Okay. I am not going to pretend that I am overly knowledgeable in the art area. I had never heard of Melinda Harper until I saw this exhibition at Heide advertised in The Age a couple of months ago. I was drawn in by the colour, shape and line in her work. But just because you haven’t heard of an artist doesn’t mean you can’t view an exhibition, does it? It’s a chance to learn a little something!
During the week, I spied a window of opportunity between dropping off my boy not too far from the gallery and before my afternoon commitments beckoned. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Heide, you can read about it here. I super enjoyed wandering amongst the vibrant works of the exhibition which encompassed paintings, collage, embroidery and playfully decorated found objects. There were also a couple of things I really loved in the accompanying curatorial information. Harper said that she didn’t pay attention to colour theory when creating her works, but just to what seemed harmonious to her eye, and any ‘mistakes’ she worked around. She also noted her work process – ‘The slowness is an important part of the process, it allows me a lot of time to look.’ I think these are lovely messages about creating with your instincts rather than being constrained by rules, about accepting imperfections, and mindfulness.
I also had a wander around the beautiful gardens. How could you not on such a glorious day? Sculptures are scattered throughout the grounds, some boldly on show, others nestled amongst the gallery’s architecture or its many trees. The kitchen garden was blooming colourfully and buzzing with bees. There were friends sitting on the grass chatting and sipping drinks, and a picnicking school group. I was amused to see the kids all decked out in their hi-vis vests! I overhead a gallery staff member saying they need to wear them on excursions. Bit of a change since my boy and girl were at primary school. Super cautious times!
If you are a Melbourne person and this exhibition looks up your alley, you have until October 25 to pop out and see it. Or maybe you’d just like to sit in the garden? Or perhaps you could take the kids and play ‘spot the sculpture’!