8 – 24 February 2024
about the exhibition
Celebrated Canberra artist GW Bot writes “A garden is always a garden of possibilities. Works in this exhibition have emerged from my garden of dreams and aspirations. The poet, like the artist or gardener, tends to the garden – cultivating shoots, pruning the branches and struggling to preserve and celebrate the fecundity of nature. Gardening is an act of optimism and the loss of the garden is the loss of hope”. It is the intertwining of the metaphorical garden and the philosophical exploration of the artist as poet that provides the inspiration and spiritual journey that creates this exhibition. In her hands, and through the mediums of paper, bronze, tapa, ceramic and steel, she works tirelessly and sensitively to find the balance between the self and the landscape she portrays so beautifully. Her expressive and expansive use of mark making throughout her work is impressive. The linocut allows for flexibility of line and an intricacy of execution, with the addition of tapa cloth creating a rich texture and warmth through its ethereal qualities. The stark and seemingly cold materials of bronze and rusted steel are brought to life through the creation of impressively scaled glyph relief sculpture of the abstracted Australian landscape. Art historian and curator, Peter Haynes has generously written an insightful and eloquent essay on the works in this exhibition, observing that “Her nuanced aesthetic explorations and expressions, and viewer experiencing of these, remain significant and embracing exemplars of contemporary visual practice and its importance in the wider critique of the precarious balance of man’s place in the natural scheme of things.” Peter concludes by observing that “Bot’s vision is a distinctive and clear one, one that through its refined and seductive pictorial language articulates a world view that reverberates with all who engage with it.”
GW Bot studied in London, Paris and Australia, graduating from the Australian National University in 1982. She has been a full-time artist since 1985 and has held seventy solo exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Manila. In 2020, GW Bot was included in the prestigious exhibition ‘Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now (Part 1) at the National Gallery of Australia. Her work is represented in over one hundred public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, The Albertina (Vienna), British Museum (London), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris), the Museum of Modern Art (Osaka, Japan), and the Fogg Museum of Fine Arts (Harvard University, USA), as well as numerous Australian regional galleries, corporate collections and domestic and international tertiary, college and academy art collections.