A leading Australian sculptors' organisation since 1951. Non-profit and based in Sydney, NSW
Showcasing modern and contemporary sculpture in all media - bronze, metal, stone, ceramic, wood, glass...
The exhibition of nine mixed media sculptures is focused on Australia’s rivers drying up and in particular on the Darling system at the Queensland / New South Wales border. This phenomenon is perhaps due to overuse of water supplies, which because of global warming may never be replenished.
This “Hope” though slender and precarious has been explored in the present exhibition, hence the somewhat enigmatic title. “Hope Pieces for the Murray Darling Basin”. The title is not without a caveat. It seems that all is not yet well with the landscape and lack of water in the rivers. The title words “Hope Pieces”leave the viewer no doubt. The former orange orchards along the riverbanks were cut down and their trunks and branches covered with white lime to “put them to sleep” in order to preserve them from withering away for lack of water. The sculptor uses repetitions of themes with ample variations. In the continuation of her first exhibition depicting the harm done to the rivers and the environment by climate change, Christine Simpson created six sculptures 1.7 to 2 metres high, each with a circumference of 1 metre in acrylic resin with aluminium mesh and with a white patina. These sculptures represent the cut down and limed former orange trees. They are mounted on a black square pedestal surmounted with a steel plate with ball bearings. The ball bearings enable the trees to move in the slightest of breezes. The white tree trunks with white branches open up into a tree crown or a three leaved exotic orange blossom of vertical and horizontal lines. It is a most pleasing and balanced composition. The layout of the sculptures against a white background is impressive. The white colour of the background symbolises the salt rising to the surface with the receding waters. In some cultures it represents also the colour of mourning and is most appropriately used by Christine Simpson. The sculptor may have chosen the metaphor of the orange blossom to show that there is still life in the trees. The presence of life is also underscored by the faint green colouring of the edges of the tree crown and outlines of the superb orange blossoms, as well as the movement of the trees. The uneven surfaces of the sculptures are interestingly patterned by an addition of husks to the mixture. That is how the artist instilled “Hope” into the dormant not to say degraded landscape and its trees.
This two part exhibition is a most telling environmental statement that words could not achieve. How can you not be moved by what we are doing to our environment? The sculptor Christine Simpson is to be congratulated for vividly juxtaposing the harm done by the drying up of water resources and the public. She uses her prodigious talent to forcefully state what is happening in our country.
Isolde Davis AM
6 Laurel Road EastIngleside NSW 2101Ph: (02) 9970 8619Website: http://www.christinesimpson.com.au