It's always a little special when you fall in love with an art style or piece and then get to meet the creative mind behind it - sometimes it's a confirmation of the revelatory powers of art, when you find exactly who you might have subconsciously expected; it's much like seeing a dog and owner pairing where they are clearly incarnations of the same kindred spirit - a little 'aha!' moment that's always really fun. Other times, there's a larger contrast between the artist and the visual energy and style of their works, which is an equally interesting phenomenon to contemplate. It's a humbling lesson in just how rich, and sometimes surprising, our creative inner worlds are, and how potential for beautiful, thought-provoking and interesting pieces can come from the most unassuming hands and people.
I had a fun afternoon wandering the - admittedly stifling - lanes of the Other Art Fair at Central Park (thanks Vanessa for the tickets!), chatting to the artists of pieces that caught my eye and taking the occasional photograph (or five), the only sort of 'payment' for the visual stimulus and inspiration that I can offer at this point, being a poor university student. Spotlighting that was good for artwork was, sadly, not great for portraits of people but, in the absence of a fill flash, I just had to work with it. Apologies, also, for the lateness of this write-up - the end of September passed in a whirlwind of events, and I'm excited to write about those in future blog posts.
There was a real range and diversity to the collection, from the bold graphic works of Robert Withers to the delicate, barely-there pencils, inks, and Yen Magazine-esque aesthetics of Taylor Conacher, and the sweeping, graceful interplay of colours on Britt Dunbar's paintings.
Talking to various artists also allowed me to glean tiny tidbits of information about their practice and processes, and makes the artworks more memorable for me. Hugh Ramage - the first artist I spoke to - demonstrated an impressively diverse range of styles and mediums, all within his own portfolio, but it's great to pick out the dynamism that is embodied in all his artworks, no matter their final form. I especially loved how many of his works involved drawing on the 'energy' within old artworks when repurposing and reworking them. The beautiful, slightly eerie aqua painting that first caught my eye was actually created in the process of rubbing it out. Shane Drinkwater, for example, does not plan out the various patterns and components of his artwork - just paints them, and then pieces them together to create simple but beautifully eclectic pieces.
Sherna Tepersonactually took these photos of Chinese soldiers at the Three Gorges Dam in China, using a sneaky telephoto lens (how a gigantic telephoto lens can be sneaky remains beyond me, but I am equally as guilty of the sneaky 'street' snap). The silver 'clouds' are made up of silver holographic paper stitched through the paper.
I love the fusion of very modern, minimalist, graphic shapes and neon with more traditional, textured backgrounds on Kirsten Duncombe's paintings and Tanya Wales - whose manner as the same calm elegance as her paintings - 'pours' her artworks onto very large canvases to achieve these beautifully subtle, abstract pastels. Kai Wasikowski's set of photographs were one of my absolute favourites, perhaps because of their simplicity and the energy in their bright colours. Absolutely adored the top right, dark-blue artwork and how the water plays with the barriers of the screen and its environment. The rectangles were inspired by smartphone screens and the ability for the screens to be a means of transporting someone to another world.
I even found a fellow USYD student, albeit postgrad - Nick De Lorenzo's photographs were developed from old films of cells and other biological subjects at McLaurin Library (I believe?), using a special kind of chemical that allows it to develop on canvas. This was another favourite - I'm a shameless sucker for a touch of gold leaf.
All in all, a fun way to spend an afternoon at Central Park, which is a beautifully restful space in itself. It's always good to scope out the wall decor for your hypothetical dream home early, right? A girl's gotta dream.