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Byron Shire
June 16, 2024

Step into separate realities at NRCG this month

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Byrrill Creek Mist, by Dave Sparkes.

Four new solo exhibitions opened at Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina this week, featuring artistic perspectives on landscape, climate change, metamorphosis and migration trauma.

In ‘Separate Realities’, Byron Bay watercolourist Dave Sparkes distills and condenses essential elements of local seascapes and landscapes, using nuances of light and shadow to convey the essence of different locations at a given moment.

As the artist puts it, ‘There is no absolute reality. There are only different perspectives, and if you alter these, the average, everyday landscape can be transformed into the most magical place.’

In late 2019, Louise Grayson joined an expedition to the Antarctic where she captured images exploring the natural dance between animals and their environment, as the shadow of human intervention and a warming environment begins to stretch across this ice wonderland.

From ‘Ice Cohabitation’, Louise Grayson. NRCG.

Her new show ‘Ice Cohabitation’ asks the question; can this ice environment, with its multitude of species, survive in the augmented race by humans for control of nature’s final frontier?


Mia Forrest’s ‘Bloom’ artworks of Australian native flowers hybridize time, technology, and nature. Surreal stretching flowers bloom upward, embodying re-imagined cosmic forms and shapes, planting botanicals within a digital context using time expanding techniques, immortalizing the otherwise impermanent and ephemeral nature of plants.

As the flowers transform and bloom, they form a DNA-like helix structure, inviting the audience to contemplate how species morph, change, survive, and thrive over time.

From ‘Tracing Threads’, Katie Alleva. NRCG.

The fourth show is ‘Tracing Threads: across emotional landscapes of self’ from Katie Alleva.

This new body of work zigzags through the artist’s family archives, exploring the life of her Italian ancestors ‘pre-migration to post migration’.

Katie Alleva is interested in uncovering how trauma affects emerging emotional cultural identities. Raising awareness of the impact of conflict on culture and society, she investigates displacement and intergenerational trauma.

All exhibitions are open now and continue until Sunday 30 April 2023. The official exhibition launch will be held at Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Cherry Street Ballina from 5.30–7.30pm, Thursday 16 March.

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