Wednesday, February 27, 2008
'French heart in art while Aussies simply wonder'
Image: The famous bronze sculpture, The Thinker, by Auguste Rodin. Courtesy wikipedia.
QUITE apart from kangaroos, meat pies and a certain brand of cars, the broad subject of Australian culture has been on the mind of at least one Victoria Point woman.
The focus for Anne-Laure Demene is our attitude to art.
Bubbling with French tradition a quarter of a century after migrating from New Caledonia, the sculptor known as "Laurie" reflects that most Aussies still seem to lack an understanding of the value of art to society.
"In Australia, people will see a work of art and ask, 'What do you use it for?'," Laurie laments."But art is really about the feeling it gives. You look at a painting or a sculpture and you must feel something - it may be peace or beauty.
"This is in the French culture, it's in every home and you can't leave any home without taking with you some of that feeling."
LAURIE has been among the quiet achievers on the Queensland art scene since she began sketching and painting in earnest while studying interior design and then found a calling from the third dimension.
Her mentors have included respected Queensland sculptors George Virine and Frank Lambert.
Working in clay in a traditional manner, Laurie specialises in portraits and figurative works, glazed and fired or cast in bronze and other mediums.
Many commissions and exhibitions are on Laurie's lengthy CV, which includes two public monuments - one at Logan and another, the King of the Islands portrait, for Wallis Islands, which are part of the French culture in the Pacific region.
Her recent portrait subjects have included Redlands mayor Don Seccombe and the former Logan mayor John Freeman.
Laurie also has completed a portrait of the most famous mountaineer, Sir Edmund Hillary, who died in January in New Zealand.
She is a member of the International Creative Community (ICC), which she describes as "an exchange of artists from allover the world".
"WE went to South Korea and next year will go to Canada," Laurie says. "I am teaching but at the same time believe it is important that I keep learning through workshops (local or overseas) and courses."
Laurie's work is exhibited at Contrasting Colours Gallery at Raby Bay and the Luba Gallery at Milton. Her current projects include a trophy commissed by an overseas client.
THANKS for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia.