Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Hawkesbury Regional Gallery will reopen on Saturday 18 July with safety measures in place

Wild

20 July - 2 September

For as long as human kind has been have engaged in expressive or creative endeavours, the subject matter of flora and fauna has been present. Traditional (Western) art history narratives ascribe to the Palaeolithic period the first examples of ‘human art’, cave painting from this period depicting animals. Australian Aboriginal rock art, which includes painting, engraving and carving is considered to be even older, also depicts many animal forms.

Wild: Flora and Fauna in Australian Art explores just some of the abundant, beautiful and  often complex ways that living Australian artists continue the tradition of depicting flora and fauna in creative expression.

It is almost impossible to know where to begin describing the sublime and poetic beauty depicted in the art work bought together for this exhibition. And whilst we can look and become lost in this beauty, these works articulate deeper and more complex concerns, demanding more thought and consideration from us.

Through painting, photography, drawing ceramics, glass, sculpture and installation and film, artists explore ideas such as our changing and fraught relationship to our natural surrounds; questions of social, historical and cultural imperative are asked.

Alongside the obvious and the beautiful, the exhibition includes artistic expression of flora and fauna that is meant to challenge and confound , the stunning abstract and symbolic painting of Australian Aboriginal artists; the humour in the work of Troy Emery and Tom Moore; the unsettling nature of Julia deVille and Sue Kneebone, the sadness of Narelle Autio and Shaun Gladwell.

Alongside the contemporary, Wild also includes a selection of work from some of Australia’s most significant artists of the 19th and 20th centuries, drawn for the collection of Newcastle Art Gallery, including works by Joseph Lycett, Arthur Boyd, John Olsen, Margaret Preston, Sam Byrne, Albert Namatjira and Elioth Gruner.

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