Tanya Baily, Sean O’Brien, Mollie Rice & Kaye Shumack


Photo by Ellen Dahl

Photo by Ellen Dahl

In Drift, the senses become tools for exploration, as each artist wanders through various environments. The psychogeography of various sites is tapped into to assemble portrayals of complex spaces and the ways we exist within them. Oral histories and instinctual methodologies are favored here over others more empirical, and what emerges is a more intimate reimagining of various sites as sweeping and intricately woven tableaus.

Tanya Baily is fascinated with the history of watercolour painting and traces its history as she pushes the medium to its fullest extent. Tanya develops large and deeply saturated abstracted depictions of the tree lined streets she wanders and occasionally portrays the unseen as she imagines subterranean networks of tree roots.

 Sean O’Brien’s restrained, yet expressive drawings are reflections on natural landscapes altered by human intervention in cultivated Rome and rugged Mungo, NSW. In the streets of Rome, gazing upwards, Sean examines the distinct forms of oddly trimmed pine trees, using graphite and oil. Meanwhile, emerging from the dunes of Mungo, Sean creates minimalist depictions of "lunettes", the forms that result from erosion, using charcoal.

Mollie Rice is a true explorer in the streets. Mollie sets off onto Paramatta Rd and employs a variety of sensory-based methodologies to capture the spirit of this place. Whether it is active listening or intent observation, Mollie immerses herself into spaces and walks mindfully, stopping every so often to draw.

Kaye Shumack envelops herself in the chaos of city life. Sydney’s Central Station becomes the setting for her large, sweeping charcoal scenes, which depict the regimented choreography of urban life. In her work, Kaye traces the movements of passers-by as they trail through urban environments, almost as though they have become caught in a dance circle.

Image credit: Tanya Baily, Street Trees (2018). Watercolour on paper, 140 x 117cm