Melbourne, 25 Jul 2023 — 12 Aug 2023

28 Derby Street [PO Box 1183], Collingwood 3066

Breathing Stone
- Sarah Tomasetti

The title of this exhibition, Breathing Stone, refers to the capacity of the fresco wall to sequester carbon as it cures, taking up the carbon previously driven off during the heating and slaking of the limestone to produce lime putty. The rhythmic movement of breathing also references the restlessness of stone, the molten origins of the mountain range and the idea in many different belief systems of the mountain as an animate being. 

This body of work emerges from an experimental approach to the ancient technology of fresco painting leading to the development of the ‘stone skin’ which can be detached from the wall on which it is made by means of a fine layer of cloth. A further departure includes the addition of encaustic wax which both reveals and protects the fine craquelure internal to the skin, referencing the fractures and fissures of the lithosphere itself.  Adding pigments to the render reveals that each colour cures differently, building a taxonomy of cracks that echoes the flow and interaction of water, sediment and atmosphere. A large-scale stone skin cascading to the ground takes on its own topography, an infinity of cracks illuminated from below by light placed within the folds.

Imagery is drawn from a residency undertaken in northern Uttarakhand in 2019 with anthropologist Jane Dyson, in a region where local belief holds that gods and goddesses inhabit the surrounding mountain range.  I am indebted to Jane for the opportunity to visit this extraordinary part of the world.’ – Sarah Tomasetti, 2023


Artists Talk
Saturday 5 August 2pm


Sarah Tomasetti
Sarah Tomasetti is highly regarded for her luminous fresco paintings and installations. She has gained …
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