I had this dream of seeing my heroine floating, projected onto a wall in full flight playing within architectural details. I thought other artists might like the same thing. Last year, I worked with 3 other women artists whose work I admire- Frances Belle Parker Yaegl woman and painter/installation artist, metal artist/ jeweller Tracy Pateman and sculptor Cass Samms.
As a group of visual artists, we all wanted the same thing- to take a leap in scale, animate our work, and take it out of the gallery setting to engage a wider and more diverse audience. The first step to achieve our goals was working with the wonderful Cast Net Productions, Danny Loyden who has worked our images into a magical combination of sound, animation and video projection.
What a great group I am privileged to work with! Our diversity in arts practice and living across the Valley, was linked by our love of the Clarence River and how it is such a defining feature of life in our Valley. The Clarence River and the idea of journey, story and identity- is where we began.
A Wayfarer on the Nepean features drawing and animation works that were inspired by my Summer Studio Residency at the Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest. The Nepean River and its Great River Walk was my inspiration during my Penrith stay.
I had a great time there. Every day I walked or rode along the track from the caravan park to the Penrith Regional Gallery. I explored the river banks and studied various aspects of the river along its track. I felt the heat and relished the shade of the trees, saw the weeds, recorded the birdlife and swatted the flies. I observed houses encroaching on the vegetation needed to stabilize the banks. I felt the violence and sadness of litter arrogantly left behind. I savoured my time here. I witnessed the community’s affection and engagement with the river and her banks for picnics, weddings, swimming, skiing, rowing and exercising along this great walking track. I thought about how the Nepean River is so much a part of this city and its identity and yet contradictorily estranged, neglected and controlled by it, as are so many of our rivers.
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 river-scapes. Her challenges involve contradictory relationships and human frailties, and her quest is to find her voice, knowledge and connection to the Australian environment.
At the opening of 'As far as the eye can see'
'As far as the eye can see' is a wonderful example of how there is such diversity in artists and their approaches to a theme like the Australian landscape. Situated in the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre it is a gigantic space and beautifully curated by Rilka Oakley, it does justice to such an array of diverse artists and their works. Though the theme was landscape, each artist approached it in a personal way often exploring an unease with changes in the environment. And what differences in approaches to the notion of 'print'. There were works that used traditional processes like etching, but buried in the garden like Locust Jones suite of prints and plates, or bathed in the sea by artist Hellen Muller. There were combinations of new technologies with classical processes by artists Jan Davis and Rochelle Summerfield. The exhibition is a great example of how artists explore their Australian environment and celebrates the variety of approaches in printmaking today .
A Blue Mountains Cultural Centre exhibition curated by Rilka Oakley in association with the Print Council of Australia’s 50thAnniversary celebrations
Artlands Conference 2016
Thanks to the QUICKS grant I attended and listened to many inspiring key note speakers in the field of arts from around Australia and heard what other regional centres were achieving to make arts and cultural, significant in their town. I heard famous international speakers such as Clive Parkinson, Manchester United Kingdom a truly inspiring speaker who outlined historical and philosophical take on the arts and health.
In the afternoon I had way too many choices!! Some things I went to were practical workshops such as Maz McGann, ‘Play your part: Making a living as an artist in a regional area’ and ‘3D printing' with MAAS and came away from both with information and examples. As a regional artist in rural Grafton, such insights and access to knowledge and new technologies was a fantastic opportunity.
The biennial conference took place in Dubbo October 27-30, 2016.
Art in Victoria Park at Artlands 2016
I make visual stories using new and mixed media with a collaged sassy female form as the heroine of my stories.
The inspiration for this work came from time in Dubbo. I walked to the river and followed the path along its banks, appreciated the many beautiful and majestic river gums and heard the screeching calls of the sulphur crested cockatoo. I then headed back towards the city of Dubbo, noticing that the buildings have their back to the river.
At Victoria Park, nature is preserved, manicured and contained. The graceful fountain with its bubbling movement of water symbolising eternal energy, timelessness but directed and controlled compared to the ever changing currents and floods of our majestic rivers. Fenced and landscape the park is a preservation to the pastoralist tradition.
I enjoyed visiting the zoo, seeing these majestic animals from all over the world transported to rural Australia and preserved and cared. To represent the zoo, one of Eugene Delacroix’s famous tiger images ‘Tiger and Snake’ 1862, seemed the most appropriate. Framed and installed on the outside of the building.
The RTA signage, surveillance and bollards are our contemporary society’s attempts at preserving a way of life. The phallic-like bollards, with their chains seem a tad ridiculous in the face of an onslaught of the flood waters coming. Likewise, the detour sign, suggesting that nature’s impending flows head elsewhere. The camera surveillance sign warning to be self- vigilant as you are on video.
My sassy, larger than life female protagonist is playfully and rebelliously in the thick of all of these contradictions and paradoxes.
The Billboard Project
Rochelle is a visual storyteller using collage of popular culture, new and mixed media to explore ideas on women’s identity and transformation. Creating strong, larger than life central heroines she plays with the potential for women to transform beyond accepted archetypes.
This work is her take on Dubbo during her residency for this project earlier in the year. The notion of preservation and the need to protect and control heritage, flora and fauna was part of her exploration. Rochelle was one of ten artists selected for 'Future Public' with installations in positions central to the various venues for the Artlands Regional Arts Conference from October 27 to 30, 2016.
Curator Alex Wisser
The curator Alex Wisser, spoke about his direction for this exhibition, 'The title Future/ Public' has been chosen because it communicates the exhibition's intention to stretch boundaries and thinking about what is and can be public art. The works we are commissioning will be 'propositional' in nature, and while they will not need to be permanent artworks, they will need to exist in an outdoors environment for four days at least. I am asking that artists make works that need not meet all of the material and social requirements that permanent public artworks require but that can suggest possibilities for works that might one day be made as permanent.'
A fun night of arty discussions with Jan Davis and some of the artists from 'Local Provenance' a show curated by Jan Davis and Susi Muddiman OAM, and currently exhibiting at Tweed Regional Gallery
The artist line-up will be as follows: Scott Trevelyan, Rochelle Summerfield, Samuel Tupou, Shelagh Morgan facilitated by Jan Davis.
It is on Monday 17 October. 6pm for 6.30pm start at the Court House Hotel, Mullumbimby.
When passion and work coalesce!!
It is wonderful when passion and work coalesce!!
Rochelle Summerfield & collage with infinite variations and Scott Trevelyan printmaker extraordinaire!
Regional printmakers celebrated in Local Provenance
Tweed Regional Gallery Opening 6pm 15th July
Artists are Darren Bryant, Jan Davis, Sarah Harvey, Gary Jolley, Jenny Kitchener, Leonie Lane, Shelagh Morgan, Travis Paterson, Rochelle Summerfield, Scott Trevelyan, Samuel Tupou and Christine Willcocks.
The seeds of the nation's best printmakers sown in the Northern Rivers
A new exhibition title Local Provenance, curated by Susi Muddiman OAM and Jan Davis will open at the Tweed Regional Gallery on 15 July 2016. Local Provenance includes the original artist prints produced by 12 printmakers from this region. The exhibition also forms part of the nationwide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Print Council of Australia (PCA).
The title Local Provenance is a botanical term which describes plants grown from locally collected seed. The exhibition presents the work of talented printmakers who reside and continue their arts practice in the Lismore, Tweed, Byron, Kyogle and Grafton regions. The development of these artist's careers from their local seeding to their current status as artists of national significance is aptly described in these terms.
The curators thought of the printmaking studios of Southern Cross University in Lismore as a kind of 'hothouse' for growing printmakers, and the local institutions such as the Lismore, Grafton and Tweed regional galleries as elaborate trellises that have supported these artists as their careers grew. The prints in the exhibition include those purchased from the artists early in their careers and now loaned by the local regional galleries and the University, alongside more recent works by each artist.
In selecting this group of artists, the curators considered those who have also benefited from the support provided by the PCA through their annual print commission. "Jan Davis and I have both enjoyed our association over the years in contributing to the national management committee of the PCA, and it seemed apt to celebrate the PCA's significant birthday locally with an exhibition of printmakers of our region," Gallery Director Susi Muddiman said.
"These artists have been selected for the quality of their prints and the way they have built their professional careers through continued exhibition and publication of their practice, critical review and further study," Jan Davis said. "Their works have been shown throughout Australia, some have exhibited internationally, many have been commissioned artists of the PCA and all of them are in some way continuing to contribute to the local arts community."
All are welcome to attend the official opening of Local Provenance by Dr. Stephen Garrett, Coordinator Visual Arts, Southern Cross University on Friday 15 July at 6pm.
A range of public programs have been developed to complement Local Provenance. See the artists demonstrating their work in the Gallery on the-
Sunday 14 August is Sarah Harvey and Christine Willcocks
Sunday 28 August with Rochelle Summerfield and Scott Trevelyan
Sunday 11 September from 11am - 2pm with Leonie Lane and Travis Paterson
The exhibition continues at the Tweed Regional Gallery until Sunday 4 December 2016.
Scott Trevelyan 'Bees Stare at Him' (detail) 2014 photopolymer etching on Hahnemuhle paper, beeswax and timber frame 40 x 30cm
Indicators Show Depth
11 May- 2 July Grafton Regional Gallery
Come see some collages of flamboyant heroines, hand drawings, photos and prints that explore ideas on female experience and the body in the Australian landscape. The opening is 11am Friday 13th May.
Everyday I look at the silvery river glistening gently in the sun- or in the height of flood- surging and powerful waters twenty-two metres high transform my landscape. Our beautiful region is scattered with Indicator Signage, warning of such dangers as low-lying roads and towns are subject to frequent inundations. Living here by the majestic Clarence River in north-eastern New South Wales, its beauty and tempestuous nature bears a powerful presence.
The mystery and force of nature is exemplified by the river, and is my indicator of things beyond our human control. Nature at its most powerful- floods, weeds and the aging body- are embraced and accepted as liberating forces for change. The expressive river is in the home; domestic objects float downstream, blurring boundaries between inside and outside spaces, between the psychological and the environmental. With humour collaged female sentinel plays in a space between the psychological, cultural and environmental habitat of the Australian landscape.
All artworks are archivally framed.
I make images of sassy women in new and mixed media. In 2016, a solo at Grafton Regional Gallery. In 2014, I was awarded the Windmill Trust Scholarship Encouragement Award.