Dec 20 2010
Medium: Sculpture & Painting
Born in Wagga Wagga and living in the region since 1985 Wendy is currently the head of Sculpture, Australian National University and has tertiary qualifications from Riverina College of Advanced Education (Dip Arts 1980), Canberra School of Art (Grad Dip Sculpture 1985) and RMIT University (MA Fine Art by Research 2004).
Wendy has held 30 solo exhibitions in Australia and Thailand including survey exhibitions at Canberra Museum and Gallery, “Cultural Spaces” (2002) and “Parched” (2009) a survey with Meg Buchanan at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery. Recent solo exhibitions include “Touching Dust” (2010), Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney and “Seasonal Tracks” (2009), Catherine Asquith Gallery, Melbourne.
Her work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, the Australian Embassy Bangkok, Broken Hill City Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga City Gallery, Bathurst Regional Gallery, Mildura Art Gallery, Canberra Museum and Gallery etc. She has been awarded several prizes including two Asia Link residencies (1996 and 2002) to Thailand, the Calleen Prize (2008), the 26th Alice Prize (1995), Inaugural CAPO Fellowship (1993), ACT Creative Arts Fellowship (1996), the Out Back Art Prize (1999) and Canberra Critics Circle Award (2002). Wendy’s work has been reviewed in a range of publications and was the subject of a feature article in Craft Arts International: “Wendy Teakel and the rural vision in Australian sculpture” (2004) by Dr Sasha Grishin.
Wendy Teakel has lived most of her life in rural Australia and her art addresses issues of sustainability through a focus on regional areas in New South Wales. She concentrates on rendering particularity and specificity in the landscape in abstracted ways. The fieldwork for the painting “Black Soil Country” which won the 2010 Country Energy Landscape Prize has an autobiographical component, building on her familiarity with farmed landscapes and the natural and human forces impacting on them. Wendy investigated ways of representing the farmed landscape changed by both human usage and drought through experimentation with perspective – mapping scenes from an imagined aerial perspective, layering of different elements and materials. Innovations include the use of pokerwork; She scorches the surfaces of her two dimensional works with heated fencing wire. Through a studio-based investigation Wendy arrives at a non-literal representation of sustainability, introducing levels of complexity through the use of abstraction and metaphor.
Wendy Teakel has been a finalist in the Country Energy Art Prize for Painting on several occasions. “This is a very important Art Prize as it draws the gaze of the art world away from the main cities and coastal fringes and focuses on rural Australia. Much of our identity as Australians comes from the bush but little beyond well-worn clichés has as yet been explored in depth as subject matter through mainstream visuals art practice. The Country Energy Prize provides an occasion for a focus on art which is from and about the land. It provides an opportunity for the artists who live in the bush to showcase work which span the depth and breadth of issues faced in country life” says the artist.