Three women went to China….
A multi media exhibition by Suzanne Archer, Hanna Kay, Sarah Tomasetti
The exhibition brings together paintings, drawings, sculptures, assemblages, frescos and books the artists made in response to their encounters in China.
“...Suzanne Archer, Hanna Kay and Sarah Tomasetti are established artists with distinguished exhibition histories. The convergence of three such very different women, one living and working in the Wedderburn region of New South Wales, one in the Upper Hunter Valley, one in Melbourne, may have seemed unlikely except for a serendipitous event. In 2012, each artist showed her work in ‘From Paper’, an exhibition organised by Sydney’s Janet Clayton Gallery in Beijing, and traveled to China as part of an artistic exchange. Each returned to Australia to find that her work had been imprinted by this experience, in ways both subtle and profound, like the red seal stamped on a misty ‘Shan Shui’ ink landscape that showed it had been pored over by a scholar....” [Luise Guest, catalogue essay, 2016]
Showing at - Muswellbrook Regional Gallery, Tamworth Regional Gallery and Janet Clayton Gallery, Sydney.
“Shifting Horizons” is a collection of artworks inspired by trips Hanna Kay made to China since 2012. The most significant experiences were encounters with clay relics in several imperial burial pits in Xi’an. In addition to being moved by these ancient cultural practices, she was impressed by the techniques and use of materials by both traditional and contemporary artists. Consequently this body of work, both two and three dimensional, employs some traditional Chinese materials to create a cross cultural dialogue about history, memory, and commemoration in different societies.
The artworks explore the environmental context which would have helped shape the burial practices in ancient Xi’an and the confluence of forces that have since acted upon the place. As such, they are a nexus of the immeasurable age of the natural world, with the fragility and transience of human perception on which that experience is dependent.
Hanna Kay is a PhD candidate at Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University. Shifting Horizons is part of the creative component of her thesis.
In July 2012 Suzanne Archer, Hanna Kay and Sarah Tomasetti were invited to exhibit their artworks in Beijing. They travelled to China for the opening of the exhibition, and used the opportunity to visit other regions, such as Xian and Guilin. The trip made a strong impression; so much so that the initial inspiration and strong desire to create artworks has been consolidated into their plans for an exhibition that will convey their journey. The artworks, under the title - Three Women Went to China..., are scheduled to be exhibited in 2015 in Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery, and from there to tour in Australia and possibly China.
Three Women Went to China...(part 1) is a conversation between the three artists, that took place in January 2013. The conversation discusses their expectations and actual experiences in the regions that they travelled, intersected by photographs they took while on the road. Before commencing work for the exhibition each of the artists plans to return to China to investigate areas relevant to their artworks.
Three Women Went to China...(part 2) will document the process of making the artworks for the exhibition.
This is Hanna Kay's fourth show with Janet Clayton Gallery. In her new series of work, natural phenomena is transformed into the surreal, as unseen forces will the organic and inanimate, in defiance of gravity.
Kay says that her work is an observation of humanity in nature. "Powered by the colours, shapes and light of the landscape, I create new spaces in which to explore and express my perception of the values and possibilities of life as a whole."
Kay's dynamic representations explore aspects of creation that are fragile and soothing, yet forceful and strong. Her fine brushstrokes conjure a breeze fondling its way through the reeds; or the moment of impact - an explosion of rock in all its power and glory, its subtlety and extremes. Just as the earth is in a constant state of movement, flux and change, so too does Hanna Kay's work evokes a sense of the ephemeral, the fleeting, the mysterious, and therefore, of the beautiful.
Showing at the Janet Clayton Gallery, 2 Danks Street, February 6 to March 2, 2013