‘Deep Seated’ and ‘A Tail to Tell’

12 June – 3 August 2014

Egg tempera paintings by Georgie Beard

Linocuts by Libby Schreiber and Mirranda Burton

Melbourne-born artist Georgie Beard’s interest in the egg tempera medium began several years ago. A chance encounter with a Russian Orthodox priest led to an introduction to the history and preparation of icons. This is a very ritualistic process; very meditative in its execution. The preparation of the panels involves the application of at least twelve layers of gesso, followed by sanding them back, leaving a silky smooth surface on which to paint. The tempera [pigments bound with egg yolk] is applied in layers using very fine brush strokes to build up tone and colour. Slowly the image emerges on the panel.

The technique was used during Egyptian and Roman times as well as in the Byzantine, Medieval and Early Renaissance periods.

A series of these panels comprises the exhibition downstairs, entitled ‘Deep Seated’. Each panel is a faithful rendering of a chair. Georgie’s colour palette is restricted to cool blues and greys and each chair takes on its own ‘personality’.

She writes: ‘In my house are 26 chairs. Sounds a lot, but they all sit well and are the furniture that most reveal my character and style. Central is a cluster of four ‘comfy’ chairs, all secondhand and chosen with care, as they sit in the heart of the house and reflect the family that lived within. There is the overstuffed father chair, the mother chair of velvet with rolled arms, the brown angular chair of the son and the finer, more delicate patterned one of the daughter.’

Born in 1954, Georgie has worked across several mediums including pencil, watercolours and printmaking. She has exhibited in Singapore, Bangkok Sydney and Melbourne, and has works in private collections in England, America, Singapore and Australia.

The accompanying exhibition is entitled ‘A Tail to Tell’, a series of linocuts by two Melbourne artists Libby Schreiber and Mirranda Burton.

Mirranda writes: ‘ Within the life cycles of the native Australian bush, one is constantly reminded of early European settlement. Introduced plants and animals, in particular the fox, meet the environment with their own survival instincts.’

Her images present a world viewed through the eyes of a fox. Through their graphic style and insightful humour, each print explores a delicate balance between the impact of an introduced species in Australia and the wisdom of nature.

The same humour and precise technique are evident in the linocuts by Libby Schreiber. Technically precise and well-executed, Libby’s linocuts express the absurd, the whimsical and the humorous. She explores and plays with a title and tells the tale visually, the way a book illustrator might.

All three artists have a tale to tell. Mirranda and Libby linocuts use the tails of various creatures to make comments about the world around them, and Georgie’s paintings of chairs have a deep-seated personal meaning to her and her family.

‘Deep Seated’ and ‘A Tail to Tell’: 12 June – 3 August 2014