Flinders Lane Gallery
Image: Mummy, Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas, 213cm X 167cm
As I negotiate my way through a forest of gallery goers, I'm pleased to finally find myself in a different kind of forest, one that earnestly asks for an interrogation that stems from the psyche.
'Honey Gully' is a feast of marks, a field of pattern and colour that nestles in compositions, which not only satisfy the naked eye but also begs the viewer to voyage to a place that connects them with nature.
"Borrowed from a locality spotted on a road trip" (Rawkins), the title suggests a continuous journey that evolves as nature dictates. This quality is present in Rawkins' technique of fluid marks, controlled line, visible brush stoke and the depicted imagery.
Her large canvases breathe life into the totemic images of the winged creatures and trees that they carry. And with works such as Twins, Weed Ceremony, and Cherrybrook, the symbology in this regard is hard to miss.
The work that particularly stood out for me was Mummy, Acrylic and Charcoal, 213cm X 167cm (pictured above), a majestic owl that presents itself through the unsophisticated yet rich and well studied marks. The charcoal line that seems to be an after thought seals the composition immaculately.
Burnt sienna, colour of the earth that dominates the palette suggests; this is a creature of this land, therefore (we) as the living beings of this land must somehow share a mystical connection with not only this owl but with other creatures as Rawkins illustrates.
Goddess Realm notes that in totemic terms, an owl is a symbol of magic and second sight. It is the essence of wisdom and can help discover the truth. These are some of the qualities that come with being not only a woman but also a mother. Rawkins says this body of work depicts “a sweet and sticky place”, a particular point in her life that resonates with her being a woman and a mother. In being a mother- like an owl - one comes into wisdom, learns certain truths about themselves and others, they become a magical figure to their children and as the evolution continues they realise that similar to nature, their offspring is a source that evokes emotions such as love, pride, peace, harmony and more.
Creating art is driven by various reasons including but not limited to the need, the want and/or the profound inspiration. Her subject matter alludes; Rawkins' creation is inspired by internal experiences that are triggered by external factors. That is to say, while her work is a didactic conversation about nature and it's power, which shines through its species, the artist avoids preaching but instead awakens a more personal experience by sending the viewer into his or her own sacred place that connects them with the nature.
Learn more about Karlee Rawkins on www.karleerawkins.com