Saturday, July 21, 2012

Art Exhibition
Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

The dual exhibition When Rainforests Ruled (Marie-Therese Wisniowski) and Floating (Helen Lancaster) opened on the 7th July 2012 at Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery (Freemans Reach, NSW, Australia). The dual exhibition was reviewed by Irene Manion whose article appeared in the August Edition of Textile Fibre Forum. The exhibition closed on the 31st of August 2012.

The official party. From left to right: Robyn Williams (Owner and Director of Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery), Louise Markus (Federal Member for Macquarie), Marie-Therese (Artist), Kim Ford (Mayor, Hawkesbury City Council who opened the Exhibition) and Helen Lancaster (Artist).

This post is the second in a series of three. The first post covered my ArtCloth component of the exhibition – When Rainforests Ruled. Today’s post will give coverage to Helen Lancaster’s component of our dual journey – “Floating”. The final post in this series will cover my wearable art – My Velvet Scarves@Purple Noon – that were especially created for sale at Purple Noon Art And Sculptural Gallery.

It was a delight to work with Robyn, Carl and Caitlin who made exhibiting at Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery such a relaxing venture.

Helen Lancaster – A Brief Biography

Helen Lancaster, textile artist and Curator of the Transformation exhibition at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery, Sydney, with her soft sculpture - “The Wedding Cake”.

As a self-taught textile artist, Helen Lancaster had her first solo exhibition in 1980 at the Cameleon Gallery in Mosman, which was re-shown in 1982 at the Lewers Bequest and Regional Gallery, Penrith. It travelled to Vienna (Austria) to the Gallery am Graben in 1984. Her first solo exhibition in painting was in 1984 at the Hogarth Gallery.

Helen Lancaster is a conceptual environmentalist working as an artist in painting, sculpture and wearable art costumes. Most of her work relates to the Great Barrier Reef, where color explodes in a combination of three-dimensional forms, particularly when created in textiles. As well as in Australia, her work has been exhibited in Vienna, Cairo, Istanbul, India, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Manila, Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai. Her artworks are held in private and public collections.

Interesting creatures of endangered species are chosen to capture viewers’ imagination. The tactile quality in Helen’s work evokes a response to the beauty and joy of life. Some of Helen’s exhibitions - like “A Walk Along the Beach” - took ten years to complete as it contained a huge crocheted Barrier Reef (76 pieces) with large machine and hand embroidered sections.

Much of her work is ongoing - like “The Corporate Wall” - where twenty-five panels at a time are added to it and the “Coral Forest”, which began with 11 columns now has a total of twenty-four. The 3D forms require padding which leads to much hand stitching to adhere to the sculptural forms or costumes with exotic headdresses.

Helen’s community work has included the Leycock Street Theatre Front Curtain at Gosford, New South Wales (over 400 people participated, organized by Maggie Thatcher); the Macedonian Women’s Tapestry Project; and the Ethnic Community’s Council Banner (33 women of different nationalities took part in that project).

After retiring from a career in teaching and lecturing as an art teacher in secondary and tertiary institutions in New South Wales, Helen has been a guest curator of several textile exhibitions for Fairfield City Museum and Gallery in Sydney. She has written and has had articles published in magazines such as Textile Fibre Forum, Textilkunst and Craft Arts International (Vol.65), and Object. She has also judged and opened exhibitions and lectured to societies and guilds.

Some of her work has featured in books such as the Fine Art of Machine Embroidery, (Author: Kristen Dibbs, 1991); Machine Embroidery Inspirations from Australian Artists, (Author, Kristen Dibbs, 1998); A Sense of Place - Contemporary Needlework (Author: Jerry Rogers, 1992); Wearable Art Design for the Body (Author: Craig Potton, 1996); The World of Wearable Art (Author: Craig Potton, 2006); and Portfolio Collection Art Textile Books, Vol 8, Profile Helen Lancaster (Australia) (Author: Carolynne Skinner, 2002).

Helen Lancaster’s Statement On “Floating”
”The paintings in this exhibition - "Floating" - flowed from my imagination. Dots have often been used in textile pieces such as “The Red Spotted Hermit Crab” hat and “Box Fish” costume. There has been a fascination for brilliant color and variety in the size of the dots. In these paintings, pale gold, rich gold and sometimes silver was used to create a decorative effect with passages of dots floating, some enhanced with linear accents in black or white.

Previously all of my paintings were based on research or careful observation of birds, fish, rocks, trees, and other natural forms. “The Blue Striped Scarf” series floated over landmarks like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Kurri Kurri Creek, desert areas, etc. Here, each “Floating” painting is like an individual journey over a black sea, where shapes hover, swirl, float, descend into layers or dissolve (like one see’s in an oil slick).

They have a dramatic quality because of the strong tonal base that draws the viewer into participating into their own journey."

The Artworks
A total of sixteen framed paintings executed in acrylic paint on Arches watercolor paper are on display for Helen’s component of the exhibition – “Floating”. Each painting measures fifteen by twenty and a half inches unframed.

"Floating" framed artworks on gallery stonewall and easels (Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery).

"Floating" framed artworks on the gallery corrugated wall (Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery).

"Floating" framed artworks on gallery back wall (Purple Noon Art And Sculpture Gallery).

All of the images below have been photographed by her husband, Eardley Lancaster, who is a well-known artistic photographer in his own right.

Title: Floating.

Title: A Far Away Journey.

Title: Vortex.

Title: Lullaby.

Title: Conflict.

Title: Meditation.

Title: Mysticism.

Title: Within.

Title: Submerged.

Title: Other Worlds.

Title: Happiness.

Title: To The Point.

Title: Under Cover.

Title: Fragmentation.

Title: Coral Fringe.

Title: Close Encounter.


Sadhana said...

4What a fabulous exhibition!
Will definitely get there.
Sorry I couldn't make the opening.
Best wishes to you Marie-Therese and to Helen

Jennifer Trezise said...

Fantastic site! I am hoping that this is an appropriate place to post. I would love to get in touch with Helen and Eardley Lancaster as I have an exhibition coming up on the 1st December 2012 and would love to invite them to come to the opening. I first met Helen and Eardley in 1969 when Helen taught me at the National Art School. My name is Jennifer Trezise; my email is and my phone number is 0467543404.