Art of the Animals by Gayle Newcombe and Unguarded Moments by Delphine Allert made their debut at the Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery last Friday evening, with Art of the Animals situated in the Bainger Gallery and Unguarded Moments located in the Main Gallery.
"I've always had animals in my life," Gayle said about what inspired her work.
"I always have my camera on me as well, and much of my work is based on photos."
Gayle started practising art 15 years ago, and recently returned to it after a break.
Gayle is mostly self-taught, however she also looks for inspiration on Youtube, and she admires the work of Steve Morvell, a renonowned wildlife artist, and Linda Robinson, a landscape artist. Both of these artists were in attendance at the exhibition.
Art of the Animals depicts mammals, birds, and reptiles. Some of the earliest wildlife art dates back to the Upper Paleolithic period, existing as cave paintings. In Australia, as well as mammals, Aboriginal Australians would depict reptiles and fish.
Aboriginal Australian rock paintings were also some of the first to depict the skeletons of animals, elevating the art beyond 'hunter-gatherer' narratives to instead communicate scientific discoveries.
In the Main Gallery, Delphine Allert had used mixed materials (though primarily oils) to capture women freely expressing emotion.
"It's about being yourself, and not guarding anything, or being posed," Delphine said of her work.
Delphine has a Diploma in Art, and like Gayle, prioritised her family life before her art before deciding to focus on it once again.
The history of what could be considered 'modern' portraiture, i.e. post cave drawings, dates back to ancient Egypt, where in two dimensional art there were hieroglyphs, and in sculpture there were coffins, statues, and rock carvings such as the Sphinx.
Portraits were often used to flatter the wealthy and noble. The exception to this was Francisco Goya, who won favour with Spanish royalty even whilst painting them as they were, with weak chins, long noses, or ruddy complexions.