Canberra Museum and Gallery
10 November 2012 - 24 March 2013
Marking Place is an exhibition about landscape and the poetics of place as expressed through the paintings, ceramics and sculptures of three Canberra artists; GW Bot, Anita McIntyre and Wendy Teakel. I quite like a lot of the exhibits, which invite interpretation through abstract forms and tenuous titles.
Anita McIntyre’s untitled paper porcelain, moonprint drawing and screenprint images of fish, shells, seed pods and fossils superimposed over a map of Queanbeyan, Ginunderra, Bengendore and other places of the Southern Tablelands is not especially subtle in its message about human intervention on old timeless land. Her 2011 Song Lines/ Survey Lines is very similar.
|Untitled - Anita McIntyre|
I prefer her stoneware ceramics such as those from the Brindabella series in which coloured strips of stencils or graffiti intersperse on a curved rectangular platter like rows of receding hills in blue, brown, grey and green – the colour of hazel irises – as far as the eye can see?
|Brindabella series - Anita McIntyre|
I also like the porcelain and millefiori work, Pods/ Fragments/ State Circle (1986), which calls to mind fossils found, but the thin inlaid slices of stone are too uniform for geological shards. The Top End Wet from the Kakadu series (1996) features glazed and woodfired terra sigillata of stoneware in greys, blues, browns and greens as though smudges and blurred with violent rain.
|Top End Wet - Anita McIntyre|
The Boats series (2012) is a collection of ceramic troughs, like children’s paper boats called Mermaid 1833, Madras 1835, Hoogley 1836, James Moran 1841, Light of the Age 1857, Sirius 1788, Carrier of Family History 1 and Carrier of Family History 2. The boats all have images of fish, nautical calculations and coastal maps drawn on the sides and brief explanations on the insides, such as ‘James Moran 2,900 sheep’ printed in an antique-style font as though torn from a diary but faint and with missing words.
|Boats - Anita McIntyre|
|Tree of Life - G.W. Bot|
Bot’s Concertina I, II and III (2012) are large wall hangings of linocuts on Chinese paper, incorporating Chinese motifs and the earlier designs. Here the colour palette is changed to red, black, white, silver and gold, with a patch of green at the bottom referencing both the Australian and Aboriginal colours.
|The Long Paddock - G.W. Bot|
|Glyphs, Lower Molongo - G.W. Bot|
|Night of the Twelve Apostles - G.W. Bot|
|The Entrance No. 11 - G.W. Bot|
Wendy Teakel’s work is intriguing. Tracing 1 and 2 (2009) are acrylic and pokerwork on plywood. The slashes on the earth-toned background of ochre, reds and browns look like cuts or stitches in the landscape. Drops of blood, footprints and meeting places are all suggested by this tearing apart and coming together – the dashes and gashes indicating both communication and obfuscation, much like the roundabouts of Canberra.
|Tracing 1 - Wendy Teakel|
|Fallow - Wendy Teakel|
|Drought - Wendy Teakel|
|Wind - Wendy Teakel|
|Bush Track I - Wendy Teakel|
The sculpture Dry Lake (2010), made from bronze wire, has empty pipes twisted into rings and plugged into the sides of the structure. Failed Crop (2010) comprises similar tortured, twisted shapes attesting to journeys through a barren landscape which is rich if you know where to look and what to look for.
|Dry Lake - Wendy Teakel|
|Seed and Grass Scatter - Wendy Teakel|
|Late Summer Haze - Wendy Teakel|