17/05/2023 - 10/06/2023

Camie Lyons
Vanishing Boy


charcoal on paper

76.00 x 56.00 cm




Camie Lyons has spent many hours exploring the beaches and tracks of the South Coast in New South Wales. As she walks, she picks up vines, rope or fallen branches and twists them into forms intuitively, letting her hands do the work. Lyons calls this practice “impromptu making”, a term that reflects her former career as a dancer. As improvisation, her process uses walking and muscle memory to begin a work that will later influence her compositions. When she returns to her studio, she works these forms and begins binding larger vines together in new compositions. She refers to these first unselfconscious forms as ‘drawing in space’ and uses them as her making ‘devices’.

Lyons practice is largely processed base, developing from the point where the artist’s body meets the landscape. This position encourages a response that is both physical and observational, embodied and unrehearsed. But the influence becomes particularly noticeable now that Lyons has found herself in a new landscape, but which is becoming increasingly familiar. Here, the ocean bookends her days, which begin and end with either a walk along the tideline or a swim. “The water is a kind of punctuation; without it my day feels incomplete, like a sentence with no ending.”

Completeness, like a circle or a daily swim in the ocean, expands within Lyons’ language. You can see the curve and repetition of the saltlines, tidelines, and treelines in her sinewy shapes, in both her sculptures and paintings. It’s a language that reveals itself in simple palettes and forms, abstracted of course, and often cast in bronze. “Being in the landscape has really affected my work, everything has loosened and has this beautiful movement,” she explains. In this way, her work represents a connection to the landscape as an experience of the ephemeral made permanent.

The expansiveness of the coastal landscape is evident in the rhythm of Lyons latest body of work, which holds a careful balance between release and tension. In the work exhibited for Undulation, you can feel this shift in her practice as one of new rhythms. For example, Portal to Self (2023) suggests the repeating waves that reach the shore and recede. Others rhizomatic and twisting, curve outwards from themselves like an eternal unravelling. Time is both momentary and infinite here. As Lyons says, “The days lose their sense of time when I am here, the vast landscapes providing such a different energy from that of the city.”

This felt experience of being in the world doesn’t focus on the external. “It’s about capturing all those things that are internal – the sinew, the muscle, the memory. In a way I’m creating a kind of umbilical where we are all attached to nature and our past and our history. It’s the life threads that bind us, that keep us here,” Lyons says. Walking and making, in Lyons hands, becomes an inner reflection on connection through abstracted landscapes that hold us steady.

By Brooke Boland




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Scott Livesey Galleries
610 High Street, Prahran
Victoria, Australia, 3181
+613 9824 7770