A feast for the eyes at NERAM as art museum opens two new group exhibitions.

A feast for the eyes at NERAM as art museum opens two new group exhibitions.

A feast for the eyes at NERAM as art museum opens two new group exhibitions.

 Through the Eyes of Strangers is an exhibition at New England Regional Art Museum, informed by three artists experience in Tasmania.

Isabelle Devos, Lois Robertson, and Tanya Chaitow met in 2021 during an artist residential workshop in the Central Highlands of Tasmania, led by artist David Keeling. As strangers in this foreign land, the three artists found a shared connection and began collaborating on a body of work inspired by this unique part of Tasmania.

Specifically, they focused on the Big River Nation near the Clyde River in the Central Highlands, where they were each affected by the brooding solitude of the area. Within the pastoral beauty of this rural landscape, darker undertones and ephemeral narratives of a colonial history came to the surface.

The exhibition, Through the Eyes of Strangers, is on at New England Regional Art Museum from 17th March to 30th April 2023. The public is invited to attend the opening reception at 6 pm on Friday 17th March, where all three artists will be present. There will be an artist talk on Saturday 18th March followed by a sketching session in Black Gully. Check out NERAM’s website and social media for more details.

Isabelle Devos is an Armidale artist who is known for her paintings which are serene yet bold and are often of the local New England region. She was excited to be awarded the 2021 Helen Dangar Memorial Art Bursary, which allowed her the opportunity to travel to Tasmania to attend the artist residency. She is a finalist in this year’s $75,000 Glover Prize in Tasmania and has also been a finalist for art prizes including the Paddington Art Prize (Sydney), The Calleen Award (NSW) and The Lethbridge Art Prize (Brisbane).

Lois Robertson, a Sydney artist, searches for light and atmosphere in her work and reflects a personal response to the formal aspects of landscape painting. She is concerned with the constant impact of culture on the landscape.

Tanya Chaitow is a narrative artist based in Sydney who weaves stories through her work. In the suite of twelve drawings on display, she explores the space between moments, the pauses, the breaths we take, and the shadows we chase. Her experience in the pristine beauty of the Tasmanian landscape inspired a sense of urgency around the protection of the rapidly dwindling native forest wilderness.

“We are thrilled to display the work of these three artists an NERAM. Seeing the results of what Isabelle Devos produced during the residency, a program she was able to do thanks to the Helen Dangar Memorial Art Bursary, is particularly fulfilling” says NERAM Director Rachael Parsons.

Feed the Soul features 19 Australian artists and celebrates the tradition of still life painting with a focus on food. From colourful kitchen tables to staged meditations on memento mori and the passing of time, Feed the Soul will tantalise your taste buds, entice your eyes, and satiate your senses.

Several local artists feature in the exhibition including Emily Simson, Esther Eckley, Jo White, Kate Durack, and Kim Bizo.

Other artists include Alice Tilley, Alison Mackay, Andrew Bonneau, Anna Hartwig, Anna Placidi, Emily Heath, Fiona Cotton, Fran Max, Kiata Mason, Linda Kruger, Susanna Collins, Vanessa Encarnacao, Veronica O’Leary and Yani Lenehan.

“This exhibition is going to be an absolute delight” says NERAM Curator Belinda Hungerford. “All the artists have a different way of approaching still life and the variety of works on display are truly fascinating in terms of composition, colour, and technique.”

“And if you feel hungry after viewing the exhibition, and we promise you this is likely to happen! You can pop into Six Counties restaurant to satisfy any cravings you may develop,” laughed Ms Parsons.


Through the Eyes of Strangers and Feed the Soul is on display from Friday 17th March until 30th April 2023

Opening Night Friday 17th March 6-8pm (bookings preferred)


Public Program: Isabelle Devos, Lois Robertson and Tanya Chaitow will be giving an artist talk about their exhibition Through the Eyes of Strangers on Saturday 18th March at 10.30am. Adults and ages 16 and up are then invited to join the artists in Black Gully for an informal sketching session. Bring a sketchbook, pencils, pens etc., and a camp chair or picnic blanket. Free, bookings preferred.


Image: Esther Eckley, Green apples, oil on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Michael Reid Gallery.