Lincoln's Rock to Little Kickerbell at Katoomba gallery

Detail from Lincoln's Rock by Ruth le Cheminant. The exhibition also drew on the artist's experiences in far west NSW and at Little Kickerbell near Tamworth.
Detail from Lincoln's Rock by Ruth le Cheminant. The exhibition also drew on the artist's experiences in far west NSW and at Little Kickerbell near Tamworth.

There's always a story, as there is in the title of this exhibition. When David Rex-Livingston asked Ruth le Cheminant for a title, her initial idea of “Places” was deemed a trifle too boring to explain the genesis of the exhibition.

“Ruth, you keep going to Lincoln's Rock up here in Wentworth Falls and you're going to Little Kickerbell, so call it exactly that,” said Rex-Livingston. And so it was.

The locations that have been the inspiration for this exhibition extend from the far west of NSW on the Darling River, to Wentworth Falls and Little Kickerbell, a property on the Liverpool Plains near Quirindi in the north of the state.

Each area visited has influenced the colours of the work and the approach le Cheminant took. The exhibition also includes drawings and plein air work that informed the larger major works. As a consequence there is a variety of disciplines and size of work, from the intimate to large works on canvas.

“It was important to spend time in each environment, quite literally,” said le Cheminant. “I spent time simply being in each environment observing the landscape, understanding it and taking reference photographs.

“My next step is to work plein air to try and understand the formations and structures that were around me.

“Some years ago I discovered Lincoln’s Rock in Wentworth Falls and find it endlessly fascinating. It changes with the time of day and the seasons.

Lincoln’s Rock is a rock shelf that has been scored and gouged by passing generations, dates names and marks pattern the surface. It is an escarpment with no barriers and has a sheer drop to the valley floor below. It is quite magical.”

Earlier this year, le Cheminant was approached by the owners of Little Kickerbell to see if she would look after their home while they were overseas.

“For most of February I was at Little Kickerbell on the Liverpool Plains near Quirindi looking after the garden and Dixie the dog.” 

The exhibition by Ruth le Cheminant is on at Rex-Livingston Art + Objects Gallery 182 Katoomba Street, Katoomba until March 26. Official opening is at 2pm on March 10.