Postcards from Sydney

In April I was supposed to be exhibiting work as part of a group exhibition in Sydney. I would have missed the end as I was off to London and Spain, to spend time with my daughter and her family. Of course, none of these things happened. My overseas trip is on hold for the foreseeable future, but the exhibition has been re-scheduled for November, which is a great outcome.

The exhibition is called ‘Living Textures’. Thirteen artists were asked to be part of the submission, chosen for their interest in the natural world. We have printmakers, ceramicists, painters, artists who make small baskets, and more. The works will all relate in some way to the venue where the exhibition will be held – Brush Farm. This is a historic house in Sydney’s north west, originally built by Gregory Blaxland, one of our early explorers, in 1820. He was something of an entrepreneur, experimenting with growing grapes for wine, raising different varieties of sheep for wool and supplying beef to the colony. In later years the house was used as home for ‘wayward’ boys, and after that girls, then mothers and babies. Now it is owned by the local council and is used for exhibitions, weddings and so on and has been restored.

The inspiration I took was from the plants and wildlife that are to be found in and around the area, many of which would have been there in the time of Blaxland, and of course when the occupants of the land were the aboriginal people for thousands of years before. Most of the works I will be exhibiting will be pen and ink and watercolour – this is a set of nine postcard sized drawings, each presented in a shadow box frame. Having extra time for the preparation of this exhibition has given me the chance to add to the works I was planning, and refine some of my choices, so I think there will be a few more new works still to come, and some of those I had set aside for the exhibition won’t make it.

Author: anna warren portfolio

I draw, I paint, I am a printmaker. Always searching for the interesting detail in the world around me.

14 thoughts

  1. These take me back to your jewelry pieces – especially as they sit in their frames. They are delightful and I particularly like the way the reds pop out. Even though they are individual pieces, it doesn’t take much of a stretch to be reminded of your big works with many objects of nature lovingly arranged on a large white page. So here is the page – but in nine pieces – and who knows how you will add and rearrange as you go. I also always appreciate the way you put in the shadows of the objects, grounding them. One could easily not notice them, but I think they are vital parts of your works.

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    1. They ARE like the jewelery pieces Julie, the bright colours and contained shapes, I hadn’t thought of that before. I am gradually working my way back to painting in oils again, so maybe these are a bit of a precursor! It is interesting how something as minor as a shadow is important, but it is, until I add the shadows I feel as though the objects are floating.

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    1. Thanks Leonie – yes, I was delighted the exhibition could be rescheduled, several I was involved in this year have been cancelled entirely, although some have gone online, which has been an interesting development.

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  2. Anna, these are so nice to see altogether. Your nature images are always a favorite of mine and so inspirational. Some of your plants are familiar to me as they grow in California, I immediately have a visual connection with them. I would love to see this exhibit it sounds like its going to be rich with unique art pieces! I’m very sorry your travel plans were put on hold. It seems to be a common theme. Thank you for sharing these amazing cards!

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    1. Its nice to see them as a group isn’t it? They are happier together than alone maybe. I think there is quite a similarity in climate in California and New South Wales, which would account for the familiar plants – its nice to know you connect with them! I’m still a bit sad about our trip, we would be in our last week in London now and I’m not sure when we will see my daughter and her family again. But thank goodness for the communications we have these days, I can see and talk to them frequently.

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      1. I know it can be so hard not to be with family, I’m right there with you but so thankful for zoom and other forms of communication. The group together is a statement but even alone they stand up perfectly. I love your artwork Anna and appreciate you sharing the behind the scenes efforts!

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        1. Thank you so much Cathe, you are such a generous supporter of me and my work! Yes, zoom etc is an absolute boon in these difficult times – I think it has made many changes that will continue even when this pandemic is less of an issue.

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