Robin Gibson Gallery

modern + contemporary

Toni Clarke

Hotel Palmwoods

6 – 31 August 2022

What we lost and what we gained

My practice has always been centred in the present. My brush is a conduit through which I express my relationship to the world, it is a force that pushes through me, and its expression is something I cannot repress. It is something I cannot stop doing

This past year has presented challenges for us all and fundamentally changed the way we live our lives. When you look at this exhibition you will see paintings that are seemingly in juxtaposition to each other; however, to me they simply represent my world and my experience. When lockdowns first came, I felt blessed that I could retreat into nature, that I was lucky enough to be surrounded by creeks and waterfalls. It forced me to live in the moment and immerse myself in a subtropical wonderland. I have lived in Palmwoods near Mullumbimby for over fifteen years, and it is only now that its full beauty is being revealed to me, to see the same place shift and transition through a plethora of environmental changes. To see light dance at different angles, different times and different seasons is something that is only exposed through time and by being still. This is what I gained.

However, I am also human. As the pandemic rolled on, I started to miss connection and my past began to seep into my work. When I lived in this wonderful city I was always surrounded by Hospitality, in restaurants I owned or worked in. In my youth my tips were always spent at my local Art store, I would paint all day and then be part of the theatre of dining at night. Covid has hit this industry more than any other and the thought of this world being silenced overwhelmed me. I began to yearn for the sound of a restaurant humming with life. There is an amazing narrative that goes on in a restaurant as you see the intersection of lives and stories laid out in front of you. These scenes are an Ode to a world that was lost for a little while. As Otis Redding sings “you don’t miss your water until your well runs dry” and painting these works was the only way to fill my cup.

Toni Clarke CV & works currently available

We accept payment by
cash, EFT, lay-buy, credit card and Art Money

All sold works are available for collection at the end of the exhibition. If you require shipping we can put you in touch with a suitable courier

gallery hours
11am-6pm Wednesday to Saturday

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