As part of Creative Arts Batemans Bay Inc. contribution to the River of Art Festival, The Gallery in Mogo is presenting an exhibition entitled ‘Looking through a Glass Bottom Boat’.
Gallery Coordinator, Laureen Phillips explains that “the exhibition was inspired by the natural beauty of the rivers and seas of the Eurobodalla.” She says, “We chose the theme because it challenged our members to explore the ambiguity and dreamlike qualities of space and direction created in an underwater world populated by creatures very different from ourselves, but also a world which we can enter, interact with and enjoy.”
CABBI members have embraced the challenge with a diversity of two and three dimensional artworks.
Artist Emma Fisher’s framed tile, ‘Beneath the Waves’ is an exquisite work representing the sea floor covered in small shells, starfish, pipe coral and sea grass inhabited by a small tortoise and octopus—each piece has been individually formed in polymer clay, assembled and fired.
It is remarkable how artist Carleta Delac has captured the sense of great depth in her small painting ‘Ama-San’ that shows female Japanese divers sinuously winding their way to the sea bed. You can almost feel the cold water against their bodies as they move through it towards the treasure below.
In Audrey Warren’s painting ‘Ocean Spectrum’ you cannot be quite sure whether you are looking down through the boat to the depths or up through the boat to the sky.
Judged by now Guerilla Bay resident and fine arts academic, Mirabelle Fitzgerald, the winning works were announced at a well attended opening on Wednesday evening, 15 May
First prize 2D went to ‘Diaphanous Life Forms’ by Nicole Grimm-Hewitt. As its name suggests an extraordinary mass of large and small translucent jellyfish float in a blue and turquoise world. Nicole has managed to suggest different levels of depth below and surface above and a sense of near and far in an otherworldly, underwater environment
Highly commended 2D went to Christine Edwards for her luminously coloured painting executed in alcoholic inks, ‘Jellyfish Garden’.
First prize 3D went to Janet Kininmonth for her kiln fired fluted glass forms, ‘Manta Ray Dancing’—these vase like works are brilliantly coloured in strong blues, turquoise and a ribbon of red, yet still retain a translucent quality. The flutes are shaped to suggest the graceful movement of the manta ray as they ‘dance’ through their watery environment.
Highly Commended 3D was awarded to Laureen Phillips for her semi abstract carving, ‘Hooked’—the natural layers of the soapstone and its fluid form suggests the water flow that helped create it and the shape of the fish carved from it.
The ‘Looking through a Glass Bottom Boat’ exhibition will run until May 31.
The Gallery is open seven days a week, 10 am to 4cpm. It is a co-operative venture of CABBI, a society open to local arts and crafts practitioners. People interested in finding out more about CABBI should drop in to The Gallery or phone 02 4474 2243. CABBI is also holding a ‘pop-up’ exhibition in Batemans Bay, between the newsagency and Post Office, Orient Street, from May 17 to 27.