Anthea Kemp & Nic Malacari

Opening 8 July 2022

The Memory of Trees, continuing 9-15 July 2022

Anthea Kemp & Nic MalacariIn dedication to the 27th anniversary of Enya’s ‘The Memory of Trees’, Anthea Kemp and Nic Malacari present a new series of works in response to themes and stories elucidated by Enya's enchanting voice.

In 2002, Roma Ryan, poet and lyricist for Enya notes:

'In ancient Celtic belief trees had spirits within them and were considered sacred. They were the keepers of memory and lore....The memory of trees looks into the past. The future we look at may give us another interpretation of the title, with the destruction of the world’s rainforests it may turn out to be that the memory of trees is nothing more than that for us – a memory.’

There is an importance for us as a society to not only enjoy the beauty of her music, but also appreciate the importance of the underlying message expressed throughout the album, and our own relationships we share with the environment.

Anthea Kemp would like to acknowledge the un-ceded land of the Yorta Yorta and Waveroo she has lived on, continues to return to and source inspiration from in her art making, as well as the elders past, present and future. Anthea would like to acknowledge that people have been making, creating and living here for thousands and thousands of years before colonisation. Always was always will be.

Anthea questions the relationship between herself and place. Through painting she explores a place she grew up on and her immediate place in current time. Whilst her work gestures towards the personal, Anthea’s awareness of the land and histories confront her and instil a responsibility to research the layered history. This research coincides with her painting practice, paintings which fall in between representation and abstraction. Renderings of land formations, human introductions as well as animal and plant figuration are presented through investigations of colour and composition. Colour presents itself as a vital element in Anthea’s painting, pulling a palette from certain times of day and her periphery. Light from her experiences, in current time and in memory, reflect and evoke an emotion close to her nostalgia. As Anthea further investigates painting place, new notions of nostalgia arise, complexed with confrontation.

Nic Malacari is an oil painter whose works explore the theatrical and carnivalesque dialogues humans maintain with their surroundings. Utilising natural and processed iconology to juxtapose era, Nic reveals the echoes of human error over generations - same mistakes, new histories - as a means to resolve one's own eventual return to nature.Nic lives and works in Naarm.

Design Leigh Craft. Photos Guy Louden.