Marianne Cara in Conversation with Noella Lopez

Marianne Cara in Conversation with Noella Lopez


Inspired by the beautiful southern highlands of NSW, Marianne Cara’s new series “Heading south – where the sea makes a noise” is a contemplation of the beauty and cycles of nature. Immersing herself in Morton National Park and the area surrounding Saddleback Mountain, Cara allowed the contrasts of luscious landscapes with back burned bush and striking blue seascapes guide her paint brush and explore visual sensations and emotions.

Marianne’s unleashes her passion for oil painting and its techniques and love for the landscape with this new series. She immerses herself in the Australian landscape of the Southern Highlands, its beauty, its dramatic shoreline, engages with its sheer energy and contrasted sights and gives us a glimpse into her journeys. 

With this new series you have shifted your attention from the Italian landscape to the Australian landscape. What inspired you to do this? Any connections with Italy?

Well I suppose I am around the Australian landscape more than the Italian! I often drive to the southern highlands and coast of NSW – this is a special and unique area to me.  I have often heard it described as a little piece of Europe, and it is rare to find a region in Australia with comparable landscape.  Driving through some areas of the highlands you could easily mistake it for the Italian or French countryside.  Vineyards and olive groves are dotted around the landscape and the old deciduous European trees add a flare of colour - this is possibly why I am so attracted to the area, because it does remind me of Italy.  Colourings of the landscape such as the cool greens and blues, violets of the south coast and highlands are comparable with the cooler parts of Calabria in southern Italy – the pine forests and mountains where my mother and father grew up. 

The title of the series is "Heading South - Where the Sea Makes a Noise". How did you choose this title?

I enjoy driving south to Kiama, a pretty coastal town on the Illawarra, for family holidays and generally getting away.  The name Kiama originates from the aboriginal word “Kiarama”, which means “Place where the sea makes a noise” or “Where the seas roar”.  It is also known as the place where the mountains touch the sea.  The drive around the winding picturesque road through the foothills from Saddleback Mountain gives a breathtaking view of the south coast reaching out to the sea - I could almost touch it.  Even though the road leads to the noisy ocean, this place exudes tranquillity and blue calm amidst open spaces.

You often describe how much you enjoy equally the process of creating your work, the preparation of the surfaces and the creation and inspirational aspects of your artworks. Tell us more about this and also what you may have in mind about your next series.

In this series of works, something that I had not used before was to prepare the raw canvases with rabbit skin glue, instead of using commercially made gesso.  Rabbit skin glue is a sizing that also acts as an adhesive.  It is essentially refined rabbit collagen, and was originally used as an ingredient in traditional gesso.  In traditional oil painting as practiced by the Renaissance painter, skin glue was used to coat the canvas.  This is necessary because the linseed oil that forms the base of most oil paint contains linolenic acid that will destroy the canvas fibres over time.  When the glue dries it tightens the canvas.  Rabbit skin glue ground is only appropriate for use under oil paint which is what I use.

The process of creating the ‘structures’, as I individually hand built each canvas’ support, became a journey and creative experience in itself.  The time invested in this series was a beautiful meditation of sorts, a pause - an expression of the respect I have for the landscape and a tribute to the technique of oil painting.

In the near future, as well as continuing with my “Heading South” series, I would also like to start on a Japanese landscape series from my recent travels to Tokyo and Mt Nikko in Japan.   

Marianne Cara 2015






0 Comments To "Marianne Cara in Conversation with Noella Lopez"

Write a comment

Your Name:

Your Comment: Note: HTML is not translated!

Enter the code in the box below:

By posting this comment, you agree to abide by Noella Lopez Gallery Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.