Natural Digression installation at Victoria University, from left to right, Kirsten Farrell, Rose Montebello, Penelope Cain, Erica Seccombe and Ellis Hutch (in forground)

Natural Digression installation at Victoria University 2010, from left to right, Erica Seccombe, Waratah Lahy and Alison Munro 

Rose Montebello, Night Watch, 2010, paper, mountboard, 41cm diameter

Kirsten Farrell, Exploded View, 2010, synthetic polymer paint, enamel spray paint and oil paint on acrylic sheet, dimensions variable.

Alison Munro, Crystallography series, 2009-2010, needlepoint embroidery and beadwork on canvas and Aida cloth, installation dimensions variable

Waratah Lahy, Photographing a Work of Art series, 2009 – 2011, Charcoal, pastel pencil, conte on paper, 84 x 59 cm each

Erica Seccombe, Nanoplastica 2008, digital projection tryptich, looped duration, dimensions variable, Edition as 5 box sets. Credits: Created with Drishti and assisted by Professor Tim Senden, Dr Ajay Limaye, Stuart Ramsden and Drew Whitehouse. Made at Vislab, the ANU Supercomputer Centre 2008.

Penelope Cain, Concept plan for air factory, 2010, inkjet print and drawing on paper, 230 x 84 cm

Ellis Hutch,Touching space 2008 video installation, portable DVD players,  
at Canberra Contemporary Art Space, installation dimensions - 2 metres in length, DVD players 320 x 220 x 55 mm



Natural Digression

8 March - 8 April 2011 
| Natural Digression

UTS Gallery | Level 4, 702 Harris Street | Ultimo Sydney NSW 2007

curated by Yolande Norris

with artists Al Munro, Ellis Hutch, Kirsten Farrell, Rose Montebello, Waratah Lahy, Penelope Cain, Erica Seccombe

Natural Digression brings together seven cross-disciplinary artists whose work connects through a shared curiosity of how visual narratives are created to describe the moment of passing between fact and fiction. Influenced by literature, history, philosophy and science, these artists combine high and low technologies across mediums; needlepoint, video, animation, paint, hot glue and collage constructions. While it's easy to discern their collective fascination with observation, metaphor and transposition, each artist digresses, taking the viewer on detours and transformations before the truth of the matter can be established.

Waratah Lahy
Waratah is fascinated by the act of observation, particularly at that instant where a physical change is wrought through the mediated gaze of the camera; the human body twisting and contorting to capture the perfect shot. Recording these fleeting images though the eye of her own lens she further explores these subjects though drawing and painting. By encapsulating the fluidity of these moments and retaining a photographic influence, she creates in her work a new and clearly altered space. Waratah is based in the ACT and holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the ANU School of Art. Recently exhibiting at Brenda May Gallery, Sydney, and at the Canberra Museum and Gallery, her work was short listed in and acquired by the 2010 Stan and Maureen Duke Gold Coast Art Prize.

List of works

Penelope Cain
Penny’s work explores Darwinian notions of evolution and its applications to human and animal behavioural science to reflect on the contemporary urban condition. By subtly overlaying drawings and photographic images, she posits a co-determinism between human social behaviour and the built urban architecture that surrounds us. Penny is based in Sydney and most recently exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney. A recipient of the Australia Council for the Arts residency in Rome in 2008, Penny is currently undertaking the 2010-11 Power Institute residency at the Cite International des Arts, Paris.

List of works

Erica Seccombe
Nanoplastica describes the physical world, where larger, more complex machines and processing techniques are used to visually access increasingly smaller realities. Erica utilises high-tech contemporary scientific imaging techniques to explores the existing primacy of scientific techniques, creating digital animations to represent the rendered 3D data in shape, movement and colour. Erica is based in ACT and was recently awarded the 2010 Synapse Residency as a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Applied Maths, PhyseSE, ANU. She is now continuing this project as a PhD candidate at the ANU School of Art.

List of works

Ellis Hutch
Touching space explores the intersections between sign and language, between codified sign systems and the unconscious physical gestures we all make; interpretation and meaning is abstracted in the silence. Ellis Hutch studied Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN) and her video installation incorporates images of her hands signing the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Ellis’ current art practice spans between Queanbeyan and Thailand; in between indulging her alter ego, Bullseye Betty, on the Roller Derby circuit. She is currently undertaking a PhD at ANU School of Art.

List of works

Rose Montebello
Capturing a moment of sublime drama and monumental wonder in the animal kingdom, Rose’s work explores the extremes of life; procreation, survival and inevitably death. Using found images collected from a range of second hand nature books and children’s encyclopaedias from the 1960s, 70s and 80s, she chooses images that capture decisive moments in the animal kingdom. Through detailed cutting, reconstruction and application of paint to an image’s surface, she embellishes and recreates these moments of heightened intensity. Rose was recently artist in residence at Megalo Print Studio, exhibited at Canberra Contemporary Artspace and is an active member of BEAM.

List of works

Al Munro
Al’s practice spans textile, print and drawing-based media to examine processes of mathematical inscription and translation in relation to scientific representations of the natural world. Through this work, she examining the various codes and patterns used to represent and ‘construct’ our contemporary understanding of and interactions with the natural world. Al is based in regional NSW and exhibits with Brenda May Gallery in Sydney. Her work is held in collections in Sydney and Canberra. She is currently undertaking a PhD at ANU School of Art.

List of works

Kirsten Farrell
Exploded view work is both the construction of a fictional landscape and an inquiry into the boundary between painting and sculpture. By randomly reconfiguring cadastral (relating to the measurement and ownership of land) maps and road maps of Canberra and surrounding areas, Kirsten has reviewed the way the story of the land is made. Kirsten is an ACT based artist who has been twice been short-listed for the Helen Lempriere Travelling Art Scholarship and most recently exhibited at the Canberra Museum and Gallery. She is currently undertaking a PhD at ANU School of Art.

List of works


Natural Digression also exhibited on 12-29 October 2010,

Level 17 Artspace, VU 300 Flinders Lane Melbourne: