Oasis in a City, paintings by Geoff Harrison and Unhinged, pastel drawings by Helen Anderson covered the walls of WAS Gallery from 20 May till 8 July 2023.
Geoff’s collection, Oasis in a City, depicted the many vistas of the Melbourne Botanical Gardens. “The intention of this exhibition is to take the viewer on a journey around Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens at different times of day and in different weathers. I have sought to share the recuperative and consoling powers that nature has to offer us. There have been many times I’ve visited these gardens for psychological recovery from the challenges of everyday life, such as losing one’s job, difficulties in relationships or even working one’s way through art school.
Art can help us appreciate the importance of modest moments in our lives, such as the play of shadows cast by a tree on a path. In this series I have not bothered to depict precise botanical species as this is not the purpose of the exhibition. It’s a mood, a feeling that I’m intending to convey – an opportunity for quiet contemplation.”
Unhinged, by Helen, portrayed common tools that had worked hard and wore their history. “The patina of warm, roughened rust on the cold smooth steel, the glinty eyes and quirky shapes, conjure up creatures from the deep or prehistoric birds. All have characters developed over the years of use and misuse. I’ve extended my exploration to include other intriguing hinged items such as scissors of all shapes and sizes, glasses and the humble peg. I hope that these graphite and pastel drawings on black watercolour ground on paper celebrate and enliven their oddball characters.”