By Dongyun Kwon
YAVA Gallery and Arts Hub has launched another exhibition, Water Stories.
Four local artists, Carolyn Rogers, Gabriele Pelling, Karen Ridley and Kate Taylor participated in the exhibition with their diverse individual styles and chosen mediums to tell their water stories.
The artists encourage viewers to think about the significance and the value of preserving water, animals and nature through their art pieces.
Artist Carolyn Rogers said the exhibition originally came from two concepts, their love for water and their water-based artwork.
“Kate and I first decided that it’d be really good if we could actually combine our skills and have an exhibition,” she said.
“Along the journey, we asked Karen to join us because we’d seen her beautiful work and it just fitted so well and, further to that, we asked another artist Gabriele and she brought her work.
“It actually balances all four of our workflows together, so it becomes a beautiful collection of stories about water.”
Rogers is a textile artist who is also into polymer clay work and said water plays a spiritual role revered by all cultures and the source of myths and legends.
“I have been a textile artist for about 40 years. I moved into polymer clay work because I love three-dimensionality and being able to create creatures from my imagination,” she said.
“I’m from the fantasy side of it and I create creatures that I would like to see come from the Australian bush, the Water Caller is an Australian bush gnome whose call has changed with the environmental impacts in forests, oceans and waterways.
“But I also tried a new thing, marrying timber with stitch in my miniature landscapes and so being able to combine that with polymer clay toadstools, mosses and lichens on timber.”
Rogers said she is very pleased with the outcome and wants to do more.
“It’s good to be able to step out and do something different, challenge myself, learn new skills and also take myself in a different direction that maybe I hadn’t thought I could go,” she said.
Kate Taylor is a nature-themed fibre artist.
“I don’t just do water stories, I do animals and animals rely on us looking after our nature and our water, if we don’t look after our nature, our water and creatures, we won’t be here,” she said.
“I mostly work with wool and silk fibres and I also do watercolour paintings and pastel paintings.
“I had three mediums primarily and I don’t often step outside of those, but mostly I do 3D sculptures, pictures, paintings in wool fibres.”
Karen Ridley uses textiles and mixed media for her artwork.
Ridley said she likes to work from the emotional side of life and water often is connected with emotions.
“I’ve used textiles in the collage of wetlands but I also do acrylic painting. I’ve used nature like leaves and things to print,” she said.
“I also do sculpturing as well which I often incorporate upcycled fabrics and saris. I like to use upcycled which is part of my ethos of environment and water and saving the planet from global warming.”
Water Stories is on until 21 January 2024 from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm at YAVA Gallery and Arts Hub.