14 artists come together for ‘A Touch of Red’

'A Touch of Red' will be on display at the Warburton Waterwheel during April. Picture: ON FILE

By Callum Ludwig

A large group of artists who came together over Covid are exhibiting in the Warburton Waterwheel gallery over April.

14 of the 19 total members of the ‘SCONES’ group (which went on to stand for Social Creative Outlet Not only Eating Scones) have contributed to their latest exhibition ‘A Touch of Red’, the fourth exhibition since forming in 2020 over a YAVA members Zoom call.

Mary Newham is the facilitator of the group and one of the SCONES artists who contributed to the exhibition and said all the artists have made use of the colour red terrifically well.

“We’ve called the exhibition A Touch of Red which could imply just a little glimpse of red which just creates a lovely little highlight, and a few of the artists have followed that line whereas others have been more generous in their application of the colour,” she said.

“People have used different shades of red, some are pretty bright and others are darker, and when you are walking through it is unifying and creates a sense of vibrancy and fun.”

As Covid restrictions began being lifted, the group started meeting on Thursday mornings at 10.30am at the YAVA gallery in Healesville and has done so ever since, though occasionally they visit others’ homes or studios or travel to an exhibition together.

The SCONES group held its first exhibition at YAVA in 2021 ‘InsideOut’ which explored the comforts found in people’s homes and gardens over lockdowns, before holding two more at MiRA in Marysville in 2022 and 2023; ‘Wanderings’ which featured artwork from around the Yarra Valley and surrounds and then ‘Wild’ which focused on what is ‘wild and untamed’ within our local environment and society.

Ms Newham said the artists were all so proud to hang over a hundred works on the wall and numerous others throughout the gallery.

“There’s a lovely feeling of cooperation and camaraderie when we install our work, this is the fourth exhibition we’ve had and it’s just a very cohesive group and the shows have always gone through smoothly,” she said.

“It’s different to me, but it’s inspiring when we brainstorm an idea to work towards a different exhibition, there’s a lot of input from all the members and I think that adds to the strength of a theme,”

“When you have so many artists, you’ll obviously come up with good ideas, and you can develop those ideas and improve on them, which is tremendous.”

In bringing together so many artists, A Touch of Red features a wide variety of artistic mediums that the contributing artists specialise in including painting, mixed media, ceramics, textiles and sculpture.

Ms Newham said she thinks the unique experience of regularly collaborating as a large group of artists is quite special.

“We call ourselves the ‘Sconnies’’ and people talk quite affectionately of the group, and quite importantly when you’re a cohesive, friendly group of people with a lot of different interests, it brings a big variety and a different energy,” she said.

“More than just working towards our exhibitions, we also share messages to the group, or bring in sketch designs and works in progress, and talk about how these things are going, but certainly having a common goal that everyone’s pulling towards in an exhibition, means more ideas may develop and expand a lot because of the group interaction.”

A Touch of Red will be on display in the gallery at the Warburton Waterwheel until the end of the month.