Leah Thiessen / Shelley McKenzie / Amy Wright
17 May - 10 June
Leah Thiessen – The Spirit of Place
In this body of work, Thiessen writes that she is responding to the northern NSW environment she is immersed in daily, “the natural ecology of the Terranora Broadwater, with its mangroves and natural bush terrain…”
She explains the dynamism in her work as originating from the movement in nature. “In nature nothing is ever static, there is always sound, emotion, mood, memory that accompany the visual. I store what I see in my subconscious mind until it’s ready to emerge, conveying a spirit of place… I’m drawn to the chaotic line and frantic energy of the mangroves…..a place that is buzzing with energy.”
As a former fashion designer who has since gone on to extensive study in Visual Arts in Sydney and Lismore, Thiessen has a vivid and beautifully-balanced sense of colour, and an assured touch.
Since completing university studies Thiessen has had two solo exhibitions, and has been selected as a finalist in many prominent contemporary art prizes around Australia. Among several group shows was a Watters Gallery, East Sydney emerging artist exhibition in 2016. Leah continues to paint and explore abstraction in her studio, which is situated on the water’s edge in Northern New South Wales.
Shelley McKenzie – Home Front
McKenzie says in relation to this latest series to be shown at Boom Gallery: “Gertrude Stein’s companion Alice Toklas observed it was through polishing furniture she understood the real beauty of it. Daily home rituals of cleaning and organising living space underpin these paintings – the activities and living conditions of those who stay at home.”
She describes her work as being about the process of making. “Each step in the creative process mobilises an aspect of being … My practice reflects my interest in the organising of space through the push and pull of layers of paint and other media. Incorporated into the layering are fragments of objects, shapes and patterns that are part of my physical environment and emotional geography.”
McKenzie is an established artist who has exhibited extensively throughout Australia, her work is held in both private and public collections. McKenzie lives in a small rural town outside of Geelong surrounded by bushland, her home environment is often reflected in the themes and motives of her work. We are thrilled to welcome local artist and Boom regular Shelley McKenzie back to the Gallery for her new solo exhibition Home Front.
Amy Wright – Road Trip
Wright’s Roadtrip series narrates as she says: “countless hours on the road with a sleeping newborn in the back.” As well as the “vast panorama of the rural landscape and the hyper speed of the roadside as it races by” Wright says that she was inspired by the roadside stop, a space that she says is “rarely noticed and commonly discarded. In what others would regard as a wasteland, I see mini-scapes of abounding textures, colours; blurring and muddied, and patterns repeated. I try to capture the beauty in the dogged weed, the crushed leaf litter and thoughtlessly tossed rubbish.”
Wright sees this work as “injecting beauty into the banal”.
She uses layers of water based paints, spray paints, oil paints, marker and pencil to create tactile and textured surfaces. Using techniques reminiscent of collage, landscapes are represented through rich colour, texture and rhythmic abstract patterning.
Wright has a diverse background in Painting and Drawing, Surface Pattern Design and Floral Artistry. She has formal training in Fine Arts (VCA) and Textile Design (RMIT).
Exhibitions run 17 May – 10 June. Opening celebrations Saturday 19 May from 2-4pm.
To see full exhibition listings click here.