MEMBERS of the Penang Players Music and Drama Society are spreading a message about nature conservation through an art exhibition.
Held at the Performing Arts Centre of Penang (Penangpac) in Straits Quay, it is titled ‘Art Within Theatre II: Mother Nature, A Celebration’.
On display are several dozen artworks by Ivan Gabriel, Gabriela Garza-Lainez, Eric Yeoh, Joelle Saint-Arnoult, Lucia Quiros and Vijay Nathan.
All are actively involved with performing arts in various capacities ranging from producing and acting, to designing sets, props and managing the stage.
The exhibition is a showcase of their lesser seen talents, and is a follow-up to an earlier show held in 2017 for the society’s 25th Anniversary.
Saint-Arnoult worries that nature, humanity’s livelihood, is in dire straits and urgent action is required to ensure the next generation is still able to enjoy its wonders.
“We hope our artworks show its beauty and remind people to step up efforts and work together to save the environment,” she opined.
Her works include Exultation and Reflecting Times, both upward views of tree canopies in different seasons, Neptune’s Garden with marine treasures and several floral pieces.
Among the works Gabriel put up is The Black Rhino, which was named Eksentrika’s Art of the Year in 2017. Gold leaf on the animal’s horn alluded to how much humans covet it.
Others like The Olive Ridley Turtle and Tree Bark III are multi-layered works with a three-dimensional effect.
“The former was inspired by a video that broke my heart, of a fisherman finding a turtle with a plastic straw lodged in its nose.
“I made the shell, flippers and head out of separate pieces to symbolise how people harvest different parts of an animal for different purposes,” explained Gabriel.
Garza-Lainez captured the beauty of nature in different parts of the world with photographs titled Sunset in Greece, Ant in Ipoh, Butterfly in Penang and Water Lily in Japan.
“I used to live in China. It was so polluted there that my mother had asthma. We ended up relocating to Penang.
“I hope people can better appreciate nature and protect it, otherwise it could affect our wellbeing,” added the American, who also did a poetry piece titled Ocean’s Whisper on a piece of driftwood.
Vijay also saw the value of upcycling or making discarded things functional again. He came up with several installation pieces, one being Yggdrasil inspired by the mythological Norse tree of life.
“As humans, sometimes we might feel useless. But all it takes is to inject some light within, and you’ll be revitalised,” he reasoned, also pointing to other works like Fly Dragon and Bottled Messages.
Some of Quiros’ pieces, like Technicolour Forest, explore how humans mimic and mould nature to enjoy it in a more comfortable way.
“I’d prefer a real forest that is full of colour and bursting with life, rather than a digital one to put on a screen or wall where you can choose the colour or type of trees,” the Spaniard added.
Meanwhile, Yeoh displayed several floral portraits inspired by his regular visits to botanic gardens and nature trails.
“There is nothing like nature’s beauty. It soothes the eyes and relaxes you,” he noted at the show’s recent opening.
Besides the six, guest artist Rebecca Duckett-Wilkinson also put up one piece titled After My Jungle Walks.
The exhibition continues until Sunday and is open for viewing from 10am to 6pm on weekdays, and 10am to 2pm on Saturday. For inquiries, call 04-8991772.