John Wolseley, Papilionaceous plant with paint brush in Bloodhound Swamp - Grampians National Park, 2011, watercolour, courtesy of Australian Galleries

Media Release :: 20 July 2016

John Wolseley: Mallee – Maquis – Desert - Rainforest

The exhibition covers four main geographical areas - mallee, maquis, desert and rainforest - and includes examples of the artist’s work from the late 1980s till the present day.

Since arriving in Australia in 1976, Wolseley, who was born in the UK in 1938, has undertaken numerous expeditions in various parts of Australia and overseas. Throughout his travels, he produces artworks which include scientific observation and both aesthetic and conceptual responses to the landscape, its ecology and environment that are under threat. Many of his works often include detailed journal notes, stating his observations and recordings of the flora and fauna.

Through his images Wolseley conveys both information and feeling about the natural world. Wolseley develops artworks that show a deeply felt, layered, and often visceral association with the land. He works with local pigments, pollens and charcoal to allow nature to partially depict itself. Likewise he incorporates found fragments – pieces of bark, lichen, leaves, feathers and insects – into the fabric of his work. Through this way of working, the artist challenges traditional approaches to the depiction of landscape.

Hamilton Gallery Director Sarah Schmidt said, “John Wolseley’s oeuvre spans seven decades already. The attachment Wolseley has to landscape painting means we benefit greatly from these many decades that the artist has devoted to forming insightful readings of our environment.
Hamilton Gallery is proud to show a representative body of work by John Wolseley, primarily from the past sixteen years, and delighted to welcome John to our community with his visit on the occasion of this exhibition opening.”

The exhibition, showing only at Hamilton Gallery, draws together many small and large scale works on paper from both public and private collections as well as work from the artist’s studio.

On Friday 22nd of July, Wolseley will guide a tour that follows the course of the volcanic flows around the Byaduk area, completing one of the watercolour studies he began on previous visits to the area, in which he painted Mt Napier and the spectacular lava flows of Harmans Valley - which the artist describes as one of Australia’s most fascinating geological sites.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by Sir Roderick Carnegie in memory of his late wife, Carmen ~ Lady Carnegie.

The exhibition will coincide with another of Hamilton Gallery’s major exhibitions, Streeton – Australia Felix – A Grampians Selection opening the same day.

John Wolseley: Mallee – Maquis – Desert - Rainforest will be on display until the 16th October. The official opening function will be held on Thursday 21st July at 6:00pm. Entry to both the exhibition and official function is free the artist, John Wolseley will be present.

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Southern Grampians Shire Council

State Government of Victoria