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May 20, 2024

Artist shows his ‘world away from Byron Bay’

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The meandering ‘visual journey’ over 20 years travelling and working around the world documented in drawings, print and diaries by an artist who grew up in Byron Bay is on display at the Tweed Regional Gallery.

The exhibition of the visual journey titled Peregrination by Rick Shearman includes a selection of journals documenting his travels and reflections, exhibited alongside a series of larger drawings and prints, and continues till 1 may.

On Sunday (20 March) from 1pm-3pm, visitors can view and engage with the artist at work on a collage in the gallery foyer to gain an insight into his creative process.

After growing up in Byron Bay and completing a degree in Visual Arts at the Queensland College of Art,  Shearman spent much of the last 20 years travelling and working around the world, freelancing on various projects as a creative director and delivering lectures as an educator at universities and conferences.

During this period he lived and worked in Austria, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany and Italy and spent time observing, assimilating and soaking up the world and cultures around him — all the while recording the visual stimuli he encountered in his diaries.

Gallery director, Susi Muddiman, said Shearman was fascinated by ‘crowded Italian piazzas, bustling Manhattan streets, overflowing Parisian metro cars, as do every-day inanimate objects, like the silhouette of a water tank on the New York City skyline or an overflowing ashtray in a Seoul inn’.

‘Rick’s detailed, delicate drawings, and accompanying text capture a sense of place while revealing his personal observations and feelings about the unfolding scenes around him,’ Ms Muddiman said.

Rick Shearman, Mongkok, 2010, pen & ink, gouache, collage in Moleskine journal, 21 x 26 cm
Rick Shearman, Mongkok, 2010, pen & ink, gouache, collage in Moleskine journal, 21 x 26 cm

Shearman said that ’in a foreign city, I’ll tuck myself away in an unseen corner to observe, write and render the goings on around me’.

‘These visual journals document the people, objects and peculiarities that caught my eye, and perhaps distracted me from longings to return home to my beloved northern rivers,’ he said.

‘While still frequently travelling the world, I am extremely blessed to call Byron Bay home once again.’

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