Viewpoints: Wollemi National Park
Travis De Vries, Mark Dober, Michelle Earl, Marie Mansfield, and Rebecca Rath
- Friday 13 May, 6pm at Singleton Arts + Cultural Centre
- Saturday 14 May, 6pm at Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre
Viewpoints: Wollemi National Park shows the outcomes of an artist in residence program that invited five contemporary artists to become immersed in the rugged landscape of the Wollemi National Park. Guided by the Director of Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre, Elissa Emerson, artists Travis De Vries, Mark Dober, Michelle Earl, Marie Mansfield, and Rebecca Rath visited the same four sites in the park, with a view to creating works that reflected their different experiences of the natural landscape at Terrys Creek, Commission Road, Oil Shale Relics and Phipps Cutting Walking Track.
Painters Rebecca Rath, Marie Mansfield, and Mark Dober visited the sites together. They made studies en plein air, some choosing to develop the work back in the studio and others completing works on site, utilising their different and individual processes. Michelle Earl, a fibre and sculptural artist, took her camera and her drawing book, focusing in on small details that would inspire her woven and sculpted forms. Travis De Vries captured field recordings and found points for photographic studies that he reworked in his studio.
All of the artists were transfixed by the natural beauty of the landscape. Wollemi National Park Ranger, Shane Forty, reflected on the powerful impact of this place, noting that Wollemi is one of the few places within such close proximity to Sydney where the visitor can experience the total absence of signs of modern human intervention within a 360° view, even from the highest vantage points. This sense of isolation, history and mystery was also palpable for the artists, as Travis De Vries wrote:
“This is Wollemi. A place that for outsiders feels locked up and inaccessible. For those who know, who have been shown the way, it is a place of rich, deep history – with hidden paths and stories to tell…if you know how to listen.”
The Wollemi Artist in Residence Project was made possible by the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre in partnership with Singleton Arts and Cultural Centre, and with the support of the NSW Government Resources for Regions program and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.