Zahidah ran a successful workshop with school students on Thursday 18 November 2021.
The nine Year 11 students from Thomas Carr College, along with three teachers, joined Zahidah on kayaks through the mangrove forests in Victoria.
The workshop is about a two hour trip: 20 minutes to kayak around the mangroves, then stop in a sheltered spot within the mangroves, then to sketch the scene using watercolour technique. The aim of the workshop is to create a bond between the kayaker (student) and the mangrove trees by sketching them and to build greater understanding of the mangrove forests in Victoria, Australia.
In the build up to our upcoming exhibition (26 July!), we check in with some of our participating artists on how they are preparing their works.
This story from Nicola Cerini about her inspiration and work process is particularly enjoyable:
— “The work was inspired by a couple of fun kayaking trips through the Mangroves at Barwon Heads in Victoria with all the artists in 2019 and 2020 arranged by the curator Zahidah. Despite getting pretty wet in my leaky kid-size kayak on my first trip I went back for more. On the next trip in a grown-up sized kayak I managed to take lots of photos which helped me decide how I wanted to represent what I’d seen. It’s such a unique ecosystem down there in the Mangroves. I had no idea the Barwon Heads Mangroves were there until I became involved in this project. In my early twenties I spent some time on Lizard Island in far north Queensland and also on the mainland and was fascinated by these murky mysterious landscapes that came and went with the tide. I’d always associated Mangroves with a tropical climate so it was exciting to find that we had our own cold climate Mangroves very close to home.
I was drawn to the various textures and layers from the water, up through the muddy root systems that almost reached the low lying branches of the large Mangrove trees. There were beautiful light spaces filtering through the branches often creating silhouettes and bands of horizontal colours in the distance representing the sky and banks of green brackish friendly plants. The contrast of the solid ancient Mangrove trunks against the delicate leaf and flower silhouettes was striking. Looking into these landscapes was like exploring a new world, exciting!
My work will be printed on linen and there will be two pieces, both 1.4 x 2m.–
Mangroves from the Water opens on 26 July 2021, Gordon Gallery, Geelong, Victoria, Australia