‘Harsh Cries’ & ‘Introspection’

7 September – 29 October 2017

‘Harsh Cries’ – Carolyn Graham – Linocuts

‘Introspection’ – Magdalena Dmowska – Mixed media

Carolyn Graham is once again exhibiting at Castlemaine. Every two years she produces a superb series of linocuts especially for a solo show at Falkner Gallery. Sometimes she depicts the Central Victorian landscape, sometimes trees from various Australian regions, sometimes birds and animals.

This time she has selected ‘Harsh Cries’ as the title for her series of exotic birds from various worldwide locations. Their imaginative, bold and vibrant colours as well as their simplified shapes and dramatic compositions illustrate her trademark style. Unnecessary detail is eliminated adding to the drama of the works. Unlike the precise cutting and printing technique usually associated with the linocut printmaking process, Carolyn’s images have colour graduations making them quite painterly and expressive. As with her earlier landscapes and animals, she manages to capture the essence of these superb winged creatures through her research and imagination.

The specific birds depicted are unusual and spectacular. Hornbills from Africa, India and Asia are beside a toucan and a macaw from Central and South America and Mexico. The hoopoe found in Europe, Asia and Africa is accompanied by the amazing Palm cockatoo found in New Guinea, Aru Islands and Cape York Peninsula.

The eagerly awaited ‘Harsh Cries’ is a joyous, wild celebration of such strange and beautiful birds.

At the same time upstairs is a very moving exhibition by Melbourne artist Magdalena Dmowska entitled ‘Introspection’.

Large paintings describe the personal journey faced by Magdalena at the diagnosis and subsequent death of her father many thousands of kilometres away.

She writes: “My Dad’s presence permeates my paintings.”

Her canvases illustrate a narrative of grief using personal symbolism but at the same time provide universal relevance to all who have suffered loss, separation, love and longing.

She adds: “The beginning and the end of life are universal human experiences; however we all deal with them on our own terms. Grief is not a single emotion, as it comprises many different feelings, erratic, confusing and overwhelming. These paintings came along as a stream of consciousness; I painted without forethought, just with the feeling of what Dad was going through. I could not be there when he died, but somehow I knew, as the last painting in this series – “To sleep, perchance to dream” was finished the very night he had died sixteen thousand kilometres away from me”.

She continues: “How one copes with grief is a very personal thing, but grief is not always about sadness, as sometimes funny memories help to create something beyond the grief itself. I started painting the moment Dad was diagnosed with cancer; his disease intimidated me, so I have looked deep into my memories of him, to create a mind map of my feelings associated with him and my relationship with him. Funny things started to come to the surface and I believe that he would appreciate the humour that reflects on our relationship. Humour helps when intellect is hopeless; it allows insight into the rational mind outside emotions”. Dmowska

Accompanying these personal, humorous and often joyous paintings is a series of vibrantly coloured ceramic vessels that also speak of her memories and mindscapes.

The exhibition ‘Introspection’ is presented as a personal and universal reflection on grief and love.

Meet the artists: Saturday 9 September 2 – 4pm