Review: the Hive annual exhibition 2022

Feature image: Elaine Clocherty ‘Take only what you need.’ Mixed natural media.

In the heart of Margaret River’s industrial area stands The Hive, an art collective showcasing an eclectic mix of emerging and established artists.

Alongside a solid core of professionals like painter Karin Luciano with her penchant for gilded visual feasts; Ian Daniel and his bold ocean abstracts, and the inspired land art of Elaine Clocherty, there is a vibrant mix of emerging voices in a broad range of mediums. On show is a diversity of ceramics, sculpture, jewellery, prints, photographs and mixed media. The wide range of styles is just what you’d expect from a collective with a large and active member base.

Collectives are in the international art-scene spotlight after the Array Collective from Belfast won the 2021 Turner Art Prize, worth 25 000 pounds. Perhaps the interest in collectives is a response to the isolation which enveloped the world in 2021: the movement takes many forms, but the key to all of them is social engagement in creative process.

Textile and ceramic artist Caro Bannister is one of the founding members of The Hive. Her stunning tree sculptures seem to symbolise what it’s all about: growth nurtured by grounding in nature and creativity. She says a major incentive for the initiative was to help artists afford studio space, but that many other benefits grow from the sense of connection.

Danielle Walker is an emerging artist who was drawn to the Hive by the allure of somewhere to work beyond the kitchen table, but says that being a part of a community has helped her develop as an artist: ‘I’m learning a lot of techniques and ideas about putting my works onto canvas. You can ask anyone in The Hive to give you a hand.’ Danielle’s paintings speak through bright colour and intensity of expression, and her own unique voice has clearly emerged from within the collective.

Danielle Walker ‘Elsie.’ Watercolour, acrylic, permanent markers 62x44cm. Inspired by personal connection with Mexican sugar skulls.

Kyllie Deltondo’s art is strongly based in environmental ethics. With a background in photography, T-shirt design, screenprinting and community art she explores themes of human interconnection with the natural world:

‘By marrying images of personal, seemingly ordinary moments with those of the bigger picture, I move from feeling like a separate being to that of being part of a connected whole. Our shared stories become one. This cultivates in me a much needed sense of belonging and the peace, reverence and responsibility that comes with that.’

Kyllie’s printmaking techniques include drypoint etching, aquatint, collagraph and linocut. With subjects often including children, her work is imbued with a sense of wonder and interconnectedness with the natural world.

Kylie Deltondo
Kylie Deltondo, a glimpse of a prolific print collection.

Clare Hamilton has only recently moved into full-time art from a long career in town planning. Her work is a mixed medium of watercolour, ink and pencil and shows a fine delicacy of execution blended with a quirky choice of subject matter. ‘Serenity’ somehow manages to portray a sense of calm within an explosively chaotic moment of time.

Claire Hamilton
Clare Hamilton, ‘Serenity.’ Pencil, watercolour and ink 32x25cm.

Other artists include Natalia S Ford, Yu-Hua Lan, Mehera Kidston, Martina Berkova, Mick Hart, Brooke McQueen and Annie Bourgault. Hanging in the foyer was an intriguing painting by 14-year old Edie Liddon, an up and coming Margaret River artist to watch out for.

Edie Liddon
Edie Liddon, unnamed, watercolour.

The Hive’s wide range of mediums, moods, skills and experience creates an overall effect of individuality within the whole, but there is something very dynamic about the mix: you never know what to expect next!

The Hive’s annual summer exhibition 15th to the 26th of January 2022.
The Hive is at 3/24 Auger Way West, Margaret River. You can connect or view more of the collective’s art through their Facebook group.