Award-winning emerging artist Merryn Sommerville is bringing her thought-provoking exhibition This Haunted House to the Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC) on 14 September, and it’s sure to get art enthusiasts talking.

The exhibition explores Ms Sommerville’s experiences of being raised in a Christian home, and how that has affected her in adulthood. She uses various mediums to convey her deeply personal messages, including sculptures, drawings and photography. Ms Sommerville was selected for the HomeGround program, which allows artists to collaborate with a curator from the WPCC to develop their exhibition.

“I studied drawing and print-making, but drawing is what I really do, and the Western Plains Cultural Centre has given me the space to explore a bunch of different mediums, and allowed me to work with a curator,” Ms Sommerville said.

Ms Sommerville says This Haunted House is about the female identity, which includes works of girls and women. Also under Ms Sommerville’s belt is the Basil Sellers Prize for Regional Artists, which is a $15,000 prize to help regional artists unleash their talent. 

“I’m an artist in Bega, and it can be pretty isolated there, so as an emerging artist, having the opportunity to show at Dubbo is a big deal because for me, my work doesn’t feel complete unless someone is looking at it, and reacting to it,” Ms Sommerville said.

Mayor of the Dubbo Region Councillor Ben Shields says he’s pleased the WPCC has been able to provide a space for emerging artists to stretch their wings.

“Dubbo’s Western Plains Cultural Centre is not only an excellent place for renowned artists to exhibit their work, but it’s also vital in cultivating the next crop of young talent, like Ms Sommerville,” Clr Shields said.

This Haunted House launches on Saturday 14 September at 2pm, and runs until December 1.

Merryn in her Bega studio

Image caption: Merryn Sommerville in her Bega studio



Last Edited: 10 Sep 2019

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