'Endurance' final days & Commendation Prize, Banyule Award for Works on Paper

Thanks so much to everyone who has visited my solo exhibition Endurance at Megalo Print Studio & Gallery (21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston, Canberra). In case any of you are still keen to get there - the exhibition is now in its final days, ending this Saturday Sept 21. Megalo is open 9.30am - 5pm Tues - Sat. The work was inspired by the elemental power and personal significance of Guerilla Bay, Yuin Country (South Coast, NSW). The exhibition has received a thoughtful and supportive review from respected critic Sasha Grishin.

Endurance solo exhibition install, 2019, Megalo Print Studio & Gallery, watercolour monotypes on paper, each 168cm x 228cm, photo by Brenton McGeachie.

In other news, my large-scale pencil and monotype work Verge 2 recently received the Commendation Prize in the the Banyule Award for Work on Paper and will remain on display at Hatch Contemporary Art, Melbourne until Oct 19. Verge 2 was part of a series made in response to the shoreline erosion that I encountered while walking and kayaking around the perimeter of Lake Victoria, Gippsland. My work is also included in the Fremantle Print Award, Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australia, which opens this week (19 Sept - 10 Nov).

'Endurance' solo exhibition opening & more


I would love you to join me in celebrating the opening of my solo exhibition Endurance from 6pm Thurs 15 August at Megalo Print Studio & Gallery (21 Wentworth Ave, Kingston, Canberra). The exhibition continues until Sat Sept 21 and I will give a print demonstration & artist talk at 2pm Sat 14 Sept. The work has been inspired by the elemental power and personal significance of Guerilla Bay, Yuin Country (South Coast NSW).

Endurance , 2019, watercolour monotype on paper, 168cm x 228cm

Endurance, 2019, watercolour monotype on paper, 168cm x 228cm


I have also created a work in response to a piece of coal from Geoscience Australia's National Mineral and Fossil Collection for GEO: Art of the Collection now on display at the ANU School of Art and Design Project Space until 31 Aug.

Borrowed Time (coal) , 2019, monotype and pencil on paper, 112cm x 76cm

Borrowed Time (coal), 2019, monotype and pencil on paper, 112cm x 76cm

Further afield, my work Slippage (image: below middle) is currently on display in the 4th Global Print exhibition, Douro, Portugal (1 Aug - 30 Sept). My work Verge 2 (image: below right) is a finalist in the Banyule Award for Work on Paper, Hatch Contemporary Art, Melbourne (Aug 28 - Oct 19) and my work Chasm 4 (image: below left) is a finalist in the Fremantle Print Award, Fremantle Arts Centre, Western Australia (19 Sept - 10 Nov).

'Composition in Blue' opening at Belconnen Arts Centre

You’re invited! Please join me from 6pm on Tues evening Nov 20 for the opening celebration of my wall drawing ‘Composition in Blue’ at Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra, alongside the wonderful exhibition ‘Made of Holes’ by Lucy Irvine @lucy.e.irvine.

E-Invitation - Annika Romeyn.jpg

Annika Romeyn Composition in blue, 2018

Gouache and watercolour on gallery wall, dimensions variable

 

Composition in blue is an abstract arrangement of intersecting organic shapes, inspired by the night sky and the wonder, mystery and dynamism evoked by stars. Drawn directly on the gallery wall with gouache and watercolour, the swirling, ethereal composition evolved organically with constellation-like relationships emerging as layers were added.

The component shapes are inverted, distorted details drawn from my recent monotype prints depicting relatively small-scale earthly subjects, including rock formations and eroded gully walls. Reimagined and reanimated to the music of The Griffyn Ensemble, the fragmented shapes are intended to suggest the broader reoccurrence of patterns in nature, connecting earth and sky, solid and fluid.

In working directly on the curved wall, I aimed to create an immersive experience where viewers could become enveloped by the shifting, spatial and optical qualities of the drawing. Disappearing into the gallery wall, I wanted my drawing to acknowledge that the stars visible to the naked eye are only a minute fraction of those that exist.

For me, the unfathomable sense of scale and distance associated with the stars is a great source of wonder and humility. I pondered over the fact that by the time the light of distant stars reaches us we are looking deep into the past and I was reminded of Rebecca Solnit’s poetic description of ‘the blue of distance’, which informed my choice of colour:

‘I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen... the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go.’

(Rebecca Solint, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Viking Penguin, 2005, p.25)

 

One Sky, Many Stories

One Sky, Many Stories
What do stars mean to you?
A Griffyn Ensemble collaboration

Belconnen Arts Centre

Main Gallery until 16 December 2018

work in progress, 2018, gouache on gallery wall

work in progress, 2018, gouache on gallery wall

It’s been wonderful to participate in a creative development project at Belconnen Arts Centre and to have the time to experiment with new ideas and processes - I’ve been working away at a large-scale composition of abstract organic shapes drawn directly onto the curved gallery wall with gouache. Many thoughts have crossed my mind while letting the drawing evolve one layer/intersection at a time: the swirling dynamism of galaxies, distance and the fading light as we look further into the past, the blue of twilight and new stars, the relationships between points that become constellations… The shapes I have used are inverted, distorted details drawn from my recent monotype prints of relatively small-scale earthly origins - eroded gullies and rock formations. My work and thoughts have also been a response the music of the Griffyn Ensemble who instigated this project.

What do the stars mean to you? The Griffyn Ensemble, directed by Michael Sollis, have been asking this question since they first performed Southern Sky in 2012, and recently travelled to Tennant Creek to discover and create some more stories and songs about the stars. Members of the Griffyn Ensemble joined Arrernte man Warren H. Williams, Tennant Creek musicians and astronomer Fred Watson in August this year in Canberra for development and performance of this work.

One Sky, Many Stories explores western and Indigenous conceptions of the night sky, as well as personal reflections from a diversity of cultures and backgrounds. Interviews from Central Australians relating to the night sky were projected alongside music performed by The Griffyn Ensemble from their iconic Southern Sky, as a springboard to begin creative dialogue and development of new work in the Main Gallery at Belconnen Arts Centre.

The gallery has been transformed into a site for creative exploration with artists working in the space investigating their ideas and responses to the night sky. This is the ‘embryonic’ phase of creative development, intended to open the possibility that ideas and works beginning here will be developed in more depth over the coming year and be featured in the celebrations and launch of the completed Belconnen Arts Centre in early 2020.

Anyone from the broader community is invited to record stories and reflections on the question ‘what do the stars mean to you?’ through written text, video recordings or by adding a woven star wish to our gallery wall; visit us to experience this Inspiring Australia initiative, which is supported by the Australian Government as part of National Science Week.