WHAT drags someone from their home to the other side of the world? “Love,” says artist Joie Villeneuve.
“It’s usually one of the reasons that gets you to cross the world.”
Once here she fell in love all over again, this time with Australia’s birdlife.
“Primarily the Australian magpie, which you can’t help but fall in love with.”
Villenueve spends a lot of time in the great outdoors photographing birds whether around her Wembley home, in the south-west or more recently the far north west.
And as she goes she talks to people, discovering the maggie holds a special place in many hearts.
“Most people I talk to have a beautiful connection to the magpie.”
Living in Australia for seven years, and a citizen for two, Villenueve’s latest solo exhibition adds the birds of the far north-west.
“[The works] represent the birds of the Kimberley, the sand of the Kimberley the [red] rock of the Kimberley.”
It’s a celebration of the “essence of flight and song” Villeneuve says: “[Birds] represent freedom and hope.”
She uses a mix of mediums such as clay, wood and wire to create a circus-like atmosphere in a collection of whimsical paintings and sculptures, including comical magpies on weather-sculpted wooden bases.
Elsewhere wooden panels are connected with wire to create a collage: “Geographical images as seen from a plane, a different tapestry of the earth that comes together.”
Ornate, sculptured wire cages hold whimsical birds as if they are balloons lifting the birds into the sky, Villeneuve says.
The exhibition includes a series of greeting cards, hand blocked by the artist which will sell for a mere $6.
Villeneuve majored in painting and printmaking and has exhibited in the US and Australia and her works are held in various collections including New York and Saudi Arabia.
Bird on a Wire is on atUnchARTered, 745 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley December 4–24.
by JENNY D’ANGER