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I was there! - 3D virtual exhibition by Lasta Festival 2021

I was there!

Mo, 03/15/2021Fr, 04/30/2021

curated by:

A New Collection of Paintings by Maria O’Brien and Jock Nichol

Standing in front of Jock Nichol and Maria O’Brien’s paintings, you can just imagine yourself there: wandering along mountain forest tracks or exploring vast expanses of flora on boglands, paddle boarding through canyons or skiing at speed downhill – you can practically feel the sun on skin and crisp air whooshing past. A feeling of tranquillity or adrenalin that only being in the great outdoors can bring.
Over the past year, we’ve all experienced our walls and worlds closing in. As we continue through Levels and Lockdowns, any escape beyond our 5kms is a welcome one. Each artwork in this collection presents a scene further afield.
Jock’s landscapes, although without people, are animated by the trees and clouds within them. He notes he doesn’t not consciously leave people out; trees take on a personality, and as Maria observed while we selected the show, she remembers Jock is there – just behind the canvas and paintbrush!
Maria’s paintings capture moments of activity and adventure we previously experienced in the outdoors. Painting from memory and photographic notes, her own palate or vocabulary comes through. The scenery seems to tell her what colours to use, speaking to her. Flashes of brighter clothing break out from muted, natural tones, captured with a sense of fun. Using a mix of memory, her own photos taken in favourite places and other images captured in the same locations, Maria is lead to imagine other people’s stories too, wondering what else has happened there…
Both artists have observed, with some amusement, modern tourists’ habit of taking “selfies” in scenic places, often without actually paying much attention to the scenery, focused only on their own presence in the scenery. Perhaps many people fail to reverently observe the multitude of hues, tones and textures that the artists eye expertly captures. This collection offers viewers an opportunity to appreciate that great beauty beyond our current limits, to look forward to exploring again soon, and to remember ‘I Was There!’.

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