Tidal: WA artists pushed and pulled by WA’s coastline


Jo Meredith, Tahnee Robinson and Steven Pooley
Jo Meredith, Tahnee Robinson and Steven Pooley

A MUTUAL fascination for the coast has resulted in artists Jo Meredith (Inglewood), Steven Pooley (Fremantle) and Tahnee Robinson (Dianella) celebrating WA’s shoreline in exhibition Tidal at Kidogo Art Institute, Fremantle.

The trio met six years ago while working at the same design studio and forged a strong friendship, retaining a creative dialogue and sharing the highs and lows of their art practice.

“We all love spending time at the beach and are in awe of the contrasts offered by our pristine coastline,” Meredith, who exhibited at the late Robert Juniper’s home in Darlington last November, said.

“It can be harsh, soothing, rugged, silken, violent or calm, the colours bold or soft. We were each playing with these ideas and the need to delve deeper and share our interpretations flowed into Tidal.”

Jo Meredith: North Cottesloe.

Robinson, a ceramic artist while Meredith and Pooley paint, said although they worked in different mediums, there was a common affiliation with the forms and colours of the WA coastline.

“We, at all our progressing and emerging stages, happened to be in sync in theme without planning it,” Robinson said.

“I am interested and a little obsessed with layers and forms when you view the coast and land from an aerial perspective.

“Some forms appear simple and others complex. The shapes and colours are captivating and you feel enthralled by the view.”

Tahnee Robinson: Making Tidal.

Pooley added their interpretation of the natural environment through light, colour, form and emotion provided the common link in all the works.

“The WA shoreline is the edge of our perceived world, it defines our environment, weather and reinforces the colossal scale of WA,” he said.

“I never feel more alive than when concentrating on a plein air painting (painting outdoors); life’s daily challenges are forgotten and capturing the moment and emotion becomes everything.

“To recall the emotions felt when jumping into the sea on a hot day, getting sand between your toes, or the simple peace of waves lapping at your feet.”

A piece by Steven Pooley.

Meredith said the visual contrast of the exhibition’s works paralleled to the contrasting qualities found in the coastline.

“My painting style is completely different to Steve’s, and Tahnee’s ceramics have tactile qualities unavailable to painters,” she said.

“Hopefully the variety of coastal interpretations will give viewers the opportunity to connect with their own beach-going recollections.

“I love that change is always visible through the tides. The building and eroding that occurs along the shore is mimicked in the process of painting; layers of paint washing over one another only to be scraped all the way back to the canvas, and then layered again.

“Nothing in life is permanent and painting the coastline allows me to embrace these shifts.”

Tahnee Robinson: Tidal ceramics.

She said she hoped exhibition-goers found a work in Tidal that gave them the space to experience some calm, or nostalgia, or the urge to plunge straight into Bathers Beach.

The exhibition opens Thursday night, March 22 and continues 11am-4pm daily, March 23 to 29.

Jo Merdith: Rottnest shallows.

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