7 Skins (before envious time will have fled)
An exhibition of paintings, mixed media work and ceramics by Darwin Artist Dawn Beasley
Tactile Arts Gallery Space, 19 Conacher Street, Fannie Bay, NT0810
Exhibition Opening Night: Friday May 18th 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Exhibition runs: 18th May -1st June 2018. Gallery hours 10am-4pm Tuesday - Sunday
The concept for the exhibition is primarily the exploration of the symbiotic relationship between medium and surface. The work explores possibilities and test limitations offered by 7 chosen skins: canvas, wood, pigment, ceramics, paper, textiles and metal leaf.
The same motifs; Gum nuts, Golden Penda Flowers, Banksia seedpods and Lotus, appear and reappear in different forms across different surfaces.
- It’s all about layers and mixing it up, similar images crossing the barriers between disciplines; combining textile, printing and painting techniques on canvas, wood and ceramics.
- “I am intrigued by the idea of leaving earlier layers exposed within some of the more mixed media works, by doing so it reveals clues to the creative process and also separates the ‘art’ from the subject matter by clarifying the fact that the work is man-made even though it’s a depiction of nature. The viewer can visually peel the layers to reveal the dialogue between artist and their work.”
- The choice of native plant life is a symbolic reference to the still life tradition ‘memento mori’ (remember that you are mortal). The flower in bloom represents life at its peak before death becomes inevitable, the seedpod symbolises new life and fertility.
Large-scale batik and painted works combine tonal backgrounds with selective areas of vivid and detailed colour displayed alongside works on wood that layer screen printed patterns and beautifully painted fragile forms with metal leaf details.
Ceramic work utilises some of the same digitally created patterns through the use of stencils and wax resist techniques combined with sgraffito (lines scratched through coloured slip).
A series of works inspired by paper Bark leaves, submerged and floating, taken from studies produced during trips to Goose Lagoon at the Territory wildlife park. These leaves appear in several forms, large and small scale painted pieces, some incorporating photographic silk-screen layers, and also in ceramic works.
Dawn Beasley has lived in Darwin for over 11 years. Her Art and Design teaching career has seen her working and exhibiting in the UK, Botswana and Malaysia before emigrating to and settling in Darwin in 2006.
Dawn was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2013 and left teaching in 2015 when the disease progressed.
She was lucky to get access to breakthrough new cancer treatments and is outliving her initial prognosis.
“Cancer makes your world smaller, your focus becomes quality time with the people that really matter in your life. You devote yourself to what you love.”
“Living from scan to scan with on-going treatment makes a bit of a dark cloud in your life, it’s hard to forget about it, but being creative puts me in my happy place. When my family is at work and school I get to devote myself to my Art. I’m drawn to beauty and life in nature and that’s what makes its way into my work. If there’s a silver lining to my cancer cloud then it’s the opportunity to push myself to become my best creative self.”