Tasmania’s wilderness reaches new heights in immersive exhibition

A North-West visual artist will transport visitors to the Tasmanian wilderness, in a unique site-specific exhibition opening at the Makers’ Space Gallery in Burnie on Thursday, 5 October.

Presented by the University of Tasmania, The Environment Potion features large-scale digital photographs captured by Con Rhee which have been printed onto sensuous silk panels.

Mr Rhee said the scale and format of his work had been directly inspired by the University’s waterfront gallery, and reflected his fascination with the local environment.

“There are three components to the exhibition,” Mr Rhee explained.

“First, viewed horizontally on the walls above, there is a single image of a local wild river constituted of multiple vertical banners. Second, visitors can walk through a silk ‘forest’ hanging from the ceiling in front of the window. The ‘trees’ will waft as you walk through the ‘forest’. Third, there are images at eye-level. In all on show, there is a total of 200 meters of silk-off-the-bolt.

“My photographic work showcases details of the Tasmanian environment – particularly lakes, rivers and puddles. Yellow coloured stones and pebbles through the water on the creek bottom; swirls, bubbles, foam and debris floating on the water; the reflections of sky, clouds, and trees from the mirror-like surface. Ripples in the water distort these reflections into unimaginable shapes.”

Arts and Public Programs Coordinator Joanna Gair said the University had been intrigued by Mr Rhee’s site-specific exhibition proposal.

“We are looking forward to the performative nature of the works, as much as seeing these beautiful images of the Tasmanian wilderness at such a large scale. This will be an exciting, immersive experience for our visitors,” Ms Gair said.

Well-known Australian artist, curator, writer and historian Grace Cochrane, a long-time associate of Mr Rhee, will deliver the official address at the opening event.

“The exhibition should transport audiences into experiencing both the magnitude and minutiae of Tasmania’s landscape. These works are indeed a sensuous potion to which I think we will all respond,” Ms Cochrane said.

The Environment Potion is presented as part of the Burnie Shines festival, and will be exhibited at the Makers’ Space Gallery until Sunday, 12 November.

The free exhibition forms part of the University’s community engagement program, members of the public are welcome at the opening event. RSVPs to: Joanna.Gair@utas.edu.au

Published on: 02 Oct 2017 12:21pm