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Paperbark :: Lionel Bawden
6 Apr – 12 May 2019
Gallery 3

Official Opening: 6pm Friday 5 April 2019

Lionel Bawden’s new solo exhibition continues the artist’s fascination with the forms of nature taking the tree as both conceptual focus and material form.

The Paperbark is a most fertile motif for a life in continual flux, where damage and vitality flourish side by side and realms of experience are revealed as layers of bark are shed. Core to the artist’s reverence for trees and forests is a deep awareness of his consumption of tree simultaneous to creation, fallen trees seeding artworks of paper and wood. 

Having taken the name Paperbark when first arriving in the Northern Rivers, four years ago, Bawden here creates a kind of self-portrait in the gallery, connecting to the nature of trees becoming paper and paper as a realm of intimate exchanges across one’s life. In a world before emails and text messages, the heart often spoke through the hand written word, sent on a page of paper across vast distances, a tradition Bawden actively continues. These new works offer various forms of intimate exchange- between artist and his loved ones / between artist and the viewer, articulating the value of paper and a paradoxical tenderness toward fallen tree, having allowed such transmissions. 

The exhibition has been created during Bawden’s residency at Lismore Regional Gallery in The Binns Artist Studio and is activated by a conversation with the large Paperbark tree outside the studio and exhibition gallery windows.

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