If I were going to the 12/12 exhibition during the week – there is a particular order I would follow in viewing the show. First I would sit in the theatre space and watch Warrnambool film maker Colleen Hughson’s film about one man’s dedication and love of Southern Right Whales. It is a celebration of nature which is filled with fascinating almost personal facts about our local whale population.
Then I would move into the central gallery of the Portland Art centre (PAC) and view the visual commentary on human’s effects on nature. For example Carmel Wallace’s work might be a meditation on life and death of the Mutton birds, via flotsam and jetsam found on local beaches.
Nikolaus Dolman’s bold etchings, Oriel Glennen’s gentle weaving of six-pack rings, Cat Bailey’s floating nylon bags and Judy Spencer’s 40kg rope balls comment on the rubbish, rope and plastic we put into local sea.
Then I’d move into the middle gallery of PAC, looking up at Heather Richardson’s hanging linocuts of extinct and endangered animals “Hung out to dry” suspended above the gallery space.
The etchings, mono-prints and installations of Carmel Wallace, Megan Jarret, Angela Hayson, Brooke Thompson and Mel Holtz appear as a homage to nature, made with dedicated observation.
Into the next gallery you find woven works by artists such as Deb Saunders and Cherree Densley who celebrate nature and a sustainable way of living. Sandra Winkworth explores nature and how artists can work ethically and sustainably and Tina Biggs examines the effect of the fishing Industry on our oceans.
Lastly I’d take a close look at the Narrabans by running my hands through the finger knitted tentacles and then go and sit on the balls of rope by Judy Spencer and take in the whole space.
By Cat Bailey
All images are copyrighted.