Life's work on show at Newcastle Art Gallery

10 Nov 2021

The unexpected beauty that can be found in the microscopic elements of the natural world will be on show at Newcastle Art Gallery as part of an exhibition that celebrates the 40-year career of Adelaide artist Angela Valanamesh.

Angela Valamanesh: About being here is an exploration of the interconnectedness of life on earth and the links between humans, animals and plants.

The exhibition is presented by JamFactory as part of their Icon series, which celebrates the achievements of South Australia's most influential artists working in craft-based media.

While Valanamesh is primarily known for her intriguing biomorphic ceramic sculptures, which use abstract forms to invoke the shapes and patterns of living things, this exhibition will survey the breadth and depth of her artistic practice, including evocative drawings, watercolours, and mixed media works created from the late 1990s until the present.

Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton said the touring exhibition will be augmented with works by Valamanesh from the gallery's own highly regarded collection, giving visitors an even broader appreciation of her art.

"Newcastle Art Gallery is proud to be the custodian one of the most valuable art collections in regional Australia, which presents a comprehensive overview of Australian art from colonial times to the present day and is worth $115 million," Ms Morton said.

"Our collection includes several works by renowned Adelaide artist Angela Valanamesh, and we are thrilled to be able to showcase these when we welcome this wonderful exhibition to Newcastle.”

Valamanesh’s artworks elicit intrigue and a strong sense of personal investigation as she manipulates seemingly familiar anatomical, botanical and parasitic forms in beguiling and unusual ways.

Her drawings, ceramic objects, and watercolours are the result of an incredible depth of research, referencing complex scientific, historic, and philosophical ideas. The works suggest ambiguity and present a strong sense of personal investigation.

Angela Valamanesh: About being here will be on display at Newcastle Art Gallery from 13 November 2021 - 30 January 2022, with a special online artist talk on Thursday 18 November.

JamFactory ICON Angela Valamanesh: About being here is a JamFactory touring exhibition and has been assisted by the South Australian Government through the Department for Innovation and Skills and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, Contemporary Touring Initiative.

Angela Valamanesh acknowledges the assistance of the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. Angela Valamanesh is represented by GAG PROJECTS, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Sydney.