Colleen Southwell's current exhibition ‘The Shadow of Wings, Imaginings of the Unknown’ confronts the human desire to explain all. Through delicate and whimsical paper sculpture, the works present a study of imagined insect and botanical specimens that defy understanding, ignite the imagination, and question possibilities.
‘It is estimated that over 80 percent of species on the planet are yet to be found. There is much that continues to elude us, despite our best scientific efforts to explain all. New discoveries of life await to confound us and challenge our understanding. They hover in the shadows, unseen, though somewhere.’ – Colleen Southwell
Reminiscent of herbarium and entomology specimens and alluding to objects of study, Colleen’s paper sculpture works are intended to be observed closely.
‘Through each piece I invite the onlooker to pause, engage the imagination and delve deeper into a personal connection with the natural world. The creative process requires me to do the same.’
A background in landscape design and a lifelong passion for nature and landscapes both wild and cultivated have led Colleen to where she is now. And that is with a string of successful solo and group exhibitions behind her both in Orange and Sydney, feature articles in Country Style Magazine’s current Art Issue and The Garden Clinic Magazine’s autumn issue as well as Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, top 100 Paper Artists on Instagram.
With her art practice gaining recognition, Colleen’s focus remains on the details. She recognises that it’s the fine attention to detail that makes her work exceptional. She is patient beyond words. And applies a soft and deft hand to her creations.
‘The meticulous process of making, the use of fine paper, and the employment of shadow as a transient feature of the work, further reflect the fragility of the subject.’
Colleen Southwell has been a finalist in several art prizes including most recently the Pro Hart Outback Art Prize, 2019. Her work is held in private collections in Australia and the United States and she has undertaken numerous private commissions.
The exhibition can be viewed in the gallery, by appointment, until 26 April, 2020.