Melanie Cooper, Chromecast mountain ledge, (detail), 2022, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 60 x 84cm. Image courtesy the artist.
Wrack and Mountain
8 August – 14 November 2022
Nineteenth-century ramblers and collectors well understood the therapeutic benefits of time spent in nature and were fascinated by the strangeness and beauty of new forms and spaces. In 1850, seaweed collector Mary Pratt wrote that “Many a head-ache, and a heart-ache too, would be relieved if its owner could be brought to feel an interest in the shells or seaweeds which are strewed on the beach.”1 This series of wrack drawings were made in response to fragments of ocean gardens and animal life found washed up on South Australian beaches, the density and variety of their forms and structures a reminder of the infinite potential and mysteries of nature.
Drawn from memory, the Chromecast landscapes represent imagined and fragmented details of one half-remembered landscape projected for a fleeting moment onto the digital screen. Long after the experiences of Nature have passed, the memories of her forms remain embedded in the mind as a site of refuge and creative discovery.
Time spent in nature is a restorative practice reminding us of the interconnectedness and wonder of life. The experience of art extends on this by facilitating an understanding of the world and our place in it.
-Melanie Cooper, 2022
This exhibition was presented as part of SALA Festival