Dates: 13 Feb – 1 March. Opening @ 6.00pm Fri 13 Feb 2015

Newcastle’s Back to Back Galleries presents new, large scale works in response to the exhibition theme by seven local artists who have been exhibiting at B2B since 2012. Landscape artists Stephanie Berick, Jill Campbell, Cath McCarthy, Bev Leggett Simmons and Shelagh Lummis with ceramic artists Susan Myerson and Sharon Taylor use painting and sculpture to represent ideas about the natural environment ranging from existential themes to broader social or personal narratives.

Statues, metaphorical custodians of the landscape, is a common theme across three artists’ works. Stephanie Berick’s drawings on paper are memorials of sorrow that transcend living memories and raise existential questions about life itself. Sharon Taylor’s oversized, sculptured trunk-like forms connect with narratives of defiance, resilience and survival. Says Taylor of her work, “Reach for the sky is a salute to the sun—survival in the landscape depends on sunlight; the towering forms defy gravity”.

Shelagh Lummis pronounces her trees in the landscape as “living sculptures”, on which environmental health depends. A sub-text of environment vulnerability underpins her awe-inspiring, sensitive representations of the solitary tree. Using a limited palette, Bev Leggett Simmons converts patterns from shedding bark on tree trunks into larger abstract landscape paintings. On an elongated canvas, she distorts and reorders less recognizable worlds. Both Jill Campbell and Cath McCarthy are inspired by familiar and favourite places. Her choice of large canvas enhances Campbell’s capacity and skill to transform her ‘discovered landscapes’ through expressive and emotive bursts of brilliant colour.

While McCarthy also uses eye-catching vibrant colours, she retains recognizable markers in her local coastline paintings. Her experience of place, of walking between two worlds—earth and ocean—widens her perspective. Susan Myerson’s sculptural representations of nature using southern ice porcelain, has opened a new avenue of focus and experimentation. For Myerson, the bigger picture is her new creative direction.

57 Bull Street Cooks Hill
T: 49 293 677
Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11am-5pm