Oldfield’s little creatures at Little Creatures

Margie Oldfield. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d446580
Margie Oldfield. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d446580

IT is little surprise Margie Oldfield’s passion for natural history has transposed to images of fish and reptiles in her art work.

The Floreat artist studied botany and zoology at UWA, working in Broome, Queensland, Africa and England before settling back in Perth to raise her three children.

It was then she turned her creative energy to art, most recently the ancient Japanese printing art form of Gyotaku.

“I think my art has evolved entirely as a result of my love of natural history,” Oldfield said.

“Gyotaku was originally used for people to bring back accurate measurements of the fish that they caught before it dried up.

“Before photography it was a way to keep a record of their catch and has evolved over the years to be considered as a genuine art form.

“My love for it comes from my fascination for the texture and structure of animals.

“I don’t use a lot of colour, really focusing on the texture and structure, which is perfect when doing black and white print.”

Oldfield said she had been unsuccessful in perfecting her Gyotaku technique on her own, so applied for a grant and travelled to Japan in 2013 to study with a Japanese Gyotaku master.

She will hold her first solo exhibition in a decade, aptly named Little Creatures at Little Creatures, showing at Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle from December 5 to January 6, 2016.

“I sent them an email with some of my images and asked if they’d be interested in the exhibition,” Oldfield said.

“They are fantastic at supporting local artists and emailed me straight back saying it would be a perfect fit.”

The exhibition will feature 25 Gyotaku prints and 10 other large-format prints, suitable for outdoors.

Oldfield said it had been incredibly rewarding to create the full body of work.

“I had been too busy with three kids close together in age to have time for another solo exhibition,” she said.

“I’m heavily involved in volunteer work in schools and sporting clubs, so I was doing lots of art, just not holding exhibitions.

“Then I suddenly got reinspired.”