Music and paint combine in Breath of Nature at the Warburton Waterwheel

L-R: Steven Broughton and Brigid Burke. Picture: CALLUM LUDWIG

By Callum Ludwig

The combined talents of a newlywed couple are on display in the Warburton Waterwheel gallery throughout January.

‘Breath of Nature’ combines the mixed media offerings of Brigid Burke with the oil landscape paintings of Steven Broughton.

Mr Broughton said when they decided that Warburton was their favourite place, they started to research in finding somewhere where to exhibit in the town.

“We’ve done it before, we had a gallery down on the (Mornington) peninsula but we closed that down after a couple of years because we weren’t getting the walk-ins., the exhibitions were great, we were getting 60-70 people through and were selling paintings, but we weren’t getting the walk-ins through the week,” he said.

“We were looking for a pop-up shop or a retail scenario to exhibit at in Warburton and whilst there wasn’t anywhere available for us, we came to the information centre and saw the space here, made some inquiries, were accepted to exhibit and the space became ours.”

Beyond the paintings of Mr Broughton and visual art pieces of Ms Burke found on the wall, visitors to the gallery have also enjoyed flute and clarinet performances from Ms Burke, accompanied by various other artists, performing most days of the month from 2.15pm to 3.15pm.

Ms Burke said she performs to the paintings.

“I was playing more traditional works in the classical idiom of mine and other composers, but it’s such a live, beautiful space that I decided to just improvise within the space to the paintings, and it seems to work,” she said.

“My work is all about movement and with nature, every time you go out there, it changes.”

The celebration of nature can be prominently seen through the number of seascapes and riverscapes on display, including those reminiscent of Warburton itself.

Mr Broughton said they have already had visitors come in from the information centre to the sounds of the music.

“They hear the sound, and it just draws them into the gallery, and it’s a surprise to them, it’s a positive, warming feeling, the work that Brigid does,” he said.

“For me,the river and the bush is constantly moving, constantly changing shape and colour, depending on what time, but I’ve been to the river many times and I go to the point where I was previously and it’s different every time,” he said.

“The constant change of the river is pretty special to me and I realised a long time ago that it just inspires me to get the canvas out and to get the paint out and do it.”