Local artists Lyn McDonald, left, and Valarie Robinson are sharing the spotlight at Gallery F following the launch of their respective exhibitions, ‘Biophilia’ and ‘Waste Not Want Not’. Photos: PAUL MENSCH

By MADISON EASTMOND

GALLERY F’s latest exhibitions, ‘Biophilia’ and ’Waste Not Want Not,’ feature a range of textiles inspired by nature, ‘thrifting’ and personal expression.

Along with showcasing their works, local artists Lyn McDonald and Valarie Robinson have also decided to share their expertise by hosting workshops throughout the remainder of August 

Made from natural materials such as wool, cotton and silk, Lyn’s exhibition, ‘Biophilia’, is combined with alchemic processes such as rusting, eco-dying and creating images that reflect the local environment, while creating a distinct sense of ‘place’.

“Broadly speaking, Biophilia is human kind’s innate biological connection with nature,” Lyn said. “Scientific studies suggest that our tendency to affiliate with nature is inherent and integral to our psychological and physical development.

“It helps explain why a garden view or a rural landscape can captivate us and enhance our lives and well-being through connection with nature.

“Creating and viewing art based on this connection has a similar cathartic effect, as my connection with nature is twofold, an intimate connection with the diversity of plants in my garden and a deep involvement in the broader landscape.”

Held alongside Biophilia is Valarie Robinson’s exhibition of 24 pieces – named from the old adage that encouraged thrift – ‘Waste not, Want not.’ 

“Historically, ordinary people in society had little disposable income, and every penny saved was important,” Valarie said.

“In our current day and age, it’s so easy to buy new as we require materials, but with the emphasis on reducing the stash in the studio, with this exhibition I have reused and recycled previous themes and projects to make new works.

“In my pieces, watermarks of rivers and dry lake bed seen from above are common, and are revisited in this exhibition on recycled papers, along with inks, water and salt create their own serendipitous landscapes.

“Reflecting on pioneer women and their thrifty use of every type of goods, the dress, worn until threadbare, was a reused or cut down.

“While there are 24 pieces in this exhibition, there appears to be no reduction in my studio stash!”

Two workshops are being held in August, the first, Simple Book Making, will be held tomorrow from 10am to midday, at the cost of $25.

“Recycle a calendar, old drawing papers, papers from a new journal or new papers, it’s up to you,” Valarie said. “Easy folding techniques will be taught,  and there will be lots of ideas to bring to life.”

The following week, on Saturday, August 31, from 10am to 1pm at the cost of $25, will be a Slow Stitching workshop.

“Beginners, or more advanced participants will work on their own individual projects, using simple materials and easy running stitches,” Valarie said.

“Both workshops are open for everyone of any skill level, and a kit can be provided if I am contacted beforehand.”

To book a place in the upcoming August workshops, contact Valarie on 0408 018 342, or email valarob@bigpond.com.