RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER is a treasure-laden exhibition at Retrospect Galleries in Byron Bay. There has been an extraordinary response by artists, from around the region and over the seas, to a siren call by Retrospect Galleries for artworks focused on stories of the ocean.
“We were spoilt for choice!” exclaims exhibition coordinator Tegan Bell. “This is a richly textured event, with the layers of stories and images made tangible in the materials used - from canvasses and delicate embroidery to found objects, wood and mixed media diorama the variety of works is truly astounding.”
Rime of the Ancient Mariner (as well as being a very cool Iron Maiden song) is an English poem written in the 1790s by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It is the tale of a sailor who has returned from a long and perilous sea voyage. It's a story that has to be told - an epic tale of elemental and karmic monstrosity. The wizened mariner regales a passerby with his haunting tale of the sea, its dangers, serenity and supernatural experiences. Like the songs of sirens, the tale of the mariner captivates and enchants the listener.
“Nostalgia plays a big role in our stories of the seas and sometimes this has very personal elements as well as a cultural element, as in the work of Ally Mansell remembering her grandfather’s sailor stories while working with popular images of fishermen and mermaids”, describes Bell.
“My love for the water, along with my Pop's stories of what he saw out at sea as a young sailor in the Navy, inspired me to create these collages” explains Ally Mansell. “They are exaggerated, the sea creatures are out of scale, some mythical and dreamlike, just like Pop's stories. I always knew his stories were probably embellished for the purpose of his grandkids' entertainment, but I didn’t mind. In fact, I loved it!”
From the majestic grandeur of Sergei Inkatov’s maritime oil paintings to the delicate detail of Leigh Newell’s painted shell or Marley Myles embroidered Sea witches, the exhibition encompasses the vastness and the minutiae of oceanic life.
The 3D objects in this exhibition are particularly exciting for their novelty and beauty. Danielle Schlunegger (from U.S.A.) creates exquisite dioramas of coastlines and ships, Bodhi Del Mar’s etched glassware is luminous and Kaitlin Beckett brings her steampunk style creations out of the canvas with metal sculpture.
Featured Artists: Adam Harriden, Ally Mansell, Bodhi Del Mar, Danielle Schlunegger, Gabriel Moreno, Hilary Hermann, Isabel Heiss, Jessica Watts, Kaitlin Beckett, Leigh Newell, Leigh Robinson, Leith Walton, Lucinda Wolber, Marine Edith-Costa, Marley Myles, Sergei Inkatov.
15 -29 September 2016
Retrospect Galleries, 52 Jonson St Byron Bay