Kerry Wilson is exhibiting at Gallery 126 during February. She explains that her inspiration comes from the strong contrasts in the local rock, trees and landscapes.
When and why did you first become interested in art?
Art has always been in my life. I’m not sure when this started, but I’ve always liked making things. There were encouraging teachers along the way; this includes high school teacher, Pauline Fuller and local artist and teacher, Fay Porter. Art School was a natural progression, and I gained a degree at Northern Rivers College in Lismore, followed by a Graduate Diploma at Sydney College of the Arts.
What materials do you prefer to work with?
A wide range of materials and techniques are used in my work. There is a certain dichotomy, where I tend to use oils en plein air and acrylics in the studio.
The outdoor oil paintings are direct impressions of the day. The studio works are multi layered pieces. In recent drawings, I have rediscovered charcoal and pencils. Lino block prints are another medium that I’m revisiting. Collage and mixed media are a mainstay.
Why have you chosen to exhibit at Gallery 126?
Gallery 126 supports local regional artists and the local arts industry. Gallery 126 fills the role of a commercial gallery in a regional centre, which not many regional galleries can maintain. It is exciting to be a part of the local art community and represented at a supportive gallery. Many local artists are landscape painters, and there is a sense of community and identity through plein air painting.
What can we expect to see at your exhibition?
This exhibition is the culmination of work from the local area, over the past few years. I have paintings, drawings, lino block prints, collage and photographs.
The Dangars Falls paintings are plein air, which are painted outdoors on site. Others are worked up in the studio, referencing drawings and photographs.
The attraction to stronger contrasts and bold shapes is a progression to simplification and hints at abstraction. The charcoal and printing tie in with the use of strong dark shapes. The pull between detail and simplification is part of the challenge, and both are represented in the exhibition.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
The local landscape is a constant source of inspiration. I am attracted to the strong contrasts in the rock and trees, patterns of light and dark that occurs in places like Dangars Falls and Bald Rock. Working en plein air allows me to record the seasons and weather patterns. We have gone from drought to flood in the last few years. This is traced in the series of paintings in this exhibition.
Artists who inspire you?
Fred Williams is the quintessential Australian landscape painter. Fred made it cool to paint gum trees again, and landscape became a part of the Australian psyche.
Other inspirations have been the abstract expressionists like Motherwell, Kline and Still for their use of bold black shapes.
Margaret Preston is also someone I have always empathised with. The direction in my work is toward further simplification of the landscape and allegories that occur.
The opening is Friday 3 February, 5pm to 7pm. The exhibition will run from 3 February to 25 February.