Ormonde, Wolseley and Marnika

16 March – 21 May 2017

Dry Sand, Wet Mud, Moving Earth’ – Sarah Ormonde and John Wolseley

‘Quadrumiki – Fisherman of the Soul’ –Robert Marnika

The exhibition ‘Dry Sand, Wet Mud, Moving Earth’ is a powerful collaboration in content and process by two exceptional Australian artists, ceramicist Sarah Ormonde and painter, printmaker John Wolseley. It is an extension of their friendship and ongoing conversation; a show that relates to their common fascination, passion and description of the movement of the natural world and its interconnectedness.

Sarah writes: ‘When John and I meet, we have wasps’ nests and chunks of termite mounds in our hands. We marvel at the process of a grub moving through wood and clay and sand, enjoying the marks left behind and the story told.’

Sarah’s pots are a study of lines and the movement of water on the landscape. She focuses on the marks that human movement leaves on the land and how they help define the physical structure of the landscape.

John also describes the lines and patterns made on the landscape, particularly by the natural world. His relief prints, for example, describe the burrowings and patterns made by beetle larvae underneath the bark of trees. These intricate calligraphies map the life histories from egg to grub to emergent beetle as it flies off to start another cycle of eternal return.

The marks and patterns describing movement across and in the landscape on their pots and prints echo the intricate calligraphy and rubbings of ancient Chinese pots and reliefs.

Not only do the artists share a similar inspiration and content but as well, their work-processes in their own mediums are very similar. Both describe the physical process of playing, carving, inlaying, flooding, drying, layering, lifting, building, stretching, scraping, cutting, scoring, printing, rubbing, firing. John outlines their common love for the action and performance of producing their works. Whether throwing clay on the wheel and incising the surface, or crawling up a dam embankment to ‘paint’ with mud and impress marks on paper, both artists are like Action painters, involved in making statements about and with the landscape.

This shared involvement in and concern for process has given rise to a sharing of knowledge. So many of John’s painting and printing techniques are relevant to Sarah’s surface treatment of clay.

The collaborative piece in this show is based around slices of termite mound that John brought back from the Northern Territory and that Sarah has fired, both artists discovering and admiring the intricacy and monumentality of the structure.

To celebrate the extraordinary beauty seen, they have constructed a collection of prints, objects and pots entitled ‘Dry Sand, Wet Mud, Moving Earth’.

The exhibition will be opened by Novelist Alex Miller, 3pm, Friday 17 March.


Downstairs at Falkner Gallery is a photography exhibition entitled ‘Quadrumiki – Fisherman of the Soul’ by Robert Marnika

Robert Marnika is a photographer from Zadar, Croatia who has lived in Bologna, Italy for more than twenty years and has recently moved to Central Victoria. With over 25 years of experience in a range of photographic styles and services [from industrial photography to portraiture], Robert has dedicated much of his career to both teaching darkroom techniques and artistic photography. He has taught in Italy, Croatia and Spain and Australia and has won several significant Italian and international photography prizes.

The exhibition Quadrumiki is set anywhere, a place as universal as the condition of the portrayed fisherman.

The fisherman, the symbol of modern mankind, is searching. He is extremely small in a dark, yet dazzling, context. He might seem almost crushed by his surroundings being so tiny and marginal, but he moves forward instead, sometimes resolute, sometimes hesitant, towards the unknown, or possibly, towards a brighter future.

Quadrumiki is a wanderer like Robert Marnika. An explorer and a traveller both in life and in photography, Marnika is looking for new effects and new visions of reality.

A lover and expert of black and white photography and its typical contrasts, Marnika debases its cliché with a range a varying golden, sepia and silver tones obtained through a lysergic mixture of special self-made substances. The outcome is – not accidentally – watery, and this is very important in the Quadrumiki collection.

Marnika’s ultimate goal is a total reconciliation between mankind and Nature with its immensity and awe-inspiring beauty.

‘Quadrumiki – Fisherman of the Soul’ is to be introduced by Italian writer Mariella Lancia, 3pm, Saturday 18 March.