Collaboration a Konversation

Sophia ConstantineNorth West Telegraph
Janelle McCaffery and Nicole Leuchter.
Camera IconJanelle McCaffery and Nicole Leuchter. Credit: Picture: Sophia Constantine, Sophia Constantine.

The opening of three exciting exhibitions showcasing the talent of local and international artists was met with great enthusiasm at Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery last week.

Konversation is a first-time collaboration between local artists Janelle McCaffery and Nicole Leuchter, whose works have resulted in a semi-abstract body of work combining acrylic paint with ink pen on paper and canvas.

Leuchter said the collaborative journey began last year when she and McCaffery attended a training session on how to write an exhibition proposal. “I could just picture my abstract work, which is really colourful, and then Janelle going on top of it with her really detailed work,” she said.

“We are also exhibiting our separate artworks to show how two artists come together and work on one piece.”

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She said it was an incredible feeling to see the exhibition come to life with support from the community. “You just have to believe in yourself to achieve something,” she said.

Both artists said they were interested in going down the path of working together, creating proposals and experimenting with different methods.

McCaffery, who moved to Port Hedland nearly six years ago, said the scenery in the Pilbara had inspired her to get back into art after taking a long break.

“I see shapes and forms everywhere in the Pilbara landscape,” she said.

“I love going out for a drive to see things a little bit different.”

She said the exhibition process had been challenging.

“We kept experimenting and conversing back and forth — it has been an amazing experience,” she said. “I had to learn to respond to Nicole’s work that she had done. I’ve learned to be a bit looser with my mark-making.”

Building Remnantsis a solo exhibition by renowned Dutch visual artist Berndnaut Smilde, who explores the artificial creation of natural phenomena in empty rooms.

In 2016, Smilde was invited by arts organisation FORM to create his famous clouds and rainbows in the Pilbara, which resulted in the Nimbus series.

Featuring alongside the works of Leuchter, McCaffery and Smilde are those of photographer Craig Rowles, with solo exhibition Blue Town: The Idea of Wittenoom.

Rowles’ photo series was created after engaging with the former asbestos mining town of Wittenoom, which was degazetted in 2007.

The exhibitions will be displayed until July 13.

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