“Sally Stokes & Leah Thiessen distill the ESSENCE of the landscape in their own powerful, nuanced ways. Stokes’ paintings bristle with raw honesty; each gesture and daub of colour uncannily balanced and alive, and yet they dwell in a place beyond locations – beyond her. Thiessen’s work taps into the emotional gravity of a place, its memory, its pulse, its rawness and power. Her paintings communicate a deep felt relationship with the earth, embodying a spirit of place and its atmosphere. In a world that is over-aestheticised and racing ever-faster, ever-broader, there is a kind of pushback and pause that these paintings offer.” ARO Gallery Sydney, 13-25 March 2018.