You Yangs – Group Exhibition
28 March - 24 April
The name ‘You Yang’ has formed from the Aboriginal words ‘Wurdi Youang’ or ‘Ude Youang’ meaning “big mountain in the middle of a plain” or possibly “big or large hill” or even “bald”. Although only 319 metres at their highest, they dominate our local landscape.
The You Yangs have always attracted artists to paint them and feature most strongly in works by one of Australia’s greatest artists, Fred Williams. Williams spent long periods developing his plein air representations of the You Yangs, and these have now become celebrated and iconic Australian works of art.
Ten contemporary artists all with a strong connection to our Geelong region have been invited to respond to the You Yangs. As curators we look forward to how each artist approaches these ancient granitic outcrops and ultimately respond to them in paint, drawing and photography.
The exhibition includes David Beaumont, Shelley McKenzie, Rohan Robinson, Cricket Saleh, Deb Fisher, Andy Pye, Ren Inei, Jordy Kerwick, Natalie Anderson and Ingrid Daniell.
Selected images and quotes from some of the artists below.
“Already a beloved, if not regular subject in my paintings, the You Yangs are a familiar hunkering presence on the skyline for dwellers and visitors in our region. So familiar perhaps, that we lose the significance and wonder surrounding these ancient granite hills. I drive past them every day, shimmering there in the distance, so for this work I wanted to approach the subject from two opposite and less typical physical vantage points – my aim was to encourage a different view and in the process, kind of wake up and experience the You Yangs afresh drawn from two very different experiences of the place.”
“The You Yangs have always captured my heart both from afar, as I have traveled past them too many times to count, and immersed in the bold and magnetic intimacy when walking around the range. The magnetic pull of the dramatic You Yang range; seeped in Deep Time, provided me the perfect muse and inspiration; continuing my exploration of our earth as a fragile beauty on the verge of a dystopian relic. I am drawn to landscapes that offer a sense of solitude, majesty, mystery, places that feel removed from the chaos of our current day; they offer a sacred experience; of which as humans crave for a sense of belonging and relief.”
“I have been driving back and forth past the You Yangs my whole life, yet I can count the times on one hand that Ive actually visited the national park. This being said, the You Yangs have maintained three very distinct feelings for me. First, a sense of mysticism – the large mountainous landscape providing a visual from far but very few answers as to what it is really like. The second being a feeling of joy, as driving past the You Yangs generally meant we were on our way to Anglesea (referencing childhood memories) where my grandparents lived. This evokes feelings of love and freedom a total innocence. The third and final feeling I get is of sadness as it meant that we were going home to reality (which really wasn’t that bad at all…).”
Exhibition runs 28 – 24 April.
Opening Celebrations Saturday 30th March 2pm-4pm.
To see a full exhibition listing click here.