A recurrent motif running through the work of Lisa Sewards is that of the parachute. It’s a personal thing – an image and symbol deeply imbued in her nostalgic psyche.
In her imagery, Sewards creates a gentleness and stillness falling from the sky, a magical airborne canopy. These wistful evocations of time and place, with their layered imagery and layered meaning, are pictorial performative narratives with a compositional sense of staging.
Narrative remains the lynchpin of her art. In my mind, art equates to creating a memory, a time, a place and as a result a form of storytelling. Whether it’s the invention that keeps the gravity-bound body aloft through a slow and safe descent (ironically, parachutes were initially made of spun silk from domesticated silk moths that lost the ability to fly as a result), the heroic exploits of the war pigeon or the tendril-trailing medusozoa, each motif, each image, each plate carries a contribution to that wider picture Sewards is creating. In her stability, she is talking of fragility – of the delicate, the vulnerable, the compassionate. In her research, she is exploring support mechanisms – the supplies, the messages. Combined, they bring new understandings of the past – an untold history, a shared history that the practice of making follows the moment of telling, honouring and settling memory into shared history for both narrator and listener... [inviting] the viewer to enter their own stories.
Recent exhibitions include
2021 Short Stories, fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne 2020 Snow Globe, Queenscliff Gallery, Queenscliff 2019 Spun Stories, Tacit Galleries, Melbourne 2018 Thousand kisses deep, fortyfivedownstairs 2017 Cloudy Memory, Port Jackson Press, Melbourne 2016 Strings, Port Jackson Press 2015 Flight From Silence, fortyfivedownstairs 2013 White Parachute, fortyfivedownstairs
2021 TACIT Still Life Prize, Tacit Galleries, Melbourne; Nillumbik Prize, Melbourne; Burnie Print Prize, Tasmania; Editions, Tacit Galleries 2020 Albert Park College Art Show [Winner: Curator's Choice]; Journeys and Discoveries, Bayside Gallery, Melbourne; 20, Tacit Galleries; Editions, Tacit Galleries 2019 Goddesses, Counterweave Arte, Rome; Small! fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne; The Affordable Art Fair, Melbourne; Peebles Print Prize, Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop; Burnie Print Prize; Sydney Contemporary; Out of Slumber, Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop 2018 Sydney Contemporary; Summer Salon, Collins Place Gallery, Melbourne; Small! fortyfivedownstairs; Editions, Tacit Galleries; Muswellbrook Works On Paper Award, NSW 2017 International Miniature Print Biennial, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Gippsland Print Award, Gippsland Regional Art Gallery, Sale; Peebles Print Prize, Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop; Unique Magic, Media House Gallery, Melbourne; Inaugurazione, Counterweave Arte 2016 Albert Park College Art Show [Winner: Printmaking Category]; The Flanagan Art Prize, Ballarat; Creatures, Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop 2015 The Hutchins Award, Hobart; Intersection - The Art of Motherhood, Red Gallery, Melbourne; Editions, Tacit Galleries; The M Collection, Gallerysmith, Melbourne