CULTURE REFLECTED: Artist Jeanette Hurse is preparing to open her second exhibition at Lapunyah Art Gallery.
CULTURE REFLECTED: Artist Jeanette Hurse is preparing to open her second exhibition at Lapunyah Art Gallery. Contributed

Art as society's bellwether

SUPERFICIALITY, decadence, pleasure, and mortality are at the heart of a new exhibition coming to Lapunyah Art Gallery.

'Masks, animals, decadence and mortality' by Chinchilla born and bred artist Jeanette Hurse deals with themes of environmentalism and materialism.

Ms Hurse was a teacher for 25 years, and said she spent her days teaching English, History, and Visual Art, dreaming of the day when her turn would come. This will be her second exhibition at Lapunyah, this time with a focus on pastel art.

"I love pastels because I love getting my hands filthy dirty... it's so organic because you actually can become part of it, whereas with painting and so on there's something separating you, and that's the brush.

"I love the idea of using my hands and my fingers, and when I'm working in the studio I get it all over my face and my hands, and that's bliss for me.”

Ms Hurse said the inspiration for some of her art came from observing changes in society during the past 15-20 years.

"Just in the way our world is heading, in terms of the way we relate to each other, and we seem to be moving in a direction that seems to be a little bit, perhaps a little bit superficial in the way we deal with each other,” she said.

"I feel that perhaps we are becoming a little bit more perhaps materialistic and individualistic, and that is some of the messages or symbolism I have used in some of my artworks.”

Profits from the sale of any of the artworks will go to charity.

Overall, for Ms Hurse, art is essential to society.

"Down through the centuries it has been the artists and poets and the writers and so on, who are like the bellwether for... maybe reflecting on our society and whether our society is well or whether it's sick.

"We're more than just a machine, we have a spirit, we have a soul, I believe, and we can feed that, I think the arts can feed that.”

The exhibition is open to the public from Saturday for five weeks.


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