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From the West: Suzette Watkins and Mike Fewster

Ore train. small

Pilbara ore train

What do you think of when you think ‘outback’?

Are you one who thinks of dust, flies and heat?

Or is it the vast landscape, the wild environment, the vegetation that exemplifies survival that speaks to you?

Then, there are those who think of the colours: the fiery reds, the brilliant blues of the sky, the myriad hues of the landscape and the burning sun – is that a colour or a feeling?

From the West embodies those feelings, thoughts and visions of the outback – but there are no flies and dust here – just extreme beauty.

Ore train crop

Pilbara ore train: sterling silver, iron ore

The bush and the outback are a passion for Suzette Watkins and Mike Fewster: a passion for the colours, for the shapes, the textures, the landscape and above all, the light.

Suzette is an artisan jeweller, Mike is a photographer: two artists presenting the quintessential Australian landscape through two quite different but complementary lens.

And the light is what Mike captures in his deeply evocative photographs, interpreting the land in all its guises.

Suzette’s jewellery is a visceral response to the landscape, the colours and the light, bringing the same view into an entirely new focus.

Abrolhos crop

Abrolhos Islands (segment of necklace): sterling silver, opal, aquamarines

‘We grew up in the coastal Australian cities. But the legend of the Australian bush was strong. Explorers, settlers and rural life were the stuff of our readers at school and the core of our collective self image. Going bush yourself one day was a rite of passage for our generation.’

Three things keep drawing them back to the Centre: the immense distances: it’s just you and that country; the incredible feeling of time beyond time in some of the oldest landscape on the planet; the colours – especially those reds. They shift from the palest of apricots to the most vivid of neons to purples and blues. And tomorrow the light will change and they will be different again.

Lake Argyle_2

Lake Argyle: sterling silver, copper, cubic zirconia

Pop in to Mrs Harris’ Shop to see the West in all its glory.

It’s likely you won’t have seen the outback presented in quite this way. Viewed from two different perspectives, Mike expresses the land, it’s vastness and beauty through his photographs and Suzette has taken those very scenes and interpreted them through jewellery.

Make no mistake – Mike’s glorious shots are light years away from holiday happy snaps – they reach deep into the soul of the landscape and draw you right along into it. In fact, don’t stand too close, or you might even feel yourself tumbling over the edge and into some of the most stunning terrain in the country.

And then, there’s Suzette’s gorgeous jewellery, some of it bearing on whimsical, some of it depicting the harsh environment that inspired it and yet others reflecting the intense beauty of this place from which all colour could well emanate.

From the West is on show at Mrs Harris’ Shop on Saturdays and Sundays, 11am – 3pm, until 24 April.


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