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Studio News - June 2024

abstract design shapes

When is a tree, not just a tree?

Well, I've been thinking....

It seems like a fairly bizarre question to be asking myself, but it's one that's come up in the last few weeks as I've been working on more paintings for my Latent Series, which might be my biggest collection yet.


These tree shapes started essentially as minimal verticals, and looking back at my early work, these have always been there, in various forms, sizes, densities and with differing degrees of impact in the final compositions.


But they have become stronger lately and more important to the work I'm making at the moment.


As I've worked my way through twenty or so paintings in my current series, I've become utterly attached to my 'trees', to the point where I feel compelled to include them in nearly all the compositions.


And naturally I've wondered why this is so.


So when is a tree, not just a tree?


As these forms have started to go beyond the actuality of being a large stick in the ground with leaves falling from it, the meaning of the word 'tree' has begun to change for me.


I've realised that they've taken on a symbolic meaning. They have come to symbolise strength, continuity, growth, the passing of time and importantly, as these elements reach for the top of the canvas, a sense of pursuing something which I cannot specifically identify as yet..


But it's possibly to do with truth and understanding.


And that truth could come in many forms, but I feel that out there somewhere is a truth about personal identify and my purpose for being.


I read a book recently called 'The Hidden Life Of Trees' by Peter Wohlleben.


It doesn't sound like a particularly gripping title, but I think this book may have changed my life. I'll never look at a tree in the landscape the same way ever again. Trees tell ancient and intergenerational stories of community, adaptation, communication and resilience. And this book made me really think about the intrinsic nature of them; perhaps this is what has prompted my reflections on not just their value to us in environmental terms, but beyond that, their symbolic value to me, in my art.


There was in fact a Symbolism movement which began in the late 1800's which was both an artistic and a literary movement that suggested ideas through symbols and emphasized the meaning behind forms, lines, shapes, and colours.


 'Symbolism' was also regarded as being at the forefront of modernism, as it moved away from the tradition of representational art that came from classical times. As an artistic movement it developed new and often abstract means to express psychological truth and the idea that behind the physical world lay a spiritual reality.


Symbolists took intangible ideas, stemming from things like dreams and visions, and gave them form in their artwork.


'What unites the various artists and styles associated with Symbolism is the emphasis on emotions, feelings, ideas, and subjectivity rather than realism. Their works are personal and express their own ideologies, particularly the belief in the artist's power to reveal truth'.


So maybe, with all this talk of trees, I have entered the world of Symbolism.

I have long felt that I employ abstract landscape as a metaphor for spiritual space but only now am I beginning to truly understand the significance of this idea in my work.


Symbolism artists felt a need to go beyond naturalism in art.

 To them, Symbolism served as a way to create new avenues for reflection, and a means of escape.


And I just wonder if therein lies a different kind of truth?


Postcard Sized Perspectives information

Connect, Create, and Engage!


When was the last time you tapped into your innate sense of creativity and created something just for fun, without focusing on the end result?

Postcard Sized Perspectives aims to ignite creativity, encourage self-expression, and strengthen Noosa Shire community bonds through postcard-sized artworks, culminating in a community exhibition on Thursday, 5th September at Mark Makers Studio in Tewantin.


Get involved!


Join a 90 minute artist-led workshop with Lucy Laino and me at Lucy's Tewantin Studio on the following dates:


Monday 17th June: 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Thursday 25th July 12:30 pm - 2:00pm

Sunday 11th August 2:30pm - 4:00pm




Create your postcard artwork at home by collecting a participation pack from local businesses. Return your completed piece to Lucy's studio by 30th August to be included in the group exhibition.


What to Expect:


  • enjoy experimenting, playing, and learning about art mediums;

  • develop and expand your artistic skills;

  • connect with other creatives.


Through this council supported initiative, we hope to reduce loneliness and promote mindfulness, grounding us in the present moment and nurturing a supportive, creative community.


Let’s make our mark on the world – one artwork at a time!


This years Incognito Art Show is shaping up to be the biggest yet!


All donated artworks will be sold for $100 each, both at the in-person sale on 13th & 14th July at 410 Oxford St, Paddington (Sydney) and then online thereafter. The online catalogue is being updated daily.

Check it out and create your wish list for the event!


Proceeds from this years sale will be supporting Studio A and We Are Studios; both organisations provide professional development opportunities to artists living with disability.

Incognito art show postcards on an artwork

I managed to get my artworks in on time.......just!


Even if I did use the postcards upside down!😄


It's a Wrap!

Affordable art fair Brisbane artists profile photo

A big thank you to all the visitors who came along to the inaugural Affordable Art Fair in Brisbane last month, to my new collectors and to the wonderful team at Red Hill Gallery for exhibiting my work.


What a hive of creative energy it was, the exhibition hall was abuzz all weekend!

It was wonderful to see so much art under one roof, check out the artistic offerings from galleries from far and wide and catch up with Brisbane art buddies.


Stay tuned for details about my next group show with Red Hill Gallery, upcoming in July.


So until next month, I hope you have time to pause and gaze in wonder at your nearest tree; I'm not sure I will, things are looking pretty busy!


Check out my What's On to see where you can catch my work in June/July; and come and have some joyful, creative fun with Lucy and me at one of our upcoming workshops!

Charlotte Wensley signature


What's On

Fifty squared art prize at Brunswick street gallery
RQAS members exhibition dates
Beyond form art exhibition dates
Incognito art show dates
Wentworth galleries works available
Red hill gallery available works


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Follow the link to get your copies today!

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