denise campbell ― midwinter ice

It is the perfect subject for a midwinter showing. This Friday, Denise unveils her solo exhibition, entICE, at Handmark Gallery. A play on words, the artist hopes to ignite a yearning for travel by ‘enticing’ our imaginations into an unknown ‘icy’ world.

As Denise explains, her exhibition is “broadly centred on the theme of journeys as an historical and imaginative process”.
She draws inspiration from “one particularly significant mid-19th century expedition to the Arctic” which was the doomed voyage of Sir John Franklin who set off with two naval vessels, Terror and Erebus to find the North-west Passage – never to be seen again.

The new exhibition features paintings, etchings, mixed media works and prints. There are even seven unstretched canvas sails. All this art, rich with the imagery of vessels: “There is a great deal of symbolism associated with vessels; for example a sea-going vessel is often linked with the search for the unknown,” Denise says.

In one powerful piece, Hidden Beneath, canvas sails and what appears to be shards of ice imparts the feeling of a doomed journey at sea. This is further reinforced by a subtle piece of text by Charles Dickens: “O then, pause on the footprints of heroic men. Making a garden of the desert wide. Where Parry conquered and Franklin died.”

Denise Campbell’s entICE exhibition opens at Handmark Hobart on Friday, July 23.