A NEW art exhibition at Wireless Hill Museum in Ardross is the culmination of a three year biodiversity study of the surrounding 40-hectare reserve.
Artist Nidia Hansen lost herself in the depths of the Wireless Hill bushland, connecting with nature on a deep level as she took endless walks amongst the native flora and fauna.
“I felt at many times in a meditative state,” Hansen says.
“I wanted to ‘communicate’ with nature through deep observations to understand
its ancient, and many times unfamiliar, intelligence and wisdom.
“The sounds of the wind, the bright sun, the rain or the singing birds helped me sense their rhythms.”
As artist-in-residence at Wireless Hill Museum, she could quickly get back to the on-site studio to document ideas and develop them into large-scale works.
The end result was Magnification, an exhibition that draws on science and biomimicry to capture the natural beauty of the reserve with sand-textured panels and paintings, ink and charcoal organic panels, collage and soft sculptures made from natural materials.
The Metamorphic Series artworks are perhaps the most poignant, reflecting the state of fragile hibernation the world has entered over the past two years.
“For me the fragile chrysalis, made with branches and leaves, reflects the principles of life and the state of transformation that we are living right now with the covid pandemic,” Hansen says.
“Lives are in constant threat, and we are in a recurring inward contemplation stage, abiding by physical boundaries and rules.
“As with the chrysalis, we are in an uncertain fragile moment.”
Originally from Colombia, Hansen immigrated to Australia 21 years ago.
Initially the artist yearned for the bold shapes and colours of her homeland for inspiration, but as she settled in Australia and the years passed, she began to appreciate the devil was in the detail.
“I realised I could find inspiration by observing native species under a lens. Australian plant species are highly evolved. Flowers, for example, are small and less exotic, but very complex in their shapes and survival skills and that is fascinating.”
Magnification is the second exhibition to take place since the Wireless Hill museum was upgraded this year, with new decking and an extended verandah used to stage performances.
Yagan Mia Wireless Hill has a rich history and the Noongar Beeliar Aboriginal people used it as a lookout and a place to send smoke signals thousands of years before it became a radio station in the 20th century.
Hansen says the natural beauty of the site unites people from different backgrounds and locations across the world.
“This exhibition research project, has in many ways, make me feel connected again to the nature in my native country,” she says.
“Nature, no matter from which country, has a profound message to humanity in this significant times, and I feel the call to interpreting nature through my art practice. “
Magnification: Thousands of Years, Biomimicry and The State of Change is on until October 10, with Hansen working in the on-site studio on Fridays and Sundays.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK