Spring in Hokkaido is a secret shared only by those that live in this beautiful island or those that are — like your correspondent — lucky enough to be regular visitors. Spring is also the time for the Lake Toya Art Museum to host its annual ‘visitor’ for a solo exhibition. On this occasion, it is the Australian artist Heather McCalman.
Heather lives and paints part of the year in the Hirafu area but is otherwise in Canberra and Byron Bay — all three are locations for the works in her show. The exhibition is entitled Earth – Water – Sky and suggests the strong emotions and even dream-like quality inspired by the mountain and coastal scenery of Hokkaido in winter as well as some well known Australian beaches. These elemental forces are well understood in this part of Japan.
Heather has previously exhibited at the Shu Ogawa Gallery in Kuchan and of course in Australia. She is a well known skiing identity in Hanazono and a former Australian Womens’ Downhill Champion. Like her mother and grandfather, art is in her blood and she has been working for over a year to prepare more than twenty oil paintings for this exhibition — which runs until 18 May.
Readers of Hokkaido Explorer with the opportunity to visit the Toyako Museum of Art, a beautiful old building that sits on the edge of Lake Toya, should make the extra effort to see this sensitive expose of our natural world – two of Heather’s works are pictured below.