10 November — 13 November 2021
Nanda\Hobbs is thrilled to present in our Chippendale gallery and online with Explore Sydney Contemporary—a powerful presentation of works by three outstanding Australian artists; Mehwish Iqbal, Nicholas Blowers and Hubert Pareroultja.
Mehwish Iqbal’s beautifully crafted works comment on the fragility of the human condition and the power of community in healing the wounds of this world. The refugee and migrant diaspora, the commodification of human agency, the monopoly of power play, and the challenges surrounding hybrid identities are all commonplace within her practice. Growing up in Sangla Hill, Pakistan, Iqbal was raised by strong women in a deeply patriarchal system. Her experiences of inequity encouraged the artist to delve into the importance of female agency within her practice. Drawing from her own experiences, Iqbal also examines the geopolitical shifts that prompt the refugee and migrant predicament. As viewers, we delve into her deeply personal work; each layer of fabric reminiscent of the layers of history that are weaved into the picture plane. By incorporating a combination of eclectic printmaking techniques, etching, hand embroidery, 24 carat silver leaf and dressmaker’s paper, Iqbal’s intricately crafted works speak of the complexity and vulnerability of our existence.
Iqbal has been a finalist in various prestigious prizes and has held solo exhibitions in Sydney, New York and Istanbul. One of two major works—Assemblage of a Fragmented Landscape (2020)—exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art as part of The National 2021: New Australian Art biennial survey this year has been acquired by the institution.
Nicholas Blowers’ intricate paintings remind us of our responsibility to, and impact on, the land. Biographical in nature, his paintings become memorials to the places he has experienced—ephemeral sites in a state of vulnerability, collapse or decay. Blowers’ haunting compositions reflect the natural world’s beauty and defiance in the face of destruction. Scrutiny of the sites visited and their cyclical growth form the foundation of Blowers’ reconstructed microenvironments. In his work, Blowers captures minor moments in a non-descript place, while subsequently memorialising the statuesque structures that form the landscape. They are works of great poetry—melancholic tangles of branches providing a vision of order and regeneration. Through the hand of the artist, each branch or twig has an unwavering presence.
Blowers was a finalist in the 2021 Hadley’s Art Prize and the 2020 Wynne Prize. He was also the winner of the Paddington Landscape Prize in 2007 and 2009, as well as the Kings School Art Prize in 2007. He has also been a finalist in numerous other art prizes. Blowers is represented in the Parliament House collection, the Newcastle Art Gallery, Artbank and Macquarie Bank.
Hubert Pareroultja is a Western Arrarnta man. He has always lived in this land and his understanding of the landscape is absolute—he knows every nuance of it. He paints it the way he sees it—the twist of a ghost gum, every colour change on the ancient ironstone as the sun passes over the valleys, and the sand of the dry Finke River that meanders past Hermannsburg. It is the oldest river course in the world. You can feel the sun-backed history of the world.
Hubert’s father Reuben, and uncles Otto and Edwin, were leaders of the Hermannsburg School of watercolour painters—the first desert painting movement in the 1930s—a legacy that continues to this day. Hubert’s mother Janice was sister to Rubina who married the great Albert Namatjira. It is in this extraordinary environment that Hubert learnt to paint from an early age. His life of painting and living in the landscape has led to a unique understanding and vision of the country to which he belongs. His meticulous eye, and sense of the subtleties of colour translated through watercolour, is now collected and recognised world-wide.
In 2020, Hubert won the prestigious Wynne Prize for landscape painting at the Art Gallery of NSW. It was the culmination of a story of an artist whose unique vision of the land has been decades in the making.
EXHIBITION DRINKS AND TALK
SATURDAY, 13 NOVEMBER
Your monthly art news on the run plus invitations to Nanda\Hobbs exhibitions and events