Art exhibition offers an aquatic adventure

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The world of water will be explored in two very different exhibitions at The Gallery, St Kilda Town Hall next

Antonia Hempel spent three years hiking and kayaking her way to remote bodies of water, in Australia and
overseas, for her exhibition “Renewal”. The stunning video and photographic images she captured of these littlevisited
locations are accompanied by the recorded sounds of running water and pristine tones of a crystal Tibetan
singing bowl.

“Water is the connector of life, the common denominator that weaves all living things together. As it is a powerful
symbol of connectivity, water is a perfect tool for exploring a meditative, calming response,” Ms Hempel said.
“My inspiration comes directly from nature and my love for the land. I hope my work will encourage people to
celebrate and bond with nature and feel peaceful, even if just for a short time.”

Ms Hempel worked closely with sound healer Ami Hasson, who used a singing bowl and Native American
medicine drum to produce the distinctive soundtrack. Her husband, Gaston Freddi, accompanied her on location
to record the sound of water and contributed original compositions to the soundtrack.

In “Coral Interiors”, ceramist Michal Anela has crafted a collection of vessels, coasters and ornaments, resembling
sea coral, which convey a poignant message about the dwindling numbers of this fragile underwater life.

“One of the aims of my exhibition is to highlight the disappearance each year of coral reefs and the immediate
connection of diminishing ocean eco systems with rising sea levels. On another level, the exhibit reflects the
hidden dreams and desires of people which can be submerged and lost, like coral,” Mr Anela said.

Mayor Bernadene Voss said the theme of exploring nature and water would strike a chord with the many Port
Phillip residents who regularly enjoy the City’s impressive foreshore. “Council is proud to showcase the work of
these creative St Kilda artists and I’m sure these exhibitions will draw many visitors keen to experience a unique
‘aquatic’ experience.”

The free exhibitions can be viewed at The Gallery, St Kilda Town Hall, from 6 January – 3 February, with an official
opening at 6pm on Thursday, 14 January.

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