Earth & Sky Stories is an exhibition of paintings, prints, poems, and sculpture by Karen Hopkins, Steffie Wallace, and Neil Wallace.
Karen, Steffie, and Neil explore our connection to nature, the impacts of climate change and sustainability with artworks inspired by our symbiotic relationship with the earth, fragile ecosystems and ramifications for critically endangered species, aspects of unsustainable living, and the consumption of finite materials and maintaining emotional sustainability. The exhibition affirms the importance of living together with care and respect for the earth in an ever-changing world.
The artists all hope this exhibition and location will be an inspiring event and instigate conversations around sustainability and biodiversity in the local Bayside community and beyond.
The exhibition will be held at 26 Advantage Art Gallery and Event space Highett 3190. The gallery and sister picture framer MULBURY is dedicated to sustainability. Monday-Friday 9am -5pm; Saturday 10am-4pm; Sundays by appointment.
Karen Hopkins’ body of work is inspired by the beauty and the fragility of life on earth Nature and the landscape the importance of living together with care and respect for the earth and all life in an ever-changing world and the interconnectedness of all life are a constant inspiration to her. Through her art, Karen aims to bring people closer to nature to appreciate and respect the colours, shapes, textures, and essence that it has to offer and invite the viewer on a journey to the deeper levels that connect us all. Karen has a background in education and has been a professional exhibiting artist for over 20 years and has held solo exhibitions annually and regularly participates in group shows. She paints, creates sculptures, and writes poetry and also has experience in painting, gallery management, exhibition curation, art teaching, mural painting, and facilitating workshops in Eco-Art. Website | Facebook | Instagram
As a landscape painter, Steffie Wallace‘s focus in this exhibition will be on emotional sustainability; images that disturb us are juxtaposed with images that calm us, presented as visual art. The poet, Dorothea Mackellar perfectly described the Australian environment when she spoke of ‘her beauty and her terror’. Steffie’s paintings of bushfires and floodwater will be contrasted with sunsets, sunrises, and moonlight. The sky has always been her emotional as well as her artistic inspiration, and Steffie’s aim through her paintings is for viewers to become more aware of the sky and its beauty, and how looking upwards can give us hope for the future in these challenging and unpredictable times. In a world dominated by the effects of climatic changes and based on how visual images affect us emotionally, Steffie hopes to encourage the motivation to maintain our beautiful environment so we can continue to enjoy it, and the necessity to manage it better when faced with the devastation caused through extreme weather. Her work will be presented on both new and recycled materials. Website | Facebook | Instagram
Neil Wallace is a printmaker and painter, originally trained as an engineer, hence his interest in sustainable habitation. Sustainability is a difficult balance point – between what is reasonably available for the development and the benefit of humanity and what is being used in gross excess. Presently we live in a world that has little or no control over the quantitative amounts of raw materials taken by developed countries taken from the world’s finite resources. Through media advertising, emphasis is continuously placed on people’s perception of what they need to be happy and fulfilled in the modern world.
In this exhibition, Neil’s perception of this is visually presented showing excessive development which is not sustainable, especially in the areas which consume vast resources from the planet such as modern multi-story buildings, which consume huge large quantities of steel made from coal and energy, generating a vast amount of greenhouse gases and pollution.
The tipping point has now come where buildings originally conceived and organically evolving from shelter and need over hundreds of years through human use are now being rendered into consumer objects, similar to clothing, fashion, and cars. Hence a building today may only have a life of 20 years before it is knocked down and replaced. Neil has assembled a collection of visual images illustrating this problem, many of which were observed in China, where an excess of consumer building has occurred without a connected need by society as a whole. Website | Instagram