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Rhythms of the Monaro

Rhythms of the Monaro





Rhythms of the Monaro, by David Collins, Elisabeth Cummings, Belinda Street, Sally Stokes and Leah Thiessen, capture five artists’ response to a week’s residency at the 1890s Kelton cattle station, owned by the Haslingden family, on the Monaro plains in far south NSW. This is the land of the Ngarigo Peoples.

The life of an artist is typically one of solitude, so there is something very special when artists come together on an artist residency. The conversations, and eating together as well as the experience of place, light, sun, rain and changing temperatures, connect each of the artists together and to the landscape. A unique bond grows through being together and working apart.

Each day the artists ventured into the landscape to make sense of its vast grassy and wind-swept plains, granite rocks, twisted Eucalypts and expansive skies, all under the shadow of ‘The Snowies’. Extended time and experience in the rugged territory of Monaro allowed each to experience the rhythm and energy of the land, to sit in the landscape, to be in the moment, alert and attentive.

Stylistically, each artist’s work is very different, resulting in an exhibition of works that contrast as well as complement. Together their interpretations of the emotional, spiritual and physical qualities of the land form a dialogue, yet each communicates with their own brushstroke, markings and palette. What, of this harsh yet beautiful landscape, speaks to each artist is different and through their individual creative process they attempt to merge the physical with the emotional, using pencil, charcoal, pen and paint - to capture the essence of the Monaro Plain.

With en plein air studies and studio developed paintings, Rhythms of the Monaro is the culmination of each artist’s time spent both at the residency and the memories interpreted back in their individual studios. The exhibition features five acclaimed and award-winning Australian artists, David Collins (Defiance Gallery), Elisabeth Cummings (King Street Gallery on William). Belinda Street, Sally Stokes and Leah Thiessen. For further enquiries please contact Wagner Contemporary at the