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Nature fights back in Bindings

Lea-Anne Sheather, Enabling the Unification of Animal and Human Worlds, 2018, Acrylic on canvas. Image supplied.

A new joint exhibition by Whakatane based artists Lea-Anne Sheather and Mandy Hague named Bindings, introduces audiences to what at first glance looks like a truly fantastical world, filled with curious beasts and shadowy landscapes.

Look closer though and you will find the universe depicted is disconcertingly familiar. Through photographs, paintings, drawings, and collaborative mixed media works, these shamanistic artists show us what lies beneath the Earth’s natural beauty, gently yet poignantly bringing to light the environmental injustices we subject our world to.

Opening at Te Koputi, Whakatane’s Library and Exhibition Centre, on Saturday December 8, a highlight of the exhibition is a brand new collaborative work, ‘Scribbleweed’, Mandy and Lea-Anne have co-created to hang in the centre of the gallery space.

Bulbs made of natural materials and adorned with thorns, teeth, fur and paint are connected using rea thread to form ‘The Colony’, as the artists have aptly named the structure.

Visitors to the exhibition can also expect to see new and existing works from the artists’ individual oeuvres.

“Despite distinct differences in approach, Lea-Anne and Mandy have walked convergent paths, working to highlight environmental injustices through their art practice,” says Exhibitions Coordinator at Whakatane Museum and Arts, Victoria Sinclair.

“Not only are Lea-Anne and Mandy understand artist-activists, but they are also award-winning New Zealand artists and established figures in the Whakatane arts community. It is with great pleasure that we bring this exhibition to local audiences.”

Presented in the Brookfields Lawyers Gallery, Bindings will run from December 8 2018 to February 3 2019 at Te Koputu.

Accompanying the exhibition are, an artist talk starting at 11am on Saturday December 8 in the exhibition space, and a workshop ‘Collage with Mandy Hague and Lea-Anne Sheater’, held from 10.30am to 1.30pm on Sunday January 13 in the Little Orchard Activity Room, at Te Koputu.

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