Simon Gunning: Avery Island

Exhibition Dates: August 1 – September 19, 2009
Artist Reception: Saturday, August 1 from 6–8 pm
Gallery Location: 432 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Hours: Monday–Saturday, 10 am–5 pm
Contact Info: 504.522.1999;

Arthur Roger Gallery is pleased to present “Avery Island” an exhibition of oil paintings and drawings rendered in ink and pastel by Simon Gunning. The exhibition will be on view August 1st – September 19th, 2009 at Arthur Roger 432, located at 432 Julia Street. The artist will be present at the opening reception hosted by the gallery on Saturday, August 1st, 2009 from 6 to 9 pm in conjunction with White Linen Night.

Simon Gunning, The Saline in Lavender and Green, 2009. Oil on canvas, 72 x 48 inches, 73 1/2 x 49 1/2 inches (framed).

In recent years Simon Gunning was given unrestricted access to Avery Island in southwest Louisiana to experience and to record its natural beauty. Avery Island covers 2,200 acres of natural landscape, but it was “The Saline” in the southeast corner of the Island that caught the artist’s imagination. “The Saline” is a small swamp with water feeding in thru natural ravines and is a remarkable rookery for thousands of migratory birds. Gunning found “The Saline” both “lyrical and dangerous,” but he strove to “paint the sensation of being there at dawn in spring with the soft damp air gently moving across the surface of the water.” He also wanted, “to convey the lurid arrangement between the alligators and the egrets which nest in trees just above the dark and brooding waters.” The artist feels even in the ideal natural arena of “The Saline” he was witness to “an uncompromising struggle of life and death.”

A native of Australia Simon Gunning has lived in the New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood for almost thirty years. He has acquired a startling ability to capture the light and color of south Louisiana. Born in 1956 in Sydney, Australia, Gunning studied painting and drawing from 1976-1978 at The National Gallery School of Art and the Victorian College of Art in Melbourne. In 1979 Gunning was awarded a Visual Artist Fellowship by the Louisiana Division of the Arts. His work is included in the collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.