Feather and Leaf at Roxy Gallery in Kyogle

On the way to the opening of Feather and Leaf, an exhibition led by Rebecca Tapscott which also features work by friends, I reflected on her exhibition in Wagga Wagga nearly a decade earlier.

Tapscott’s paintings share bold use of colour and landscape, often as backdrops for wry observations. In the artist statement on the wall in Kyogle she commented on the blend of colour and light, offset with an insight.

For example, at the 2007 exhibition at Charles Sturt University’s HR Gallop Gallery in Wagga there was a painting of a Bali scene in which a topless tourist shared the frame with a topless Hindi goddess. It captured a clash of cultures in a view still poignant from the bombings of 2005.

In the Kyogle exhibition this year there’s a painting of a large mob of crows flying above a landscape that reminds me of Wagga. In the artist’s statement Tapscott linkd this murder scene to the tally of women killed this year as a result of domestic violence.

Birds featured in the work of Tapscott’s friends and co-exhibitors Sonja Karl, Christina Reid, Jill Runciman and Erin Nolte. Painting dominated but other media were used, such as print. The greatest variety of mediums was demonstrated by Tapscott, who worked with ceramics in mugs and broaches, as well as a beaut metal cockatoo.

In her opening address, Ruth Tsitimbinis spoke of the local arts throughout the hills and valleys of the region. The diversity and variety in the birdlife in the exhibition formed a vibrant menagerie. The range of representations was highly stimulating.