Wendy Stavrianos has held regular solo exhibitions since 1967 in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. She was awarded a Diploma of Fine Art, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (1961) and an M.A. Fine Art, Monash University (1997). Institutional exhibitions of Stavrianos’ work include ‘Mantles of Darkness’ (1994, touring regional galleries including Ararat, Castlemaine, Geelong, McClelland and the Nolan Gallery ACT), ‘A metaphysical edge’ at Bendigo Art Gallery (2005), ‘Night’s Edge’ at the Art Gallery of Ballarat (2008) and ‘Fragments of Memories’ at LaTrobe University Museum of Art (2011). Touring retrospectives to regional galleries in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales have been staged by the Sydney University of Technology (1999) and The Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University (1997). A monograph of Stavrianos’ work was published in 1996. She has been a finalist in the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ Sulman Prize (2001, 2002, 2007, 2009) and is a recipient of the Swan Hill Drawing Prize (2000), the Dominique Segan Drawing Prize, Castlemaine, Victoria (1992) and the MPAC Drawing Acquisitions Award (1977). Stavrianos’ work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia; the National Gallery of Victoria; the Art Gallery of Western Australia; Parliament House, Australia; the Museum of Arts and Sciences, Darwin; Heide Museum of Modern Art; the Australian Catholic University, regional galleries, tertiary collections, and corporate and private collections in Australia and overseas.
“There is a South American form called ‘Cordell’ where a person makes an image linking it with a poem in response to a deeply felt feeling or an important event. These works from my Mt Gaspard studios were made in that spirit; in response to deeply felt moments in landscape, places I have worked in and gathered in. Like the ‘Cordell’ I gather to me what has deep meaning. Since 1993 I have paid homage to Jean Francois Millet’s ‘The Gleaners’ (1857) to convey my environmental concerns. The Gatherer theme began as an ‘image of holding’, holding on to what is disappearing, what is in the process of being lost to us all, and to future generations.
T.S Eliot’s poem, Preludes IV contains the lines,
‘The worlds revolve like ancient women
Gathering fuel in vacant lots’
The ‘vacant lot’ is, to me, an image of the loss of our environment. ‘Gathering grounds’ are metaphysical spaces for celebration and contemplation. The field is a pictorial field, a field of energy, matter, earth, night and light, abundance and loss. These are symbolic fields as visual poetic spaces.”