‘stitched to everything in the universe’ & ‘green ants’

21 July – 28 August 2016

‘…stitched to everything in the universe…’- Greg Somerville

‘Green Ants’ – Ian Clark

Falkner Gallery re-opens after the Winter Break on 21 July with two exciting new exhibitions that demonstrate the delight of complexity. The artworks share a number of similar effects, yet are created by two artists drawing on quite different inspiration and backgrounds.

Downstairs are drawings and textiles by Greg Somerville, an artist who has recently settled in Castlemaine from NSW. Since the 1990s, in partnership with Paula Martin, Greg has specialised in corporate and theatrical design, public art, scenic art, theatre design, sculpting and prop making and costume and mask designing.

His training and early work as a biologist has led him to use the insights of science, especially ecology and Chaos Theory, in his artistic output. He writes: “The imagery I utilise is grounded in the patterns, textures and minutiae of the bioregion in which I live. They are also informed by my knowledge of biological structures, the energies and relationships found in ecosystems, within the micro and macroscopic.”

He continues: ”The patterns of water drops on leaves, the way lichen spreads on sandstone or the manner in which trees co-inhabit the landscape is every bit as revelatory as the great texts, painting or musical composition.”

In his exhibition “…stitched to everything in the universe…” vibrant patterns and colours sit alongside subtle and detailed textures both in his fine ink and pencil drawings on paper and his appliqued and embroidered textiles. In each medium and technique he expresses scientific and aesthetic richness and complexity.

Similar qualities are to be found upstairs in the large dot paintings by Ian Clark. However, rather than being inspired by biology and ecology, the acrylic paintings are the result of Clark’s spiritual painting practice.

This exhibition: ‘Green Ants’ follows his two highly successful exhibitions at Falkner Gallery in 2011 and 2013.

Clark was born in Kamilaroi lands, North Western NSW where he spent most of his early years. He now lives in Central Victoria where he has further developed his distinctive and powerful painting and printmaking style.

He doesn’t draw, plan or design his canvas; instead he begins painting in one place and lets his story or subject ‘construct itself’. The act of painting for him is often spiritual, a form of prayer or meditation.

He describes painting as a positive force in his life and states ‘Sometimes I am the kid constructing again’. He works slowly and methodically in acrylics on canvas depicting stories to do with nature and his own life and philosophy.

Rich, vibrant colours in his characteristic dot style pulsate and vibrate. What initially appear as bold, static patterns, move and shimmer to describe his story. The resultant dots and colours of his paintings and the linear patterns of his linocuts pulsate with intense and rhythmic vibrations. They are the spiritual creations of a contemporary artist with a powerful, storytelling heritage.

Both exhibitions commence 21 July and continue until 28 August. Both artists will be present Saturday 23 July 2 – 4 pm