Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) in partnership with Campbelltown Arts Centre (C-A-C) are proud to present ‘Side of the Sky’ – the first survey exhibition from acclaimed Australian artist Luke Sciberras.
Held concurrently across the two venues, the exhibition will feature over 50works spanning 25 years of Sciberras’ practice and will highlight his deep connections to the artistic legacies of Wedderburn near Campbelltown and Hill End near Bathurst.
Sciberras’ work is primarily concerned with the natural landscape, and he is renowned for drawing liberal inspiration from his immediate environment. His work processes shapes, symbols and textures from place into work that is as much about the process of painting as it is about the landscape where he began, and the place of the people within it.
Sciberras says: “The most personal thing I can say about my paintings is that they are not so much ‘of’ a place but ‘about’ my being there…To live in close proximity to the changing weather and seasons, and to observe my habitat with all its creatures is among my most heartfelt of pleasures. So lucky am I to have the opportunity to make all this work in the world’s most beautiful places!”
Sciberras was born in Campbelltown and spent his formative years assisting artists in the Campbelltown artist-community of Wedderburn. From one artist-community to another, Sciberras has lived in historic Hill End since 2000, a town he first visited in 1997 as a National Art School student. C-A-C and BRAG both represent the artistic communities that are of central importance to Sciberras’ life and work.
Michael Dagostino, Director of Campbelltown Arts Centre, says: “It is a privilege to welcome Luke back to Campbelltown to celebrate his monumental career to date. Luke and I are almost the same age, born in Camden, from European backgrounds, and found art in Campbelltown. Campbelltown was and is a place of great energy and diversity, and no matter who you are or what your ancestry, you can experience the liberating power of art through a small gallery with inspired – and inspiring – artists.”
Sarah Gurich, Director of Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, says: “My first introduction to the artist was two decades ago when, driving through Hill End, a colleague pointed out a young family perched on a picnic table, all straw hats, sunshine and smiles. The sound of Luke’s resonant laughter filled the scene, the family a picture of beauty and incongruity in a landscape still ravaged by the scars of its mining past. That image is one I have returned to often over the years as my deep respect for the artist has grown. Now, the incongruity of finding Luke Sciberras in Hill End is not surprising – like the gold that runs through Hill End’s quartz veins, Luke’s connection to this place is elemental.”
‘Side of the Sky’ is open at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery from 11 June – 7 August, and at Campbelltown Arts Centre from 4 June – 7 August.
The artist’s first monograph ‘Luke Sciberras: Side of the Sky’ will be published and available to purchase to coincide with the exhibition, featuring contributions by Michael Dagostino; Sarah Gurich; Elspeth Pitt, Senior Curator, Australian Art, National Gallery of Australia; Anne Ryan, Curator of Australian Art, Art Gallery of NSW; Emily Rolfe, Curator, Campbelltown Art Centre; Elisabeth Cummings, artist; John McDonald, art critic; and Luke Sciberras.