Anthropocene: Angela Palmer and Janet Laurence17 - 27 Nov 2015In 2015 The Fine Art Society presented Anthropocene: an exhibition of works by Angela Palmer and Janet Laurence.
Anthropocene (from the Greek anthropo – ‘man’, and cene –‘new’) is the name used to denote the proposed new geological era due to supersede the current Holocene epoch as a formal scientific recognition of the prevailing and irrevocable impact of human life on earth.
Both artists share an interest in the changing face of the environment and humanity’s effect on the planet and will present, shown alongside each other for the first time, works reflecting this ever pressing issue.
Light and Shade4 Nov - 24 Dec 2015Light and Shade presents British artists and designers who have masterfully harnessed the effects of light and shadow in their work. In romantic landscapes the tension between the deep shadows and areas of luminosity suggests a spiritual presence in nature. This exhibition comprises of 80 works including paintings, sculpture, prints and decorative arts, displayed across the two main floors of the gallery.
Australia: Contemporary VoicesGroup Show 12 Nov 2013 - 31 Jan 2014The Fine Art Society presents a group exhibition of twenty young to mid-career artists from Australia, curated by Guest Curator Geoffrey Cassidy.
Australian Art is often associated with the landscape, a looming and defining presence in the Australian psyche. The works presented in Australia: Contemporary Voices don't so much provide an alternative narrative, as highlight the numerous narratives that contribute to the complex, urban, immigrant and sophisticated society that is Australia.
The exhibition aims to show the quality, originality and diversity of work currently being produced in Australia, informed certainly by international ideas but often provincial in the best sense of the word - protected, quirky and speaking with it's own voice. Australia: Contemporary Voices presents work in a variety of media. Sculptors include Alexander Seton and Julia de Ville. Works on paper will be shown by Kim Buck and Maria Kontis alongside paintings by Sam Leach, Michael Zavros and Del Kathryn Barton. Adrienne Doig works with tapestry and Janet Laurence and Joan Ross use a variety of new media. Archibald Prize winners include Del Kathryn Barton and Sam Leach and the latter was also a recipient of the Wynne Prize. Sean Cordeiro and Clare Healy represented Australia at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.
Geoffrey Cassidy, Guest Curator of Australia: Contemporary Voices, explains his objectives and exhibition focus:
"The idea is to throw a spotlight on the best of Australian Contemporary Art. Austrlian art last had its moment in the sun in the UK in the sixties and seventies, when artists such as Arthur Boyd, Sydney Nolan and Brett Whitely had numerous successful shows at a time when artists had to be here to be noticed. Australia still sits on the periphery of the international art world, both geographically and conceptually. With the Royal Academy of Arts staging its landmark show this September, the time was right to refocus on the exceptional aristic talent emerging from Australia - and show a side to Australian art that international observers have not seen - work that shows a breadth of influences as wide as, but not including, the wide brown land."
Natural SelectionHugo Dalton, Paul Davies, Stewart Helm, Janet Laurence, Peter Newman, Angela Palmer, Mario Rossi, Gina Soden and Stephen Sack 29 Jul - 29 Aug 2013Natural Selection is a group show of international contemporary artists that dealt with the duality between the manmade and natural. The exhibition included photography, painting, sculpture, installation and drawings.
The works consider the relationship between built and natural environments. Some works such as Janet Laurence’s photographic installations explore the way in which urban and manmade activity can be threatening and others point to instances of harmony between the two forces, for instance Peter Newman’s cityscapes and Paul Davies’ evocative paintings of modernist buildings in powerful landscapes.
Gina Soden and Angela Palmer consider the destructive and overwhelming power of natural forces in their own unique ways. Soden’s painterly photographs depict mother nature reclaiming abandoned and derelict buildings left to ruin. In her dolls house installation Palmer allows wild ivy to suffocate the symbol of our civilized architecture.
Stephen Sack elicits a sense of awe at the micro processes of the plant world and how they have a key part to play in modern science. Mario Rossi’s paintings play with the sensation of the sublime in nature, presenting both beauty and danger in his watercolour seascapes.
Hugo Dalton's plein air work takes in the minutiae of London park life via a hand drawn path of interconnected stories, flora and forna. Finally, Stewart Helm’s overwhelming ink drawings present the indeterminable boundaries between the animal world and humankind.
Janet LaurenceThe Ferment 12 Apr - 11 May 2013For over thirty years Janet Laurence has created evocative, poignant and pioneering work that deals with the complex relationship between manmade and natural environments, making nature at once her subject and her object. The Ferment followed on from numerous museum exhibitions in Australia, notably a permanent installation set amidst the historic collections at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and the award of the 2013 Glover Art Prize.
The scope and inventiveness of her artistic enquiry is staggering. Since the 1970s she has worked with painting, photography, sculpture, site-specific installation and architectural intervention. Despite her remarkable multidisciplinary approach, Laurence remains utterly focused on a subject that cannot be exhausted or singularly defined.
Laurence has long been drawn to the way in which we study, observe, collect and present the natural world and throughout her career she has returned to imagery derived from scientific laboratories, museums of natural history, greenhouses and botanical gardens. Removed from their clinical and academic origins, Laurence transforms these motifs into poetic, ghostly creations that correspond neither solely to the laws of science or nature. These are no doubt beautiful presentations and doubly important as they have a very considered and powerful point to make.
There is a duality at the heart of her work. She endlessly enjoys juxtaposing opposites including: science and nature; growth with decay; stasis and yet flux; art that is science and reality against memory. These are the ways in which Laurence takes the viewer to the heart of her practice, which is to show the ‘interconnectedness of things’.