John Wolseley Exhibition at Gippsland Art Gallery

In News December 18, 2023

John Wolseley  The Overburden Dump, Hazelwood Power Station  1979  oil on board  14.7 x 60.9 cm

John Wolseley: The Quiet Conservationist
2 December 2023 – 18 February 2024
Gippsland Art Gallery
70 Foster Street  Sale  VIC

This exhibition focusses on those works created in the four years that John Wolseley was living and working in the region (1976–1979) following his emigration to Australia in 1976 to join the teaching staff of the Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education (GIAE) in Churchill.

An unconventional artist in many respects, Wolseley shuns traditional approaches to depicting landscape. He engages instead in an organic visual dialogue with a location, which takes into account its history, geology, topography, flora and fauna. The viewer is treated to an engaging narrative of diary notes, sketches, watercolour studies and tracings—often combined into a single artwork.

Curated by Dr Tony Hanning (who himself graduated from the GIAE in 1972 and went on to become Director of the Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell, from 1972 to 1982), John Wolseley: The Quiet Conservationist surveys Wolseley’s pioneering art through the lens of his unique approach to conservation themes, which are often embedded within his sprawling autobiographical work.

The exhibition presents an affectionate and intimate portrait of a special period in the story of the region’s art, and places works created by Wolseley during his Gippsland period within the greater context of his environmental conservationism.

Individual works have been drawn from state and national collections, alongside other regional and private collections and Gippsland Art Gallery’s own permanent collection, which has recently been bolstered by the generous donation of nine works by Wolseley through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. For further information visit the Gippsland Art Gallery website here

To view a selection of available John Wolseley works from Australian Galleries, including the beautiful etchings Amen to the Australian coastline I & II  (above), pop in to our Stock Rooms in Melbourne, or visit John Wolseley’s artist page at our website

Image: John Wolseley  Amen to the Australian coastline I & II  1980  etching  edition 30  37 x 42 cm