exhibitions

paintings

29 August – 15 September 2019

about the exhibition

Sarah Tomasetti is highly regarded for her luminous fresco paintings and installations. She has gained substantial knowledge and training in the traditional methods of fresco, using materials that have been employed since antiquity. The fresco surfaces that form the basis of her work are constructed by stretching cloth over a wall and laying down lime mortar over the top. The image is then rendered through successive transparent layers of staining and encaustic wax and, once complete, the work is detached from the wall and adhered to a panel of canvas, wood or stone. The cracked façade alludes to the process of “continual disintegration and reformation in nature” and is caused by the slow movement of moisture from the curing surface into the mass of the lime mortar wall. As Sarah explains, “Each work is an exploration of the complex interplay between the painted landscape and the fractal patterning that emerges randomly within the fresco skin.” This series of works is drawn from places along the pilgrimage route to Kailash, a sacred peak for Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and Bonpos. A living deity, the peak spawns four of the six great rivers of South Asia that diverge into thousands of tributaries on their way to the sea. It is a source of life and spiritual cleansing, a path on the journey to enlightenment. Sarah notes that, “The plateau is melting, in some places up to ten times faster than the poles. It would seem that research into the climate dynamics of the region increasingly aligns with the centuries old practice of reverence for the silver mountain, as the navel of the world and the source of all life. The plaster surface of the paintings echoes the means of decorating the walls of monasteries using the materials at hand. The slow tracing of the granite face of the mountain into the plaster by dot and scratch is, in itself, born of a devotional impulse.” These landscapes seek to explore our shifting relationship with the natural world in an atmosphere of contemporary unease, and are at once both fragile and contemplative.

Sarah Tomasetti graduated from RMIT University and La Trobe University, Melbourne with a graduate diploma in Fine Art and Italian Studies in 1994. After graduating, Sarah undertook an internship in fresco painting at the Laboratorio per Affresco di Vainella in Italy and, on returning to Australia, completed a Masters in Fine Art at RMIT University. She has undertaken further residencies in China, Fiji, Italy and the USA and has numerous solo and group exhibitions to her name. In 2018, Sarah was a finalist for the John Leslie Art Prize, and shortlisted for the prestigious landscape prize, the Fleurieu Biennale. Her work is represented in a number of public collections including Artbank, Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, BHP Billiton and National Australia Bank.

exhibition images

  • 1. $4,200 Jewel of snows – oil and incision on fresco plaster on canvas, 57.5 x 132cm

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  • 2. $8,000 Through the pass – oil on fresco plaster on canvas, 142 x 132cm

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  • 3. $550 The knot remembers I – oil on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, 13 x 18cm

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  • 4. $550 The knot remembers III – oil on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, 13 x 18cm

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  • 5. $550 The knot remembers II – oil on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, 13 x 18cm

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  • 6. $8,000 Foothills of Vajrapani – oil and incision on fresco plaster on canvas, 132 x 137cm

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  • 7. $8,000 Silver Mountain – oil and incision on fresco plaster on canvas, 132 x 137cm

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  • 8. $480 Study for foothills of Vajrapani (etched) – hand coloured etching on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, unique state, 14 x 11cm

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  • 9. $1,200 Dolma La (etched) Study IV – two panels, hand coloured etching on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, unique state, 11 x 26cm each, 23 x 26cm total

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  • 10. $1,500 Study for Eastern Valley I – oil on fresco plaster on board, 30cm diameter

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  • 11. $1,800 Study for foothills of Vajrapani – oil on fresco plaster on canvas, 30 x 61cm

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  • 12. $12,000 Kailash from the air – oil and incision on fresco plaster on canvas, 220 x 130cm

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  • 13. $750 The knot remembers IV – oil on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, 16 x 21cm

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  • 14. $750 Dolma La (etched) II – hand coloured etching on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, unique state, 16 x 21cm

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  • 15. $750 The knot remembers V – oil on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, 16 x 21cm

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  • 16. $3,400 Study for Dolma La mist – oil and incision on fresco plaster on canvas, 70cm diameter

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  • 17. $9,800 Dolma La – oil and incision on fresco plaster on canvas, 180 x 122cm

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  • 18. $780 The knot remembers everything (after Tim Ingold) – oil on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, 13 x 30.8cm

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  • 19. $2,800 Study for Through the pass – oil on fresco plaster on canvas, 50 x 70cm

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  • 20. $9,800 Eastern Valley triptych – three panels, oil and incision on fresco plaster on canvas, 132 x 57cm each, 132 x 180cm total

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  • 21. $480 Study for Dolma La (dusk) – oil and incision on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, 13.5cm diameter

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  • 22. $600 Study for Dolma La mist – oil and incision on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, 11 x 26cm

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  • 23. $600 Study for Dolma La dusk II – oil and incision on fresco plaster on hydrostone tablet, 11 x 23cm

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  • 24. $950 Sleep/Wake sequence I – oil and incision on fresco plaster on board, 22cm diameter

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  • 25. $950 Sleep/Wake sequence II – oil and incision on fresco plaster on board, 22cm diameter

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