OLIVIA Colja and Rozanna Johnson have been cheerleaders for each other’s art for many years but they are teaming up for the first time for an exhibition at the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts.
Living Colour is an exhibition of the work of the two friends, which tells stories of the WA landscape, their experiences, memories and perspectives of the natural world.
Bedford resident Colja said her artwork was inspired by the ocean, a topic that held some fear for her following two incidents where she nearly drowned as a kid.
“Luckily I was saved by my Dad during the two occasions but I still have some memories of that time,” she said.
“With this exhibition, it started with a trip to Ningaloo Reef, I have some fear of the underwater and I suspect the fish might feel the same way as I’m swimming in their home.
“I was sketching and drawing during my trip and when I came back I focused my work on the anxiety that I felt about the water.”
East Victoria Park resident Johnson said she made a big change in her life after quitting her job as a graphic artist and focusing on her art.
“I decided to get out of the office and connect with nature and landscapes and so I went for a series of daytrips to natural places around the metro area,” she said.
“In my artwork, I wanted to express some of the non-visual aspects of nature and the feelings that they evoke, I have always been drawn to textures.”
Colja said they were excited about exhibiting together for the first time.
“We worked together for a number of years and we’ve always supported each other and been cheerleaders as we pursue our art,” she said.
Colja to be artist in residence
Colja will be the second artist to take part in the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts’ Artist in Residence Pilot Program, which will take place between December 16 and February 8.
“After my experiences as a kid, I looked at the amount of people who have drowned in Australia during 2015-16 and decided to create 280 lungs with polymer clay,” she said.
“I’m excited about the opportunity and I’ll see where it leads me.”