SHELAGH LUMMIS

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

No.  I had been dabbling with mosaics for a while, and being between jobs at the time, decided to take some art classes to learn more about drawing and colour.  My fascination with art grew from there.

How long have you been exhibiting? 

For about eight years on and off, but more seriously for the last three.

Did you go to art school? 

Yes, I completed an Advanced Diploma at Newcastle Art School (Hunter Street TAFE) and followed that up with a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) at the University of Newcastle in 2015.

Would you consider drawing a big part of your art practice?

Yes, drawing underpinned almost every subject I undertook at Art School.  Drawing informs every work, whether it is in charcoal or paint.

You're currently exhibiting 4 works in NATURE STIRRED at Gallery 139, tell us about them?

The series of four paintings offer a fractured view of a riverbank somewhere in Australia. Using a vertical format has invoked an oriental sensibility similar to that of classical Chinese landscape painting where artists aimed for a synthesis of nature and the human spirit.  In the same way I hope that the paintings, either together as one work, or as single items, may serve as a point of access from where a viewer’s conscious interest in the surface of the work translates to an awareness of the deeper mysteries of nature.

In their execution I experimented with a number of ways in which paint can be applied, using fingers, brush and palette knife to create an image of nature which was ‘stirred’.  The broken and layered textures of the image have resulted in an embodied energy which suggests the restless manner in which our eyes observe nature.

NATURE STIRRED ends on Saturday 23 April at Gallery 139.

~ interview by Ahn Wells April 2016