Warren Cooke / Evan Salmon
Jul 15 10:00 am–Aug 2 4:00 pm
Exhibition dates: Jul 15 – Aug 2, 2021
Official opening: Sun Jul 18 from 2pm – 4pm
En plein air’ or plein air painting refers to the act of painting outdoors – a technique that has both the artist and subject at the whim of the elements. Variables that the artist can traditionally control such as light, movement and colour, suddenly become an unpredictable and thrilling challenge. Warren Cooke and Evan Salmon have both embraced the method, immersing themselves in their environment to create works driven by a nostalgia for place and that reflect a practice of persistent, and patient, looking.
Salmon’s, gnarly tree trunks and lush plots of Australian bush landscape are painted and drawn with a warmth; each composition unique in how it chooses to frame its subject and in the experience that it creates for its viewer. With some works, we’re within a mere arm’s length of a branch – able to see each fissure and bump – and yet with others, it’s distance that captivates; a stretch of disappearing road; a scape of hills and paddocks. With Cooke, there’s an added layer of complexity to his compositions. Painting from the water, he literally immerses his viewer within the landscape, creating an illusion of boundlessness and visual omniscience.
Presenting the work of Evan Salmon and Warren Cooke together forms a bespoke study in the plein air technique and, more generally, the diversity of the Australian landscape.
Warren Cooke is a Melbourne based printmaker working predominantly in linocut and woodcut. He creates artworks about the landscapes in which he lives or has lived in the past. Most recently, these have been focused around the Mornington Peninsula, where he currently resides. Cooke has had various solo and group exhibitions and been a finalist for numerous print prizes, including the CPM National Print Awards, Fremantle Print Prize and Burnie Print Prize. Experiencing the natural environment is at the heart of all Cooke’s work.
Evan Salmon is a NSW based artist who practices primarily in the mediums of painting, drawing and etching. He has held over 26 solo exhibitions across Australia and been the recipient of many art prizes, including the NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize (2015), Gosford Art Prize (2009) and the Alvaro Painting Prize (2006). Salmon is represented in both public and private collections in Australia and overseas, including the Australian National Gallery, NSW Parliament, University of Technology Sydney, Art Bank, Wollongong Art Gallery, Wollongong University, Maitland Regional Art Gallery and the National Art School, Sydney. All of Salmon’s works are created ‘en plein air’.