Nadia Waters – Local Artist

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Meet Nadia Waters. Her exhibition at gallery 126 is dedicated to our local
Threlfall walking track around the Gara Gorge National Park, (the Blue Hole).

How long have you lived in Armidale?

I grew up on a farming property on the eastern outskirts of town, and then one year after finishing my HSC at Armidale High, I ventured over to Newcastle for the Natural History Illustration course.

For me, living in Armidale has created an interest in and respect for nature, influencing my artistic vision. I love the distinct seasonal changes and how the gorge country has such elevation and distance.

What have you been studying at the University of Newcastle?

Nestled amongst the dense scrub of spotted gums at the University of Newcastle campus, is the Design Building. Here I completed the one of a kind three-year Bachelor of Natural History Illustration and the one year Honours program. The degree combines natural science and visual art. It focuses on field and studio studies, scientific and digital illustration and also theoretical studies.

As students, we learn about plant and animal classification and different drawing and painting skills, arming us with the ability to observe and transform three dimensional form onto the two dimensional surface of paper. We are encouraged to experiment with a range of media and rendering techniques to effectively communicate the drawing subject.

This year I have started the postgraduate Masters program, in order to further explore my interest in nature, under the guidance and company of my lecturers and fellow illustrators. My project, The Art of Science and Creativity, will include scientific drawings of flora and fauna, and then something a little more creative will be drawn.

How did you first become interested in art?

I think Mother Nature is our teacher, and art has the ability to communicate beauty and aesthetics in nature. Art can transport you to far away places and makes you think and wonder. I have always loved the quiet nature of drawing and how you can make a few marks and it’s no longer a stark, white piece of paper.

I like collecting things from nature, analysing their form and structure into geometric shapes, joining them with more organic lines and then breathing some life into them with tone and colour. At school, art was always my most favourite class.

What materials do you prefer to work with?

I love working with the humble lead pencil – always accessible and offering so much variation.

I find watercolours to be a soft and gentle medium because of their fine and transparent quality. I love the swirly lines when you dip your brush in water! There’s no such thing as dodgy materials; it’s more about how you use them.

What can we expect to see at your exhibition at Gallery 126?

The exhibition is based on the local Threlfall walking track around the Gara Gorge National Park, (the Blue Hole), and this condensed linear environment was the stimuli for my illustrations.

The track has historical value, tracing the pre existing aqueduct of the decommissioned hydro electric scheme. It only operated between 1892 and 1907, due to nature’s strength to overcome man’s intervention with the environment.

Also, I have interpreted the spiritual and aesthetic environmental significance. There are technical drawings showing a reconstruction of the scheme, scientific studies and creative illustrations of flora and fauna common to the park and a series of photographs of the rock formations.

Exhibition dates?

The opening night is on Friday 29 April from 5 ‘til 7pm, and the exhibition runs from Friday 29 April until Saturday 11 June 2011.

Thank you Nadia.

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