Helen Clarke Retrospective at Geraldton Regional Art Gallery opening exhibition displays etching and lino work

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Helen Clarke stands in front of her work bought by the City.
Camera IconHelen Clarke stands in front of her work bought by the City. Credit: Jessica Moroney

You don’t want to delay a visit to the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery as tickets for the opening night of a trio of exhibitions sold out.

Due to COVID restrictions, 150 lucky guests were invited to view the opening of the three exciting collections last Friday night. The exhibitions are now open to the public until May 1.

Focus 2022 will be on the ground floor showcasing nationally-accredited images by Mid West photographers. The community has a chance to vote for their favourite photo with a People’s Choice competition.

Fountains of Dwayne by former Mid West resident Zac Bruce uses video and shadow projections to explore celebrity and mythology.

Finally, artist Helen Clarke is showcasing her first exhibition PRINTWORKS, focusing on West Australian native plants and natural landscapes.

The exhibition at Geraldton Regional Art Gallery.
Camera IconThe exhibition at Geraldton Regional Art Gallery. Credit: Jessica Moroney

Curator Erika Monique said Clarke hand-made her work with a reduction lino process that took incredible skill and an eye for detail.

“Helen used the mediums of etching and reduction linocuts to interpret the Australian landscape with its unique flora and fauna,” Mrs Monique said.

The display demonstrates how Helen Clark creates the unique reduction lino process.
Camera IconThe display demonstrates how Helen Clark creates the unique reduction lino process. Credit: Jessica Moroney

Clarke’s partner Ric McCracken said the only way someone could replicate the artwork was by heating up the plate of lino and melting paper themselves.

“You can’t reprint as the stamp prevents it from being forged, but you take that plate and you can print it yourself,” Mr McCracken said.

Helen Clarke and partner Ric McCracken.
Camera IconHelen Clarke and partner Ric McCracken. Credit: Jessica Moroney

Clarke said she lived for her work and constantly had thoughts swirling in her mind.

“I’m probably a late starter, but I’m absolutely staggered with the care and the influence of the First Nations Aboriginal people for the environment. I’m just more and more overwhelmed in the way they have cared — for tens-of-thousands of years — and kept our environment wonderful,” she said.

“We’re stuffing it up, but we’re getting better at fixing it. That’s how I came to see how much they meant to me. I thank them for being able to create images like these.”

Mr McCracken said the artwork reflects what happened on their back porch on the farm.
Camera IconMr McCracken said the artwork reflects what happened on their back porch on the farm. Credit: Jessica Moroney

For more information about Helen Clarke visit www.woodypear.com or for her other exhibitions go to artgallery.cgg.wa.gov.au

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