Between dream and earth celebrates the life and art of Mazie Karen Turner

31 Aug 2017

MAZIE KAREN TURNER: Between dream and earth celebrates the life and art practice of Newcastle artist Mazie Karen Turner (1954-2014) opening at Newcastle Art Gallery on Saturday 2 September.

This exhibition explores the rich and broad reach of Turner's more than 30-year practice, her skills as a multi-disciplinary artist and deep interest in politics, spirituality, social awareness and feminism. These works of art show Turner as an artist whose passion for colour was a journey through abstraction and an exploration of the spiritual.

The exhibition encompasses works of art from 1977 to 2014 that reflect the artist's acute sense of detail and precision in the handling and application of diverse mediums such as drawing, collage, cyanotype, painting, photographer and sculpture.

"Mazie had a unique eye as an artist no matter what medium she handled, exploring possibilities others had not," said Newcastle Art Gallery Curator Sarah Johnson, who worked in partnership with the artist's three children and their father Richard Tipping.

"Her long-standing practice was always innovative, conceptual and highly experimental. Of key interest are the 20 years in which she worked as a painter, experimenting with colour and abstraction, for which she became renowned."

The exhibition follows the path of the geography, travels and movement of Turner's art practice through various settings and countries. This includes photography in country towns and Papunya in the early 1980s; the large cloth blueprints of the 'Bondi years' 1980-84; experiences in England and Europe from 1984-86 and subsequent experimentation with collage, drawing and printmaking; through to Sydney from 1987-88, Newcastle 1989-91, Lake Macquarie 1992-2006 and Newcastle again from 2007 until her death in 2014.

Turner’s broad and multi-faceted art career demonstrated a constant drive for experimentation and the power of place to produce innovative work - both personal and political, also referencing art history and theory without being bound by convention.

"With Mazie Turner's exceptional body of work as her legacy, we witness an artist's output that continues to excite, engage and connect with us visually and emotionally," said Sarah Johnson.

"She was much loved as a person and admired as an artist, and she exhibited widely, with examples of her works now held in regional, state and national collections."

Johnson noted that MAZIE KAREN TURNER: Between dream and earth also provides an opportunity to showcase a local artist from the Newcastle Art Gallery collection. Drawn from the Gallery’s holdings for inclusion is the abstract painting Soft Walls 2009-10, which is a testament to Turner's deft understanding and mastery of colour and composition.

Represented in private and public collections nationally, Turner previously exhibited at Newcastle Art Gallery in the 2010 group exhibition Painters and Perception: four artists of the Hunter.

MAZIE KAREN TURNER: Between dream and earth 
is on display at Newcastle Art Gallery from 2 September to 5 November 2017.

Image above: Mazie Karen TURNER Soft Walls 2009-10 oil on Safari Belgian linen 152.5 x 137.5cm Purchased 2010 Newcastle Art Gallery collection