Nino Bellantonio and Carolyn Young
14 May – 27 June 2021
Opening 6pm Friday 14 May
This exhibition brings together two friends and artists, each drawing from each other’s differences and similarities in the process of developing new work. Nino Bellantonio, an award-winning architect and emerging visual artist, and Carolyn Young, an established fine-art photographer, decided to try an experiment in collaboration in the making of artworks for this exhibition.
For their respective artworks to progress or continue, each artist needed to respond to the other’s work. Working in this form of counterpoint, Bellantonio and Young met each month (Covid allowing) for the last 18 months, each presenting their works-in-progress to each other for a two-person critique. The common theme that became apparent early in the process was place-inspired art, with a particular focus on novel ecosystems – the mix of native and exotic, which results from people inhabiting new places.
Carolyn lives on 20 acres of remnant woodland, and Nino lives in a rural village with mostly cottage gardens. Nino’s work was influenced by the Black Summer fires, the COVID-19 pandemic, and readings during lockdown. Patrick White’s novel, A Fringe of Leaves, was particularly poignant, as was Jack Kerouac’s American Haiku. The consequences of changes to the landscape wrought by colonial occupation became a topic of discussion, as was Carolyn’s interest in John and Elizabeth Gould’s natural history art.
The results are artworks that draw upon the individual and collective process, where the work of both artists cross boundaries between collage, printmaking and photography.
About the artists
Nino Bellantonio is a visual artist and award-winning architect with a Master of Environmental Design. At Sydney University, while completing his Bachelor of Architecture, Nino studied art with Lloyd Rees, Guy Warren and Emanuel Raft. In both his architectural and art practice, Nino has a deep interest in the idea of place and time, and the interrelationship between culture and nature. Of course, ‘being there’, in a particular place, can be either physical or mental, or both. In his art practice, Nino explores these concepts mostly through making mixed-media collage, but also through printmaking and encaustic works.
Carolyn Young is a visual artist based in the Canberra region, who specialises in photography. Her works engage in ideas around land stewardship and the relationship of human beings to the environment, and often involves collaboration with ecologists. Carolyn holds a PhD in Visual Arts from The Australian National University (2017), and honours degree in Natural Resources. Carolyn has exhibited extensively, been the recipient of several grants including the Friends of the National Library Creative Arts Fellowship 2018 and photography prizes including the 2016 CCP Salon Pat Corrigan AM Acquisitive Award. Her photographs are held in public and private collections.
You can follow Carolyn on Instagram.