Astounding exhibition — Louise Saxton

'Last Gasp' by Louise Saxton
‘Last Gasp’ by Louise Saxton

Louise Saxton’s exhibition at the Gould Galleries, South Yarra was mind blowing. She pins reclaimed/recycled material onto tulle to create these stunning works. The close up shows more. If you look very closely you can see the pins. On some works she used a pin with a white end to create the flash of highlight in the eye of the bird.

Close up of 'Last Gasp', Louise Saxton
Close up of ‘Last Gasp’, Louise Saxton
'Black Prince' by Louise Saxton
‘Black Prince’ by Louise Saxton

Look how cleverly she uses the colour and tone of the lace and material to create the highlight on the back of the insect, and so makes us believe it is 3D.

Close up of 'Black Prince'
Close up of ‘Black Prince’

But Saxton’s creativity goes beyond the beauty of her works. They all reference work of other great naturalist painters. ‘Last Gasp’ was after Maria Sibylla Merian’s painting, as was ‘Maria’s Saturn’. Maria Sibylla Merian lived in the 1600s and travelled to Surinam to paint. Her story deserves a blog post of its own. Saxton has faithfully reconstructed some of John James Audubon’s paintings, as well as John and Elizabeth Gould‘s.

‘Ellis’ Paradise’ ¬†was in response to a bird of paradise painting by Ellis Rowan, an Australian botanic artist, who also deserves her own post. Look at the sumptuousness that Saxton achieves. This was my favourite, and I marvelled at the detail she created with just the perfect piece of lace and embroidery. By the way, this work was huge!

'Ellis' Paradise' by Louise Saxton
‘Ellis’ Paradise’ by Louise Saxton
Close up of 'Ellis' Paradise'
Close up of ‘Ellis’ Paradise’

These are only a small selection of her work on display. This site has a gallery of her work, including images of her pinning the lace onto the tulle. Her exhibition is on until May 31. If you can get to South Yarra in Melbourne you are in for a treat. Louise Saxton’s blog link is here. As she says on her post, none of her birds and insects will be coming home with her after the show, as they all sold! How wonderful for her to have a sell out show, especially in this climate.

(Apologies for the rather ordinary photos. And yes, I was given permission to take them. :))