Bendigo Art Gallery

Essays on Earth. Brodie Ellis, Paul Kane and John Wolseley

Across three gallery spaces, Ellis and Wolseley’s focused observations of the natural world are arranged in dialogue with Kane’s 'verse essays’.


Event Details



Event Starts

Sep 27, 2023

Event Ends

Jan 14, 2024


Bendigo Art Gallery


42 View Street, Bendigo Victoria 3550, Australia

Essays on Earth is a collaboration between multidisciplinary artist Brodie Ellis, painter and printmaker John Wolseley and poet Paul Kane, uniting the work of three leading artists of the Bendigo region. Across three gallery spaces, Ellis and Wolseley’s focused observations of the natural world, expressed through photography, sculpture, painting and moving image, are arranged in dialogue with the elemental themes and poetic reflections of Kane’s recent series of ‘verse essays’, titled Earth, Air, Water, Fire (2022). 

Ellis’ sculptural field studies and digitally hand-coloured experiments in botanical and mineral microscopy focus on local ecologies, magnifying the strange beauty of natural forms, including seed pods, and cross-sections of rocks and plants. In contrasting scale, Wolseley’s paintings and woodcut prints, populated with plants and animals, carbon traces and geological rubbings, capture the pulse of vibrant and sprawling ecosystems in diverse landscapes across Australia. Employing a combination of scientific processes and artistic exploration, each artist immerses themselves in the landscape, engaging directly with the features and materials that embody the energies and stories of their chosen sites.

At the heart of the exhibition is an expansive video installation inviting deep listening and reflection. Fusing poetry and image, Ellis’ experimental microscopy and macro photography of Wolseley’s paintings unfold across the gallery in a meditative flow, united by the resonant tones of Paul Kane reciting his elemental poem. Grounded in a deep ecological awareness, Essays on Earth conjures complex systems of nature and their interconnectedness with human experience, inspiring wonder and appreciation for the delicate beauty and mysteries of the natural world from the minuscule to the vast. 

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