Gemma Rose Brook and Ashlee Hopkins explore slow and sacred moments within the everyday experience from the perspective of the artist. Referencing moments like sitting in the sun as it soaks into your skin, or the smell of the ocean and the sand between your toes; the glow of golden light through gum leaves at golden hour; the warmth of the first cup of coffee in your hands. Both Gemma and Ashlee describe life’s Simple Pleasures through this new collection of paintings and ceramics.
Mesmerised by the tactility and versatility of clay since 2014, Ashlee Hopkins now works as a multi-disciplinary artist engaging primarily with clay. Ashlee’s work explores everyday routines, specifically how a closer attention to the beauty of the practices within these routines can enhance our daily lives and wellbeing. Ashlee works from her home studio on Kaurna Yarta in Willunga, South Australia. Ashlee’s works are held in numerous private collections, as well as commercial settings such as the restaurants at Hentley Farm and Magill Estate.
Ashlee graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Ceramics) from the University of South Australia in 2016. She then went on to complete the JamFactory’s Associate Training Program in 2018 where she stayed on as a studio tenant and short course teacher. Ashlee was appointed as Production Manager of the JamFactory Ceramics Studio from 2020-2021. During her time at JamFactory Ashlee designed multiple products for the jam product range, and pioneered a short course in conjunction with ACH Group specifically for students with various neurological disorders. Ashlee continues to engage with JamFactory as a production potter. Since 2021, Ashlee has worked closely with Ku Arts to facilitate workshops in remote communities across the state with a focus on creative and professional development opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. This work follows on from previous engagements with Ernabella Arts in the APY Lands from 2016-2019.
Gemma Rose Brook graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Adelaide Central School of Art in 2019 and since then has established a strong emerging practice throughout South Australia and more recently New South Wales. Her paintings in this exhibition ‘Simple Pleasures’ are informed by her experiences surrounding her home studio in the Adelaide Hills and as the artist awarded the POP Country Arts SA residency for 2023 on Kangaroo Island. All of Gemma's works are made from life and are a direct emotional dialogue with the environment she is observing. She paints what she sees and what she feels informed by contemporary painting, personal experiences and research into different historical narratives within the land.
In Gemma’s first year of professional practice she was awarded a year long Artist Residency at Carclew House and the Carclew Fellowship where over three years she had the opportunity to be mentored by Sydney based painter Tom Carment and travel to Sydney for opportunities, including a Masterclass at the National Art School. In 2020, Gemma was a finalist in the Heysen Prize for Landscape and in the same year won first place in the Royal Society of the Arts Youthscape Prize. In 2021, Gemma received a grant from Adelaide Central School of Art to support her successful solo exhibition at Floating Goose Studios that was based on her time living in Pukatja (Ernabella) in the APY Lands as an arts centre manager. She also partnered with SALA this year as a feature artist which led to an artists in schools workshop in 2022. In 2022 she was also selected for the Gallery M Art Prize, invited to exhibit interstate and worked in multiple arts and teaching roles all over South Australia, including the Art Gallery of South Australia. Alongside the 2023 Country Arts SA Residency, this year Gemma's work was exhibited at The Royal Adelaide Hospital and was included in two Sydney based group shows. Gemma has been in multiple SALA exhibitions since 2013 and her paintings are held in private collections both nationally and internationally.
Opening Event 05 Aug
, 02:00 pm-04:00 pm