AN exhibition of works by Newcastle painter the late Dr Mazie Turner will open at Newcastle Art Gallery in September.
Mazie Karen Turner: Between Dream and Earth has been curated by Newcastle Art Gallery’s Sarah Johnson with Turner’s former partner, Richard Tipping, and the Turner children, Grace, Jasper and Kai.
“They have been really wonderful and really opened their doors to me,” Johnson says of the family’s participation in the show.
“When you are working without the artist there are complexities involved with that. She has been top of mind throughout this process and having the family involved was wonderful.”
Johnson first met Turner in 2012.
“I was a big fan of her practice and got to know her,” Johnson says. “Mazie and I met in her studio and we talked art . . . had a cup of tea and I think the seeds were sown there for an exhibition.
“Sadly, she was very ill at that stage.”
Turner died from cancer aged 59 in 2014.
“Six to nine months after Mazie passed away, Richard invited me down to the studio because they were starting to go through Mazie’s archive,” Johnson says.
The exhibition will feature one of Turner’s works from the Newcastle Gallery collection, Soft Walls.
Another work from the University of Newcastle collection, Out of Darkness, considered by the artist herself to be her “seminal painting”, is also in the exhibition.
In all there are 80 works in the exhibition.
“A lot of people don’t realise she was also an amazing photographer,” Johnson says. “She studied photography and printmaking at university.”
Some of her photographs are in the National Gallery of Australia collection.
In terms of Turner’s painting the exhibition brings forth the artist’s fascination with colour.
“She interrogated colour, she based her PhD study at Newcastle uni on it . . . a really deep intuition, a painter’s painter essentially,” Johnson says.
“She was an artist who was informed by travel and place. Wherever she lived was an important site to inform her practice.”
The exhibition opens at Newcastle Art Gallery on September 2 until November 5.