This exhibition features over 15 of Josie Lowerson's most recent wood sculptures, the works in Extracted have been inspired by the artist's life and experiences, including her childhood and profession, Tolga State High School teacher. Teaching woodwork in secondary high schools was always difficult due to chauvinistic attitudes, and this frustration often provides source materials for sculptures such as Just a Sheila, Lowerson said.
My upbringing [in the Mallee region of North Western Victoria] is also a significant factor in my work; the environment was harsh, the climate extreme and life was hard, but there was an incredible amount of diverse creativity around me, she said.
Lowerson, who was one the first dozen female woodwork teachers to graduate in Australia, has trained and practised extensively in just about every imaginable field of sculptural art, including taking a course in Oxy and Arc Welding.
The artist, who has travelled widely across Australia and internationally, said that during the course of her career she had been touched by the work of other sculptors.
Obviously life experiences and observations are a major inspiration, but certain artists have impacted on my work. In particular, New Yorker Louise Bougeouis Rodin and Australians Gary Greenwood and Inge King...I particularly admire the depth and strength of each of their works.
Lowerson, who moved to Tolga in 1999 from Bendigo, stresses the fact that she is a wood sculptor as opposed to a carver.
I do not consider myself to be a true wood carver, but more a sculptor who happens to use wood as one of my main materials. ...I prefer to work in weathered hardwoods such as redgum, box and ironbark, which all have distinctive flaws, cracks and character, she said.