Friday, March 21, 2019


Border artists explore local riverine landscape

Landscape painting in the tradition of Impressionist artists - en plein air (in the open air) - has its challenges as two Border artists quickly discovered.

Alison Percy and Kim Passalaqua, who have a joint exhibition opening at Arts Space Wodonga tomorrow, admit there may be the odd bit of soil or leaf among their artworks because it comes with the territory of painting outdoors.

"These are paintings that have lived the landscape," Ms Percy said.

"They are not like a little canvas or notebook, these are large works that have been outside in the landscape, living amongst it all including the weather."

The artists also encountered some very windy weather which saw a canvas blow off the easel and onto the ground, while hot temperatures saw the acrylic paint dry quickly.

"It was incredibly challenging, the hot season that we had, but we just committed to it and it was terrific," Ms Percy said.

Ms Passalaqua said using large canvas boards was not the traditional way to paint en plein air.

"A French Impressionist would have done a smaller scale work and then gone back to the studio to do larger works," she said.

Their collaboration was a result of a recent artist residency in the remote Clare Valley in South Australia where they started working in landscape.

The joint exhibition reveals a unique narrative across the riverine landscape from the Upper Murray to the Lower Riverland.

"We started at the Murray River in West Albury and went to the Upper Murray at Jingellic, over to Horseshoe Lagoon, the Wonga Wetlands, the Murray River floodplains and out to Howlong on a private property," Ms Percy said.

The exhibition features 17 artworks.

This new body of work is a journey focused on capturing unique traits in and around our local land and river with plein air studies and paintings exploring similar features in varied environments along the riverine landscapes.

Opening: Friday, March 22, 5.30pm to 7.30pm.

There will be an artist talk on Saturday, March 23 at 10am.

What: Riverine - en plein air
Where: Arts Space Wodonga
When: March 22 to June 1
Cost: Free