Includes work by Emily Besser, Julia Francis, Vanessa Encarnacao, Kate Pittas, Andrea Hamann, Jo Olive, Fiona Barrett-Clark and Rachel Moodie. Below are the available artworks and the artists biographies.
Darling Mills Studio is the creative atelier of Rachel Moodie founded when she lived in the outskirts of Sydney, above Darling Mills Creek.
With a background in fine art, arts marketing, graphic design and textiles Rachel’s multifaceted creative practise includes computer generated collages digitally printed on cotton rag paper, ceramic tiles and cushions as well as analogue collages and mixed media artworks.
Her digital works are hyper-real photographic montages piecing together many and varied photographs, old and new. The landscapes she creates exist nowhere tangible yet retain a sense of the original location. Rachel’s original works are collage and mixed media ensembles using beeswax glazes, cold wax, oil paints, textiles and found objects. These works are explorations of memory, texture and composition.
Rachel’s had multiple group and solo exhibitions across the country and her work is hung in private collections in Australia and abroad. She now lives in the Southern Highlands of NSW with her husband, Clint and two children, Elva and Rex. She is the creator of The Artful Mum, a book about creativity and motherhood and now curates the Darling Mills Studio Gallery inside Just a Smidge in Mittagong.
‘As a child my parents would take my sisters and I on long driving holidays. While mum relayed stories to entertain us, hours of looking out the car window, the land took its hold on me and my love for the Australian landscape was seeded. It’s colour, contrast of dark shadows and intense light, it is vast and often empty and it is imbued with an eeriness that can be both uncomfortable and mesmerising.’
Fiona strives to create pared back, contemporary landscape paintings, void of people, but not always human presence, in an attempt to capture distinctively Australian landscapes.
Unconcerned with creating representational views; her works are about the mood of a particular landscape, capturing fleeting moments and the conglomeration of memories to create a visceral response in the viewer.
Fiona is fascinated by the sky; its kaleidoscope of colours, the cloud formations, the transformative effect it has on the land and it’s ability to create that unmistakable Australian light.
Emily Besser is a painter who lives and works in Sydney. She completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts with First Class Honours in Painting at Sydney College of the Arts in 2001, and has exhibited her work since then. She also studied and worked in native title, environmental and planning law. She has now left the field of Law, and divides her time between raising her kids, her studio practice and working at the Museum of Contemporary Art as an Artist-Educator. She regularly exhibits her work and has a studio painting practice.
As a painter, Kate creates pieces with a certain immediacy, applying gestural paintstrokes & expressive colour. Working around 3 small children has undoubtedly shaped this approach. The paintings are usually an emotional response to a certain place recently visited or etched in Kate’s memory. Conveying feeling & mood rather than literal representation is her current interest.Acrylic paint suits her quick, perhaps impatient approach!
Kate is also a Visual Arts teacher, & adores helping young people realise how creative they truly are!
Andrea Hamann was born in Cornwall in the UK in 1977. With an early childhood in Papua New Guinea, and various parts of Australia, and part of her adult life in Germany, UK, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, and Norfolk Island, Andrea’s perspective is coloured by travel and global cultures and landscapes.
Since living on Norfolk Island, with a studio in a world heritage house in Kingston, Andrea’s work has developed confidently and dramatically. With a botanical focus and a developing focus on Bowerbirds and their bowers (and feathers) Andrea’s work explores connection to place, and identity and memory.
Much of her work explores the landscapes that have influenced her life (both real and imagined) often with bowerbird nests as one of the central mechanism to explore these ideas. This results in an assemblage of elements which don’t always belong together abstracted from both real and imagined landscapes which change from season to season.
Other work focuses on a personal exploration of the convergence of Indigenous cultures with colonial histories which she continues to develop. Drawing on her experiences in those parts of the southern hemisphere touched by colonialism, such as Papua New Guinea, Africa, India and Norfolk Island, the characters in her paintings are representative of the women and families of these cultures and histories; colonial, African, Indian, Convict, Melanesian and Polynesian women, and perhaps most of all, the Papuans of her childhood and the Tahitian Pitcairn wives of the original Pitcairn who arrived on Norfolk Island all of whom find their form through the distorted lens of memory and a vivid imagination.
Andrea works primarily in Acrylic, and mixed media painting at a variety of scales from miniatures on paper through to larger scale paintings.
Vanessa’s work ranges across a variety of artistic mediums and styles, most often exploring botanical and landscape themes that are innately Australian with a strong focus on line and colour.
Her art making is constant and prolific, from pen drawings to oil pastels, mixed media works and acrylic and oil paintings. Her subject matter, themes and approach is ever-changing.Works are rarely planned; they are usually instinctual and somewhat spontaneous. Vanessa mostly works from life or sometimes from photographs, which are usually abandoned once the work has taken hold.
Her works are in private collections throughout Australia, the United Kingdom, Asia and America.
Julia Francis is a Sydney-based artist who works in a variety of mediums. More recently she has been inspired by rugged and arresting landscapes and felt she could best represent them on paper. Her works in this exhibition are the result of that inspiration.
Jo Olive is an artist from Northern N.S.W Australia.
Her work is characterised by an enduring interest in the mapping of place, the fugitive nature of memory and the documentation of emotional and historical connection to land. Her work favours intuitive mark-making, abstraction and the automatism of line. Largely self-taught, her work is an intensely personal, cathartic process in which visual elements are simultaneously lost and found through the physicality of scratching, sanding, puncturing, concealing and disclosing. Heavily concerned with process, these works ultimately produce a palimpsest, a recording of time. Jo’s current practice includes mixed media works on paper and timber, drawing, painting, mark making, printmaking and the crafting of artist tools.