Winter Art Show
By Adam Norris
It’s almost uncanny how the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre Gallery manages to curate such outstanding exhibitions time after time. From limited artist exhibitions – like the recently concluded ‘Walk in the Forest’ – to a vast multi-artist showcase like the ‘Winter Art Show’, you are guaranteed to find something memorable on the centre’s walls.
For that, we have the likes of Chris Fahey to thank. An artist in her own right, Chris is also the guiding hand behind this season’s special and isn’t at all surprised by the gallery’s wide appeal.
“It’s always my hope they [visitors] leave with an impression of the varied and wonderfully talented artists that we have in this area,” Chris explains.
“A lot of visitors to the centre come from far and wide, and we often get people coming back saying they saw an artwork here six months ago and want to get in touch with that artist, or are interested in buying more of their work. It happens regularly. People put it in their diary now to go to Dorrigo and include the Rainforest Centre Gallery on their trip.
They make a real day of it.”
The Winter Art Show expands the gallery’s palette even further, with a much larger than usual number of artists featuring in the selection.
“We usually have exhibitions every six to eight weeks with a selected group of artists. We decided after the first year or so to have a group show twice a year that is only open to
people who have exhibited before. So it gives artists who put in a lot of work for an individual show to have the opportunity to go in something and have another showing of their work.”
“You see a huge variety of works. Instead of four or five artists, which we normally include in each show, we get between twenty-five to thirty different people exhibiting with three works each. So there’s a much greater variety of art available. You can walk in and not see one wall of just one artists paintings or ceramics, but a whole spread of different art and artists.”
Though the exhibition doesn’t follow a set theme, Chris is still responsible for how the pieces are arranged – which in turn helps shape the overarching story that the Winter Art Show conjures.
“There’s no theme, just simply whatever works [the artist] wants to exhibit. We don’t specify that they haven’t been shown before, but normally they’re all new works submitted anyway.”
“I try to create a flow in every exhibition, and not just group every artist together. I like mixing it up, and that seems to work. I don’t start hanging until everything is there, and just cast my eye over it until it feels like it works. It comes a bit naturally to me, I guess! I love the curation process. Being involved with the artists is great, especially not knowing what you’re getting. Sometimes they turn up with something totally out of left field that you don’t expect, and you have to try and fit it in!”
WHAT Winter Art Show
WHAT Dorrigo Rainforest Centre exhibition space
WHEN 31 may – 23 july
Image: The River by Gunda Loebau