Connections

— Works exhibited at RAW Fixate 2017

Charcoal, 23.4 x 33.1 inch


Birch

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I remember crawling through the tunnels of Stone Fort at Commonwealth Park as a child, not knowing any of the other kids doing the same. But it didn’t really matter. We were kings of the castle. Going back now gives me the same feeling - and as the uncertainty of the future looms near, nothing feels better.
— Chris Walsh

Keeping watch over the park, the retaining walls of Stone Fort have seen children and trees grow, transfiguring the landscape to one of birds and Autumn leaves - yet have remained unchanged themselves. I wanted to express this contrast of change in my artwork by connecting Chris to the surrounding birch trees. He has grown with them, lived and breathed the same air. As they twist toward the sky, the memories of kids whose stories connect there stand with the trees, dancing with the wind for as long as the fort stands.

Check out Chris' phenomenal photography here

Grasslands

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When I first moved to my suburb, my mum and I would take walks over to the grasslands. I would love going there - it made me feel free. My sister and I would run all over the place and explore the billabongs which were throughout it. There were kangaroos, snakes, lizards and rabbits. It was a fun getaway which made a little kid’s imagination run wild
— Amy Halpin

The feeling of freedom is integrated into the long lines that make up the grasslands, overlapping the background with the foreground. Risky and confident strokes embody Amy's playfulness as a child and the fluid nature of people and landscapes - our world is one of constant change, breathing and growing with the seasons. Amy's memories are still shaping her today.


Nostalgia

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My family always went to John Knight Park with our neighbours. They were my best friends and we spent a lot of time paddle boarding and swimming. Their Dad was posted to Cambodia and they had a farewell in the park. We spent the whole afternoon there.
— Annalise Pooley

Memories are such a core part of our being; shaping our feelings and emotions in ways that are often unnoticed. To Annalise, John Knight Park is a place of connection and celebration. I wanted to capture this nostalgic feeling through her body and face, and to naturally emanate from her figure into the atmosphere. She sits comfortably on the rock, remembering these events and knowing that whilst these things have passed, they live on in the minds of everyone there.


The Fence

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When I was a child I had always wanted to be a superhero. They were brave, confident, strong, and they helped others. They were different. I wondered why they were the ‘good’ different and I was the ‘bad’ different. Later I found that being different is what you make it. I struggled with my disabilities but I learnt the most important lesson; ‘mind over matter’. Anything is possible if you believe it is. You find your own superpowers, the things you can do that are unique to you. They’re just small things but you hold onto them.
— Miriam Pooley

Miriam used to play by the fence. To her, the fence wasn’t a boundary, but rather a part of the landscape - a metaphor for her obstacles as a child. Miriam chose to think in a different way, and so changed her perspective on life for the better. I used the composition to convey a playful and childlike energy in the work to show how the past shapes us. Miriam is still the same person she was ten years ago, but has been shaped in ways she could never have imagined - from a child to a young woman.


Eucalyptus

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The bush to me is where I truly feel free. It is where my family truly bond through food and story. Where my connections to my heritage are. To me the bush is a place of family and peace.
— Drew Grant

Gumtrees. The perfect contrast of texture. One can’t help but be captivated by their flowing lines and organic shapes. To Drew, the bush is of immense significance. Family connections, and memories of food and story make the bush a place where Drew feels at home. He is  relaxed, remembering the events around these trees that shaped him, and will continue to shape him into the future.

Hayley Steel