New Bush Telegraph Independent Stories since 1987

SeeChange – A Highlight

September 20, 2016

Amanda Skye Smyth’s exhibition, Dominae Hortum-Lady Garden was an absolute highlight of the 2016 Seechange Art Festival. The connectedness of  materials, space, inherent meanings and the feelings provoked - by Amanda’s works - was extraordinary; a perfect match of nature, nurture and goodness.

At the opening night of the exhibition we were greeted by an outburst of dramatic words,  shouted at us in the dark, one word at a time, the hum of it becoming louder & stronger before leading us into the Lady Garden. At once, with all senses on the alert the experience of Amanda’s artwork was intense and stimulating.  Still at the opening night, a silent performance by two women continued the overall themes of cycles, beauty and love. The women danced a cycle, again and again, of slow and gentle movements, in turns supporting each other - a patient and wordless performance that said so much; danced on a circle of salt, perhaps suggesting the Salt of the Earth - basic fundamental goodness.

The imaginative  and tender use of natural materials like see-through muslin, wool, beeswax, honey and bushland forage immediately suggested  a bustle of life and beauty. A row of vessels made of soft muslin, hanging down through the middle of the room, dripping honey into beeswax saucers, their shapes and tip of glossy beeswax suggesting a female breast, perhaps a mammary of a female animal - looked, felt and smelled warm, delicious and sensual; vessels of motherhood, the title: Let Down/Fill Up.

The theme of cycles and seasons continued throughout Amanda’s works.  Transition from a beautiful and innocent “Free Maiden” to the nurturing and busy “Mother Love” to the wise and strong “Bone Woman” was shown beautifully in abstract female forms made delicately and carefully from muslin, beeswax and bushland & beach treasures. The three figures danced from young and light to loving and giving to wise and passing. The artworks on the opposite wall were “Pussy Posy-Daisy” “Pussy Posy-Lily” and “Pussy Posy-Cotton”, holy moly - just amazing how suggestive a title can be. Three boxes, each with a slit down the middle and mysteriously half-hidden behind muslin, one grew daisies, one lilies and one cotton in their opening - I here leave the deeper interpretation to you.

While at the opening night mystery was created with the Lady Garden in semi darkness and the performances  added life and movement I am glad that I visited the studio again during daylight. So many more subtle details were discovered and so many more connections were made, all adding to an even greater understanding and appreciation of the artwork.

And not to forget, the beautiful Husky Yoga Studio with its great view to The Heart of Huskisson was just the perfect space for this wonderful exhibition, doing yoga in-between all this sexy artwork was quite an unusual experience, thoughtfully done everyone.

Please visit Amanda’s website to see more of her work and look out for upcoming exhibitions

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