Artists Spotlight, Panorama Project
A little while ago, we introduced you to Arts North West Panorama Project manager Michèle Jedlicka. Michèle told us about the memorable moments she encountered when she saw the number of contributions flow in from all areas of the region.
“The pages I’ve seen have reflected the pure feelings and human touch of the maker alongside some personal stories,” Michèle told us. “And that has moved me to tears more than once.”
The project nears its first milestone in preparing to exhibit the many sketchbooks they received back from participants, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to spotlight some of the artists you might come across in the exhibition!
The COVID-19 lockdown was different for everyone, and it has been inspiring to see how each artist has explored their imagination during the Autumn and Winter months of 2020.
Let’s have a sneak peek at some of the pages the creatives in this project have contributed.
Carl is a professional sculptor, silversmith, and medallic artist living a creative lifestyle with his partner, Dr. Joan Relke, on a rural property close to the Gwydir River. Carl’s accumulating commissions range from gold and silver jewellery, including gold brooches for retiring UNE Vice Chancellors, mayoral chains, small precious metal sculptures, and commemorative medallions.
His larger sculptures in cast bronze and aluminium, stainless steel stone and ceramics grace parks and gardens, churches, corporate offices, and private homes. His gallery exhibitions include many small bronze, fabricated metal, ceramic sculptures, and paintings. He has also taught bronze casting, fabricated steel, and stone sculpture workshops.
Helen’s career was in Early Childhood, as a preschool director and then as a TAFE teacher in Armidale. In retirement, she has followed her interest in writing and storytelling by telling stories each week at the many early childhood centres in Armidale. She has been doing so for over 24 years. For the last 20 years, Helen has also been involved with the family gallery in Uralla. Here she makes textile pictures and fabric books which can be seen at the gallery, Chaucer on Bridge Street.
Over the past few years, Jess Tribe has been entering her artworks into local exhibitions. When COVID-19 restrictions were implemented in early March 2020, and many galleries closed, Jess came across a call out on the Arts North West social media page for artists to take part in the Panorama Project.
“I didn’t hesitate,” Jess told us. “The project is a fantastic opportunity to come together to bring some hope and creativity back into the community.”
Maree Kelly lives on a farming property located near the village of Curlewis, and about 30kms south of Gunnedah.
Maree has worked as an artist for more than 20 years and has exhibited regularly throughout the region and further afield. Maree likes to work in a variety of media with a focus on contemporary landscape painting inspired by the Liverpool Plains area. Her studio is perched on the western end of Long Mountain and overlooking the plains of the Mooki and Namoi rivers to the north.
“I was delighted to be involved with the Panorama Project,” Maree told us. “For me personally, I found joy in going back to basics and working in a small sketchbook with drawing media. I found myself rediscovering my ‘backyard’ and looking more closely at my environment. It was fabulous to have something to focus on during the pandemic to keep the creativity flowing and to start developing ideas for new work in my own art practice.”
from Rocky River
Jan Clark is an artist who has lived in an area next to the Rocky River for 9 years.
Jan enjoys documenting her environment as a source for her work as a textile artist and scientific illustrator. “I also teach the creative things I know”.
“The timeline for my personal panorama project was one of uncertainty,” Jan said. “After the complete loss of income, and it gave me time to use personal creativity to survive mentally. The pages show a diversity of techniques because I’m eclectic and dabble in many things.”
Tony Blake is a retired businessman who took up art at age of 78 to explore what creative talents “that may have lain beneath for so many years”. Tony began his creative endeavour using watercolours, before dabbling with acrylics and is now experimenting with alcohol inks.
“I like the vibrant colours and the unpredictability of working with them,” Mr. Blake said. ‘It’s hard to plan details as the alcohol inks have a mind of their own. I call myself ‘creative’ rather than ‘artistic’ but regardless of the title I’m having fun and meeting lots of interesting, like-minded people. The Panorama Project was a great concept in bringing people and ideas together.”
Kathy Creamer is a children’s author and illustrator, and apprentice church bell-ringer, who moved to Armidale from Melbourne five years ago. Kathy runs a small children’s picture book publishing partnership with her husband, which they both work on in their spare time and at weekends.
“Having a strong interest in drawing, painting, and writing has meant that I’ve always kept a sketchbook and writer’s notebook and is why I was naturally drawn to wanting to take part in the Panorama Project,” Kathy said.
“My artwork is mainly for children but recently, due to the COVID 19 lockdown social distancing and restrictions, I’ve been experimenting with a medium I’ve never used before and I’ve had some success in producing portraiture in oil paint. I also sculpt fairies and used to have a fairy garden until the drought destroyed it last year. I love living in Armidale and the New England area as it has such a picturesque landscape and is full of inspiring artists and creatives.”
Sue and her husband bought an abandoned settler’s hut in 2018 at Bingara. The Property sits on 1.6 acres of land, backing on to Halls Creek. Sue used the Panorama Project to tell her story of being in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, “mostly in pictures, but sometimes words when I have something to say,” Sue told us.
“I stumbled across the project and loved every minute of it. I’m looking forward to seeing what other people have done.”
We’re so excited to see this exhibition travelling around the region shortly!