Join Byron Arts Magazine and renowned Australian artist Janet Laurence for an exclusive evening of conversation and art at Pack Gallery, Bangalow on Saturday, April 27. Guests will enjoy a botanical experience with the recreation of Janet's Elixir Bar curated by TOWN Restaurant, Bangalow.
A highlight of the evening will be a talk hosted by Lee Mathers from Northern Rivers Community Gallery who will discuss Janet's passion for nature and her art. Lee was awarded an Australia Council and Object Design mentorship with Janet and worked on 'A Medicinal Garden for Ailing Plants', part of the 2010 Biennale of Sydney.
The Sydney artist's work is currently the subject of a major survey show, Janet Laurence: After Nature, recently opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and curated by MCA Chief Curator, Rachel Kent.
"For those that can't make it to Sydney we are recreating a taste of what audiences will experience with the reimagining of the botanical Elixir Bar," says Lisa Cowan, The Art Connector who initiated the BAM Art Series Dinners.
The veteran art activist has long been an advocate of climate change and the importance of nurturing nature long before it became the dominant narrative of our age. Laurence says she is unable to distinguish between her passion for nature and art. "I am really fortunate that I can use my art to speak about my passion for the environment. I feel a greater imperative to speak. In a way, I am an activist. But the traditional idea of an activist is someone aggressively shouting something. I do the opposite. I try to entice you in to see the details. That's my interest."
Guests will enjoy a Brookie's gin cocktail on arrival and a delicious botanic tasting menu with matching wines curated by celebrated culinary team Katrina and Karl Kanetani. "It's really exciting collaborating with Katrina and Karl from TOWN, they totally get the narrative behind the botanic theme and sensory elements of the Elixir Bar," says Lisa Cowan.
The cost of the dinner and talk, including wines & Brookie's gin cocktail is $120.
To book tickets register at https://bam-dinner-jant-laurence.eventbrite.com.au
For over 30 years, Janet Laurence has explored the interconnection of all living things - animal, plant, mineral - through her multi-disciplinary practice. Working across painting, sculpture, installation, photography and video, she has employed diverse materials to explore the natural world in all its beauty and complexity, as well as the environmental challenges it faces today: the epoch of the Anthropocene.
Laurence's practice has encompassed small objects through to vast installations. Increasingly, in recent years, she has worked beyond the museum's walls to transform public sites through her immersive installations and environments using evocative natural materials such as ash, minerals and oxides, living plant matter, corals, taxidermy birds, and more. Researching historical collections and drawing on the rich holdings of natural history museums, her practice has, over time, brought together various conceptual threads, from an exploration of threatened creatures and environments to notions of healing and physical, as well as cultural, restoration.
Laurence has exhibited in both Australian and international contexts, including solo exhibitions After Nature, Museum of Contemproary Art, Sydney (2019): Matter of the Masters, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2017); Inside the flower, IGA Berlin, Berlin (2017); Deep Breathing: Resuscitation for the Reef, Australian Museum, Sydney (2016); Anthropocene, Fine Arts Society Contemporary, London (2015); Momentum, Kuntsquartier Bethanien, Berlin (2015); Plants Eye View, Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong (2013); After Eden, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney (2012); Memory of Nature, Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie, New South Wales (2011); Ferment, Faculty of Art & Design Gallery, Monash University, Melbourne (2002).
Laurence's works are held in a number of collections including Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Australian War Memorial, Canberra; Museum Kunstwerk, Eberdingen, Germany; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Seibu Collection, Tokyo; World Bank Collection, Washington DC; University of New South Wales, Sydney; University of Western Australia, Perth.
Lee Mathers holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours, 1st class) and a Master of Visual Arts by research, both from the University of Sydney. Lee has extensive experience in the creative development, implementation and rollout of strategic arts and cultural projects within the local government, private and public sectors.
Lee is interested in exploring diverse modes of artistic and cultural practices that transform the ways through which we perceive, relate to, and experience society. She is committed to developing creative initiatives that have a strong socially-engaged or community focus.
As a curator and cultural administrator, she has developed and managed high profile projects in previous roles with the City of Sydney, City Design - Public Art team; the Jumbana Group, Balarinji Indigenous design and public art studio; and Sydney based conceptual artist, Janet Laurence.
Some key projects have included the creative direction of the QANTAS, Paddy Bedford 'Mendoowoorrji' Indigenous Aircraft Art onto a Boeing 737-800 aircraft fuselage (Jumbana Group); Jezzine Barracks, 15 hectare interpretive public art precinct (Jumbana Group);'Waiting - A Medicinal Garden for Ailing Plants', Biennale of Sydney for Janet Laurence; and worked as part of the team overseeing the EOI stage for City of Sydney's, new public artwork commissions for the City Centre and Green Square redevelopments.
In her current role, overseeing the curation and management of the Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG), Lee has enabled significant growth in the Gallery's overall operations, exhibitions and public programs, capital development, and visitor engagement. During this time she has also overseen the expansion of Gallery facilities to include Ignite Studios @ NRCG a multi-disciplinary art space providing a dynamic shared access space to support regional arts and cultural development across the Northern Rivers region.