WOOLLAMIA ROAD, HUSKISSON 2540
OPEN DAILY 10 – 4 PM 

Gallery walk through with Kieren Brereton
Camera – Julia Frolov


 

Report from the Littoral Zone


Sept 8 - Nov 25. 2018


(detail) Report from the Littoral Zone (mangroves) verso side,
hand embroidery and oil on canvas, 67 x 230cm, 2017

 

Few of us wish to venture inside mangroves with good reason. Yes mangroves are dark smelly places full of mosquitos. Nothing is solid. Tidal waters cover mud flats booby-trapped with spikey aerial roots. Twisting ghostly trees full of snakes and spiders bend to a deafening roar of a million cicadas. As a result mangroves remain mysterious and little understood by the public.

Wetlands, swamps, useless places to be drained as soon as possible and turned into arable land. It is only now that we know that these alien environments may hold the key to our future existence on this warming planet.

Artist and academic Dr Kurt Brereton grew up in this littoral zone caught between land and sea. As a teenager in 1970s his first drawings, photographs and paintings explored the wetlands and sand dunes of the far north coast of NSW. Since recently moving to Currarong, Kurt has refocused his attention on our local coastal habitat in a major new exhibition at the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum Gallery.

Indigenous peoples have always valued the mangroves as finely balanced life sustaining food baskets. Europeans, by contrast, have been busy erasing these precious ecosystems in favour of golf courses, industrial complexes and housing estates.

Now the latest scientific research tell us that mangroves are complex vital organs of environmental health and survival. They act like huge livers and kidneys filtering pollutants. The forests of tangled roots serve as nurseries protecting young fish, crabs and prawns. During cyclones and tsunamis, it is the mangroves that hold back the devastating impact of storm surges. Recent studies also reveal that mangroves are giant blue carbon storage sinks.

Green carbon is stored in trees for up to a hundred years. Blue carbon from ancient plant and algae matter is trapped and stored in the ground for thousands of years. Mangroves store carbon 40 times faster than trees can. Destroying mangroves speeds up global warming and sea rise rates. Our future may depend on the survival of wetlands just as much as tropical rain forests.

Kurt Brereton says he wants gallery visitors to gain a sense of being inside the mangroves. He has constructed an installation that projects both the wonders of weird plants and bizarre creatures and the loss of endangered local shore birds. One wall text asks why “it seems that we only take notice of rare species just as they begin to disappear before our eyes.”

This exhibition employs a rich dynamic combination of media including video, sculpture, painting and embroidery to stitch us into Brereton’s vision of the Shoalhaven coast.

 


 

Selected Mangrove Exhibition Works

 


Soldier Crabs, (front) 61 x 71cm, embroidery on cotton, 2018

 


Soldier Crabs, (back) 61 x 71cm, embroidery on cotton, 2018
 


Mangrove Sapling Forest, (front) 61 x 61cm,
embroidery on cotton, 2018

 


Mangrove Sapling Forest, (back) 61 x 61cm,
embroidery on cotton, 2018


Mangrove Eco-scan,(front) linocut and inkjet print on acetate, 26 x 26cm, 2018


Entering the mangroves, (front) 61 x 71cm,
embroidery on cotton, 2018

 


Entering the mangroves, (back) 61 x 71cm,
embroidery on cotton, 2018

Mangrove Eco-scan,(back) linocut and inkjet print on acetate, 26 x 26cm, 2018


Mangrove Knee Roots, (front) 61 x 71cm,
oil and embroidery on cotton, 2018

 

 


Mangrove Knee Roots, (back) 61 x 71cm,
oil and embroidery on cotton, 2018

 

 

 


Living With Monsters, embroidery, mixed media on cotton,
160cm x 245cm, 2017

 


Mangrove Underworld, 101cm x 167cm, oil on canvas, 2016

Plant a Seedling Today: Mangrove Nursery (50 - A4 size embroidered fabric samples ) mounted on 2 wire mesh panels - 300cm wide x 200cm high - $49.99 each seedling


Mangrove Monster (unknown species), oil on canvas,
90 x 120cm, 2012


Mangrove Towers Housing Complex, bitumen, wire, Fimo, wood, polystyrene, 2018

 


Mangroves at Lowtide, (front) embroidery and oil on canvas
122cm x 168cm, 2018


Mangroves at Lowtide, (back) embroidery and oil on canvas
122cm x 168cm, 2018


Blue Carbon Futures Test Station, wood, encaustic, sea glass, perspex, coal, wire, embroidery, 225cm x 25cm, 2018

 


Mangrove Man, (front) oil and gesso on canvas
122cm x 168cm, 2018

 

Mangrove Man, (back) embroidery, gesso and oil on canvas
122cm x 168cm, 2018

 


Oystercatcher - Memetic Oversight, oil and ink on lightbox, 31 x 32cm, 2018

 


Mangroves Under Erasure, (front) oil and embroidery on canvas
122cm x 168cm, 2018

Mangrove Couple, (back) embroidery and gesso on canvas
122cm x 168cm, 2018


Mangroves Bonsai , bitumen, wire, Fimo, wood, polystyrene, acrylic, 2018


Report from the Littoral Zone (front), 67 x 230 cm,
oil and embroidery on canvas, 2018


Report from the Littoral Zone (back), 67 x 230 cm,
oil and embroidery on canvas, 2018

 

 

 


Koala after bushfire, embroidery on linen, 45 x 60cm, 2018

 


Rainforest Vines Walk , 72 x 92cm, oil on canvas, 2017


Rainforest Vine Shadows, 40 x 60cm oil on canvas, 2017

 

 


Rainforest Vine, 52 x 80cm, wood, TV cable, oil, 2018

 

Endangered Migratory Shorebirds

 


Pied Oystercatcher, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018


Little Tern, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018

Piping Plover, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018


Sooty Oystercatcher, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018


Black-Necked Stilt, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018

Red Knot Stint, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018

Stone Curlew, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018

Sanderling, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018

Bar-Tailed Godwit, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018

Eastern Curlew, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018

Painted-Snipe, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018

Curlew Sandpiper, embroidery on canvas,
30cm x 30cm, 2018