‘Strathnairn by the Lake’ is actually an exhibition inside the Belconnen Arts Centre from the members of the Strathnairn community of artists; and yes it’s beside the lake. The exhibition is a celebration of the work of member artists from highly skilled and well known artists to amateurs who benefit from the community’s creativity and nurturing environment. And if you haven’t been to Strathnairn make the effort, linger a while and enjoy the ambience and a jolly good café.
Yvette Berry MLA grew up knowing Strathnairn relating stories of her memories for her and her brother and was happy to officially open the current exhibition and join the artists to discuss and learn the finer details of their work. The pleasure of this exhibition as a visual experience can be attributed to the master of curating Peter Haynes who brought together what Anita McIntyre described affectionately as a “disparate” group of artists and achieved a cohesive interesting and well balanced show.
Anita McIntyre is exhibiting her unique and finely detailed ceramics where paper, porcelain, monoprint drawing and screenprinting are involved in her detailed “block maps”, with stories of her family keenly told in relation to the blocks and the maps that personalizes her expertise and experience in this medium. So too Maryann Mussared’s ‘steganogrophy’ where close inspection reveals the detail on handmade paper using a momogami technique, silk chiffon and natural dyes which remind me of those days when we used lemon juice to create secret messages decades ago
My favourite surprise in this exhibition is a triptych by Carey James of a wide red vision of undulating dunes in Namibia. It’s actually the Sossusviei Dune 45 Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia and the artist is actually more inclined to paint portraits in his retirement from a vastly different world where faces were what he fixed with a scalpel and a steady hand. Mine was just one of them.
Strathnairn by the Lake continues until 21 September at the Belconnen Arts Centre.