Demystifying the creative process

CREATIVE: Lyonville's Chris Rowe has been working as an artist since the 1980s. She has been part of Daylesford's Open Studios event since its inception and is convening the event for the first time this year. Photo: Dylan Burns
CREATIVE: Lyonville's Chris Rowe has been working as an artist since the 1980s. She has been part of Daylesford's Open Studios event since its inception and is convening the event for the first time this year. Photo: Dylan Burns

Artists across Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges are gearing up to open their studios to the public for the sixth annual Open Studios event. 

Open Studios highlights the region as one of Australia’s biggest regional art capitals, housing many high-calibre career artists. 

The event, which takes place over three weekends, involves 25 artists, working in 23 different studios, opening their doors to demystify the creative process. 

Open Studios allows the public to create a connection with an artist by visiting them in their studio, watching the way they work and giving them the opportunity to ask questions.

The program’s coordinators recommend visitors begin the experience by visiting the group exhibition at The Convent Gallery in Daylesford. 

The exhibition will showcase a work of each participating artist so visitors are able to choose which studios they would like to visit. 

Each studio is also different because each artists’ personality is different

Chris Rowe

Artist Chris Rowe is convening the Open Studios program for the first time this year, but has been participating in the event since its inception in 2012. She was also on the Open Studios committee for four years. 

She said the program is different every year as different artists participate.  

“Each studio is also different because each artists’ personality is different,” Ms Rowe said.

She often had a number of works on the go as they continued to evolve as she worked on them. She works mostly in mixed media, that is to say ink, charcoal, pastel, text and collage. 

Ms Rowe lived in Port Melbourne before she moved to Lyonville to work as a full time artist. Her work has evolved from focusing on the sea to a more regional landscape. 

She mostly paints schematic works involving people in a landscape. 

“Nothing is actual. I paint to tempt the viewer.. The more you look at my work, the more you see,” Ms Rowe said.

“It’s like when you read a novel, you create the imagery in your mind. This is the same, I create the imagery for your story.”

In most of her paintings, people are not facing the viewer as her paintings are about the whole, not about an individual. 

“Most artists say the same thing over and over again through their work. 

“I tend to talk about people; who we are, how we live and our different layers of history,” she said. 

Open Studios is curated by an independent committee including Isobel Crombie from National Gallery of Victoria, Lesley Harding from Heide Museum of Modern Art and Beverley Knight from Alcaston Gallery. 

The event will be held from 10am–5pm on April 21-22, 28-29 and May 5-6.