Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Retracing Memories of Monet

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Retracing Memories of Monet

Article excerpt

Byline: Jude McBean Director Grafton Regional Gallery

THE Grafton Regional Gallery is delighted to present an outstanding exhibition by Wendy Stokes, a highly recognised artist who lives and works in Port Macquarie. Wendy has presented a series of major paintings on canvas, smaller drawings and paintings on paper in Retracing Memory. Her carefully crafted works recall her time spent in Monet's water garden in Giverny, France.

The artist had been working for a few years on large paintings on her immediate coastal landscapes around Port Macquarie. In these works she focused on the form and mark within the landscape. This line of inquiry led her to Monet. She travelled to Paris in 2010 to view Monet's Grande Decorations at the Musee Orangerie. This was later followed by a residency in 2012 at Cite International des Arts which gave her time to spend in Monet's garden at Giverny.

In her study of the garden Wendy followed Monet's use of space and mark, the material nature of surface and finding the links to abstraction. The landscape as a site and as a place of meaning also came into play. She saw how Monet incorporated his memories of other landscapes into his garden landscapes. This led Wendy to use her childhood memories of rural landscapes and a large country garden dominated by a creek with willows and poplar in her Retracting Memory series.

Each mark and stroke in her paintings is considered and pared down. They allow a lot of light in, both direct sunlight and reflections off the water. This is expansive and inclusive making Retracing Memory a very beautiful and transformative show.

Summer flowers

Flowers are a prominent theme in three of our exhibitions on display. Eleven artists from the Grafton Art Club have presented a show of flower paintings in our community exhibition space, the Studio, and the gallery has curated two exhibitions of flower paintings by Doris and Gladys O'Grady from the collection.

The Grafton Art Club artists, Leisa Williams, Averill Wiblen, Anne Walter, Elaine Bowman, Anne Carter, Judy Eggins, Lois Blanchard, Linne Pattenden, Wendy O'Brien, Denise Filby and Lucy McGill have painted an array of flowers including wisteria, gum blossoms and magnolias. …

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