Helen McCullagh

Ochre Lawson

 

We are part of the natural world. It sustains us, we depend on it for food, air, water and yet we are the only species on earth that destroys the very thing on which we depend for our survival. Wilderness is land that has not been disturbed by human beings an eco system that is intact and self sustaining. My interest as an artist is to depict wilderness landscapes in all their immensity and my relationship to it through an emotional response firstly working en plein air and then back in the studio from sketches and memory of place.

 

 

 

Hiking through the landscape and drawing directly from observation I am able to retain the memory of place, form, colour, texture and an emotional response. I am influenced in some respects by the Japanese philosophy of Zen which attempts to capture the physical and spiritual essence of nature with as fewer strokes as possible. Using a similar working method as Japanese ink brush painting,  I like to find the essential composition of a place through using a calligraphy brush and drawing with paint. From here I overlay with oil paint building up the layers but leaving the workings, while still trying to get an impression and expression of the wilderness landscape.

 

 

 

Though the visceral nature of paint, mark making, the calligraphic drawn line, form, memory and emotional response to the landscape I attempt to represent the diversity and awesome quality of our unique wilderness areas.

 

 

 

‘Ochre Lawson … draws us into a landscape of desire. Through her line and vision, the artist creates a place that encapsulates notions of purity and remote meditative beauty—that our predominantly urban existence craves.  

 

The dynamism of Lawson's abstraction morphs into more literal forests and mountains from vastly different lands—yet they share qualities that are intrinsic to the notion of “wilderness”. This is a body of work that is jewel-laden—rich with motifs that have been drawn from her journeys in wild places. The beautiful moments from the artist's eye are threaded delicately into the picture plane. ‘ Ralph Hobbs, director of Nanda Hobbs gallery

Spinifex
Spinifex

102 x 102 cm Unframed Oil on Canvas $3300

Undercliff
Undercliff

112 x 138 cm Unframed Oil on Canvas $4400

 

Ochre Lawson

 

Ochre completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at National Art School, Sydney in 2007. Previous studies included a Diploma of Fine Arts at the Southbank Institute of TAFE, Brisbane in 2001and online studies in art theory and practice through RMIT in Melbourne.

 

Ochre has had 5 solo exhibitions at Sydney galleries including Gallery 371, Chrissy Cotter Gallery, Kensington Contemporary and AM gallery. She has participated in group exhibitions in Hobart at Despard Gallery, in Sydney including at Chrissy Cotter Gallery, Defiance Gallery; Mary Place Gallery, and Watch This Space Gallery in Alice Springs; Metro Arts Gallery in Brisbane and The New York Art Fair.

 

She has been awarded public commissions for Urban Growth, Sydney (2015, 2016), NSW Transport (2014), and for Momac residential development in Canberra (2009).

 

Ochre has been a finalist in many art awards including the NSW Parliament Plein Air Prize, Waterhouse Natural Science art prize, The Fishers Ghost art prize, Greenway art prize, Defiance Small Sculpture Prize, the Northbridge Art Prize, the Gosford Regional Gallery Art Prize and the Waverley Woollahra Art Prize and has won awards in different categories.

 

Ochre was selected as artist residence at Moriumius in Japan in 2017 and the ‘Bilpin International Ground for Creative Initiative’ in the Blue Mountains, 2012-14.

 

As well as her art practice Ochre tutors adults in fine art practice in painting and drawing at a private art school ArtEst  and Art Class Sydney in Sydney, and has taught at the Art Gallery of NSW, Horsnby TAFE, Sturt School of Arts, Waverley Woollahra art school, and Northbridge School of Arts for over over 10 years. She has also facilitated many community art projects and taught at the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory, run multi-day and one day workshops for high school students and presented artist talks at Regional art galleries. She is also a published illustrator/author of 2 children books.

Education

 

2005 – 2007 - Batchelor Degree in Fine Arts – National Art School, Sydney, NSW

2000 - 2001 - Diploma in Fine Art - Southbank Institute of Tafe, Brisbane, QLD

 

 

Solo Exhibitions

Year 2018

  • Beyond the Sea Wall, Gallery 371, Sydney, June

Year 2016

  • Light and the disappearing line, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Sydney, December

Year 2015

  • Remnants, Kensington Contemporary Gallery, Sydney, September

Year 2014

  • Hollow Bearing, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Sydney, July

Year 2012

  • Works on paper, AM Gallery, Sydney, June

 

Selected group exhibitions

Year 2019

  •     Annual summer group exhibition, Despard gallery, Hobart

Year 2018

  •    Affordable Art Fair new York -  Global gallery international, New York

  •   Tutor Exhibition, Art Est Gallery, Leichardt

Year 2017

  •   The Drawn Line, Art Est Gallery, Leichardt

Year 2016

  •    Tutor Exhibition, Art Est Gallery, Leichardt

Year 2015

  •    Tutor Exhibition, Art Est Gallery, Leichardt

Year 2014

  •    Tutor Exhibition, Art Est Gallery, Leichardt

Year 2011

  • Tricycle, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Sydney, September

Year 2009

  • Still point of a turning world, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney, August

Year 2006

  • Headland park sculptural installation, Sydney harbour federation trust, Sydney, March

 

 

Awards and prizes

Year 2016

  • Finalist NSW parliament plein air prize, Sydney

 

  • Finalist Waterhouse natural science art prize, Adelaide

Year 2015

  • Finalist Waverley Woollahra art prize, Sydney

 

  • Finalist Fishers ghost art prize, Sydney

 

  • Finalist Defiance small sculpture prize, Sydney

Year 2014

  • Finalist Fishers ghost art prize, Sydney

Year 2012

  • Highly commended Waverley Woollahra art prize, Sydney

Year 2011

  • Finalist Defiance small sculpture prize, Sydney

 

  • Finalist Gosford City art prize, Gosford

 

  • Highly commended  Northbridge art prize, Sydney

Year 2009

  • Finalist Defiance small sculpture prize, Sydney

Year 2008

  • Finalist Defiance small sculpture prize, Sydney

 

 

Residencies

Year 2017

  • Moriumus artist in residence, Japan

Year 2014

  • Bilpin International Ground for Creative Initiative, Bilpin, NSW

Year 2013

  • Bilpin International Ground for Creative Initiative, Bilpin, NSW

Year 2012

  • Bilpin International Ground for Creative Initiative, Bilpin, NSW

 

 

Commissions

 

  • Tracker dog public sculpture, NSW Urban Growth, Sydney

 

  • Wild Things public sculpture, NSW Urban Growth, Ryde, Sydney

 

  • Bandicoot public sculpture, NSW Department of Transport, Dulwich Hill, Sydney

 

  • Walking Dog public sculpture, Newacton Development, Canberra