Genevieve De Couvreur
It was whilst Genevieve de Couvreur was exploring her family history that she met her husband, Dr Stephen Tredinnick and subsequently moved here. Related on her maternal side to the Coxs of ‘Clarendon’ (an historic property) it was during this trip to Tasmania that she was introduced by a mutual friend to her prospective husband. Now a resident of eight years, the former Sydney dweller loves it here and finds the light and life in Tasmania truly inspiring to her painting.
In an earlier marriage to Charles Blackman, the notable Australian painter, Genevieve was surrounded by the creative process. She has two grown children to Blackman, a daughter Bertie, a musician, singer songwriter and an Aria recipient and a son Felix, a designer and soon to be fully qualified architect. A painter of 26 years herself, her subject matter was at first figurative.
Genevieve says she always loved colour and moved from the figurative in painting to the abstract, using colour as a powerful metaphor for emotion and mood conveyed in her ‘mandalic’ works.
Her move to colourist works began as an under painting one time, and finished as an abstract picture. The transition had begun. De Couvreur’s works have a luminosity which is created by the application of gold leaf and subsequent glazes of oil paint. She says she developed her style as she progressed, to the point where she no longer required a narrative and put simply, “became immersed in the beauty of colour”.
The dramatic light of the east coast of Tasmania is reflected in her work, symbolising what de Couvreur refers to as the bipolarity of this island state. There is a great natural beauty juxtaposed with a harshness and at times ruggedness of the landscape. The history of the cooperative endeavours of the settlers and the brutality of the former penal colony are in themselves a contrast. Being a relatively recent arrival to Tasmania, she is afforded the insight of the onlooker and it is this insight that has allowed her to see the contrasts of Tasmania, which have become a constant thread through her work. The vibrancy of which is enhanced all the more by the contrast and luminosity displayed.
Not content with painting as her only creative medium, Genevieve has embarked on another creative project of a different type with her husband. Together they have created Arthouse, a place of inspiration and rejuvenation, a concept of holiday or retreat accommodation for those wishing to experience a creative process in some way. This might be achieved through the medium of writing, painting or just contemplation.
There is a studio space for guests to paint or sketch, the house is furnished with bespoke furniture created by her husband and her own artworks, at Salamanca the works are hers and from her own private collection.
The view outside is beautiful, looking down to Bingalong Bay, and the atmosphere tranquil. The pantry is stocked with good Tasmanian basics for cooking and the modern airy dwelling is well equipped for a very comfortable stay. Arthouse Salamanca is the next project and it is well under way, providing a city extension of the idea with all the galleries, cultural events and some of Tasmania’s finest restaurants and trendy bars a short walk away in Salamanca and the CBD.
Words: Claire Andrews
Images: Courtesy of the artist
Arthouse can be viewed at http://arthousebayoffires.com.au/