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- Diane Thompson
- Jodie Curtis
- Libby Noblet
- Marcela Olea
Responding to place, nature and spirit
Printmakers Libby Noblet and Jodie Curtis reunite with sculptors Marcela Olea and Diane Thompson in their new exhibition Platform 4 Return.
The work of these four regional artists are inspired in unique and diverse ways by the country on which they live. All four use their crafts to pay respects to the traditional Elders of the lands, and to celebrate the beauty of the surrounding nature.
About the artists:
My work explores my spiritual connection to the Jaara country on which I live and the impact my convict ancestry has had on the land that has been cared for over millennia by First Nation People. In the sheep series I work with resin and found objects as I explore the diverse perspectives and significance of the sheep in ancient and modern cultures. The black and white series focuses on organic materials of scarred tree limbs inwoven with string and repurposed old gravestone flowers. The wood has been stained to evoke the ravages of fire. Out of the unique, dark shapes emerges white string and painted ornamental foliage. The stories that are carried in all these materials signify a contrasting world of old and new, contemporary and traditional identities, brought together in harmony and resolve.
Without a doubt the 20 /21 situation and lockdowns have spurred me on to get printing in my backyard studio. Screen Printing onto fabric has been my expressive outlet of choice during this crazy time. The saying, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ comes to mind as I think about how life has been playing out the last year and three quarters and how the creative community is responding.
The ongoing thinking, planning and mixing of shapes, colours and textures has not only been an essential distraction but has provided salve and joy for the soul despite the many printing mishaps. It makes me very happy when people say they can sense that positivity in my work. The seed has been planted to keep designing, making, collaborating and teaching to help support my personal and others wellbeing.
Wonderful partnerships and friendships have developed through the process of taking the fabric from the print table to product while also being another motivator for getting me out in the studio to print. I love talking about possibilities and devising projects which ultimately couldn’t be done to the professional standard without vital collaborations. Heartfelt thanks go to Sally Honeychurch for the clutches and picture finishing, Chevvy @connecting2australia for the totes, Sue McKenzie for the shift dresses and Vicki Harrington for more blouses and pouffes. Bendigo community, (including my colleagues at the Bendigo Art Gallery, Platform 4 Return exhibitor’s and the Newstead Arts Hub team) friends and family, provide an endless stream of knowledge, support, enthusiasm and inspiration for which I am very grateful.