Heather Ellyard's Continuum 3 at Maitland Regional Art Gallery
CONTINUUM 3: uncertainties above and below
CONTINUUM is an ongoing project, a non-stop trajectory of all that matters to Heather Ellyard, from black holes to geo-politics, from the universe to very small human details.
CONTINUUM 1: tell me about the heart; the universe is asymmetrical and there is dark matter, was shown at Janet Clayton Gallery, Sydney, in 2012.
CONTINUUM 2: mapping, to remember or to forget, was shown at Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne, in 2013.
CONTINUUM 3: uncertainties above and below, here at MRAG, deals with our increasing vulnerabilities in relation to beliefs, conflicts and disappearances.
all that was holy,
all that was fruitful,
is makeshift and loose.
like stones in the pocket
and rags in the hand.
At the heart of Ellyard’s work is an artist’s search for meaning, now, in our time, with a mature strength, refined purpose and broad vision.
She says: My work is an inclusive, gathering-in of what I sense out there where the world wobbles, shifts, despairs and tries to renew itself, in pieces.
I use these findings in a condensed, metaphoric, associative way, like the poem. Meanings are layered and sometimes fragmented, waiting to settle.
I’ve reached a place in my life where there are no stops, only pauses, in my search for meaning, with all of its sorrows and bling, with its wonders, ordeals and near tipping points.
For a long time I have asked myself whether and how art matters in an atmosphere of global imbalance, violence and suffering. The only answer I know, for me, is not that beauty counts, but that paying attention, caring, being true to a language-of-meaning counts, and beauty may be a by-product of that process. And poems may rise up. This is why I go on and on making art.
This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Emmanuel and Etta Hirsh.
They were extraordinary, passionate, risk-taking, art collectors, who never bought to sell, and never compromised their own instincts.
From the beginning, their choices were collaborative, Manny, with the need to learn and know, Etta with sensory longings. They balanced each other throughout and grew their substantial contemporary collection unwaveringly, from the heart, supporting, and befriending the artists for the Duration, including me.