Concentration of Motion, acrylic on canvas 122cm x 183cm. Olene Simon Original Artwork
Locally you may know Olene Simon by her work as a facilitator and tutor of community arts activities with a focus on mental health, in the Yarra Valley over the last twenty years. However you may not know her as curator of galleries in Sherbrooke and Wesburn; her pedigree (descendant of the artistic Lindsay clan) or the breadth of her creativity as a fine artist.
With this retrospective showing of Olene's work we follow her timeline: in her twenties painting abstract forms, ceramics, figurative sculpture and then portrait studies. Olene the mentor at this time was herself a mentee, guided by Graham McKenzie (landscape), Marica Hazlett (portrait sculpture), Rick Rowtan (portraiture in oils), Herman Pekel.
Her abundant floral still lifes inspired by the bounty freshly available from local growers en route to the Sherbrooke gallery; a pastel series of Open Gardens in the region. Collagraph, lithograph and other experimentation with brush and ink from her post graduate study at the VCA & Swinburne.
Healesville Arts & Minds was established by Olene. This program originating at Rivendell Community Mental Health Centre, encompassed projects including the Healesville Community Labyrinth, Towing the Line (group devised performance drawn from the participants' personal experience), Friday Studio Group. Recently her time has been spent trawling the paperwork required to access NDIS support for future activities at the Healesville Living and Learning Centre
The therapeutic benefit of making art has driven Olene's activity for the past two decades. In 2019 we welcomed her decision to return to making her own new artwork and teaching and were delighted to host her retrospective exhibition. More works can be viewed by appointment at MALKA Studio Healesville.