Carol Archer’s exhibition Thicket expresses the mystery, intricacy and enchantment of densely forested places. The etchings, drawings and mixed media works in this exhibition at The Shop Gallery in Glebe are inspired by regularly visited places on Worimi and Cammeraygal lands in N.S.W. Through intricate markmaking Archer conveys the wonder found in profusion of branch, trunk, and leaf. Drama, in these small-scale works, results from a contrast between deeply cast shadows of foliage and the scatter of sunlight that highlights texture and detail. Thickets are mysterious and anxious places. Sites of ambivalence, associated with darkness and impenetrability, thickets offer respite from society and technology. They may provide safe havens and nourishment for insects and small mammals and birds. On the other hand, those thickets produced by invasive plants pose grave environmental threats to native species. For Beethoven, thickets and woods were a source of transcendent delight, possessing ‘an enchantment which expresses all things’.  Saul Bellow, on the other hand, likens the ‘wildest thickets’ to psychic obstacles that can be overcome. Archer’s etchings, drawings and mixed media works apply the simplest of materials – ink, watercolours, and paper – to a subject of dizzying complexity. In realising moments of stillness and balance therein, the pictures in ‘Thicket’ may also be understood as meditations on the creative process itself.

 

Thursday March 28 – Tuesday April 2

11am – 6pm daily

Opening event: Friday March 29 (Good Friday), 2 – 5 pm.