Among the variety of cultural treats in store for Dunkeld in October, the exhibition that is sure to attract interest from far and wide features the compelling works of local sculptress, Judy Warne.
Somehow, despite acclaim in city galleries and exhibitions in provincial cities, it is Judy’s first retrospective in Dunkeld.
But Judy has a strong affection for the village and a passion for promoting the local arts scene, so it’s only fitting her exhibition provides a focal point for the lost in sculpture celebrations.
“With Judy’s assistance, this year’s arts festival is bursting, with an indoor and outdoor sculpture competition, workshops with skilled artists and brunch with the head of the National Gallery of Australia, Gerard Vaughan,” explained lost in sculpture organiser, Annette Huf.
“But among all of these really significant offerings, confirming the inaugural Dunkeld exhibition of Judy’s work is a real coup for us. We’re very grateful and it’s certain visitors will really appreciate the significance of this retrospective once they get the chance to view her collective works.
“Judy’s exhibition invites the viewer to engage with injustice through the powerful image of the crow.
“The work employees locally sourced strips of bark, brilliantly shaped and transformed by the bronzing process into timeless works of art.”
It’s not surprising Judy has a strong following in Melbourne, showcased at the Bridget McDonnell Gallery in Carlton currently and featuring in exhibitions for more than a decade. Her works have also adorned public foyers and offices through the Artbank programme, known for its keen eye for Australian artists of note.
Annette explained the compelling message in Judy’s art go to themes of injustice, powerlessness, rigid authority and manipulative language.
“The works follow the Devine Cow series and Rabbit series, both of which helped establish Judy as a serious artist in Australia," Annette said.
Of her recent work, both the crow, with its mythological connotations in Aboriginal traditions, and the rabbit with its invasive white colonisation metaphor, standing against disempowered ‘brown’ rabbits or displaced migrants, carry a strong message.
Judy’s exhibition complements the 2015 lost in sculpture programme, and opens at Sterling Place (Dunkeld’s recently refurbished Town Hall) on Saturday 17 October from 10am – 5pm and Sunday 18 October from 10am – 4pm.