Oil of the wild

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Art - Tanya MacNaughton

WHEN Nedlands artist Rowena Keall Walsh was asked by friends who had a shack at Man­gles Bay, Point Peron, to paint the view be­fore they lost it, she never ex­pected it would turn into the sub­ject of her next ex­hi­bi­tion Point of View.

“It is the most mag­nif­i­cent place, wild and un­spoiled, with a small low-im­pact hol­i­day shack com­mu­nity,” Keall Walsh said.

“The Govern­ment want to de­velop this area to build a canal and hous­ing es­tate that will have 500 hous­ing blocks.

“It is a del­i­cate ma­rine sanc­tu­ary, home to the en­dan­gered lit­tle pen­guin, dol­phins, sea grasses and many other crea­tures that will be af­fected by the de­vel­op­ment.

“There are many lay­ers to the ex­hi­bi­tion, from the his­tory of the place and the shacks that peo­ple have lost, to the lit­tle pen­guin that lives and for­ages in the bay.”

The ex­hi­bi­tion will fea­ture 45 small and large oil paint­ings of the shacks, lit­tle pen­guin, bay views and other Point Peron as­pects.

Keall Walsh said she chose to work in oils be­cause they pro­duced a nat­u­ral glow and sheen, un­like acrylics that were syn­thetic and flat.

“I also love the slow dry­ing na­ture of oils, as it al­lows you to work back eas­ily into a paint­ing for days,” she said.

Keall Walsh’s pas­sion for our nat­u­ral land­scape can be traced back to her child­hood, liv­ing with her fam­ily in an old weath­er­board house by the river in Au­gusta.

“As kids we spent all day muck­ing around in the river; ex­plor­ing the shores and nearby beaches,” she said.

“I re­ally hope my ex­hi­bi­tion helps peo­ple un­der­stand what is to be lost by this nasty out­dated type of de­vel­op­ment that is just for short-term mone­tary gain.

“And that what we do im­pacts not only in the im­me­di­ate area but the larger sur­rounds as well.”

Rowena Keall Walsh.

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