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Byron Shire
December 1, 2022

Artist’s wanderlust images grace Tweed gallery

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Wendy Sharpe, Cairo Cafe, 2008
Wendy Sharpe, Cairo Cafe, 2008

Renowned Australian artist Wendy Sharpe’s current exhibition at Tweed Regional Gallery evokes experiences of her world travels, such as the Southern Lights of Antarctica, Mexico’s Day of the Dead or a Cairo camel market.

Her globetrotting explorations over the past 10 years are portrayed in a wide range of works in the exhibition titled Wanderlust. on display till 25 September.
Ms Sharpe said her love for travel started in her 20s, when she won the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship to Europe.

‘I was awarded a three-month studio residency through the Art Gallery of NSW at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris,’ she said.

‘I lived in London with my grandfather for six months and from there I travelled to New York and around Europe for the following 18 months.

‘Over the years, travel has become an integral part of my life and work – I now spend part of every year in my apartment/studio in Paris’s Montmartre district,’ she said.

The exhibition also includes work from her residency as a special guest at the Australian Embassy Residence in Egypt, and two residencies in Antarctica with the Mawson’s Hut Foundation.

Among the works on paper there are views from an attic apartment overlooking the terracotta roofs and ancient towers of Florence, views over a camel market in Cairo, from the balcony of my apartment in Paris and parades taking place all over the world.

Wendy Sharpe, Woman with Roses - Day of the Dead, 2014
Wendy Sharpe, Woman with Roses – Day of the Dead, 2014

Ms Sharpe said her experience of the famous Day of the Dead festival came about when she was given a residency in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2014.

‘I was able to immerse myself in the amazing spectacle of the parades, masks, the paper-maché skeletons and all of the wonderful folk art,’ she said.

‘My first trip to Antarctica in 2012 was a commemorative voyage, celebrating the centenary of Australian explorer Mawson’s voyage.

‘I was on an icebreaker, the Aurora Australis, for over six weeks, the only artist among scientists.

‘This gave me the opportunity to study the extraordinary colours of the Antarctic landscape, and I became fascinated with the sky, in particular with the phenomenon of the Southern Lights.’

Other works in Wanderlust were made during travels to Italy, India, Morocco, France and Spain.


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