Ocean Windows

Catherine Stringer

Ocean Windows

Catherine Stringer

Catherine Stringer

28 September – 8 October 2023

Opening event:

Friday 29 September – 5:30pm-7:30pm

Catherine’s exhibition will be opened by Seán Kelly. 

Seán is a Curator, Arts Writer and Re-emerging Artist.

Daily Opening Times :

9.30am – 5pm daily (Closing at 4pm on the final day)

Ocean Windows presents a series of luminous seaweed paper artworks inspired by the traditional rose windows of Gothic cathedrals and the universal symbolism of the circle.

‘Ocean Windows’ combines the delicate translucent textures of seaweed paper with the timeless appeal of traditional stained glass windows. Inspiration is drawn from the ornate rose windows that adorn European Gothic cathedrals, and the universal symbolism of the circle.

Tasmanian artist Catherine Stringer has been researching the making of paper from seaweed for over 10 years. This series represents a significant progression in her seaweed papermaking practice, with the development of new techniques and themes.

The artworks in ‘Ocean Windows’ are all circular in design and depict various marine themes. Each one is constructed from many different seaweed papers, handmade from a wide range of Tasmanian seaweeds. They are framed and displayed in a manner which allows light to filter though from behind, illuminating and enlivening the images.

The circle’s symbolic significance has traversed diverse cultures and religions throughout history, embodying themes of unity, wholeness and the cyclical nature of existence. It is evident in prehistoric petroglyphs and megalithic structures, the Eastern Yin-Yang symbol, the Native American medicine wheel, Celtic knots, and in the religious mandalas of Hinduism and Buddhism.

More recently, Jungian psychology recognises the circle as a powerful archetype originating in the collective unconscious. Jung saw mandalas as portals to the inner world, and manifestations of the psyche’s efforts to integrate and balance the conscious and unconscious aspects of the self. Meditating on mandalas was thought to promote self-discovery, healing and personal transformation.

The intricate stained glass panels within the awe inspiring rose windows of Christian cathedrals often depict spiritual themes and religious teachings. However the geometrical design and powerful radiant light mediate a profound effect on the viewer which transcends words. They can be viewed as metaphorical gateways between earthly and heavenly realms and expressions of humankind’s highest aspirations towards wholeness and coherence. They continue to resonate with viewers today, surpassing cultural boundaries and speaking to the deepest aspects of human experience and spirituality.

The seaweed paper artworks in ‘Ocean Windows’ meld organic materials with spiritual inspiration, tradition with innovation. Although not of the scale or grandeur of the Gothic rose windows they share their luminosity and circular design. Similarly, these ‘windows to the deep’ may allude to things that are ‘beneath the surface’ or usually hidden from view, but the ethereal evocative imagery promotes an initial visceral or intuitive response and invites contemplation and reflection.