Exhibition Opens | Thursday 21 March 2019, 6-8pm
and continues to
Saturday 13 April 2019
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is delighted to present new works on paper and sculptures by John Wolseley in One Hundred and One Insect Life Stories. This exhibition includes work from his collaboration with the great Yolngu artist Mulkun Wirrpanda but also charts the artist's more recent fascination with the insect and mollusc life of East Arnhem Land and the invertebrates which he encounters around his home in the Victorian Mallee.
John Wolseley is one of Australia's most important artists. The artist portrays the Australian landscape and its ecosystems by combining collage elements and markings made 'in collaboration' with the natural environment. These works celebrate the beauty of the Australian wilderness and encourage an understanding of the significance and environmental fragility of these remote and little-known sites.
John Wolseley writes, “I have uncovered these amazing systems engraved by moths and beetles - complex burrow systems laid out like strange maps under the bark of trees. I have rested sheets of Japanese paper on them, and made rubbings or frottages - in just the same way as Max Ernst did on the scrubbed boards of his seaside hotel. Often as I gently rub with graphite the engraved surface of a piece of wood, the whole life story of a particular insect comes mysteriously into being. I can trace how tiny eggs hatch into grubs, and then eat their way over many months through the wood, miraculously turn into pupae, and finally transform themselves into gorgeous moths or fearsome stag beetles. I have found these journeys of metamorphosis are the foundation of many symbolic stories and powerful myths which appear again and again in art and religion. From the sacred scarabs of Egypt to the moths as souls flying out of Greek funerary vases. Insect transformation is one of what Mircea Eliade called the great Myths of Eternal Return.”