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Byron Shire
May 12, 2021

The return of the prodigal son

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Trish Tait, Work from Home 2020, oil painting on board. Image courtesy of artist.

Gallery DownTown, the annexe of Tweed Regional Gallery, is presenting a new exhibition by regional artists.

Sons & Daughters embodies two artists’ visual reflections exploring the transformative journey of motherhood.

Artist Trish Tait will exhibit artistic depictions of sons alongside depictions of daughters by artist Meli Axford.

Trish Tait’s paintings feature detailed portraiture and simple compositions, surrounded by negative space.

She draws inspiration from her daily life, which was enriched in 2020 when her sons returned home during the uncertainty of lockdown.

Sons explores this time; her observations of her boys as they adjust to their ‘new normal’, and their inevitable longing to return to the old.

‘I was inspired to preserve some of these moments, for me a kind of painted record of the inspirational adult the child had become, and perhaps a celebration of a mother’s sense of accomplishment. I would like to invite the audience to pause, ponder and reflect in their own way,’ she said.

Meli Axford’s art reimagines the Australian landscape with her family in it.

Like Tait, Axford explores a deeply personal maternal relationship, visualising her unconditional love and hopes for her young adult children.

Meli Axford, Polo Takes A Dip 2021, oil painting on canvas. Image courtesy of artist.

Daughters showcases paintings from Axford’s pool series, which radiates a deliberate sense of calm and optimism that we are ready for whatever happens.

‘Motherhood is a labour of love. I wanted to paint my children to share the indescribable intensity of my love, to capture the perfection that love had created and nurtured,’ she says.

‘I’ve always believed that “love will conquer all” and “all you need is love” – everything was, is and will be fixed with love.

‘We are thrilled to present these two Northern Rivers artists as part of the Community Access Exhibitions Program at Gallery DownTown,’ said Tweed Regional Gallery Director Susi Muddiman, ‘Tait and Axford share a visual language, communicating a strong connection through life experience that I’m sure audiences will really engage with.’

Sons & Daughters continues until Sunday 13 June 2021.

The Gallery DownTown is the annexe of one of the State’s most recognised regional galleries, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre. An initiative of Tweed Shire Council, the gallery aims to act as a driver of creative and economic development in the heart of Murwillumbah’s CBD.

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