Landscapes escape from a locked room

Landscapes escape from a locked room

A substantial collection of artworks donated to the Town of Narrogin by Peter Taylor in 2015 will go on public display for the first time on Saturday, 30 April.

The paintings, drawings and etchings were collected by Peter’s late wife, Carol, for the most part in secret – hence the exhibition’s title “Landscapes from a Locked Room”.

Mr Taylor knew about some of the artworks but most were squirrelled away by his wife without his knowledge. It was only after Mrs Taylor began to be affected by Alzheimer’s and the couple had to move into town from their farm that he realised the extent of her collection.

In an unusual gesture and admirable example of philanthropy, Mr Taylor made the decision to donate the entire art collection of over 100 works to the Narrogin community in memory of his much loved and admired wife.

The donation was negotiated through the local volunteer-run arts and culture association, ARtS Narrogin, a registered charity.

Upon accepting the donation, the Town of Narrogin went about upgrading its storage and gallery facilities: improving security, installing temperature and humidity controls and, with the help of a grant from Lotterywest, purpose built art storage racks.

Similarly, ARtS Narrogin applied for a grant from the Department of Culture and the Arts to assist it to prepare the collection for exhibition.

Visitors to NEXIS (Narrogin Exhibition Space) at 82 Federal Street, Narrogin will be treated to a professionally curated exhibition of an intensely personal and eclectic collection. In an unusual mixture of internationally recognised artists hung alongside talented artists, who have at one time or another lived in Narrogin, the central theme is Landscape.

Curator Annette Davis said, “Carol had a great love for the Australian landscape. Having travelled extensively through Australia, she had a great affinity for the expansiveness and colours of its landscape.”

Preparing the collection for exhibition has required a lot of work to be done. Works have been valued; cleaned and conserved; reframed; photographed; and researched. While professionals have been engaged, they have been generous with their time and much of the work has been undertaken by volunteers.

Visitors to the gallery will have a pleasing and non-threatening experience. This is not an art exhibition that the uninitiated will find complexing or intimidating. Carol chose pieces that pleased her for their natural, orderly and attractive appearance so anyone wanting respite from this busy world will be well-rewarded by spending an hour or so investigating this exhibition.

NEXIS is open from 10am to 4pm Wednesday to Saturday and from 1pm to 4pm on Sundays until 12 June 2016. Tours for schools and groups can be arranged outside these hours.

Further information is available by calling ARtS Narrogin on 0448 490 409 or emailing .

Caption: Volunteers Deborah Hughes-Owen, Karen Keeley and Caitlin Stewart preparing for the forthcoming exhibition. Photo courtesy: Tony Hughes-Owen

This project has been funded by the Western Australian Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts, with further support from Lotterywest and the Town of Narrogin