born. 1978. ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Imbi Davidson is a visual artist currently living on the North Coast of NSW, Australia. Originally from South Australia, Imbi spent 12 years living across the Northern Territory before relocating to NSW.
Imbi was awarded an Australian Post Graduate Award to complete her Masters Degree in Visual Arts, researching the art of native plants in Australia with a focus on Indigenous and abstract representations of plants and the landscape. Her MA Thesis: The Casuarina Tree - Visual Translations of Native Plants and Art in Australia (2012), is catalogued in the National Library of Australia.
As a qualified visual arts specialist teacher, Imbi has organised exhibitions for youth in regional areas of Darwin (Yr 10 Rascals Exhibition), worked with refugee/migrant communities (Trees of Life Project, Refugee Week Community Celebration) and co-facilitated holiday arts programs in Arnhem Land. She has taught as an artist-in-residence across the Northern Rivers (Arakwal Art Project, Mullumbimby High School, Doroughby Environmental Art Camp) and currently teaches arts based programs throughout Northern NSW.
Throughout her time living in Arnhem Land, Imbi was adopted into the Marragnu Djineng Clan from Wulkabimirri, near Raminginging, Central Arnhem Land. She is a speaker of the Djineng language and worked with senior traditional owners to record ethnobotanical, cultural and ancestral stories and learned traditional basket weaving techniques, dye plants and bush medicines from her 'auntie' Mary Milngurr.
In 2009, Imbi was awarded an Australia Council Emerging Artist Mentorship Grant, working with artist/mentor India Flint. The 6 month 'apprenticeship' focused on mark-making, the abstract line, natural dyes, story telling in stitch, mapping country and repurposing fabric/textiles/canvas into new or re-imagined works.
Imbi has travelled extensively throughout New Zealand, South-East Asia, India, Canada and Australia.
"Imbi's canvases take you into a strange space, you go on a voyage of your own deep into the paint."
- Dallas Gold, owner Raft ArtSpace, Alice Springs
Imbi's work is inspired by the landscape in its myriad forms; its patterning, patina, history, contour, story and bones. Her paintings are an intuitive or inner response to landscape, giving resonance to its deeper, untold form.
Her work explores a mythopoetic landscape of colour, shape and motion; unravelling mountainous stories embedded in the folds, depths and boundaries raging against storming skies. The works range over geometric contours of the landscape in juxtaposition with wild, emotional sky-scapes. Imbi's works capture the tensions between earth and sky, inner and outer, whilst finding linear points of intersection and connection.
Working with a range of mixed media from blood, rock, earth, pigment, paint, water, plants and oils, Imbi creates a layered synthesis between solid forms and liquid bleeds. At once fluid and solid, her work harnesses these tensions and seeks to find a point of the 'in-between'; the intersect where worlds collide.
"The paintings were lush, exorbitant and unconstrained."
- Nicolas Rothwell, Journalist, The Australian