Author: Hannah Siemer
Published: September 04, 2020
For as long as she can remember, Esperance-based artist Esti Nagy has felt a deep connection with animals and nature. Nothing is more evident in her first solo exhibition, Not Separate: The Tamed and the Wild, now on display at the Cannery Arts Centre.
Originally from Hungary, Esti moved to Mauritius with her family at the age of 10, before moving to Perth for university in her early twenties. She has called Australia home ever since and has spent the last two years living in Esperance.
Esti’s dynamic work can already be seen around town, having painted several colourful murals during her short time here. She is the artist behind the inquisitive kangaroos on the Scout Hall and the dreamy marine scene at the end of Andrew Street. Esti is also responsible for murals at the high school and the hospital, the latter a collaboration with artist Pauline Bonney.
“Painting murals is very physically challenging, especially in Esperance where you experience a range of temperatures and strong winds,” she said.
“When I was painting the Scout Hall, I’d have full sun in the morning so the paint would almost dry on the brush and by midday, there’d be a full-on south-easterly and it’d be freezing cold!”
Despite their challenges, Esti said she loved painting murals, though she also loved being in her “own little world,” painting smaller pieces such as those on display in her exhibition.
Esti has previously contributed a number of pieces in group exhibitions at the Cannery but said the idea of holding a solo exhibition had always been at the back of her mind. She said over the years she had felt an increasingly strong pull to make art, and finally succumbed when she left her career as a landscape architect five years ago.
“Working as a landscape architect, I’d have a long commute to work and all I could think of was that I wanted to paint,” Esti said.
“Nothing else makes me feel as fulfilled. My soul was screaming at me to do this.”
Not Separate: The Tamed and the Wild is a reflection and celebration of Esti’s deep connection with nature and other living beings. Her paintings are primarily in oils and acrylics, and are in a mix of styles, displaying her versatility as an artist. Bursting with life and colour, the exhibition is a vivid opening act to the recommencing of the Cannery’s onsite programming, post-COVID-19.
Not Separate: The Tamed and the Wild is on display until July 19.
More details can be found here.
Photography credit: @estis_art