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The Moree Gallery presents Back Paddock and Dreams and Bright Dust at November exhibition

THE region continues to attract innovative, beautiful and challenging artwork, and The Moree Gallery’s November exhibition will present two highly acclaimed artists that are both inspired by the land and their local experiences.

Ray Firth will show around 30 paintings and small sculptures tracing his life on the northwest plains, while Sarah Bishop will show sumptuous sculptures assembled from found objects intrinsic to the rural experience.

The exhibitions Back Paddock by Sarah Bishop and Dreams and bright dust by Ray Firth both open on Friday, November 3 at The Moree Gallery.

It takes a rich appreciation and a rare talent to create genuine beauty from everyday subjects, but for acclaimed artist Sarah Bishop, a rural upbringing proved pivotal to her artistic voyage.

Sarah will exhibit an array of skull sculptures, pressed and hanging feathers and bold demanding paintings all inspired by, and representing, the natural beauty found  in ‘the back paddock’.

Her gloriously embellished skull sculptures are just one of the highlights of her exhibition.

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Sarah Bishop with ‘The Cottage Bull’

Converting sheep, deer, goat and cow skulls into eclectic pieces of art, Sarah’s skull sculptures have become conversation pieces across stylish homes Australia-wide.

Having grown up on a sheep and cattle property in the Merriwa district, Sarah credits this nature-filled childhood as the foundation upon which her path as an artist was formed.

“It’s a life I love – endlessly changing seasons, colours and outcomes,” Sarah said.

“Life on the land made an enormous impact on all aspects of my every day life, and my love of nature extends to my artwork as a result.”

Sarah has enjoyed solo shows across regional Australia, Sydney, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and said she was thrilled to be included in The Moree Gallery’s latest exhibition, having many fond memories from the district.

“As a child my family would often travel to Moree. We would visit Sue and Kenny Arnott and I remember enormous and fabulous cotton farms peppered with the excitement of chasing emus and picnics in the creek beds and mud fights,” Sarah said.

Ray Firth’s exhibition of paintings and small sculptures is titled Dreams and bright dust.

It is a bold and vigorous collection of work that springs from a lifelong connection to the plains country.

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Dreams and bright dust sums up Ray Firth’s country

Ray and his family own a small acreage on the Greenbah edge of town where the family home stands.

Ray’s work is not quite abstracted and it is certainly not photographic.

Rather, it is more a philosophical map of experience and memory.

“I think my painting is a bit like poetry, in that poems only work effectively when illuminating something you already know,” Ray said.

“Both poetry and painting, at their best, tell a familiar story in a surprising way that is compressed and directed . . . when something you have always seen is, in a way, glimpsed sharply for the first time.

Dreams and bright dust sums up my country. The dreams of luminous clouds curving away to the horizon, and dark, sharp and star pierced winter nights; and the paradox of dull fertile soil and occasional sandy ridges that fold away surreal moments of unexpected beauty beside the dry burs and under the withering sun,” he said.

Ray has been an exhibiting artist since his first solo show in 1992 and his exhibition at Moree in November will be his 40th solo show in Australia.

His paintings are held in public and private collections both in and outside Australia.

Ray and Sarah will be exhibiting at The Moree Gallery, Heber Street Moree from 10am on Friday, November 3.

For further information see www.moreegallery.com.au

Artists’ exhibition works can be viewed on the website from Monday, October 30.

Words: Georgina Poole

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