Our current exhibition is something quite extraordinary – an exquisite selection of hand-painted china created by one of WA’s leading masters in the field, Megan Evans.
‘Peacock Spider Comes to Tea’ was officially opened on Saturday 28th January by Kathryn Stafford, Director of Gallows Gallery, Perth.
Download a copy of the exhibition catalogue here.
Artist in Residence
Megan is our Painted Tree Gallery artist in residence for the month of February, where she’ll be running a range of workshops and creating new work on site that directly responds to the local natural environment. She’s even going to make a tea party installation for the Understory Art & Nature Trail!
Why the Painted Tree for this exhibition?
Born in Pemberton, Megan spent her childhood in Manjimup. While she has lived in Perth for many years, she’s always maintained a strong connection with the Southern Forests and Valleys region, with a particular soft spot for Windy Harbour.
The medium of china painting captivates me, whilst those that worked before me, inspire me. French Impressionist Jean Renoir was a commercial china painter in his youth, and the American feminist artist Judy Chicago produced her seminal work ‘The Dinner Party’ with china painting as a core component of the epic installation that toured 16 venues in 6 countries on 3 continents to a viewing audience of 15 million in the 80’s and 90’s. Today, Professor Kurt Weiser of Arizona State University continues to produce his own unique porcelain forms and decorate them with china painting, which are exhibited to much global acclaim.
My ongoing fascination with art history is reflected in my attempts to capture the essence of some schools of the past in my own unique style, giving me a deeper understanding of how the artists rendered their work. The graceful illustrative technique of Elizabeth Gould, Joseph Banks’ line work, and the Japanese Endo period of printmaking (reductionist) have all influenced my art practise.
The overglaze technique I employ requires multiple firings for each vessel and careful attention to the order in which colours are applied. There is a sensitive, strong linear drawing base complimented by vibrant, clear colours defining my unique style. Working on three dimensional forms gives a sculptural awareness of overall design.
Over the past 25 years themes explored in my work have ranged from figurative studies with subtle reference to present commentary on everyday situations to works that reference the natural world. My enduring interest in nature has intensified over time. Depicting Western Australia’s vast and diverse treasure-trove of flora and fauna is close to my heart.
By offering china painting as an alternative and viable medium both in the art world and to the general populace, I aim to incite curiosity and awareness, and edify a more contemporary use of the medium.
I invite others to help redefine china painting to transcend different categories of art and increase the presence and prestige of this art form.
Megan’s exhibition and residency is supported by a grant from the Department of Local Government, Sport & Cultural Industries.