Beneath the Canopies Photographic Exhibit Captures the Love of Trees

Posted May 23, 2022



It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Visual artist Kerrie Warren inspired a tree-loving photographic collaboration with fellow Kurnai artist and co-author Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison and professional cinematographer Darryl Whitaker.

Their artistic collaboration resulted in the amazing Under the windows exhibition, which is currently on view at the Frankston Arts Centre.

Ms Warren said: “Each artist has a story of embracing trees both as a subject matter and as a backdrop for visual history and creative exploration in their otherwise diverse practices.

“The images aim to inspire visitors to the Frankston Arts Center to stop and take a moment to enjoy a breath of fresh air generated by art inspired by nature.”

Ms Warren added that she had found ‘solace’ in the bush tracks behind her studio throughout the lockdown and had discovered a ‘need to walk, go into the bush and hole up (herself) among the trees”.

Later, in contact with collaborating artists Dr Aunty Eileen Harrison and Darryl Whitaker, it “(seemed) a natural course of events to continue and bring together our diverse practices and perspectives into an artistic project”.

“Like individual trees, we come together to form a canopy, to create a sheltered place for others to stop and marvel,” she said.

Ms. Warren received an Artist Project Grant from Frankston City Council. She is happy to bring Under the windows to the community of Frankston and encourages viewers to “stop and contemplate” the feeling of being among the trees.

Although born in Melbourne, Ms Warren’s family moved regularly, so her childhood memories are a collage of loosely linked impressions crisscrossing the landscapes of southern and southeastern Australia.

With studios across Victoria and having exhibited his works around the world, from China to New York, his works explore humanity’s relationship with nature through large-scale pieces using abstract expressionist techniques.

Dr. Aunty Eileen Harrison was born at Lake Tyers ‘Bung Yarnda’ Mission Station. A Kurnai woman, she is a talented visual artist and a highly respected Elder.

His paintings reflect his deep connection with the country, his ancestors, his family and the Dreamtime. Aunty Eileen participated in the Regional Arts Victoria Possum Skin Cape Project and proudly wore a cape at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. Co-author of Black Swan, Life of a Koori Woman, she shares her personal story.

Exhibits include Country Connectionsat the Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale 2018 and Two strong sisters connected at the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum 2020.

Darryl Whitaker has been a professional cinematographer since 1990. He has produced television commercials for the Prime network and a wide range of corporate and nature-based productions for Parks Victoria and DELWP.

He bought his first DSLR in 2007 and joined the Latrobe Valley Camera Club, of which he is now president. The photography perfectly accompanied the cinematography and gave him all the excuses he needed to spend more time in the high country photographing snow gums, a subject he wants to put into a book in the near future. His first bookGippsland – Photographer’s Guidecame out in 2015.

Under the windows is on display at the Frankston Arts Center until June 25. For more information, please visit https://artscentre.frankston.vic.gov.au/

Michael E. Marquez