Riverina artists take farming's vision splendid to the big smoke

Five Riverina artists launch Regenerative Visions exhibition at Fitzroy gallery

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LOVELY LANDSCAPES: Courtney Young is one of five women artists from the Riverina who have their work featured in the 'Regenerative Visions' exhibition at the Brunswick Street Gallery. Picture: SUPPLIED

LOVELY LANDSCAPES: Courtney Young is one of five women artists from the Riverina who have their work featured in the 'Regenerative Visions' exhibition at the Brunswick Street Gallery. Picture: SUPPLIED

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From paddock to palette

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In many ways the work of a farmer and an artist are not so dissimilar, insists Courtney Young.

"You try to look at the landscape with fresh eyes and see beyond what you can actually see," explained the emerging artist from Savernake.

"There are correlations with farming where you have to think outside the box and look for nuance in the world around you."

Young is one of five women from the Riverina who have created a collection of paintings for an exhibition exploring the similarities between art and farming.

Regenerative Visions, on display at the Brunswick Street Gallery in Fitzroy, Victora until May 9, depicts "the beauty and potential of regenerative agriculture in restoring landscapes, human health, communities and culture".

The work of the artists - Julia Roche (Mangoplah), Lizabeth Souness (Bungowannah), Catherine Stewart (Wooragee), Edwina Edwards (Albury), and Young - has been inspired by their first-hand interactions with two regenerative farms near Albury.

PADDOCK TO PALETTE: Artist Lizabeth Souness (Bungowannah) at the official opening of the Regenerative Visions exhibition at Fitzroy.

PADDOCK TO PALETTE: Artist Lizabeth Souness (Bungowannah) at the official opening of the Regenerative Visions exhibition at Fitzroy.

The exhibition depicts their vision splendid of Gill and Ian Coghlan's Gerogery property, 'Eurimbla', and Wymah Valley farmer Gill Sanbrook's property Bibbaringa.

Young said the idea for the exhibition came about after workshops run through Earth Canvas, a project founded by Ms Sanbrook that links artists with regenerative farmers.

The resulting Earth Canvas exhibition, featuring the work of leading Australian contemporary artists, will embark on a national tour of seven museums and galleries, finishing with a flourish at Canberra's National Museum.

"We were all really inspired by what is happening with Earth Canvas and the on-farm workshops with Idris Murphy (one of Australia's leading landscape painters)," she said.

"Idris talks about dealing with complexity and distilling that as landscape painters.

"The same could be said of regenerative farmers working in a complex ecosystem - they are working with nature not against it."

Young, who helps her husband Ian run their family's organic farm and Woodstock Flour business, said she had always been receptive to different methods of farming; her own father was an oyster farmer.

"So I guess I have a foot in both camps," she laughed, explaining she had been seriously painting for five years.

"With the exhibition we hope to bring enlightenment to the work of regenerative farmers - there is so much potential in that space.

"We hope to continue the conversation and build on the work of Earth Canvas."

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The story Riverina artists take farming's vision splendid to the big smoke first appeared on The Border Mail.

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