Rochelle Summerfield – A Wayfarer on the Nepean
Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest March- May 2017
In December of 2016, I took part in a three week professional artists’ residency at Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, where I had the opportunity to extend my practices of drawing, collage and animation. The Nepean River and its Great River Walk was my inspiration during my Penrith stay. I stayed at the local Caravan Park, and everyday I would bike ride to the gallery or take walks along this path.
My experience of the Nepean River was one of contradiction and love. The great river has been tamed and broken, she no longer threatens the city with flooding. The Great River Walk names her history, gives the community a beautiful track to indulge in all manner of outdoor activities.
The artworks that I have produced puzzle over ideas on identity and transformation through paradox. The more we domesticate the landscape the more we search to find connection to the ‘wild’ in ourselves and in nature. The plucky heroine is once again situated within rich, lush NSW riverscapes. Her challenges involve contradictory relationships and human frailties, and her quest is to find her voice, knowledge and connection to the Australian environment.