About Gemma Lynch-Memory
Inside Gemma Lynch-Memory’s studio is a quiet reverence broken only by the sounds of the careful application of her creative process. Spanning almost two decades and over 25 solo exhibitions, it’s a process as introspective and individual as the artist herself. Her actions are purposeful and convey a sense of urgency as she seeks to capture the essence of ephemeral inspiration. There is a constant referencing to an open journal of sketched ideas and musings that form the seeds of creative conception. But it is only during the actual application of paint on canvas that her subconscious concepts emerge and bloom.
Several pieces are worked on simultaneously so as to best manage the various stages of drying and curing paints. Warm luminous liquid varnishes are honey-poured over surfaces to create mirror-like finishes. The studio atmosphere is occasionally disturbed by the sounds of a powered sander or dremel drill as they are used to create fine abstract marks and details. As each work nears completion, they are moved to her studio gallery to “let rest” before any final fine-tuning is made and the painting can be considered complete. From initial canvas priming to the signing of the work, the entire process absorbs several months.
Her works are abstract landscape compositions that feature-rich and vivid colours. The iconographic markings and segregated space entice an emotive response and long lonely horizons where “heaven meets earth” speak to our country yearnings. Organic debris made up of small sticks, soil, rocks and dried vegetation give the work a living quality and occasional hand-painted texts introduce further depth and meaning. Perhaps it is Gemma’s country childhood and the use of debris and soil pigments that give her work such an uncanny sense of place. From our oceans to our outback and our rivers to our deserts, Gemma Lynch-Memory’s paintings capture the spirit and character that live in the heart of every Australian.
In 2007, after finding a copy of a diary in a second-hand bookshop, Gemma became the first person to retrace the outback journey of Australia’s first female explorer, Emily Caroline Creaghe. Inspired by the diary, the expedition was research for her Emily: explorer national touring exhibition that celebrated the incredible achievements of this little-known Australian woman. The expedition was featured on the ABC 7:30 Report and Gemma was recognised by the International Society of Female Explorers based in New York. The touring exhibition received critical acclaim and was also featured in Australian Art Review magazine.
Gemma has a few distinct series within her oeuvre but all carry her trademark colour chords and expressive horizons and the works are always large, bold and confident. Her ‘RMB” Roadside Mail Box series are reminiscent of a drive-by snapshot of the quintessential country letterbox. Painted with a pallet knife in thick impasto chunks, the letterboxes stand boldly within the stark landscape. Her “River” series of work has deep brooding rivers stretching along dense tree-lined river banks as they make their way to the coast. The “Muddy Waterholes” glisten with the offering of a cool oasis in harsh red brown lands and her “Waterlilies” and “Wildflower” works have proven irresistible to the buying public.
Gemma has already achieved much in her career. With a constant demand for work from collectors both in Australia and overseas, she has had little respite. Prices for her work have increased greatly in the past decade and this demand and a slower output of work will continue to drive prices higher. Those looking to invest and purchase significant artwork would do well to take note of any current exhibitions. To achieve 25 solo exhibitions for any artist is a true milestone and a testament to creative strength.
*Excerpt from '9606 - The Art of Gemma Lynch-Memory'
Gemma Lynch-Memory - Artist CV
1970 - Born Bathurst, NSW
1992 - Bachelor of Visual Arts (Painting Major) University of New England
1994 - Master of Art Admin - University of New South Wales
1995/6 - Travelled to Africa, Egypt, U.K., Europe, U.S.A.,
1996 - 'Testimony' ARDT Gallery - Sydney
1997 - 'Postcards' Lyall Burton Gallery - Melbourne
1998 - 'Search for Meaning' Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery - Sydney
1998 - 'Journey' Greenaway Gallery - Melbourne
1999 - 'Duality' Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery - Sydney
2000 - 'Little Kingdom' Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery - Sydney
2001 - 'Waiting for Rain' Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery - Sydney
2002 - 'Earthworks' Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery - Sydney
2002 - 'Urban Paddocks' Chifley Plaza - Sydney
2003 - 'Brand New Day' Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery - Sydney
2003 - 'Daylight' Chifley Plaza - Sydney
2004 - 'Under a Sunlit Sky' - Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery - Sydney
2004 - 'East to West' - Gullotti Gallery - Perth
2005 - 'Travelling Without Moving' Gullotti Galleries - Perth
2005 - 'Landmarks' Libby Edwards Galleries - Melbourne
2006 - 'Terra Firma' Libby Edwards Galleries - Sydney
2006 - 'Incandescent' Libby Edwards Galleries - Brisbane
2006 - 'Off The Map' Paul Gullotti Galleries - Perth
2007 - 'New Landscapes' Libby Edwards Galleries - Melbourne
2009 - 'New Works' Cudgegong Regional Gallery - Gulgong
2009 - 'Big Country' Yarra Ranges Arts Centre - Yarra Vallery
2009 - 'Big Country' Chifley Tower Gallery - Sydney
2009 - 'Big Country' Cooper Gallery - Noosa
2010 - 'Big Country' Gadfly Gallery - Perth
2011 – ’40 Degrees South’ - The Artison Gallery Hobart
2012 - 'This Land' - The Artison Gallery Hobart
2013 - 'Fleur' - Traffic Jam Galleries Sydney
2014 - 'Road Less Travelled' Traffic Jam Galleries Sydney
2018 - 'Maps of Meaning'Traffic Jam Galleries Sydney
'emily:explorer' National Touring Exhibition
2007 - 'emily:explorer' National Touring Exhibition - Sydney
2008 - 'emily:explorer' National Touring Exhibition - Perth
2008 - 'emily:explorer' National Touring Exhibition - Brisbane
2008 - 'emily:explorer' National Touring Exhibition - Melbourne
2009 - 'emily:explorer' National Touring Exhibition - Hobart
Awards and Prizes
2007 - Fleurieu Art Prize Finalist
2019 - Mosman Art Prize Finalist
Selected Group Shows
Numerous group shows and art fairs.
Publications and Media
2001 - 'Artist Profile' Luxury Home design Magazine
2003 - Featured 'Australia's 50 Most Beautiful Homes' Publication
2004 - Featured 'Australian Women Weekly - Andrew Dado Profile' Publication
2005 - 'Artist Profile II' Contemporary Home Design Magazine
2006 - Home and Garden - Review
2006 - 9606: gemma lynch-memory 'selected works from the last decade' Publication
2006 - Australian Country Style Magazine - Artist Profile
2007 - Art in WA - Review
2007 - Northern Territory Times - 'emily:explorer' Feature
2007 - Courier Mail - 'emily:explorer' Feature
2007 - Yarra Valley Leader - 'emily:explorer' Feature
2007 - ABC Radio National Bush Telegraph Program - 'emily:explorer'
2007 - ABC Radio National Bush Telegraph Program - 'emily:explorer' Update (Live To Air)
2007 - Rural Press Association - Artist Profile
2007 - ABC 7:30 Report - 'emily:explorer' Feature with Murray McLaughlin
2007 - ABC Radio National Australia All Over Program - 'emily:explorer'
2007 - Adelaide Advertiser - 'emily:explorer'
2007 - Sydney Morning Herald - 'emily:explorer'
2007 - Australian Geographic Magazine Feature - 'emily:explorer'
2007 - Mosman Daily/North Shore Times - 'emily:explorer' Feature
2007 - ABC NSW Regional 'Sunday Mornings' - Artist Profile
2007 - Wings WorldQuest - Recognised by International Women Explorers Foundation as Contemporary
Australasian explorer: Arts/Humanities
2008 - ABC Regional Radio WA - Interview
2008 - ABC Regional Radio VIC - Program 'Books That Changed Your Life'
2008 - West Australian Newspaper 'Sunday Life' Magazine - First Lady
2008 - Australian Art Review - 'emily:explorer' National Touring Exhibition
2009 - RM Williams 'Outback' Magazine - Artist Feature
2009 - Melbourne Living Magazine - Artist Profile
2009 - Luxury Home Design Magazine - 'Big Country' Exhibition Feature
2010 - 'Big Country' Collection Catalogue
2010 - Fearless Femmes - Outer Edge Magazine
2010 - ABC Radio National - 'She Who Explorers' Documentary
2011 - Country Collections Magazine - Feature
2012 - APC MAgazine - Inspiring Women Feature
2012 - Harbour View Magazine - Artist Feature
2013 - Mosman Daily - Exhibition Review
2013 - News Corp - Lifestyle Feature
2015 - Tasmanian Sunday - Home and Harvest Editorial
2018 - Sydney Arts Guide - 'Maps of Meaning'Exhibition Review