Andy Pye’s latest exhibition, Cockies and Hot Rocks, stands as a testament to the transformative power of art in capturing the essence of the Australian landscape. Following acclaimed showcases in Sydney and Melbourne, Pye’s captivating exploration of the bush narrative now graces the walls of Wagga Wagga Art Gallery until April 14, 2024.

In contrast to his earlier works, Cockies and Hot Rocks marks a pivotal shift in Pye’s artistic practice. Departing from conventional landscapes, Pye ventures into a realm that challenges viewers to confront the dichotomy between beauty and danger inherent in the Australian bush. Through large-scale paintings teeming with vibrant colours and evocative storytelling, Pye invites audiences to immerse themselves in a world where untamed wilderness and hidden narratives converge.

Cockies and Hot Rocks – install, Image courtesy of Wagga Wagga Art Gallery

At the heart of the exhibition lies Pye’s masterful depiction of opposing forces within the landscape. Works such as Hogs with Sow at Clear Creek, 2023 exemplify Pye’s ability to capture the tension between serenity and peril, as fearsome hogs roam alongside pristine riverbanks and cascading waterfalls. Similarly, Estuary System, 2023, offers a poignant commentary on the encroachment of modernity on ancient landscapes, prompting reflection on humanity’s impact on the natural world.

Yet, amidst the chaos and drama, Pye’s art also reveals moments of tranquility and solace. Gumnut Crystal Haul (Still Life) at Cave Studio, 2023, invites viewers into the artist’s personal sanctuary, where lush landscapes and serene sunsets serve as a source of inspiration and renewal. Through his brushstrokes, Pye captures the inherent beauty of the Australian bush, reminding us of the delicate balance between destruction and creation.

Andy Pye, Gum Nut and Crystal Haul (Still Life at Cave Studio), 2023
Image courtesy of the artist

Curated in collaboration with Wagga Wagga Art Gallery Director Dr. Lee-Anne Hall and curator Andrew Halyday, Cockies and Hot Rocks offers a thought-provoking journey through Pye’s evolving artistic vision. Featuring works painted over the summer of 2023-24, as well as pieces loaned from other galleries and private collectors, the exhibition showcases Pye’s versatility and depth as an artist.

Cockies and Hot Rocks – install, Image courtesy of Wagga Wagga Art Gallery

As Pye continues to push the boundaries of landscape painting, Cockies and Hot Rocks emerges as a poignant reflection of Australia’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. With each brushstroke, Pye invites us to reconsider our relationship with the land and the stories it holds, leaving an indelible mark on the canvas of Australian art.

Andy Pye, Yabbies Become Cockies I, 2024
Image courtesy of the artist

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience Pye’s mesmerising vision of the Australian bush before the exhibit concludes on April 14, 2024.

Cockies and Hot Rocks is presented by arrangement with the Wangaratta Art Gallery.

For more information about the exhibition and gallery hours, visit:
Wagga Wagga Art Gallery
Tel 02 6926 9660

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