Wendy Teakel is a painter and sculptor whose work expresses a strong connection to the history and sense of place of rural and farmed landscapes. Having grown up in the Riverina, and now living on a rural property outside of Canberra, Wendy has always taken inspiration for her art from the land and, in particular, the visual effects of drought and the encroachment of suburbia. Characteristic of her work is the use of acrylic paint and pokerwork on plywood, with surfaces scorched and branded by heated pieces of fencing wire, as well as sculpture and installation pieces incorporating agricultural materials and implements. Discarded fencing wire, tanned rabbit skin and grasses are ready made resources echoing built and organic worlds. Wendy’s artworks engage with the patterns and rhythms of land use (and sometimes abuse) within the places she visits and she hints at their habitation. Grid like formations emerge in both her paintings and sculptures as a way “to consciously gauge the experience of traversing and being within place….The grid also translates as a readymade in this instance reflecting boundaries of ownership and edged space where one management system or cultural philosophy juxtaposes another.” She is interested in how landscape enfolds us as we become more interconnected with the places where we spend time, her works expressing a fragility which reflects on the very nature of being.
Wendy Teakel currently works as a freelance artist and, until recently, was head of the Sculpture Workshop at the ANU School of Art, a position she had held from 2008. Prior to that, she had completed a Diploma of Art from Riverina CAE, a Postgraduate Diploma from the Canberra School of Art and a Masters degree from RMIT University in Melbourne. Wendy has held over 40 solo exhibitions in Australia, Thailand and USA and her work has been selected and curated into over 80 exhibitions internationally, nationally and locally. She has been the recipient of numerous major awards, residencies and grants including invited artist in residence at the Chiang Mai International Sculpture Symposium (2018), a residence award at the Echigo Tsumari, Japan (2016), Australia Council Tokyo Studio Residency (2016), artsACT project grant (2017) and has been selected for the Transfield Australian Invited Artist program for Sculpture by the Sea later this year. Her work has been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, Australian National University, Chiang Mai University (Thailand), Australian Embassy in Bangkok and various regional galleries across Australia.