Between Fire and Flood 2017
Forward - Dr Ellie Rae
The Devonport Regional Gallery Solo Commission program has been running since 2005.
In its first year Jane Stewart, then Gallery Director, commissioned Richard Wastell to
produce a series of new paintings. In the foreword to Wastell’s catalogue, Stewart notes
that Wastell’s paintings ‘evoke a myriad of reactions in the viewer and offer an emotive
and deeply considered response to the Tasmanian environment’.
At the heart of Troy Ruffels’ photographic work there also resides a response to the
Tasmanian environment – specifically the climate of the North West landscape. Ruffels
observes: ‘In the studio, and in the 12-month development of the exhibition, my focus
often shifted to the use, qualities and attributes of light and emotive tone, and how,
through finding visual equivalents for often elusive states, I could translate the qualities
of harmony and discord, weight and gravity, solace and conflict, and the poetics of human
endeavour into visual form.’
The emotive power Ruffels’ work communicates can be likened to seasonal changes
where physical shifts in nature can trigger moods as far ranging as joy to melancholy.
In a series of photographic works that appear as multiple reflections shimmering on
aluminum supports, Between Fire and Flood balances counter-emotive states with those
of nature – loss, growth and change. I congratulate Troy on presenting an exhibition that
poetically represents the complexities of internal and external states of being where
mind and nature coalesce.