Annabel Wallace



A Constructed Landscape

This is my first exhibition, having spent my career as an arts administrator, curator and gallery owner I have decided to be as brave as the artists that I represent and put my artwork out into the public sphere.

Having spent over 15 years working with artists in galleries and more recently running an art program with 4/5year olds at a local child care centre I have had a growing desire to create my own artwork. I have spent most of my life looking at other peoples work, thinking, reflecting, criticizing and now I feel that it’s time the tables turned.

I studied at the College of Fine Arts where I majored in Art Theory and did a postgraduate Master of Arts Administration Degree. Throughout my working years in the arts I have always enjoyed making art and doing artist workshops.

I moved to a working farm near Murringo 10 years ago and left my career as an arts administrator in Sydney. Deciding to make myself a skilled farmhand I studied welding at TAFE and it was during this time that my love of working with metals began. It is the fact that when you make something from metal it is durable, can be practical and useful and it’s tough. I love that!

I enjoy the tension that is created when two very different materials are put together. Combining light metals with aged wood I assemble imaginary landscapes. The process begins with an aged piece of wood that I sand and polish. Once I have achieved a surface I am satisfied with, I then plasma cut plants, trees and fauna out of aluminium. My aluminium shapes are then painted and collaged together to create a constructed landscape that is filled with imaginary plants and settings. As well as the interplay between the materials I enjoy the soft irony of creating trees out of metal and then mounting them on timber.

I draw much of my inspiration from the landscape in which I live. Surrounded by grazing paddocks and bushland the question of what the landscape looked like before it was settled is constantly in my mind. Questions such as “how much of the land was cleared, how much of the vegetation is now introduced and the impact that foxes and rabbits have had”, are all considered. I have consciously allowed the metal subjects to extend beyond their frame to signify the reality that nature not only extends everywhere but also pops up in man made environments – it cannot be excluded or contained. I have also wrapped large stones in strap metal. By wrapping the stones they become a gift, symbolizing that nature and the landscape are indeed a gift that should be treasured.

More images of works available on request.