Following the very successful “Found Objects” exhibition at The Gallery in Mogo, the next featured artist is Malua Bay artist Dorothy (Dot) Whiteman.
Dot who is largely self taught, has painted and drawn most of her life. Working in oils, inks, acrylics and watercolour, art has been a journey of discovery for Dot. She says she really learnt to look at the subject during anatomical classes taken at East Sydney Tech and acquired the skills necessary to flesh out and finish a painting at a friend’s studio in Nowra. Her early interest in folk art led to her appreciation of design, pattern and form.
Arriving in the Bay, Dot mainly practised plein air painting out-of-doors in front of the subject—and she often still does.
Joining the experimental media classes run by the late Beth Monahan in 2014, Dot found a whole new way of using materials and looking at art.
She says, “Beth’s classes opened up doors in art that I didn’t even know were there! It was exciting and allowed me to do whatever I wanted.”
Dot also enjoys the immediacy of collage using found, natural objects such as shed snakeskin and leaves collected on walks out to Pretty Point Reserve to construct her artworks, or newspaper cuttings to build up a wry commentary on the art world.
The Gallery features an array of pictures by Dot ranging from a large, black and orange geometric abstract painted on foil and a collage of handmade paper soaked in coffee of different strengths and torn into interesting shapes, appropriately titled ‘Coffee Time’ to a colourful ink study of a strutting cockerel, called ‘The Boss’.
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Dot also has glowing, acrylic paintings of forests, trees and the morning sky and an exquisite, little gem of a painting entitled “Abstract” where raw fibreglass strips and threads have been built up over a base of modelling paste imprinted with the trunk of a tree—the overall effect being very organic and conjures up the sense of an undisturbed forest floor.
The playful side of Dot’s personality comes out in her small carvings in stone and wood of local wildlife and the occasional feline, which can be found in the main body of The Gallery.
The Gallery is a co-operative venture of CABBI which is open to locallly based arts and crafts practitioners. People interested in finding out more about CABBI should drop in to The Gallery, Shop 2/52 Sydney Street (Princes Highway) Mogo or phone 02 4474 2243.