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  • Ray Monde

Red Fish, Blue Fish art exhibition at Purple Noon Gallery.

One of the things I love the most about Australian summers is the abundance of delicious, fresh seafood. Prawns and oysters have become essentials for the Christmas dinner table and the peeling and shucking them are part of the annual tradition.

A celebration of fish: an essential part of the Australian summer.

Growing up, we spent the last two weeks of every summer school holidays at Tuncurry Caravan Park with my cousins.

It’s where Wallis Lake connects with the Tasman Sea, so there’s an abundance of everything. Not that we caught much. My dad seemed to like drifting in our tinny, looking for the best spot, rather than actually catching fish.

Flathead, bream, whiting caught as works on paper.

When I was creating these artworks, I wanted to think about what it means to eat sustainably. All the fish in this exhibition are some of the best to eat because they are generally considered sustainable by Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide.

This was important to me as fish stocks around the world are plummeting, having knock-on effects not just on the species, but on other species that rely on them for food.

A vibrant collection of artworks on paper and canvas.

The most surprising thing for me when I was creating these works was just how different the faces of each fish species were. From the great sad droopy mouth of the John Dory to the perky smile of the Luderick.

John Dory (Zeus Faber), 2021, collage on Arches Paper (36cmx26cm)

Luderick (Girella Tricuspidata), 2021, collage on Arches Paper (36cmx26cm)

Exhibition opens at Purple Noon Gallery on December 18.

Making these artworks brought me a lot of joy. Looking so closely at the fish – savouring in my mind the fresh saltiness of Australian summers – and recreating them was a lot of fun. All these works – 25 in all – are available through Purple Noon Gallery.

Get in touch with Robyn at Purple Noon for a catalogue and to catch your favourite!

Purple Noon Gallery Email: Phone: +61 2 4579 6579 Instagram: @purplenoongallery Web: 606 Terrace Rd, Freemans Reach, NSW 2756 Australia

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