Wayne Viney – ‘Flood Plains’ at Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery

In News February 26, 2020

‘I first saw Lake Charm around 2005. I was returning from Swan Hill where I’d had a work in the Print Award. I was surprised seeing this huge lake near Kerang in north-east Victoria. I stopped and did a couple of quick drawings and went back a few months later and did more. I thought it would make an interesting series but it wasn’t until 2017 that I finally decided the time was right.’ – Wayne Viney, 2020

Coinciding with his solo exhibition at Australian Galleries, Melbourne, Wayne Viney’s work will be featured in an upcoming group exhibition, ‘Flood Plains’, at Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery. The exhibition will present an eclectic collection of works that will touch on the many ways that generations of families and individuals have engaged with the Murray Darling Basin and the region’s rivers, tributaties, creeks, billabongs and lakes through occupation, culture and recreation.

‘Flood Plains’ will also touch on the impact of this engagement with the environment and society, highlighting the pressure this increasingly fragile ecosystem is under from a changing climate and the ever increasing demand for water from irrigators, environmental water holders, communities, and those living in towns and cities. It is a rapidly withering system. The exhibition will allow young and old to tell stories through a public program that invites gallery visitors to add to a wall of anecdotes built up over the duration of the exhibition. Stories will also be sourced from the community prior to the exhibition opening to the public.

The exhibition opens to the public on 6 March, and will be current until 10 May. Wayne will be giving a monotype workshop Saturday 2 May. For more information, click here.

‘The palm trees were intriguing, and looked so incongruous sitting there on the horizon line that I was instantly drawn to them. They were like exclamation marks in an otherwise flat landscape. I knew the landscape around Lake Charm was a gift in terms of composition. The irrigation channels created strong diagonals which balanced the horizon line, thus leading the viewer into the landscape, a classic compositional device.

I always saw the Lake Charm series in terms of a low horizon with a band of trees reflected in water, a relatively static image. The drama as such could then take place in the skies above; the weather, the changing light, clouds forming and storms passing. I relished the opportunity to create these rather dramatic effects. I thought of the landscape below as timeless and unchanging, while above, clouds pass, storms come and go and the seasons change – the transience of nature. This notion of the romantic landscape is something I’ve always been drawn to, working with the elements of sky, water and land.’ – Wayne Viney, 2020


Image above: Wayne Viney  Last light, Lake Charm  2020 monotype  45 x 46.5 cm