Two years after receiving a $4000 grant from Country Arts SA, Val Surch’s goal of displaying her own sculpted art has become a reality.
Together with her mentor, Port Augusta-based artist Craig Ellis, Val opened her ‘Paints & Shapes’ art exhibition at the Port Augusta Cultural Centre – Yarta Purtli on Saturday, September 8.
Val said the exhibition, which features both paintings and sculptures, captures her love for nature.
“I’ve worked a lot with African people in Tanzania and also with Indigenous people in the northern regions. They inspire me,” she said.
“I love ochres. Red earth and yellow earth colours.”
Country Arts SA’s grant in 2016 enabled Val to expand her artistic skill set, with Craig teaching her a variety of new techniques, including hebel sculpting, moulding plaster and forming artwork through found objects such as wood and metal.
Val drove from her home in Wirrabara to Port Augusta each week for sculpting lessons.
“Sculpting was what was lacking in my artistic expertise, so it broadened my skill base,” Val explained.
“It has opened up a lot of new areas artistically. Craig showed me how to work with wire and how to carve hebel blocks.”
As part of the grant, Val and Craig were required to present an exhibition of their work – a promise they have now fulfilled.
Val said Paints & Shapes displays very unique artwork.
“My work is not mainstream. It’s all from my head,” she said.
“If people like earthy colours then this is the exhibition for them.”
Paints & Shapes is open until October 6.