Intertidal – Creating in the Quiet Space
26 Sept – 11 Oct 2020
Intertidal ~ Creating in the Quiet Space is a collective exhibition by 5 talented, local northern beaches artists. In painting, photography and jewellery, the artists express their uniquely personal journeys through their creative process. There is a gentle ambience to this exhibition that reflects the quieter world that we have all found ourselves in during 2020.
Catherine is 26 years old and grew up as a surfer in a small coastal town in South Africa. She was always drawn to art and has spent time exploring different mediums and styles. In 2016 she completed her degree in engineering and has worked in various construction/engineering jobs since. Now, settled in her new life by the lake in Narrabeen, she has begun her journey back to her art roots.
Inspiration behind this series
My exploration as an artist so far has involved every possible means to portray the ocean. Interpreting the changing mood and movement of the sea onto paper has always been an exciting challenge for me. To this day I haven’t run out of ways to describe it through my art.
This current series is my latest experiment playing with watercolour and waves. Quite different from my previous “realistic attempt” with oil paint, this series encapsulates my progression into a simpler style, capturing my childlike relationship with the ocean. I want the viewer to experience the calm playfulness portrayed by my disregard for traditional rules of perspective and colour in these pieces.
Samantha Dollar has always been fond of long hours on the beach where she can observe the subtle dynamic of sea, sky, and land. She recreates this dynamic as a way to explore the depth of the soul’s connection to nature. Although merely composites of places she has visited and her own imagination, her paintings create a sense of familiarity—a reminder that we belong to our natural environment. With a sensitivity to colour, she seeks to express peace, tranquillity, and home.
Known as the “artist” growing up in California with her five siblings, Samantha began honing her painting style long before she graduated from the Academy of Arts San Francisco. Leaving the northern California coasts in 2007, she found yet another coastal haven on the beautiful Northern Beaches of Sydney.
“I am an artist whose intention is to create scenes of calm and serenity. I work with acrylic, watercolour, Pencil, whatever medium is best in expressing my vision. I have a deep connection to the grounding power of the horizon which I use to create a sense of safety and belonging in my artwork. I never intend to paint a specific location or place. I allow the painting to dictate the scene and mood so it can transport a willing individual to a personal place in their own subconscious – a memory, a dream, or figment of vibrant imagination. I hope my artwork assures you that you are one with your surroundings.”
My most recent work is a representation of leaving the confines of my dining room and going on a journey of the mind by creating images in which I could escape. While my larger works were created before COVID 19 was named a pandemic, the majority of my smaller works were created while in lock-down with my family of 4, in to my 2 bedroom unit for 3 months. As the Pandemic became clearer, I began using what I had on hand; a small ration of paper, paints and boards. I painted with a mind of completing series from previous works, created new series and overcame my desire to paint over my two larger painting from earlier in the year as the end of restrictions came near. My palettes were limited along with my outside activities. I restricted myself to 3 colours (4 at most). I found the restrictive palette did exactly opposite of what I imagined, it allowed me to enjoy the contradiction of the word “restriction” and excite in the richness and range of being restricted. Which mirrored my home life as I relished the time and joy of being surround by my family with no pressing commitments. The Quiet Space of COVID provided a richness of life that I hope is reflected in this collection.
Tanya Lake has been a photojournalist for 25 years. Her passion is Sydney, the natural & underwater world, and indigenous peoples of the Southern Hemisphere. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, and won a Walkley and a World Press Photo award. She is also a published poet, and author. Recently she has begun a painting practice, and seeks to interpret her love of nature, light and form in visual poetry.
I am forever chasing light, whether through a camera lens or brush stroke. I am passionate about Australia, the quality of light, the stars, the clarity of the ocean. I worship nature and seek to protect its abundance. I am drawn to storytelling and poetry in all forms and look to include this in my practice.
My current work includes three large photographic images of the strange dreamlike twilight of “the magic hour”; a pre-dawn in Java, cockatoos flying across Sydney after a storm, and a sunset at Whale Beach of a view that is now obscured by development. The smaller images on wood are of light behind a wave at Avalon beach, reflecting off clouds as viewed from a plane, and clouds at sunset.
The large oil painting “Woman Island” was inspired by a pose held by a nude model at the Avalon Life Drawing class, and a morning spent gazing at Lion Island from the Koolimon Track at West Head. I imagined the two fused together into the form “Woman Island”.
The smaller oil painting “Mother Whale” was inspired after a recent visit to the south coast, when I turned a corner and witnessed a mighty mother whale falling through the sky, as if from space, before frolicking with her calf. How could I not make a painting as a homage?
Fascinated by detail and texture
I confess that I am an endless collector. A shell or pebble lurks in the pocket of every jacket I own. These tactile talismans hold a simple kind of beauty which informs my design ideas. Sometimes I plan pieces before I begin, but my favourites are the often the ones that have evolved as I go along.
Working with metal offers me the opportunity to explore form and structure, as well as experimenting with repeated shapes. I enjoy contrasting the smooth surface of the metal with marks and incised lines, manipulating the positive and negative space that forming metal allows.
I’m known for my fascination with texture and using patinas on my finished pieces, both of which have resulted in a very varied jewellery practice that ranges from direct representations of nature through to bold abstract patterns and forms. Many of my pieces have a coastal connection, each a token of love for the coastline on which I live.
During the upheavals of 2020 I took the opportunity to try out a new technique with my metalwork, experimenting with etching into sterling silver. The new etched pieces I have created bring together my own relief print designs and my jewellery for the first time. It is so exciting to see one medium transferred to another, playing with scale and dimension. I enjoy that what begins as quite a bold image on paper becomes really delicate and fragile when it is rendered as a miniature in silver.
I am a multidisciplinary designer/maker based on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. My artist journey has taken a circuitous route, beginning with Fine Art at QLD College of Arts, majoring in Ceramics, moving to silversmithing and more recently crocheting cotton and wire with my Mum’s hooks. The circle is now complete as I find my way back to rediscovering earlier ceramic skills.
The harmonious use of silver, cotton, porcelain, pearls, natural stones and beads in my pieces is accentuated by their clean, uncluttered lines and textural detailing. All my pieces are one of a kind or limited series, designed and handmade by me. ‘The Maker’.