VTS group work_2016

Claire Beausein: Smells Like Rain


Claire Beausein: Smells Like Rain

17 May 2024 – 28 Jul 2024

Smells Like Rain encapsulates the promise of renewal and transformation. The exhibition showcases a recent collection of assemblage and mixed-media works on washi paper, all engaging the theme of metamorphosis.

Growing up in the Warby Ranges close to nature has left an indelible mark on Claire Beausein’s artistic sensibilities, and the subdued palette and intricacies in her work are borne out of her profound connection to home.

The artist explains, “Returning to my family farm at Mt. Bruno has brought back to mind early memories and associated emotions. As a child I found wonder in the natural world; creatures like the Bardi moth (rain moth) fascinated me. The large moths came fluttering to the porch light on warm evenings before rain. The next morning, I would search beneath the red gums along the creek for discarded chrysalis shells, shiny and garnet coloured, the metamorphosis of the ground dwelling grub to the soft fluttering moth was enchanting, and always associated with rain. Referencing these experiences of transformation and renewal I have incorporated wild silk moth cocoons as a medium in my work, assembled with delicate precision, this unique medium evokes the fluidity of water or containment in a vessel.”

By combining these forms and textures with other media such as graphite, indigo dye, thread and Suminagashi (floating ink), the works speak to the mysteries of nature and change, using water as a metaphor for transformation.

About the Artist

Born in 1962 in Wangaratta, Claire Beausein embarked on her artistic journey after moving to Sydney to undertake a degree in Textiles at The Sydney College of the Arts, from which she graduated in 1984.

Her passion for landscape led her to Broome, Western Australia in the early 1990s, where she lived for twenty-six years. Claire started exhibiting in Perth with her first solo exhibition at the Fremantle Arts Centre in 2005, and solidified her reputation as a notable artist in the region with solo exhibitions and by winning regional awards.

Claire’s art is an enquiry into our relationship with the natural environment and is expressed abstractly using mostly paper and assemblage. The direction of her practice has been informed by international residencies and workshops. Notably, she concurrently undertook two three-month residencies at The Natural History Museum and The Paper Museum in Basel, Switzerland, resulting in a solo exhibition of hand formed sculptural paper at The Natural History Museum in Basel in 2012.

In 2015, Claire embarked on a six-week residency at the Awagami Factory, on the Island of Shikoku in Japan, where she learnt the art of making washi paper and associated traditional Japanese arts. While in Japan she also studied Shinto, a spirituality based on the reverence of nature. She has also travelled to Japan for mokuhanga (woodblock printing) and paper workshops.

Claire has presented 25 solo exhibitions in Australia and overseas and has been selected for national awards.

Claire’s work is featured in prominent locations, including the Westin Hotel, where two monumental artworks of carved sandstone are installed in the main hall. The Ritz-Carlton and The Intercontinental in Perth feature large-scale works on paper and woodcuts.

Several years ago, Claire returned to her roots in the Warby Ranges. Moving back to her family farm in Mount Bruno, northeast Victoria, she continues to take inspiration for her art from being surrounded by nature.

Elixir   2023
wild silk cocoons, graphite and thread on washi paper
92 x 92 x 1.5 cm

Gallery Details

Benalla Art Gallery
Botanical Gardens
Bridge Street
Benalla VIC 3672
T: (03) 5760 2619
W: benallaartgallery.com.au/

Opening Hours
Open 10am - 5pm
Closed Tuesdays

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Gallery Info

The Public Galleries Association of Victoria (PGAV) acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the lands where our office is located, and all Traditional Owners of country throughout Victoria and Australia. We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples enduring traditions and continuing creative cultures. We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging.

We are an LGBTQIA+ friendly organisation and celebrate cultural diversity.