The beauties of our region and the tragedies of war are the themes of two exhibitions that opened at the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) this weekend.
New England High Country, an album of photographs by local artists and accompanying exhibition, is a pictorial journey from Armidale through the region, developed by photographer Terry Cooke.
Topics include town and rural life, wildlife, landscapes, and the four seasons.
“It's a peek through the keyhole,” bookseller Michelle Wheatley said, opening the exhibition; “a little taste of what it's like to spend a year in New England, of what it's like to experience the exceptional beauty and feel a personal warmth of everyday life in our charismatic little pocket of Australia.
“This book is a very special gift to our region, because it is a magnificently presented and important tourism document.
“Why not let this book be the first step in a new and dynamic self-promotion of our home, a place where tourists would want to visit, and city slickers will want to move?”
Salient: Contemporary artists at the Western Front is a display of paintings, sculptures and photographs by twelve modern artists who visited the WWI killing fields of northern France and Belgium, where thousands of young Australians died between 1914 and 1918.
The exhibition is a partnership between NERAM and King Street Gallery in Sydney, and will tour New South Wales over the next two years.
Brad Manera, senior historian and curator at the Anzac Memorial in Sydney, opened the exhibition.
“A remarkable group of artists,” he said, “have provided us with images that may inspire those who view this exhibition to keep the promise that we made to the survivors of the Great War generation, and perhaps to the 60,000 Australians who lie beneath those foreign fields, that, at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”
Salient: Contemporary artists at the Western Front and New England High Country: Forty Photographers run at NERAM until Sunday June 3. For more information, visit www.neram.com.au.