, Myrna  in contrast presents bold, more abstract visions of botanical origin.

Sophie has to some extent continued with the botanical theme using  her own approach and perspective. She has, however, also included in this exhibition a diversity of topics and styles, ranging from figurative to more abstract art, that reflect her influences, interests and inspirations. Sophie is passionate about the beauty of the human form, and has included works depicting the female body. Studying with the late Ross Davis in Australia and Spain has imbued her with a love of colour and movement, evident in her current work. Sophie’s inspiration also comes by osmosis, from having lived in and  travelled to many exotic countries, as well as from exploring the colours and hues of Australia.

Please note the works by Queenie Aikenhead in this exhibition are not for sale.