20 October - 6 November 2016
about the exhibition
An entirely new departure for Sue, this exhibitionis the result of a recent residency in London, where Sue spent her time studying and learning the ancient techniques of Persian miniature painting and manuscript illumination. Having previously focused on birds using these traditional techniques, Sue’s new series explores documentary style portraits oftreesthathold significant importance to her -“mostly old, dead, disregarded trees that in my mind have significant cultural hold and environmental heritage…”,such as Pencil Pines, River Red Gums as well as other trees from Sue’s own property in Tasmania.She has adapted compositionsand elaborate borders found in historical manuscriptsincluding the 11th Century Persian “Shahnama” (The Book of Kings), an epic poem written byFirdausi. For Sue, these pictures “are devotional images that celebrate the aesthetics and sculptural form of the trees and their unique cultural and environmental identity and value.” In all of Sue’s work, an underlying concern for the future of our environment is present.“On the one hand the paintings are about a meeting of two entirely different cultures, while also quietly suggesting that if we are not careful these trees that are almost as old as the tradition of manuscript illumination, that are so familiar to us will only be known in the future through historical manuscripts.”
Born in Adelaide, Sue Lovegrove graduated from ANU School of Art with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1990 and a PhD in 2002. Her PhD research was on Aboriginal women’s painting from the desert with a focus on Indigenous perceptions of pictorial and cultural space in painting through experience of everyday life. Sue is currently a sessional Tutor in drawing at the University of Tasmania and has undertaken residencies in remote places including Antarctica, Macquarie Island, Maatsuyker Island and Tasman Island. She has had over 25 solo exhibitions around Australia and her work is represented in numerous private and public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Parliament House, Macquarie Bank, Canberra Museum and Gallery and the University of Canberra.