Carmel Ritchie

Fitzroy Library Exhibition Space, 128 Moor Street, Fitzroy

Lines and Colours

Works created through my love of nature and understanding of wellbeing.

2 August - 29 September 2012

In Carmel's exhibition of 14 works, she expressed her love of nature in many innovative ways. With the paintings and drawings, there were also hand painted tiles, and woollen hand weavings. Her subjects moved from birds and animals, to trees and plants, to beach and country scenes.

Many of Carmel's works also gave feelings of calm and wellbeing, particularly in the waterlily ponds and the beach scenes. Her Swimmers, a small acrylic on canvas, showed just the heads and shoulders of people happily bobbing about in the cool blue water. Roughly formed in blobs of colour, and without facial features, these semi-abstracted forms showed relaxed contentment and gave me a good feeling. Another small acrylic,Anglesea, showed a larger scene of the beach and water against sandy cliffs and foliage. The bathers were tiny forms, happily bobbing and wading; you could almost smell the salt and feel the warm sun.


Carmel's love of trees and plants was evident in numerous works. Trees 1 and Trees 2 were the trunks of trees, painted in warm hues and outlined in black – making them both drawing and painting – on glossy tiles. In two acrylic paintings of waterlily ponds, Shadows, and Waterlillies & Patterns on Water, the flower and leaf forms were more hard edged against the deep blue waters, with inky shadows cast by unseen trees or foliage, and small, bright red flashes of goldfish. Tranquil pictures of tranquil places, which would bestow calmness and wellbeing on the viewer.


Her love and enjoyment of creatures was also evident, in works such as Lily and the Currawongs, acrylic, in which her dog Lily was barking at the inaccessible currawongs up a tree, and Dolphins, alsoon hand painted tiles.

Adding to the diversity of media and textures of the works on show were four wall hangings, cleverly woven in wool. I particularly liked Country Scene and City Scene, and Cockatoos, very pleasing and original. In Cockatoos, she had created a textural landscape of mountains, plants and water, with two larger-than-life sulphur crested cockatoos flying overhead, against a delicate pink sky.


As someone who also loves creatures, nature and people, and seeing their wellbeing, I was delighted by these works, and had my own sense of wellbeing as I viewed them.


Reviewed by Cressida Fox

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