Artist Paul Anthony opens new exhibition in Ballarat

Paul Anthony's exhibition opens at Backspace Gallery on Saturday.

Paul Anthony's exhibition opens at Backspace Gallery on Saturday.

PAUL Anthony’s exhibition on the unique perspective of the environment will open on Saturday.

The Beneath the Surface exhibition will be launched at Backspace Gallery at the weekend with those attending getting a first glimpse at Anthony’s realism and abstract work.

Inspired by past snorkelling trips, Anthony said his work took the viewer beneath the surface of the Ewens and Piccaninnie ponds and explored a watery world.

“The ponds offer a different view of the world – a respite from the cares and responsibilities of everyday life,” he said.

“The most immediate and striking thing about Ewens Ponds is the brilliant colour and shimmering light. It’s almost kaleidoscopic – yet peaceful. Piccaninnie is more subdued and mysterious.”

Anthony said he used an underwater camera as a sketchbook to explore the different compositions around him.

“The surface of the water appears at the top of the picture and what lies beyond is obscured by reflections from below,” he said.

“This creates a sense of mystery and of being in another world. I respond to the organic shapes of aquatic plants, roots, rock forms and algal growth, as well as the vivid colours intensified by water.

“Fish both solitary and in schools pass through some images. On one occasion, I started photographing the geometric shapes of the ladders in the ponds.”

He said his exhibition was a celebration of colour and light that revealed a profound natural beauty. “The ponds are painted in a variety of moods – some joyful, some wistful and some whimsical,” he said.

“Viewers are taken on a journey. They can respond literally to the works or may wish to speculate about the use of symbolism and metaphor.” Anthony’s newer work of the Queensland’s Carnarvon Gorge will also be on display, further depicting the fragility of habitats and the impact  of human intrusion and climate change.

“They reveal minute details of the rocky beds of spring-fed streams. It was the colour – the reds and yellows intensifi ed by water and the reflections of a cobalt blue sky – that caught my eye,” he said.

The exhibition continues through until September 14.