Artist responds to lure of the Yukon

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Into the wild: McCrae artist Katrina Newman has been selected for a Yukon residency. Picture: Yanni

MCCRAE artist and jeweller Katrina Newman is the first Australian to be selected to participate on the Canadian Wilderness Artist Residency in the Yukon Territory this July and August.

Newman was chosen from 42 applicants for the trip in which she and nine other artists will paddle 735 kilometres on the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City, in sub-arctic Canada, arriving in time for the Riverside Arts Festival.

Newman will exhibit her work and provide a short training course for young people at the Riverside Arts Festival in Dawson City.

“I’ve always understood that to create great work or to achieve greatness you will never do it by playing safe, so what better way to work outside my comfort zone than in the wilds of northern Canada,” Newman said.

“It’s going to be a wonderful opportunity for me on this adventure, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Away from the safety of my studio, I’ll be compelled to explore my new environment, the different landscapes, to draw on the new colours and light, the new materials and textures.”

Geography has a huge impact on Newman’s jewellery. “My work has always been heavily influenced by the changing landscapes of my life; each ring or pendant is a glimpse into the Australian desert, the sea and its shores, and from travels that include West African countries Ghana and Mali,” she said.

“The remoteness and exploration associated with this residency, the time to connect with the people and places, will give me the opportunity to keep expanding and challenging my practice.”

Newman is running a fundraising campaign with the support of the Australian Cultural Fund to help pay for the residency.

The cost is $3200, plus equipment costs, for which Ms Newman has received a 60 per cent adventure sponsorship discount from an Australian outdoor specialist supplier. All donations are tax deductible.

Her studio, at 69 Cinerama Cr, McCrae, will open 10am-5pm on the Queen’s Birthday weekend, 10 and 11 June.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 6 June 2017

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