Introspection a sure thing

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Lauren Wilhelm at work.
Camera IconLauren Wilhelm at work. Credit: Mark Boskell

Veteran artist Lauren Wilhelm will unveil a selection of new work in Margaret River later this month, partly inspired by the turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new exhibition, at Jah Roc Galleries, titled Solipsism — a perspective that only the self can be truly known — is a reflection on the painter’s inner life.

“My new exhibition Solipsism reflects my time working in the year 2020, a year which looks to herald the era of the ‘new normal’,” Wilhelm said.

“As the outside world is increasingly unsure and truths seem in dispute, the idea of solipsism comes to mind — the theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.”

The artist lives just north of Cowaramup, where she keeps horses and animals, and she told the Times the pandemic made her “extra thankful to live in such a beautiful, natural place”.

“The pandemic has made me think of the world in a very different way, but it hasn’t affected my practice per se, as my studio is pretty isolated,” Wilhelm said.

The painter previously operated a studio in Northbridge, and living now among nature helped spur her creativity. “It lends it a bit of peace that maybe wasn’t there in my last studio,” she said.

“The new work is a reflection of the idea of the inner world.

“My work has always been quite introspective at the best of times, but I guess I started thinking more about introspection during this challenging period around the globe, with the fact that people are forced to separate themselves from their communities.

“Quite often, it seems they’re taking refuge in various forms of creativity.”

Solipsism opens on February 27 and runs until March 19.

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