Wendy Teakel Images of Calperum

Born in Wagga Wagga and living in the Canberra region since 1985, Wendy Teakel is currently the head of Sculpture, Australian National Universiy. She has tertiary qualifications from the Riverina College of Advanced Education (Dip Arts 1980), Canberra School of Art (Grad Dip Sculpture 1985) and RMIT University (MA Fine Art by Research 2004).

Art Exhibition previously on at Catherine Asquith Gallery (Archived) in Fitzroy-Collingwood precinct, Victoria, Australia.
From Tuesday 09 April 2013 to Saturday 27 April 2013

Late Summer Haze, detail image Seed & Grass Scatter image Seeded Ground image Summer Paddock image Late Summer Haze image

Published by anonymous on Sunday 10 February 2013.
Contact the publisher.

Wendy has held 30 solo exhibitions in Australia and Thailand including survey exhibitions at Canberra Museum and Gallery, “Cultural Spaces” (2002) and “Parched” (2009) a survey with Meg Buchanan at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery. Recent solo exhibitions include “Touching Dust” (2010), Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney and “Seasonal Tracks” (2009), Catherine Asquith Gallery, Melbourne. Wendy’s work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, the Australian Embassy Bangkok, Broken Hill City Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga City Gallery, Bathurst Regional Gallery, Mildura Art Gallery, Canberra Museum and Gallery. She has been awarded several prizes including two Asia Link residencies (1996 and 2002) to Thailand, the Calleen Prize (2008 and 2010), the 26th Alice Prize (1995), Inaugural CAPO Fellowship (1993), ACT Creative Arts Fellowship (1996), the Out Back Art Prize (1999) and Canberra Critics Circle Award (2002). Wendy’s work has been reviewed in a range of publications and was the subject of a feature article in Craft Arts International: “Wendy Teakel and the rural vision in Australian sculpture” (2004) by Dr Sasha Grishin.

Artist Statement

This is an amazing landscape with so much biodiversity and visual diversity. Originally Calperum was mapped out as a sheep station some 135 years ago and covers an area of 242800 hectares. In a relatively short period of time settlers cleared the landscape of its Mallee timber and denuded and compacted the soil by overstocking with sheep. You could say Calperum now is a phoenix rising from the ashes as it regenerates towards how it might have been before white settlement. Now as part of the Biosphere project the landscape is a haven for native plants and animals with an abundance of bird habitat and stands of highly endangered Mallee scrub.

Situated close to the Murray river near Renmark, South Australia this landscape offered a rich and diverse palette to me as an artist. Gypsum and salt lakes, clay pans and billabongs, sand hills and mud flats held evidence of the marks of animals and birds creating a pulse and rhythm of life. The marks of the settler are slowly being removed from this landscape.

Walking through it, I saw evidence of buildings and fences which have long since decayed, introduced plants which have become weeds are now being crowded out by thriving native species. The introductions to the landscape now are those of the conservationist. Coloured water tanks perched on rises to gravity feed seedlings through a maze of poly pipe or mesh cylinders carefully pegged around seedlings on the mud flats to protect them from emu and kangaroo.

This landscape allowed me to work with temporality – a bird print in fast drying mud or a leaf falling form a tree as well as more enduring passages of time like the slow decay of human lives evidenced through broken fence lines and discarded dwellings. The landscape is still full of people, scientists, conservationists, indigenous rangers, artists etc but the visitors and inhabitants today see Calperum as part of the lungs of the world rather than an industry.