Bringing together the distinct works of Jennifer Tarry-Smith, Hilary Green and Ria Green is our first group exhibition for the year, Subtle Realms.

Although each artist works in their own unique medium, together they bring forth work that manifests an internal sensory experience into a physical form - inviting the audience to surrender to a new realm.

Peruse this beautiful collection in the catalogue here and read on below to discover their creative process behind the works that are of another world.

 

 

1. Subtle Realms explores the idea of an ethereal dimension, expressed in a physical form through each artists work. How do you feel your pieces speak to this ethereal or spiritual dimension? 

Jen: When creating my work I lose myself in a meditative state.  I find the hours slipping away as I create my intricate linear patterns. I hope that the viewer also gets lost in the tangle of lines, forgetting about time and place and is transported into a different space.

Hilary: My work is inspired by the energy felt when amongst nature. Rocks have been considered for thousands of years to hold power. They are ancient symbols of time, greatness and mystery. They were once portals, ‘way finders’, or spirits. When you hold a stone in your hand that has been around millions of years, you can’t help but feel outside of the present. Rocks transport us to the past, they have inspired many myths and will always be a reminder of the greater earth we are a part of.

Ria: Through the use of light, colour and texture this series of works speak to a sense of otherworldliness and ethereality. By shifting the focus of representation from a real space to an imagined one, I am able to loosen up control of these elements. Through layering and re-working gouache, dyes, oxides, watercolour, pigments and plaster mixes I open up the works and allow space to feel and enjoy the materials and process. This enjoyment and connection of materiality translates a sense of awe and wonder felt from imagined spaces and places.

 

  

2. Jen, you are fascinated by the patterns in our natural environment, and the ways in which they evolve. Can you tell us a little more about this and how it influences your practice? 

Humans have a tendency to observe patterns everywhere; from minute patterns at an atomic level through to the patterns in the universe, patterns in our natural environment, in the behaviour of plants and animals, in sound, in smell, in time, in human behaviour and in man made objects. This recognition of pattern allows us to make order in our world and to predict what is to come. I am drawn to the intricacies and nuances that emerge as pattern evolves and changes to suit its environment. It is these subtle differences that distinguish the hand-made from machine-made, and highlights the beauty in the imperfect.

 A parallel can be drawn between this and the way in which I create my imagery; working layer by layer to create a completed piece, this gradual resolution is based on reactions and interpretations in the act of creating the art work. The act of laying down lines and leaving spaces is an ongoing, intuitive process. Each line responds to the curves and crevices that form larger shapes and contortions.

"My work attempts to capture human intuition; a capsule of moments in time, decisions and reactions, resulting in a unified body of work," - Jennifer Tarry-Smith

 

 

3. Hilary, you observe rocks through a lens of pure imagination, and investigate the pools of water below as though they are a whole new world. How do these forms and textures you discover inform your sculptures ? 

I have always been transfixed by rocks. Their colours and textures draw me close and I am mesmerized by their sculptural quality. Since lockdown, I made it a personal mission to see as many beaches with rock faces as possible and discovered snorkelling as well. I observed the movement of water and seaweed as well as the variety of rocks that have been eroded by wind, water and salt. I noticed the relationship of organic lines and forms and paid attention to what I found striking. I believe that what you find attractive is linked to a value you respect. The beauty in erosion is the harmony and relationship between all the elements. Nothing is permanent so enjoy the time you have.

"When sculpting clay, my hands think about the way the wind or water would move to run off stone and shape it. I really found it beautiful to imagine my fingertips eroding the clay like water over rock," - Hilary Green

 

 

4. Ria, you describe your practice as exploring resonance and affect of the environment on the spiritual, emotional and physical self. Can you tell us more about this and how it manifests in your work?

In practical terms, my work manifests through use of abstracted representations of natural elements such as light, colour, and texture. I use these elements to create a sense of mood and atmosphere in my paintings, inviting the viewer to engage with the work on an emotional and sensory level. By creating a contemplative space within my work, I encourage the viewer to reflect on their own connection to the environment and the impact it has on their spiritual, emotional and physical selves.

My practice is focused on creating a dialogue between the viewer, the artwork, and the natural world. Through my paintings, I seek to inspire a sense of wonder and awe in the viewer, encouraging them to explore their own relationship with the environment and the transformative potential of art.

 

"I hope to create artworks that capture the ephemeral moments of wonderment found in the natural world through the process of painting, with a particular focus on colour and light. By abstracting these experiences and capturing them on the surface,"- Ria Green

 

 

 

5. Do you have a place you like to visit that makes you feel as though you’ve been transported to another realm?

Jen: The ocean has been a constant throughout my life. It’s a place I feel deeply connected to.  I find being in the water revives me and is a great source of inspiration for my work. The patterns in the sand, currents in the water and the flora and fauna under the water are beautiful iterations of patterns in our natural world. 

Hilary: Recently I visited Wamoon (Wilson’s Prom) and the giant boulders there always amaze me. They are so big and so many forms look like resting giants. My imagination goes wild and I feel the most connected to nature there than anywhere. All you need to do is walk to Tongue Point and touch the biggest boulder, feel the salt air on your face, hear the waves crash below and you will see what I mean.

Ria: These places can be found anywhere for me. For me it is more about a moment that conjures a feeling, such as the wavering dusk light shining through the trees, a particular turquoise blue glimpsed in a wave on the beach, or the faint sweet smell that tells me spring is coming. These small moments in everyday life transcend me in another realm, and evoke a sense of connection to something greater than ourselves, whether that is nature, the divine, or something else.

 

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