Exhibiton at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery from the 10 of December-6 of February 2022.(Now extended until the 10th of April)
The students at Nepean Arts and Design Tafe were asked to make artwork in response to what came to mind when they thought of holidays and this is what they came up with; memories that started on a garden path of nostalgia which inevitably led to present day existential crisis experiences.
If you were back in the year 2017, your concept of a holiday might have been beach swims, sunblock. Icy poles, and the latest upbeat pop music (que Take me Away into The Night by 4 Strings). Or maybe it would have been a pleasant overseas trip of souvenirs, landmarks and art exhibitions. Fast forward 5 years and the concept of a leisurely holiday becomes harder to imagine with the bushfire crisis, followed by floods, then followed by lockdowns and covid hysteria. Although we can take our minds back in time when holidays were viewed with rose coloured glasses and sunkissed tans, it’s hard to ignore the urgency of environmental restoration when there’s fires, floods and zoonotic disease in our midst. It’s stirred up a passion in many artists to appreciate our natural wonders because we fear it’s ephemerality.
The students at Nepean Art and Design tafe execute this message beautifully by striking colours and imagery that will make you see an opportunity of a summer holiday like never before. Annette Bukovinsy’s work Grasp shows a game of pick up sticks with tree branches indicating how we play with nature without a thought for caring for it. Whilst Elisha Schnell’s work Regeneration shows a desire to undo damage to nature by the act of planting and caring for it’s renewal. Lynn Godfree’s work Wrong way go back is a call to have people change gears and start making considerable changes to how we run our existence because the way we are going is only going to make the effects of global warming worse.
This exhibition makes you ponder a new way of spending your holidays, including the care of nature as part of your summer narrative. Treating nature’s care as an enjoyable holiday activity might be what our planet needs to start to become a more enjoyable holiday destination again. After all, some of the best holiday destinations are reserves and wouldn’t we want to secure these places’ wellbeing so that it’s specter can become someone else’s wellbeing too? This exhibition is one to enjoy as we ponder another complicated holiday season. This exhibition has now been extended until the 10th of April 2022 at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in Windsor.