Seabastion Toast

Border Track

September 19 - October 3 2015

Characterised by a vitality of spontaneous gesture, the Border Track paintings are the outcome of an unusual combination of athleticism and creativity suffused with philosophical and ecological concerns. "Running is when I do most of my thinking and escaping," says Seabastion Toast. "The wooded Border Track is one of my favourite places to do this. I feel deeply concerned for the state of the environment and the plight of our native animals. It is an incredible privilege to witness any of them in the wild and to be able to live in an area where encounters are common. These works are an exploration into the relationships humans have with animals and their habitats - a dance of ideologies."

Seabastion further explains that the title of the exhibition has "double edged" connotations in that it encompasses ideas about the straddling of two worlds: the animal and the human. Foxes and birds are recurring motifs in her paintings. She tells of her fascination in the beauty of a fox's form, colour, agility and wily intelligence, whilst also understanding the devastating impact its introduction has had on the natural wildlife. "I am grateful that many birds are still able to adapt to urbanised areas," she adds. "For some people these birds are the only regular contact they have with a ‘wilder' earth. I have a long- standing interest in the tension and spaces between dichotomies. I'm sure most artists are quite used to not seeing things in ‘black and white'. It's about perception and paying attention to the myriad ‘half-tones'."

"I consider painting as a meditative process, a way of slowing things down and ruminating on the fleeting moments that are an expression of our own lives," she continues. "I am attempting to be brave with my colours, compositions and gestural brush markings. There are similarities to Zen art practice in the repetition of the same form in an attempt to reach its essence and execute it perfectly in a single stroke - which is of course very different from fussing the same line over and over. I guess that sort of ties in with my lifestyle and dependence on sport and physical activity, especially with things like surfing and a well executed fox dive! My artistic quest is to describe all the wonder and futility and perfect imperfections in such a way. That is what art is to me, lots of observation, practice and study to create a single moment of beauty."

Melbourne-born Seabastion Toast relocated from the Gold Coast to Cabarita Beach, just across the Border, during her preparation for this exhibition. She holds a BA Visual Arts (major-painting), Southern Cross University 1997 - 2000, which encompassed a University Exchange, Pratt Art Institute, New York and Cross Institutional Study, COFA, Sydney. She has won a number of art awards including: the D'Arcy Doyle $10,000 Landscape Prize 2014; Peoples Choice, QRAA, Flying Arts 2013; Marymount Art Show Painting Prize 2012; $10,000 Gainsborough Greens Art Award 2011 and Acquisitive Prize, SCU 1998. She was Highly Commended in the D'Arcy Doyle Still Life Prize 2015 and has been a Finalist in Gold Coast Art Prize 2014; Eutick Memorial Still Life Award 2014; Cliftons Art Prize 2014; Border Art Prize 2014; SCAP 2013; Doug Moran Portrait Prize 2013; Lismore Portrait Prize 2013; Mambo Art Prize, London 2011; Worthies Portrait Prize, Sydney 2011; Caldera Art Prize, Murwillumbah 2011; Highly Commended, Ocean Shores Art Expo 2011 and was Recipient of the Buzz Grant, Australia Council, Sydney 2003. Her work is represented in the Southern Cross University and Mirvac Group Collections.

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