Botanica Figilina Absurdus!
(Botanical, Pottery and Whimsical - English Translation!)
These three artists were born overseas - America, India and France. Their various interpretations of their new life in Australia are represented here in various and evocative ways.
A new life and a different culture – a culture that is generous to the creative spirit and has encouraged a connection to the earth, the bush and the folklore.
This love and appreciation of their new homeland has inspired this Exhibition - a mixture of beauty, skill and humour.
Come to the opening on Friday 29th November at 6 pm.
The Exhibition will run from 30th November to 8th December 10am – 4pm.
Balmain Watch House
179 Darling Street, Balmain NSW 2041
Susan Landau Williams
I find the process of making pots deeply satisfying. From the tactile bodily experience of throwing the clay on the wheel to the excitement and apprehension of opening the kiln after the final firing.
I’ve been making vessels; bowls, bottles and cylinders for over thirty years and yet still there are many aspects of the process which are out of my control. No matter how carefully constructed a piece is, cracks may appear, glazes may fail, forms may slump. However, what at first may seem like a disaster can actually be liberating as it opens up new ways of thinking about my work and may lead me in new directions.
Accepting and learning to appreciate the beauty of the irregular and imperfect is a metaphor for acceptance of things as they are. No matter how carefully a piece is constructed when it comes to the final firing some will collapse, some will crack, and some seem perfect, but all possess a beauty that is theirs alone.
Martial Cosyn has lived in the Southern Highlands for almost half his life.
Originally from Northern France, near Lille, Martial became an inspiring and innovative chef, working all over the world. He came to Australia in his late 20s and started his own restaurant in Sydney. From there he moved to the Southern Highlands to embark on his married life and here opened the much loved restaurant The Blue Cockerel in Mittagong. From there with his energetic wife they started a highly successful new venture M & B Food and Catering.
But Martial has many passions apart from food - gardening, the outdoors, and painting.
Recently he has decided to dedicate himself to this latter love.
Art runs in his family, his mother was a watercolour ‘paysagiste’ and his brother is a fabulous cartoonist and ‘bande desinée’ (comic strip) artist.
He has been studying with his friend Glen Preece, who describes Martial’s work as strong and vibrant and reminiscent of the early impressionists.
Martial prefers to paint with oil on board but also loves pastel. His passions are often translated into his artwork. Painting mostly in his studio, he does love to go for a nice country drive to paint outside.
Whilst his still lifes are very fidèle and precise, his other subjects, especially people are whimsical and totally individualistic.
I was born in the desert city of Jaipur in India. My father is a graphic artist who has worked for more than four decades in design and commercial art, he wanted me to follow Medicine, but my heart took me somewhere else….
I completed a Bachelor of Fine and Applied Art at the University of Rajasthan, exhibiting and entering in any drawing competition or art prize that came around.
I was working as a designer and drafting the designs of others at an Export furniture factory in a village in Western Rajasthan when I met an Australian woman who had also come there to work. At that time not one member of my family had left India for foreign shores – I not only did that, but I married the foreigner.
We came here to live in the Southern Highlands in surroundings as far removed from my childhood than I could imagine – around me on all sides rise tall eucalypts - a reedy dam and little creeks give pockets of different ecosystems and atmosphere.
I found myself drawn to the amazing plant forms I saw – extraordinary seed pods, the colours and structure to be found in a single insect bitten eucalypt leaf, the ants – there are many species living around us. Also of course I love bees.
I have twice exhibited in the Margaret Flockton Scientific Drawing Prize, the attention to detail that was required made me try to be more exact, and enlarged my knowledge of plants generally.
I have also had the good fortune of knowing local writer Mick Beville, who asked me to illustrate his two novellas Danu (2013) and Doll (2016) – projects that allowed me in my working life to keep on drawing in a serious way.
My day to day work is as a picture framer, art restorer, and picture and mirror hanger, all jobs that keep my senses honed and give me a wonderful daily exposure to art.