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Eden and the Willow Newtown Galleries Lindsay Roser Charmian Kingtston Performance (13) Sydney Art Out Live

“Eden and the Willow came about my chance; I had an opportunity to start a gallery and I took on the challenge.” 

Ivan Buljan only just launched Eden and the Willow on the cusp of Newtown and COVID restrictions beginning to ease. 

“We opened on September 2 and the first show was called ‘Awakening,’” said Ivan. “I thought that opening the space amidst uncertainty is an appropriate reaction to the in a way conservative response we often individually and collectively fall into when certain discontinuities in our social experience happen. 

Eden and the Willow Newtown Gallery Sydney Art Out Live (2)

‘Awakening;’ Katharine Buljan​

Eden and the Willow Newtown Gallery Sydney Art Out Live (5)

‘Awakening;’ Takeaki Totsuka

“We titled the show ‘Awakening’ with the intention to inject the kinds of possibilities where even in times of crisis things can awaken to life; there is always this opening in us which we need to cultivate, this opportunity, this possibility to open to different kinds of possibilities.” 

Adapting the space as more than a traditional gallery, Newtown and surrounds musicians Lindsay Roser and Charmian Kingston performed amidst the works just this weekend past.  

“It was a divine pleasure playing amongst Hanna Kay’s works at Eden and the Willow,” said Lindsay. “The works juxtapose between action and stillness, and you can really feel that energy in the room with the rice paper blowing softly off the wall like a living organism.  

Eden and the Willow Newtown Galleries Lindsay Roser Charmian Kingtston Performance (12) Sydney Art Out Live

Charmian Kingtston & Lindsay Roser performance – November 2020

Eden and the Willow Newtown Galleries Lindsay Roser Charmian Kingtston Performance (10) Sydney Art Out Live

Charmian Kingtston & Lindsay Roser – Eden performance – November 2020

Charmian Kingtston & Lindsay Roser performance – November 2020 – provided courtesy of Lindsay Roser

“I think there’s a powerful relationship between music and art; two mediums that play with the imagination. It would be great to see more of this.” 

“I think it went beautifully, in simple words I loved it,” said Ivan. “In anything that we do and especially in our creative endeavour we try to speak; ultimately the essential dimension of human is its voice, whether the voice is spoken, holistic through narrative, through visual works and ultimately as sound and the human voice’s capacity.  

“Filling up the gallery which most frequently will show visual works with a performance, adding that different dimension of a human voice which is always transient; it has to be this specific duration that is given to performance – it fills the space and lends it its own energy and creates opportunities for us to use the space in different kinds of ways.” 

Fresh on the edge of Newtown, Eden and the Willow are full swing into their second exhibition; ‘Shifting Horizons’ by Israeli artist Hanna Kay, now based in the Upper Hunter.  

“It’s an interesting notion of shifting horizons as we are all in this time perhaps going through certain shifts individually and collectively and all these changes in our lives,” said Ivan. “Hanna Kay’s works reflect these encounters with nature and how nature is ultimately a presence that we are enveloped in even though in the times we live we leave traces and erect different kinds of things in memory of what we do. 

Eden and the Willow Newtown Galleries November 2020 Hanna Kay Shifting Horizons (17) Sydney Art Out Live

‘Shifting Horizons’ by Hanna Kay (provided courtesy of Eden and the Willow)

Eden and the Willow Newtown Galleries November 2020 Hanna Kay Shifting Horizons (16) Sydney Art Out Live

‘Shifting Horizons’ by Hanna Kay (provided courtesy of Eden and the Willow)

“Given time nature takes over and assimilates our traces in it; that poetic momentum of the encounter with the sublime and romance of nature is present in her works… you can see here this layering of nature with the human-made memory of humans themselves, but its gradually disappearing into nature as well.” 

Taking over the space from the longstanding Newtown Eden Beauty clinic, in name too Eden and the Willow are making best use of the grounds to bridge the gap between our accustomed environments and the future. 

“The space is quite small; being enclosed in these kinds of works does create a contemplative lock where you can really immerse yourself in it and feel the presence of the nature,” concluded Ivan. “The title of the inaugural exhibition had a connection to the awakening of the space in its new function as a gallery – the space used to be a beauty clinic and I often say they used to work on the outer beauty; now we work on the inner beauty.” 

See here for Eden and the Willow virtual tours, exhibition details and here for more information on  Newtown’s Eden and the Willow 

Glen Falkenstein

Eden and the Willow Newtown Galleries November 2020 Hanna Kay Shifting Horizons (9) Sydney Art Out Live

‘Shifting Horizons’ by Hanna Kay

Eden and the Willow Newtown Galleries November 2020 Hanna Kay Shifting Horizons (8) Sydney Art Out Live

Eden and the Willow – 16 King Street, Newtown, Sydney

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