Wonder+Dread Art Commission Awarded to Local Artist

Shoalhaven Regional Gallery is pleased to announce the winner of the art commission for the upcoming exhibition Wonder+Dread, is Bendalong based artist Lara Merrett.

Merrett has recently returned to her home on the South Coast after a planned year of living in Indonesia was cut short by the COVID19 pandemic. Returning to her home and community following the devastating fires of the summer has informed the idea for the commissioned work We were here. The panel of Danielle Robson (Soda Arts director and exhibition curator), Bronwyn Coulston (Manager Arts and Culture Shoalhaven City Council) and Iain Dawson (Director, Bega Valley Regional Gallery), were impressed with the ambition and participatory element of the proposed work.

Merrett will construct a large-scale painting installation by painting fabric and forming it into loops that will hang from the gallery ceiling. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to cut pieces away from the work, creating voids which as Merrett notes encourages visitors to see ‘what is left behind in a new way as precious, delicate, rare and raw.’ She notes the work is inspired by the landscape being ‘stripped bare’ with the fires only sparing few wildlife, trees and bush. ‘In a strange unexpected way there is beauty and fragility in this new landscape.’

Shoalhaven Regional Gallery are excited to work with an artist of Merrett’s calibre and experience on this commission and look forward to displaying her work as part of this important and timely exhibition.

Wonder + Dread: Art in a land of weather extremes, will open at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery on December 12th. The exhibition includes works by Australian artists across more than 200 years including Lloyd Rees, Rosemary Laing, Susan Norrie, Nicole Monks and Max Dupain. The exhibition is supported by the Gordon Darling Foundation.

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