Divided sense of place: Mandurah artist's work on display

SPACE: James Walker with 'Accesion'. Photo: Daniel Wilkins
SPACE: James Walker with 'Accesion'. Photo: Daniel Wilkins

Award-winning artist James Walker's 'Divided State' exhibition is currently on show at Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM), closing this Sunday, November 1.

Walker has been divided within his personal sense of place since moving from Launceston, Tasmania to Mandurah two years ago.

At home for more than 30 years among the subdued lighting, softer atmospheres and harmonious colour tones of Tasmania, Walker has struggled to make sense of the brighter Western Australian lighting and landscape colour palette.

Walker has executed his works in monochromatic narratives. Using layers of thick paint underneath soft glazing, Walker creates residual memories of significant places and experiences of his home landscape and, quietly infiltrating, are new images derived from his new surrounding landscapes.

Overarching each work is Walker's personal language of gridlines, transverse waves, GPS locations and mapping symbols.

Connection to place and traces of memory are key themes within his practice based on childhood obsession with WWII aircraft, the connection and interests he shares with his father and the dislocation of existing between two places.

Anna Louise Richardson

Curator and artist Anna Louise Richardson, who opened Divided State, said Walker's work is about memory and place, and stems from personal narratives about our shared sky.

"Connection to place and traces of memory are key themes within his practice based on childhood obsession with WWII aircraft, the connection and interests he shares with his father and the dislocation of existing between two places," Ms Richardson said about his series of 39 new acrylic paintings.

Walker has received multiple awards for his work in the RAAF Heritage Awards, has been highly commended in the Glover Prize, and was the 2019 regional winner of the Mandjar Art Award. He has also recently been invited to exhibit at the prestigious PICA Salon exhibition.

The gallery is open to the public from 10am-4pm.

CASM Gallery development officer Carolyn Marks, James Walker, Deputy Mayor Caroline Knight, and Opening speaker Anna Louise Richardson. Photo: Daniel Wilkins

CASM Gallery development officer Carolyn Marks, James Walker, Deputy Mayor Caroline Knight, and Opening speaker Anna Louise Richardson. Photo: Daniel Wilkins