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Award winning Toogoolawah artist exhibits at The Condensery

The Condensery will present a late career survey exhibition of work by internationally renowned Toogoolawah artist Merton Chambers.

Published: 23rd June 2022

 

The Condensery will present a late career survey exhibition of work by internationally renowned Toogoolawah artist Merton Chambers. The new exhibition, The Apple and the Knife, opens at The Condensery on 9 July.

The Apple and the Knife brings together work produced by Chambers over the past 40 years. The exhibition showcases his unique graphic style and vivid use of colour, a response to the luminosity of the light of his adopted home and the environmental concerns that have guided his approach to art over the past four decades.

The Apple and the Knife is the first solo presentation of work by the highly recognised artist in his adopted hometown. Long overdue, this vibrant and ambitious exhibition underscores the valuable contribution the Somerset region, and the community of Toogoolawah, make to the national cultural landscape.

“It is a delight that we can present artists of Merton’s calibre at our very own public regional gallery, The Condensery, for all to appreciate and enjoy.

Merton Chambers had a significant career in North America producing large scale public art commissions and achieving recognition for his contribution to the arts and crafts movement before moving to Australia. He has lived in the Brisbane Valley since 2003 and has continued to practice his art. This exhibition celebrates the work of a local artist of this significance with our community and will attract visitors from across the state.”

The works selected for The Apple and the Knife are beautiful and lush images of the natural world – sensitively rendered drawings of the plants, fruit and vegetables that grow in his garden (in Toogoolawah township, a stone’s throw from The Condensery). There are densely rendered graphite and geometric drawings of abstracted light, colour field drawings and depictions of energy. What unites the work is its strength of colour, technical proficiency and a sensitivity to light and the natural world.

Merton Chambers’ work is held in major collections in North America and Australia including the Government of Canada, the Art Institute of Ontario, the Ontario Board of Education Canadian Museum for Contemporary Fine Crafts and Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art as well as numerous private and corporate collections.

The Apple and the Knife was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, provided through Regional Arts Australia, administered in Queensland by Flying Arts Alliance.

Exhibition in The Condensery’s historic bomb shelter

Ipswich based artist Donna Davis will present her video work De-compose in The Condensery’s bomb shelter exhibition space.

As the title suggests, DE-compose explores the world’s hidden ecological players, such as termites, microbes and fungi and the processes of decay. These organisms perform an intrinsic role in the health of our planet but are often much misunderstood.

Davis’ work shines a light on the essential relationships between humans and nature in a beautiful, immersive experience.

DE-compose was created in response to an art-science residency within The Wood, Termite & Fungi Project, a long-term international research program led by University of Miami.

The Apple and the Knife and De-compose open 9 July and continue until 4 September.

 

Merton Chambers, Custard Apple, 2020, oil pastel on canvas, 46 x 46cm.

 

 

Donna Davis, DE-compose, 2022 (still) single channel video, 4:30 min. Sound design by Luke Lickfold.

 

 

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