Wanderlust exhibition tells tales of travel

The Southern Lights of Antarctica, Mexico’s Day of the Dead, a Cairo camel market and sight-seeing in Florence are just a few of the experiences portrayed in a new exhibition currently showing at the Tweed Regional Gallery in Murwillumbah.

Renowned Australian artist Wendy Sharpe is showcasing a wide range of works from her explorations over the last ten years in an exhibition titled WANDERLUST: work from recent travel, on display at the Gallery from 22 April to 25 September 2016.

Wendy_Sharpe,_Cairo_Café,_2008130734_640 Caption: Wendy Sharpe, Cairo Cafe, 2008

Ms Sharpe said her love for travel started in her twenties, when she won the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship to Europe.

“I was awarded a three-month studio residency through the Art Gallery of NSW at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris,” she said.

“I lived in London with my grandfather for six months and from there I travelled to New York and around Europe for the following 18 months. Over the years, travel has become an integral part of my life and work – I now spend part of every year in my apartment/studio in Paris’s Montmartre district.”

The exhibition also includes work from her residency as a special guest at the Australian Embassy Residence in Egypt, and two residencies in Antarctica with the Mawson’s Hut Foundation.  “Among the works on paper there are views from an attic apartment overlooking the terracotta roofs and ancient towers of Florence, views over a camel market in Cairo, from the balcony of my apartment in Paris and parades taking place all over the world.

Ms Sharpe said her experience of the famous Day of the Dead festival came about when she was given a residency in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2014.   “I was able to immerse myself in the amazing spectacle of the parades, masks, the paper-maché skeletons and all of the wonderful folk art.”

Wendy_Sharpe,_Woman_with_Roses_–_D130716_640 Caption: Wendy Sharpe, Woman with Roses – Day of the Dead, 2014

“My first trip to Antarctica in 2012 was a commemorative voyage, celebrating the centenary of Australian explorer Mawson’s voyage,” she said.

“I was on an icebreaker, the Aurora Australis, for over six weeks, the only artist among scientists. This gave me the opportunity to study the extraordinary colours of the Antarctic landscape, and I became fascinated with the sky, in particular with the phenomenon of the Southern Lights.

Other works in WANDERLUST were made during travels to Italy, India, Morocco, France and Spain.

Courtesy Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

Originally published Wednesday, 13 April 2016

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Tweed Regional Gallery is open 10am-5pm Wednesday to Sunday.

See also Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre – Big Volcano Visitor Guide and Big Volcano Artists, Designers & Studios guide.