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Balance? Fran Wachtel and Charlotte Drake Brockman: a result of 20 years collaboration
August 31, 2012 — November 3, 2012Free
Murrurundi is the home of metal sheep, which cannot be avoided when driving along the New England Highway through this Upper Hunter town as they greet you when you approach from either direction! Murrurundi is also the home of Charlotte Drake-Brockman and Fran Wachtel the hands and ideas behind these replica jumbucks. These two female tin snips cut, join, hammer, bash, screw slice and paint swatches of tin, that in their hands, become art. One of these artists was nurtured in fibre the other in clay and slowly but ever so carefully together they learned and assisted each other to understand and fashion tin in unique and very pleasing forms. This is no high fine art, better, much better this is cutting edge in your face creations which quite consciously and very often deliver public and social comments on our everyday existence. Sometimes, however, the work is simply decorative and beautiful, fashioned to grace our homes.
Long term collaborators Wachtel and Drake Brockman have work together in the Upper Hunter collaborating on special commissions, exhibitions and creating a commercial range of metal farm animals. This exhibition features a new direction in both scale and imagination and comments not only on the balance of two artists and their ongoing successful working relationship but also the precarious balance of the fragile country environment and heavy mining – prominent partners in the upper hunter.
Maitland Regional Art Gallery (MRAG) has opened its doors to this duo, to together, create an exhibition comprising of new works for us in the Lower Hunter to be informed by and to talk about. For this we thank them because it is not often that they leave their shed and take the opportunity to work and display so much and in so large a format. Balance? will prove to be an exhibition, which will delight, entertain and educate all that care to visit MRAG. We encourage you all to come and enjoy just as these two makers enjoyed the making.