Water washed through Murwillumbah during Cyclone Debbie two years ago leaving a community devastated by the flooding and struggling to cope. Local artist Heather Matthew has used the complete submerging of her studio during the cyclone as a means of creating art and dealing with the experience. She is exhibiting the artwork that has come from this process at the newly appointed M-Arts Precinct in the long gallery upstairs from this Friday.
The work uses the papers rescued from her flooded paper drawers, the mud splashed and stained survivors of the flood.
‘They have been stitched together revealing traces of the emotional upheaval of the flood and the process of navigating a way forward into the future,’ said Heather.
‘Making these artworks was a transformative journey of healing where I felt I co-collaborated with nature to create works that spoke of resilience and beauty through adversity using the flood stains and mud spatters which were left after the floodwaters subsided.’
The exhibition will be opened by Julie Barratt, Regional Arts Officer, Central Queensland Regional Arts Service Network on Friday March 15 at 5pm. Julie Barratt is a former Northern Rivers artist and gallery owner who joined with Heather Mathew to curate the international exhibition A Book About Death Australia at the Tweed Regional Gallery in 2013.
There are more than 20 artworks in the Deluge exhibition, most of which were made following Matthew’s return from overseas travel and an artist residency in France last year.