SARA BOWERS is a Contemporary Artist and Designer who's work is a response to the uniqueness of the Grampians landscape in the in the form of encaustic, illuminated sculptures and lighting design, works on paper, paintings, and carved sculptures in indigenous stone and wood. Sara works professionally as a Graphic Designer and Artist and is owner of Studio 8 - Graphic Design and Art Studio. Sara has studied Art and Design in America, Europe and Australia and her work has been sold in exhibitions for the last two decades.
“From Seattle I moved to Australia in 2003 and was struck by the beauty of survival in an often parched, barren land. It has come to be a representative metaphor of many personal perseverances for me. I have dedicated my artistic focus to an awareness of the local landscape as it relates to my life.
”My work focuses on the subtle effects of weather, time, and seasons, as well as nature’s process and progress of birth, growth and rest. I am fascinated with nature and I try to capture the energy of its creation, and the perfect natural chaos of various stages of life, growth and decay."
"As a child I always enjoyed using my hands to make things, and to find out how things worked. Growing up on a farm, this is a normal part of life. Art has also surrounded my childhood experiences with great influence of colour and design from my mother‘s passion for textiles. With this combination of practical skills and artistic flare it was only a matter of time before I found my feet in the medium of clay. Under the guidance of my secondary teacher John Eagle I explored the possibilities and enjoyed the process of making something beautiful out of a raw medium – clay. I find the firing process fascinating and opening a kiln to look at the results is an exciting moment and still is for me when I am looking at a days work coming out of the kiln. Toward the end of my secondary school career I made the decision to further my imaginings into the world of glass.
"Glass captures the world in a whole different light. Its fluidity and availability to achieve instant results, reflects my desire to create beauty and interpret the world in which I live.
Barb Venn has been a Grampians local for over eleven years. In that time she has bore witness to the shifting of the natural landscape to its extremes. Significantly, her work has proven to be something of a record of natural events for local and regional collectors.
Having studied art and outdoor education at LaTrobe University, she moved to the Grampians for outdoor education work, but soon took advantage of the wide range of patterns, textures, and colours provided by the Grampians environment.
A drought began to influence Barb's style and subjects. During the drought the 2006 Mt Lubra Fire occurred which turned 130, 000 hectares of the region to ash. The fires burned to within 50 metres of Barb's house. Barb turned to art in order to make sense of the loss she witnessed.
Likewise, through her art Barb has explored the impact of the recent floods.
Barb uses a wide range of media to confidently express herself and her ideas, including but certainly not limited to: ink on silk, ceramics, felt, mosaic, and found object assemblage.
Growing up Stacey Rees had plenty of access to explore her love of art and creativity on her family farm at Nurrabiel in Western Victoria. “I would spend the whole day outside exploring, making cubbies and playing imaginary games with whatever I could find that looked interesting at the time."
Stacey completed a Diploma in Design at RMIT in 2002, later returning to the Grampians where she has lived ever since, working from her home studio.
“Art and creativity has always been a big part of my life. It’s what I love to do and more importantly, my way to communicating my ideas, thoughts & emotions.” Currently Stacey is working with acrylics and painting contemporary portraits.“From as far back as I can remember I’ve painted people and their faces, exploring deeper into a personality and finding more than just what you see on the surface."
Stacey’s contemporary portraits are sold at Modern Times, Fitzroy or online.
“Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life.” - Pablo Picasso
Wayne has been creating sculptural pieces for seventeen years. Originally from Zimbabwe, Wayne came to Australia in 1987. His focus turned from wrought iron work to sculptural pieces when he co-founded the Whalebone Gallery in the victorian sea side town of Port Fairy over fifteen years ago.
Wayne's style has developed over time and with his experience in recent years with engineering management has gained a vast knowledge of the structural ability of metal and an understanding of it's versatile nature. With a deep value in recycling and promoting the impurities within discarded metals, Wayne has been able to assemble organic forms with a natural approach of which enhances the recycled metals.
Stone and wood are incorporated into specific designs for their softer quality to balance out the often rigid and harsh appearance of metal. The variance of texture of these two elements change the energy of pieces and diversify aspects to the overall sculpture.
Wayne has exhibited his pieces in Port Fairy, Warrnambool, The Grampians, and Daylesford over the last two decades. His sculptures have been purchased across Australia and Internationally, to cafes, restaurants, bars, community gardens and street art.
Wayne now resides in the Grampians near Halls Gap. His work shop views the spectacular northern mountain range, enabling endless inspiration and an open canvas to explore his ideas.
STRATA ART COLLECTIVE is a group of contemporary artists based in the Grampians in Victoria. Skills range from metalwork, glassblowing, painting, design, illustration, engineering, sculpture, textiles and much more. Each of us are passionate about what we do and are inspired by the national park at our doorsteps. The group is available for collaborative or individual commission work.
Stunning, unique and Australian made, James McMurtrie’s artworks are inspired by the Grampians mountains that surround his glass blowing studio.
With 25 years of experience using traditional techniques and tools, James skillfully creates high quality functional and sculptural glass, and is represented by a wide variety of respected galleries and collectors throughout the world.
James’ production glass is created with function in mind while using contemporary colour and design that will complement any interior space and his sculptural glass is suitable for indoors or in garden landscapes.
"Glass captures the world in a whole different light. Its fluidity and availability to achieve instant results, reflects my desire to create beauty and interpret the world in which I live."
Situated in Pomonal, the studio/gallery is open most days, glass blowing demonstrations subject to work schedule.