Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Latest gallery exhibitions build the natural connection

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Sunshine Coast Council, Media Release, 13 October 2021

Two exhibitions open at the Caloundra Regional Gallery Friday October 15, exploring our connection to the ocean and the many ways nature sustains our wellbeing.

I See U and Healing Garden. Photo: Sunshine Coast Council

I Sea U and Healing Garden are on display until December 5.

Sunshine Coast Council community portfolio councillor Rick Baberowski said both exhibitions worked together to create a complimentary, moving experience.

I Sea U, presented in partnership with Horizon Festival, is a stunning black and white portrait series by photographer Keith Hamlyn who documents his subjects’ collective connection to the ocean,” Cr Baberowski said.

Healing Garden, by Japanese-Australian artist Hiromi Tango, explores the many ways in which nature, colour and art making can influence a person’s wellbeing and mental health.

“This timely exhibition invites visitors to take a breath, slow down and be uplifted with mindful art making – as well as adding their own contribution to the evolving garden.”

Keith Hamlyn has spent almost a decade capturing portraits of people in the sea and invites viewers to experience the power and intimacy of the sea through the lens of I Sea U. In collaboration with Horizon Festival, Keith built upon the project in 2020-21, capturing members of the Caloundra community and documenting their stories of connection to the ocean.

“For me a big part of being Australian or for that matter human, is our relationship to water,” Mr Hamlyn said.

“Even if we come from the desert, the moment we meet the water there is a transformation, and for each of us we are taken somewhere of our own knowing.

“In this imagery I hope to capture people in that space, so that perhaps we the observers can search out where these subjects have gone and truly see them for the first time.”

The I Sea U portrait series flows seamlessly into another community project – the Healing Garden exhibition.

Blooming with paper and textile flowers, buds, leaves and vines created by Hiromi and the diverse community, the exhibition encourages visitors to create and contribute a flower and while doing so, taking the time to pause and breathe.

The result will be a vibrant flowing garden that embodies the collective mindfulness of its creators.

For the past 10 years, Hiromi has been researching how communities can connect and heal through art and notes that the slow and repetitive actions of folding, wrapping and categorising colours to make flowers, have been found to contribute to overall feelings of well-being, as well as reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.

Neuropsychiatrist Dr Patricia Jungfer in Sydney notes that art can be a transformative experience for the creator of the work and the observer.

“In her previous projects, Hiromi has explored the interface between nature and nurture, neural science, neuroplasticity, genetics, the cognitive impact of colour on emotions such as depression and anxiety. Healing Garden continues this creative journey,” Dr Jungfer said.

Entry to the Caloundra Regional Gallery is free. The Gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am – 4pm and weekends 10am – 2pm. There is level access from the car park to the gallery and all abilities toilet facilities are available. You’ll find the gallery at 22 Omrah Avenue, Caloundra. For more information visit gallery.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

For the duration of the exhibition, a selection of images from I Sea U will also be on display at Subtropic Studio, 23 Cooma Terrace, Caloundra. You can also view I Sea U online via horizonfestival.com.au/i-sea-u

I Sea U is presented with support from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.

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