Jamberoo Mountain Road

In the 1970s, painter Guy Warren and sculptor Bert Flugelman bought adjoining plots of land at Jamberoo, with the rainforest imparting a rich wellspring of inspiration for both artists. ‘I would go down regularly for a week or so at a time and wander through the bush, do a lot of drawing and painting. I simply just liked walking through the bush’, recalls Warren. After Flugelman’s passing in 2013, Warren organised a residency on his former property for a group of contemporary Australian artists, so they too could partake of the creative possibilities of the rainforest.

The exhibition ‘Jamberoo Mountain Road’ at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery presents the results of these artists’ reactions to the rainforest escarpment. It features a diverse spread of works by artists aged 39 to 98: Riste Andrievski, Gina Bruce, Ann Cape, Michelle Cawthorn, Steve Lopes, Euan Macleod, Robert Malherbe, Max Miller, Paul Ryan, Luke Sciberras, Peter Sharp, Ann Thomson, and Guy Warren. Some artists sought out sprawling panoramas or climbed high for vast views through to the coast, while others captured the minutiae of the rainforest – vines, beetles, ferns, birds, trunks and scrub.

For Warren, ‘this exhibition it is not so much about Jamberoo Mountain Road itself as it is about the rainforest, the mists, and the magic of that particular piece of lush country which clings to the edge of the escarpment rising at the western end of the Jamberoo Valley.’ He continues, ‘despite the long and still thriving tradition of landscape painting in Australia there is not a long history of artists working with the rainforest…This indeed might be the first time that a disparate group of artists have set out deliberately to capture what they see as the essence of this area.’

The exhibition reveals not only the incredible bounty of life nurtured by the rainforest – which is the most diverse terrestrial ecosystem on earth – but also its profound poetry and ability to stimulate memories, visions and revelations. ‘I react to this landscape because I like the feeling of being in it. It encompasses you and one becomes a part of it’, reflects Warren.

Jamberoo Mountain Road
9 June – 4 August 2018
Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, NSW

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