I met Tracey nearly exactly a year ago at our exhibition SHE curated by Kim Siew, which showcased over 20 female artists. I immediately felt warmth in Tracey’s presence and was captivated by her beautiful organic sculptures.
We’ll be showcasing Tracey as part of the 100 Pictures | 100 Stories project in the next couple of months, and I can’t wait to sit down with this wonderful woman over a cup of tea and discuss her art, life and philosophies.
In the meantime, she has an exhibition that is showing now that we wanted to share with you – Paperbark will be showing at the Saint Cloche Gallery in Paddington Sydney until Sunday 8th May.
I’d encourage you to go and see the texture and tones of her work in the flesh.
With its spiritual qualities, textures & tones, rhythmic & poetic intricacies, this Autumn Tracey Deep returns to Saint Cloche gallery with an exhibition inspired by the Australian bush and iconic Paperbark Tree.
Tracey Deep thinks of ways she can respond to, and talk to and experiment with the natural world. However, what if the earth spoke through her? What if all our stories were already raked on the soil before humans touched the ground? “Smile, O voluptuous cool breathed earth!” said Walt Whitman in Leaves of Grass. Perhaps there is a way to feel the breath of the land on all faces, that does not require a rapt or exulted audience. Perhaps there is a smiling quality in every individual element of nature. Perhaps there is a way to experience ‘nature’ without resorting to imagery of gourds, or vessels, or Terra Maters. I think we can do better than turning the biotic matter of the land into a fecund female metaphor. Instead let’s think of the earth as a series of arrangements – sticks sidling up to one another, allowing themselves to be woven by Deep. Grasses whisper and lean together as Tracey binds them and clusters them as one. Palm fronds jostle for Deep’s attention, waiting to see if she will gather them up…just right. The artist’s will is there, her intention and actions are as material as the natural produce she works with. But…it is a process of work that sits in tandem with what is already extant. So, what Deep achieves is “a settling”. Her kindness and affective concern for the fronds, the barks and the sticks settle the voices of the supposedly inert, the apparently non-sentient. It is as though Tracey conspires with her materials in a way most of us will never understand. That is her power and that is her joy. ~ Dr. Prudence Gibson Art writer and lecturer, author of “Janet Laurence : the pharmacy of plants”
For more information about the Gallery & Exhibition, head to http://saintcloche.com/