Local artist exhibits her works from far west residency

Local artist Sharron Ohlsen (second from right) with fellow artists Sam Newstead, Liz O’Reilly and Natalie O’Connor at the official opening of their Lakebed art exhibition at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery on Friday night. Photo contributed

Local artist Sharron Ohlsen’s work is currently on show in Broken Hill as part of the Lakebed art exhibition inspired by Lake Mungo.

The exhibition, which is a body of work arising from five artists’ residency at the World Heritage site, was officially opened on Friday night at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery.

Ms Ohlsen, who is a Ngiyampaa/Wangaaypuwan traditional owner, is well known locally for her modern interpretations of traditional Aboriginal art.

She joined the other four artists, one of which is from London in the UK, for a three week residency at Lake Mongo last August and another week-long residency earlier this year to fine tune their work.

The artists were influenced and guided by the unique landscape with the exhibition including some quick response sketches captured during their visits alongside some more deeply considered works that were created back in the artists’ studios.

Ms Ohlsen has chosen 10 pieces of her work for the exhibition which range in size from 1800mm x 900mm down to 30cmx30cm.

She has used the abundant gum leaves found at the lakebed as her canvas and incorporated a new layering process back in her studio.

“It was eye-opening, exciting and overwhelming,” Ms Ohlsen said of the whole experience.

“There’s a lot of things that words can’t express,” Ms Ohlsen said.

“I get more from putting my thoughts on canvas, or on a rock or a shirt or on a leaf.

“I let my art speak for me.”

She said the August workshop had been her first experience in an artists residence and she went there not knowing what to do.

“It was a very different experience to how I normally create my art,” she said.

“It changed the way I approach things, my outlook has changed and it has changed my ideas for the future,” she said.

Ms Ohlsen said she was thrilled to have been part of the Lakebed project and excited with the news that the exhibition will go to Sydney next year. She’s also hoping to bring her work back to Cobar to exhibit next year.

She said an article about the project is to appear in Artists Profile Magazine next month.