Griffith-based artists Melanie Baulch and Kristy Brown are the first to exhibit in Western Riverina Arts' windows this year. Their landscapes were displayed at Griffith Regional Theatre in 2013 and are the first to be shown in Leeton as part of the Western Riverina Arts' Exhibition Trail initiative.
The Trail is a partnership between Western Riverina Arts and Griffith City Council that will provide opportunities for local artists to exhibit their work in Leeton's main street and in Griffith's Council and Regional Theatre foyers.
"Melanie and I decided to have a bit of fun with what we do," explains artist Kristy Brown. "We're both into colour and design that fits into a sense of place and being. As we got into it we thought we'd base it on landscapes."
"I seem to be on a landscape bent at present," agrees artist Melanie Baulch. "My work has a lot to do with nature as I'm a bushwalker and birdwatcher. I try to capture the colour and life, sights and sounds around me with the paintings drawing on the interplay of what's out there."
The landscapes by Baulch and Brown provide an interesting contrast, with each artist showing their own perspective. One uses paint in an impressionistic style, while the other mixes media through the use of digital design and textiles. These differing approaches reveal much about the artists.
"When I put things on the canvas it's a communication between myself and the painting," says Ms Baulch. "I think my best work comes when I’m able to empty my brain and stay within the creative zone."
One characteristic that distinguishes her paintings is their vibrancy. "I love colour and mix my own. Some people call me a colourist."
"The painting ‘Where the Wildflowers are Hiding' is inspired by walks through Cocoparra National Park. The other artwork is titled 'Round and Round the Garden' is a montage of shapes, textures, sights and sounds in the Riverina -- the amazingly abundant agricultural garden we live in."
In comparison Kristy Brown's work unites photography, graphic design and sewing. "The works play and experiment, it's kind of a summary of all the things I work with," she says. "I was interested in bringing the handmade into the digital with photography and illustration emphasising shapes and how they fit into spaces."
"As a designer the graphic element comes into it. The photography is where I often take snaps and I like the accessibility of the medium. That handmade element comes into it with the sewing, that's where my craft skills developed. I would watch my mother and nonna sew. I like to make and create with my hands and feel textures."
The landscapes presented by Melanie Baulch and Kristy Brown are currently on display in Western Riverina Arts' window gallery. All works are for sale.