Onespace Gallery is proud to present two First nations artists, Elisa Jane Carmichael and Teho Ropeyarn at Carriageworks for Sydney Contemporary 2022.
Both artists create works with mastered skill and a genuine connection to something greater. They explore their personal connection to country, Quandamooka and Injinoo, respectively through striking works of scale. Carmichael offers a beautiful collection of cyanotypes on cotton, incorporating elements of her saltwater country – shells, sand, saltwater, and hand-woven elements. Ropeyarn is a printmaker who draws from the sky, land, and sea of his country in the most northern part of Queensland.
This poetic pairing has resonances to place, family, and the artistic legacy of previous generations. Their work washes over us, with gentle persistence, expressing its power and currency. They entice their audiences with works that are visually astonishing and rich in connection to water and land.
As Bruce Johnston McLean writes for the recent Primavera catalogue, “Carmichael’s works speak to the energies of water, waves, tides, wind and shifting sand; to the energies of song, dance and stories that imbue the landscape with meaning; and to the entities, from great ancestors to present-day family, who continue to occupy their extraordinary piece of the Earth. [They] so completely evoke her country that they are almost like sensory portals through which one can hear, smell and feel those places.”
And as Emma Loban writes in the 2021 Tarnanthi catalogue, “Ropeyarn’s hand is intuitively guided by memory, feeling and a deep sense of knowing. We experience his spirit reverberate across the paper’s surface and into the ether, manifesting and communicating Country. Through these works, Ropeyarn reveals to us that the human body exists within our spirit—and that our spirit is Country.”