Steve Lopes experiences a 'tree change' for new exhibition

A new exhibition featuring the work of Kogarah artist Steve Lopes explores the changing seasons and landscape through the shift in the trees.

Tree Change at the Stella Downer Fine Art Gallery in Waterloo presents new work by Lopes and Merron Esson.

Lopes created new paintings and works on paper in situ during a residency in the Jamberoo Rainforest on the South Coast of NSW.

Artist Steve Lopes

Artist Steve Lopes

''I was transfixed by the prehistoric forms of the forest, it's weird shapes and forms and especially the colours,'' Lopes said.

The resulting works are playful in their engagement with the vivid tones of the rainforest. Painted en plain air, Lopes captures the intense immediacy of being ensconced within the walls of the rainforest with his light and energetic brushstrokes.

Since 1996 Lopes has had over 20 solo exhibitions across Australia and the UK.

I was transfixed by the prehistoric forms of the forest, it's weird shapes and forms and especially the colours

Steve Lopes

In 2018, he won the Gallipoli Prize with his painting of Mont St Quentin. Lopes is currently also exhibiting as part of Salient: Contemporary Artists at the Western Front.

In Tree Change, Lopes shares the stage with Merran Esson who has been at the forefront of Australian ceramics for many years and in 2006 was awarded a residency at the National Art School's Paris Studio.

Esson has been making works of art using clay for over 40 years.

She grew up at Tumbarumba but now lives in Woolloomooloo and her artworks express the extreme contrasts between the country and city.

Her large and small scale vessels evoke sensory responses through colour and form.

Travelling through the Monaro plains of NSW in Autumn, Esson was inspired by the change of colours in the European trees planted in the plains. The resulting works in the Tree Change exhibition reflect the orange, green and gold tones of the tree change in season.

The official opening of Tree Change is on Saturday June 15 from 3pm to 5pm at Stella Downer Fine Art Gallery, 1/24 Wellington Steet, Waterloo.

  • The exhibition is on until July 13.