Still waters run deep for Narrogin artist
-Fiona Sinclair, Southern Forest Arts
Through a series of exquisitely painted portraits that meticulously capture a range of people in various states of contemplative solitude, Narrogin artist, Casey Thornton, creates a rare opportunity for visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of their modern lives to relish a moment of peaceful calm and reflection.
‘Quietude’, Thornton’s long-awaited debut exhibition, will be held at Nexis Gallery, Narrogin, from May 2nd to 26th.
“I’ve always found having those little moments of ‘alone time’ to relax, recharge and escape from the stresses and anxieties of daily life to be really important in maintaining a sense of wellbeing” Thornton said.
The show celebrates stillness and introspection as well as the artist’s deep respect for oil-painting portraiture.
“It’s a medium and genre I find immensely challenging, but also very rewarding. I’ve always been in awe of portraits that have an almost magical ability to not only capture someone’s likeness, but their essence.”
Thornton’s natural aptitude for portraiture was acknowledged in 2008 when she won the Youth Category of the prestigious Black Swan Portraiture Prize, followed by inclusion of her work in two exhibitions – Year 12 Perspectives at the Art Gallery of WA and Young Originals at the Central Institute of Technology.
After receiving a scholarship to complete her degree in Fine Art from Curtin University her creative pursuits plateaued for several years until returning to her home town of Narrogin. With the physical and mental space afforded by leaving the city, and the support of the team at Arts Narrogin, Thornton’s passion for painting was rekindled.
Receiving funding from state and national arts funding programs helped provide the structure and resources needed to take the leap into developing a solo exhibition.
A mentorship package through the Regional Arts Partnership Program enabled her to link to the expertise of Narrogin artist, Karen Keeley. Funding through a YCulture Grant from Country Arts WA and Regional Arts Australia’s Regional Arts Fund enabled her to purchase supplies, promotional material and visit a national conference in Bendigo to broaden her horizons and forge networks with creative peers.
Thornton’s confidence, technical skill and business acumen have grown significantly through the year-long process of developing ‘Quietude’. Following the exhibition, she travels to Adelaide to learn from one of the world’s leading hyperrealist painters, Robin Eley, and has committed to a second solo exhibition – this time at the Vancouver Arts Centre in Albany in 2020.
‘Quietude’ explores the notion of ‘still waters run deep’, where viewers can draw their own conclusions about the people portrayed and the thoughts and lives that stir below the painted surface. In a world perpetually ‘switched on’ to technology and each other, Quietude honours the essence within.
To view the works and meet the artist, the public is welcome to attend the official opening event at 6pm Thursday 2nd May.