29 March - 16 April 2007
about the exhibition
Wendy Teakel’s art has always been inspired by the land, and is particularly influenced by farms stricken by the current drought. Living in a rural area devastated by years without significant rainfall, the artist’s daily reality is given vision through a series of paintings and installations. Wendy is known for her use of pokerwork on plywood, and in this exhibition the technique is particularly pertinent; the dry and crusty acrylic surfaces are scorched and burned, seared and branded with heated pieces of fencing wire, and the heat remains as if entrapped within the work. The viewer is compelled to respond to a harsh reality through the subtleties of abstraction and metaphor. This language of symbols and discarded materials is grounded in regional topography, but has its origins in the allegorical and spiritual dimensions of time and place, achieving a visual, technical and philosophical unity which extends into the installation pieces. Wendy transforms the detritus of times past into effective tools to approach rural degradation: the feed trough infested with tussock grass; the wool classing table standing all but empty, its dry and faded timbers reminding us of a barren and worthless tract of land. This is Wendy’s 28th solo exhibition and her fourth exhibition with Beaver Galleries.
Wendy Teakel was born in Wagga Wagga and has lived in the Canberra region since 1985. She lectures in sculpture at the Australian National University School of Art and her tertiary qualifications include a Diploma of Art, Riverina College of Advanced Education (1980), a Postgraduate Diploma in Sculpture, Canberra School of Art (1985) and Master of Arts Fine Art by Research, RMIT University (2004). Since the late 1980’s Wendy has held twenty- seven solo exhibitions in Australia and Thailand and has had her work included in numerous important curated exhibitions. Wendy’s work is represented in notable collections in Australia and Thailand and she is the recipient of major art awards including the inaugural CAPO Fellowship (1993), the 26th Alice Prize (1995), the artsACT Creative Arts Fellowship (1996), the Asialink residency to Thailand (1996), and the Australian representative at the KHOJ International Artists’ workshop, New Delhi, India (1997). Wendy was selected with three other Australian artists to participate in the Asialink project, Saisampan, (2002), a residency and exhibition program in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Wendy received a Canberra Critics Circle Award for visual arts (2002) in recognition of her last exhibition at Beaver Galleries, “CrossingPlace” and the survey exhibition “Cultural Spaces”, curated by Peter Haynes at Canberra Museum and Gallery. Most recently Wendy’s work was the subject of a feature article in Craft Arts International: “Wendy Teakel and the rural vision in AustralianSculpture” (2004) by Professor Sasha Grishin and she received an artsACT project grant (2001), to publish the catalogue “Wendy Teakel: recent work”, with text by Kim Mahood. (Both publications are available at Beaver Galleries).