Sue Smith "Swept Away"
SWEPT AWAY: Australian artist Sue Smith presented a "sold out" exhibition of her paintings at the Walter Reid Cultural Centre, Rockhampton in 2011, and is currently painting for her new exhibition to be held at The Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in Townsville, Queensland, Australia and to be opened 19 December 2014
The exhibition was opened by Bill Hauritz AM, Executive Director of the Queensland Folk Federation, Founder and Director of the Woodford Folk Festival.
“I first became aware of Sue’s paintings when I was in Rockhampton for the ROCKon Music industry summit in 2009. It was obvious to me then, she had the talent, passion and intellect to pursue a career in painting, and it’s a great pleasure for me to open what I consider a very significant exhibition” Mr. Hauritz said.
AS a high school student in the 1960s with a Jimmy Hendrix hair style and galvanised focus on art and English, Sue Smith was destined for a life in the arts. Back in the 1970s, while attending painting and printmaking classes at the Queensland College of Art, Sue studied Classics and art history at the University of Queensland, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts.
A few years on, while working as Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Queensland Art Gallery, Sue was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Courtauld Institute of Art, London, where she graduated with a Master of Arts.
Sue lived for a few years in the UK, working as a consultant to Christie’s South Kensington. Returning to Australia in 1990, she was senior art critic at The Courier-Mail, Brisbane until 2001, when she took up the post of Director of the Rockhampton Art Gallery (from 2001 to 2010).
During her career as a curator, critic and arts administrator, Sue has always drawn and painted and since retiring from the Rockhampton Art Gallery has found it exhilarating to put all her energies into this exhibition.
“I’ve been painting in my spare time for many years and to be able to focus exclusively on my own art work has been wonderful,” Sue says.
Sue’s Swept Away exhibition is inspired by Australia’s natural and urban environments and the Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone.
“All cultures have myths and legends which help us make sense of human experience and the world around us,” Sue says.
“The Greco-Roman myth of Demeter and Persephone is on one level a fertility myth dealing with the seasonal cycle of renewal of the earth’s resources.
“Briefly, Demeter, the Olympian goddess of agricultural fertility, is grief-stricken when her daughter Persephone (known as Kore in Greek mythology) is abducted by Hades, the god of the underworld.
“While Demeter searches desperately for her daughter, the earth lies barren in winter. When mother and daughter are eventually reunited, the earth flourishes with the new growth of spring. But Persephone ate pomegranate seeds while in the underworld, and so for one-third of the year, she must return to Hades during which time it is winter again.”
“On another level, the old myth is a parable about every woman’s life journey from maiden to mature woman to crone, and of the human capacity to overcome and emerge strengthened from adversity and loss.
“Ultimately, Hades is an agent of transformation and growth through loss: Persephone must separate from the strong mother-daughter relationship to find her individuality and become effective in the world.
“Her physical descent into the underworld is accompanied by an internal journey of psychic development. Persephone is ‘swept away’ to the depths of her psyche - but by confronting her loss, fear and emotions she eventually gains power, wisdom and maturity and is transformed from innocent maiden to adult woman.
“In our own daily lives, encounters with difficult circumstances may at times seem like a plunge into darkness and descent into an underworld.
“But gaining deep self-knowledge, including through dreams and the unconscious, may allow us to return to our everyday ‘surface’ lives with a renewed outlook and enhanced creativity.”
“In the exhibition, Persephone, Demeter, Hades and other characters move alternately through beautiful scenes from nature (such as the mirror-like saltfields at Bajool, Central Queensland) and through the hard, confronting world of concrete and graffiti of our larger cities.
“I have brought together elements of these environments and of the myth, poetry, music to evoke dreamlike scenes and unfinished narratives - preferring to leave the final interpretation of the pictures up to the viewer.
“For me, the pleasure of painting is the unpredictable journey it allows to a strange new world.”
Please find thumbnails of some of the paintings and information about them below. Clicking the thumbnails provide high resolution images of the work. All work is framed to gallery standards, and ready to hang. Prices don't include freight costs. More works are in progress and will be added to the related group on completion. The paintings are available for purchase before the exhibition. Please phone Michael Walker +61 07 4922 4136+61 07 4819 1228
Should you be interested in more information about the exhibition, please contact Michael Walker +61 7 4922 4136+61 7 4922 4136.
The support of these sponsors is greatly appreciated
CQ Contemporary Artists