The simple and perfect post on The Design Files Instagram “Let’s get Married” a couple of weeks ago reminded me of the intricate beauty of Lucas Grogan’s work. Once I got past the jealousy of this wonderfully romantic gesture (made for The Design Files founder Lucy Feagins) I began to explore the impressive catalogue of work by this young, Melbourne based artist.
In keeping with his contemporaries, Grogan doesn’t limit himself to one medium preferring to explore the autobiographical material and cultural observations in his work using techniques as diverse as needlepoint to mural-scale installations. With the distinctive use of a circular base and a largely monotonal palette (currently in shades of blue) Grogan builds his composition with the repetition of shape and pattern. With complex linework and cross hatching it is easy to see where critics have had issue with Grogan, a non indigenous painter, having too close a connection with Aboriginal art. Grogan acknowledges that Aboriginal art has had an influence on his work but that it is one of many sources that he draws from. Perhaps the most fun are the derisive text excerpts incorporated into his paintings and quilts (taken from conversations, newspapers and social media) that cleverly reflect the way our current modes of communication are reduced to sound bites.
If you are in Melbourne there are two ways to see his work this week firstly by visiting The Design Files Oopen House or his most recent exhibition at Gallerysmith (until 14 December). The Design Files Open House opens in Sydney in early December.
Words by: Katrina Arent
170 – 174 Abbotsford St, North Melbourne
Friday 15 November – 14 December 2013
The Design Files Open House
Melbourne 21 – 24 November 2013
Sydney 5 – 8 December 2013
Credits: Lucas Grogan