Earth poses for farm photography exhibition

A new exhibition that links leading artists with regenerative farmers will open in Mount Gambier tomorrow night. Hosted by the Riddoch Arts and Cultural Centre, the exhibition Earth Canvas highlights engagement with the landscape through a creative lens and explores the experiences of both the regenerative farmer and the artist, their respective engagement with the land and their vision for a healthier world.

Featuring new work by leading Australian artists Ros Atkins, Jenny Bell, Jo Davenport, Janet Laurence, Tony Nott, Idris Murphy and John Wolseley the project was created through inviting contemporary artists to work on regenerative farms between the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers in southern New South Wales.

The driving force behind the Earth Canvas: Art in Ag project Gill Sanbrook said the artists and farmers involved in the Earth Canvas project wanted to share their combined experience of artworks and on farm visits through the exhibition. “By taking time out to think about, look at and feel the landscape, we can all develop a better appreciation of the origins of our food and of the agricultural processes behind it,” Ms Sanbrook said.

Mount Gambier City Council arts and culture development officer Serena Wong said the project aimed to link the artists’ perspective on the land with the farmers’ management of the land, revealing a mutual creativity of approach and deep empathy with the landscape.

“Traditionally we think of farmers and artists as oppositional, but in this exhibition we see them working together for the same shared goals, the quality of our food and the health of our planet,” she said. “I’m really excited to see our community’s response and how these messages connect to their lives.”

Adding a local element to the exhibition, The Riddoch has commissioned new work by award-winning Portland based artist Carmel Wallace. “Carmel is working with local farmers Liam and Sara Brokensha on Glenhuntley Farm to create new work for this exhibition,” Ms Wong said. The exhibition opens tomorrow at 6pm.

To coincide with the exhibition, an open day will be held on August 22 from 10am to 3:30pm at Glenhuntley Farm located at Eight Mile Creek, the home of the locally renowned free range egg enterprise The Splendid Egg. Ms Wong said the day would start with a guided tour of the exhibition at The Riddoch, where Ms Wallace will share her experience creating an art piece while working at Glenhuntly followed by a farm tour and lunch.

“Hosts for the day Liam and Sarah will share their experience of building soils, plant diversity and using animals to achieve their goals,” she said. “This is a real opportunity to see how artist Carmel and the Brokensha’s see the landscape.” Earth Canvas will be on display until August 29. Visit www.trybooking.com/BQUXB to purchase tickets for the farm and art open day.

Coinciding with the Earth Canvas opening, Thumbprint Inc. will open its latest exhibition Under the Canopy. Thumb Print members Libby Altschwager, Julie Bignell, Jo Fife, Anne Miles, Sally O’Connor, Lilija Quill, Ruth Schubert, Sue Shaw, Trudy Tandberg, Diana Wiseman

and Stephanie Yoannidis explore the theme using a variety of printmaking methods on display until September 5.

“Thumb Print Inc. is a group of artists working primarily as printmakers and illustrators in Mount Gambier and we look forward to hosting their latest works in the Cathleen Edkins Gallery at The Riddoch,” Ms Wong said.

 Registration is essential for the exhibition openings due to COVID-19 restrictions and can be completed by contacting riddoch@mountgambier.sa.gov.au or (08) 8721 2563.

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