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By Jodie Symonds

The vibrant and atmospheric artwork of Belinda Volkmer will be on display at Miloko in Sassafras until Friday 28 April.
Called ‘Celebration’, the exhibition was inspired by the time Volkmer spent as a child in the Dandenong Ranges and on trips to the beach.
These experiences gave her the opportunity to collect treasures from nature and the time to observe.
The exhibition opened on Saturday 18 March, where Volkmer discussed her fascination for colour and texture.
She said at the opening that one of her earliest memories was running her hand along a weed and examining the varying greens and rusts in the seeds.
“I also loved luminous green Christmas beetles, moss, lichen, bark, leaves, feathers, shells, flowers, rocks and shimmering water,” Volkmer said.
Art for Volkmer is a way of nourishing positive connections with nature.
“I have been painting continuously for eight years now, and I know it will be a lifelong pursuit,” she said.
“My early paintings were semi-realistic; however, in recent years I’ve shifted into a contemporary or abstract art style.
“This occurred spontaneously.
“In a world of such structure and control, it’s great escapism to pain with freedom.”
‘Celebration’ features large, dynamic canvases that would suit large spaces and add a sense of drama and colour to the environment.
Volkmer’s work is a blend of large, broad brush strokes and fine detailed touches that enhance the sense of depth and space.
“I prefer to use a large canvas that gives me scope to use generous amount of paint and move it around freely,” she said.
Miloko Gallery is located on 5/372 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Sassafras.

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