Laura Matthews

Rivers, Roads and Relics

16 August — 1 September 2018

Lives and works in Sydney

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Represented by nanda\hobbs

Rivers, Roads and Relics

The Island of Tasmania, sitting south of the continent of the Australia, is a time capsule of early settlement. It exists as a reminder of colonisation and industry, both in a positive and negative sense. It is a landscape that conjures up all that is “the sublime”. Cold winds and snow in winter, harsh dry summers and raging bush fires, have uniquely carved its mountain ranges, forests and settled districts.

In history, Tasmania has been maligned as a backwater by many who did not live there. Early in settlement, it was one of the most feared places on the planet—a prison at the end of the earth. Tasmania now sits on the world stage as an artistic bolt hole—curatorially ambitious—placed in an environment that both challenges and delights all who enter it. 

It is in this place that Laura Matthews has immersed herself—travelling, drawing and painting down the west coast and through the pastoral country of the earliest European-inhabited lands in Australia. The detritus of settlement remains. Laced with a history and a legacy of hope, success and failure—sweat, tears and indeed blood with the early nation builders—often encouraged at the end of a whip. This land speaks also of a dispossession of the Palawa people. Their mark is on this land forever, embedded in the rock engravings and a spirit that moves with the wind of the moorlands and the ancient forests. Their presence—real and ethereal—is a powerful mark of cultural resilience that is profound and omnipresent in Australian history. Theirs is a history always known to those who knew where to look, but, only now being understood by the broader community.

Tasmania is a landscape rich in rivers and lakes, shimmering in that particular southern light. Its brightness and intensity belies the popular perception of a place of clouds and rain. 

Laura Matthews has a very particular ability in paint—her training at the prestigious Slade School in London under the tutorage of the giants of British painting, such as William Coldstream, has afforded her an ability to render in paint, the truth of a place. The Slade School was a place where academic painting was celebrated, not derided. Her formalist training provides her with the complete visual language to articulate what her eye has observed, and her heart has felt, at the enormity of the view before her. 

The relics of human existence in this place tinge the exhibition with a sense of memento mori. Or, is it a nostalgia for us to celebrate? I rather feel that it is discussing the beauty inherent in all those things that are patinaed with time. In doing so, Matthews joins the artists who have worked and built the history and mythology of this island—at a time when it advances to the forefront of this country’s consciousness.

Ralph Hobbs
August, 2018

 

\ Exhibition featured works

Laura Matthews

Against the Light

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 180 x 200cm

SOLD

Laura Matthews

Ancient History

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 120 x 120cm

SOLD

Laura Matthews

Breathe

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 160 x 200cm

Laura Matthews

Chalk Drawn

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 150 x 150cm

SOLD

Laura Matthews

Cicatrice

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 160 x 200cm

HOLD

Laura Matthews

Land Interrupted

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 150 x 150cm

SOLD

Laura Matthews

River, Roads and Relics

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 180 x 200cm

SOLD

Laura Matthews

Secrets

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 120 x 120cm

SOLD

Laura Matthews

Sky Pierced

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 120 x 120cm

HOLD

Laura Matthews

Steel Etched

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 150 x 150cm

Laura Matthews

Symmetry

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 180 x 200cm

Laura Matthews

The River

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 122 x 122cm

SOLD

Laura Matthews

Touching the Blue

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 150 x 150cm

SOLD

Laura Matthews

Vertigo

2018 \ Oil on canvas \ 180 x 200cm

Laura Matthews

\ Installation photo

\ Other exhibitions

James Drinkwater

Looking for Urchins and Louis Ferrari

9 October — 3 November 2018

Sydney Contemporary Stand D05

Giles Alexander, Dianne Gall, Jonathan Dalton & Stuart McLachlan

13 September — 16 September 2018

Spring Collector Exhibition

Group Exhibition

11 September — 6 October 2018

Contact Us

to find out more about Rivers, Roads and Relics.

12 - 14 Meagher Street Chippendale, NSW 2008
Opening Hours
9am - 5pm Monday to Friday 11am - 4pm Saturday We will be open on Saturday 29 September but closed on Monday 1 October for the public holiday