Sculpture in Limestone 

 by Janet Cameron 

The Budgeon's display case - Richmond Library Foyer

415 Church Street, Richmond (Melbourne)

10 November 2019 to 17 March 2020

Review by Pia Maganov

Artist’s Statement:

I work predominantly in Mt. Gambier limestone. Although I have worked in bronze ceramic and wire, this is the preferred medium of choice. This exhibition includes mosaic and clay polymer. Always inspired by nature, this current exhibition is related to environmental concerns for creatures and their habitat.

Janet Cameron’s sculptures in The Budgeins Case

Janet's work, displayed in the Richmond library foyer, is a visual treat. The bold, flowing shapes and strong lines make an impressive impact. The sculptures and mosaics suit the display cabinet. One could believe that they were made for it.

Janet has been a professional artist for 14 years. She has a Diploma of Visual Arts from Ballarat University, is a member of the Association of Sculptors of Victoria, has had exhibitions with CAS and taught art to share her passion with others. Janet has 5 works inspired by nature on display. She uses Mt. Gambier limestone, clay and mosaic to create her sculptures. The sculptures are solid and own their space. They are well consider and on purpose with a hint of fun.

Dragon Lizard, Mt Gambier stone & mosaic, 70 x 30 x 20 cm, by Janet Cameron

The first work to draw my attention was Dragon Lizard. This abstracted work of the lizard is on a solid piece of limestone. The dragon lizard's form is shown with mosaic detailed on the scupleted limestone. Often mosaics are viewed as 2D but Janet has carved the limestone into a shapes and explored various depths of relief to create a 3D mosaic with highlights and shadows.

The mosaic tile colours, sizes, shape choices and placement add to the creativity. The orange tiles on the head helps it stand out. Framed by grey tiles with small red triangles and other stones, keeps the eye focused on the central theme. The piece has movement and flow and you can imagine the lizard moving. The use of round stones in the mosaic in various places add a hint of fun and vibrancy.

Swan Lady, Mt Gambier limestone, 70 x 35 x 20 cm, by Janet Cameron

The second piece, Swan Lady, is an elegant flowing sculpture. It has drama and calm at the same time. I wonder what emotion the swan is feeling. The natural lines show Janet's skill working with the limestone to bring out this form.

The Tree of Life, Piece number 3, is a solid , block like sculpture with a relief of the tree. It is well balanced.

Tree of Life, Mt Gambier limestone, 28 x 31 x 10 cm, by Janet Cameron

Gumnut Frog is the forth item on display. The theme reminds me of the characters in the book, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs. The base of the sculpture is limestone. It has full rounded shapes. The limestone has sculpted details which are complimented by additional clay sculptures of gumnuts, leaves and the frog. The clay sculptures show an eye for detail. The mono-colour invites the viewer to study and enjoy the shapes and ideas presented.

Gumnut Frog, Mt Gambier limestone & clay, 45 x 35 x 30 cm, by Janet Cameron

My personal favourite was the fifth piece, Mosaic Leaf & Frog mosaic tessera & clay 6 x 70 x 40. It is an eye catching piece. The 2D-like mosaic leaf of colour contrasts with the white clay sculptured frog. The leaf is heavy and strong. The frog, light and agile, is poised as if about to move across the leaf. The colours of the leaf are cool and water like, perhaps inviting the frog to jump onto it. I can image it all happening at a pond. The different sizes of the tiles together with the central line of tiles on the leaf add interest and direction. The frog takes the composition to a new level of activity - it's tongue out to catch a fly perhaps?

Mosaic Leaf & Frog, mosaic tesserae & clay, 6 x 70 x 40 cm, by Janet Cameron

Included in the cabinet is a photo of the Gumnut Frog. At first it looks out of place. However, it becomes clear that is there to show a section of that sculpture which is not easily visible from the front. In that section, the limestone has additional carved detail.

The display also included notes on how to look after the limestone sculpture on purchase and valuable information for those interested in following in Janet's footsteps, with information about the history of the stone, and tools needed to create the sculptures.

The pieces on the display were organic , easy to view, inspiring and joyous. Thanks Janet!


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