Top of Torrens host their new exhibition opened in October

Kim Van Dokkum is a founding and life member of the Salisbury Art Society and also serving as its first president. His photograph (from times passed) entitled Plugs and Oil Change Shell Be Good is sure to bring a wry smile to the face of gallery visitors. Photo: Supplied
Kim Van Dokkum is a founding and life member of the Salisbury Art Society and also serving as its first president. His photograph (from times passed) entitled Plugs and Oil Change Shell Be Good is sure to bring a wry smile to the face of gallery visitors. Photo: Supplied

The latest art exhibition at the Top of The Torrens Community Art Gallery in Birdwood features a collection of works by visiting art group 'The Salisbury Art Society'.

The exhibition, aptly named 'Creativity', was officially opened on Sunday, October 20 by Fay Jeanes.

After welcoming the assembled artists and their guests, Ms Jeanes spoke of the group's creative journey.

"The Salisbury Art Society has been in existence for 40 years and is so proud to have grown from a small group of artists living in what was really a rural settlement, just on the edge of an expanding city in the 1970's," she said.

She went on pose the question as to why people seek to become artists.

"Very often, people say that early in life there was a spark, a yearning, a love of drawing.

"Some have been inspired by great artists like Hans Heysen and Monet or had a teacher who encouraged them. Some put life first until one day they determined to make room for themselves and finally do what they love. Some just fall into it.

"To quote Claude Monet, 'I would like to paint the way a bird sings, with joy, with beauty, with freedom.'

"There is something about the purity of nature that captures an artist and makes them want to keep that image forever

"When you look at the little gems that are displayed today, you see pictures from the past - the old store shelf, a young artist on an ancient piece of machinery, a ruined farmhouse.

"There are memories of our childhood, a day at the beach, a ride on a tram.

Then there are paintings of scenes. Most are rural. A river, a holiday spot, a farmhouse, sheep in a paddock. I believe we all seek a rest from the relentless busyness and disconnection of modern life and in particular, city living.

"Someone said to me, you are so lucky to be an artist. You see the world differently from the rest of us. I had never thought about this, but it must be true.

"An artist notices the little things, like the beauty of a rose or a raindrop. A bird or an animal - so beautifully formed.

They see the colours of the sky, the blue of the distant mountains, the reflections in a stream. There is a deep connection. Many artists work alone. But Art is meant to be shared.

What good is it if we create something of beauty and don't share it?"

In conclusion she said, "This then is our purpose".

The Salisbury Art Society members wish to share their hearts (for each painting comes from the heart) with those who visit.

"To hope that someone will have such an attachment with a painting that they just can't walk away from it," Ms Jeanes added.

'Creativity' is on display now at The Top of The Torrens Gallery, Shannon Street, Birdwood, and closes Sunday, December 1.