Fremantle artists Julie Podstolski and Robyn Varpins are a winning team. This creative duo often host joint exhibitions, showcasing Julie’s delicate, coloured pencil sketches and Robyn’s alluring sculptures.
Later this month, the two will be holding a new exhibition, Home And Heart – Local Love Stories, at Earlyworks gallery in South Terrace. It opens on Thursday, April 20 and runs for ten days.
Here, the two artists explain what inspired their new works:
“When the world closed down to travel in 2020, my mission became to find my muse at home. I set out to rediscover my neighbourhood, open up my mental borders and ‘travel’ here.
During my home wanderings – in all seasons – I came to appreciate our gorgeous birds living in this small corner of Western Australia. They are easily missed if one isn’t tuned into them. As my concentration on both my Fremantle neighbourhood and local birds deepened, I hardly minded that I couldn’t travel any more.
Apart from Fremantle, other places represented in this exhibition are Donnelly River, Araluen Botanic Park, Matilda Bay, Point Walter, Karnup and The Berry Farm in Margaret River.
In 2023 we may travel again. Home & Heart – local love stories is my visual response to when we couldn’t. In the last couple of years I felt gratitude and wonder as our unique local landscapes, colours, quality of light, and life, gently reminded me of their presence and solace.
I am delighted to be showing my coloured pencil drawings alongside sculptures by my friend and fellow artist, Robyn Varpins. This will be our fifth exhibition together.”
“I was rather pleased to not be able to travel due to Covid as I have always enjoyed being home more than anywhere else. I love this place.
Our title really expresses how I feel. I nestled into my home and delved deeply into what it is that makes me love this place so much. It was a joy to ‘seek the sacred in the mundane’ and notice anew the beauty all around me. It was a journey inward to explore my perceptions and attitudes towards ‘Home’.
I investigated our rich and varied connection to Nature, particularly the quiet space of our backyards and gardens. That private oasis is where one can fully be at ease and nourished by simply Being.
I enjoyed becoming one with the garden (where does the garden end and I begin?) appreciating our treasured native birds, as well as the friendship and love of the animals in our lives.
It took some time to translate the theme into clay forms that expressed my felt experience of loving this place. Each sculpture expresses one small corner of this huge theme. I really enjoyed adding oil paint to many of my clay pieces, as the rich colour makes them more exuberant and alive.”