Little Wings by Erica Wagner

Erica Wagner will be showing at No Vacancy Project Space

The Atrium, Federation Square

Tuesday  – Sat 11am – 5pm & Sun 12 – 5pm

6 – 18 February 2018

To create the paintings and collages in this exhibition I continued my practice of drawing and painting from life and from nature, and then repurposing old artworks – ripping and cutting them up – to create new imagery with collage techniques, watercolour and ink. The oil and acrylic works have all emerged from layers of underpainting and various incarnations below the images now forming the surface. This method works for me, surprising me with subject matter that I had not consciously planned.

 A residency in Lightning Ridge and travels to the Northern Territory and the Kimberley in 2017 inspired many of these works. In September, while camping at Tilmouth Wells on the Tanami Road, I witnessed a remarkable sight: huge flocks of budgies chattering and perching on trees then taking off in with precision and purpose, swooping, soaring, mobbing together in joyful – to me at least! – rushes of movement in the sky. The strength and vulnerability of those small birds inspired me, and enabled me to find a way to connect the disparate themes in this exhibition.

Thank you to Sunsiz Media and their beautiful off-the-grid miner’s camp artist’s residency in the opal fields of Lightning Ridge, where much of the work in this exhibition was begun. Thank you to Susan Caleo and Elissa Goodrich, whose performance in their incredible theatre show Fragments thrilled me when I first saw and heard it in March 2017, and continues to inspire me to create work in response. Thank you to Craig Smith, my life and travelling companion, whose practical prowess enables us to experience the landscape, bird life and art of northern Australia and allows me to continue to explore the vast inland spaces that lie within as well as outside us.


I’m also running a series of 3 collage workshops at Cambridge Studio Gallery in April – more info here: