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Art

In/Out: Koo Bohnchang

In/Out: Koo Bohnchang

In/Out: Koo Bohnchang

In/Out: Koo Bohnchang

In/Out: Koo Bohnchang

In/Out: Koo Bohnchang

Koo Bohnchang’s reunion of Korean ‘dal-hang-a-ri’ or ‘moon jars’ is tender photographic portraiture. Long lost relatives, these unadorned treasures are reunited in Bohchang’s ‘Vessels’ series of photographs. Rare white porcelain all fired from only a couple of kilns from the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) they are reunited again after centuries of being dispersed to collectors in far reaches of the globe.

Renowned for their white milky glaze that earned them the name ‘moon jars’ these curvaceous beauties, so simple in form, are symbols of purity. Through Bohnchang’s soft monochromatic gaze you sense the historical importance of an object. ‘Vessels’ are a heartfelt reminder that what we create is a representation of the era, an immediate connection, not only to the aesthetic nature of that time but most importantly to the state of mind.

Affectionate imagery conveys the preference for restraint typical of the Confucianism period, white porcelain vessels so serenely perfect with their slight imperfections. Soulfully this is Bohnchang’s family tree that he shares with us.

Credits: Koo Bohnchang

KOO BOHNCHANG ‘VESSELS’

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

Out/ About: Alan Jones 'Paintings from Coogee'

It is well known, the nearly impossible plight of the artist to make a living from selling their wares. Let’s be frank not all of us can afford to buy the art we desire and with only limited gallery space just getting your work on the wall can be the biggest challenge. Fortunately many private and public institutions have annual competitions that allow artists the opportunity to win some serious prize money and perhaps, more importantly, some time in the spotlight.

A couple of weeks ago Sydney painter Alan Jones was awarded the coveted Mosman Art Prize and collected $30,000 for his work ‘Painting 131 (North Coogee)’. The winning work depicts an atmospheric rendering of his local park in Sydney’s coastal suburb with two highly textural self portraits floating curiously above the headland.

The autobiographical theme is central to most of Jones’ artmaking of the past decade with images taken from his personal history forming the nexus of his work in a variety of media. He examines notions of identity through his paintings of immediate family members but also goes to considerable effort in researching his distant heritage right back to a convict forebear who arrived on the First Fleet. Jones explains ‘making work that has a significance for me feels more relevant, and has a greater importance; this personal connection to the work keeps me going back into the studio.’

There is definitely a shared desire (this is the third major prize won in so many years) for him to stay in the studio as his highly original paintings provide a fresh perspective on contemporary Australian painting, both in subject and technique. Together with the exhibition at the Mosman Art Gallery (current until August 30) Alan Jones is preparing for a solo exhibition at Olsen Irwin Gallery, Sydney opening on August 26.

Mosman Art Gallery
Art Gallery Way & Myahgah Road
Mosman NSW 2088
10am – 5pm, 7 days a week
Until 30th August

Alan Jones ‘Paintings from Coogee’
Olsen Irwin Gallery
63 Jersey Road
Woollahra 2025 NSW
Monday: 12-5
Tuesday-Friday: 10-6
Saturday: 10-5
Sunday: 12-5
26 August – 13 September

Credits: Courtesy of the artist Alan Jones and Mosman Art Gallery & Olsen Irwin
Words by Katrina Arent

OUT/ABOUT: ALAN JONES ‘Paintings From Coogee’

In/Out: Fabien Cappello ‘Shapes II'

In/Out: Fabien Cappello ‘Shapes II'

In/Out: Fabien Cappello ‘Shapes II'

In/Out: Fabien Cappello ‘Shapes II'

In/Out: Fabien Cappello ‘Shapes II'

In/Out: Fabien Cappello ‘Shapes II'

In/Out: Fabien Cappello ‘Shapes II'

In/Out: Fabien Cappello ‘Shapes II'

In/Out: Fabien Cappello ‘Shapes II'

Fabien Cappello treads the line between artist and designer. His Shapes II, part of an extended campaign for Danish textile house Kvadrat, is a collection of suspended abstract shapes, joyfully coming to life as a suspended mobile of form, textile and colour.

Cappello’s Shapes II, created in collaboration with London based graphic design firm Graphic Thought Facility, are free-formed, stretched into aluminium frames and suspended from the ceiling; their silhouettes floating and creating a delicate play of light, shadow and colour. The continuing ‘Shapes’ series is united by a strong sense playfulness yet beautifully captures the meticulously crafted colour stories. Each arrangement is its own celebration of the depth and quality of the Kvadrat palette – a work of art in its own right.

Credits: Fabien Cappello

Fabien Cappello ‘Shapes II’

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson 'Fixated'

It’s hard to remember our lives before the daily visual barrage from our computers, tablets and phones; with images from all around the world accessible at the flick of a switch. Equally we are able to construct an online identity shaped by the pictures we post and share. These ideas shape the framework for a new collection of paintings by Sydney-based artist James Ettelson.

Ettelson investigates contemporary culture, looking at the ways we are ‘fixated’ on technology, with consumption and production of often ‘picture perfect’ imagery. Although largely abstract, his canvases offer a few visual clues to these themes: a cross-legged girl in a swimming costume, palm trees and a posing cat emerge from these densely constructed paintings. The irony that Ettelson is choosing to comment on images that are usually fast and disposable while executing his own work with painstaking precision is not lost on the viewer.

There is something almost craft-like in his approach, he builds the compositions intuitively with a series of highly colourful patchwork sections. These fragments are made with a series of dashes and dots (that nod to Aboriginal Art) and anyone that has marveled at the master of pointillism, Georges Seurat, will enjoy this contemporary interpretation. The cheekily titled ‘Tinder Surprise’ also exposes the under-painting beneath his jewel-like surface. Arbitrary marks in acid neon aerosol provide a provocative counterpoint to the structured inscriptions on the surface.

Having only just turned thirty and with four solo exhibitions under his belt, this self-trained artist is definitely one to watch.

James Ettelson ‘Fixated’
Arthouse Gallery
66 McLachlan Ave
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Tuesday – Friday: 9.30am – 6pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday – Monday: closed
Until 8th August 2015

Credits: Courtesy of the artist James Ettelson and Arthouse Gallery
Words by Katrina Arent

OUT/ABOUT: James Ettelson ‘Fixated’

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

In/Out - Out/About: Melinda Harper 'Colour Sensation'

Melbourne based artist Melinda Harper has built a career on the seemingly endless possibilities of abstract colour placement. An impressive body of work is now on show at the Heide Museum of Modern Art. Appropriately titled ‘Colour Sensation’, this large exhibition chronicles three decades of artmaking and it is an absolute feast for the eyes.

In her early work you can see a strong connection to early twentieth century abstraction with simplified compositions that talk to artists such as Kazimir Malevich. However, it is not long before she develops her own language and a dynamic and unashamed celebration of colour begins. Harper’s canvases are structured in the varied relationships of shape – stripes, circles, triangles – with a sophisticated understanding of colour. Sometimes harmonious and other times discordant, Harper says the work is a direct response to her lived experience and she explains, “colour is emotional, it evokes a feeling. I have never read colour theory books. For me, it’s all about looking, feeling and reacting.”

While best known for her paintings, the exhibition also brings together Harper’s work in other mediums such as printmaking, sculptural assemblage and a series of intricate hand-sewn tapestries. Collections of whimsical sculptures dance in museum display cabinets; constructed from ceramic vessels (often purchased from op shops), Harper decorates with vibrantly coloured wood blocks and circular mirrors that provide the viewer with a three dimensional manifestation of her paintings.

If you live in (or plan to visit) Melbourne before October 25, a visit to Heide is an absolute must. Heide holds a significant place in Australian art history, originally purchased in 1934 by prominent benefactors John and Sunday Reed, it soon developed into a home for some of Australia’s best known modernist painters including Nolan, Tucker, Hester and Perceval. Becoming a public museum in 1981, after various impressive building projects and sizeable donations of work, have made it one of our more important cultural institutions.

So aside from the must-see Harper exhibition, there are always several other shows from the Heide collection, not to mention the drop-dead architecture and glorious gardens, that make for a truly wonderful day out celebrating all that is modern art in Australia.

Melinda Harper ‘Colour Sensation’
Heide Museum of Modern Art
7 Templestowe Road
Bulleen, VIC
Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-5pm
Public Holidays: 10am-5pm
Until 25th October 2015

Credits: Courtesy of the artist Melinda Harper and Heide Museum of Modern Art
Words by Katrina Arent

Out/About: Melinda Harper ‘Colour Sensation’

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'
OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis 'Everything We Ever Wanted'

‘Everything We Ever Wanted’, is a group show of paintings by young American artists Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella and Sarah Mikenis at the Nationale Gallery in Portland. Batten’s still lifes, Casella’s abstract jigsaws and Mikenis’s pop tribal portraits are a collage of provocations, visually arresting and unified in medium with intense colour saturations, yet diverse in expression.

Batten’s Matisse-like still lifes carry the trademark objects of a perceived bohemian life; flowers carelessly placed in a jar of water, layers of inspirational textiles, fabulously messy and carefree.

Casella’s puzzles are constrained by the canvas. Squashed in; they elbow for room like cogs in a mechanical techno machine they move around their maze.

Mikenis’s ethnic characters are confident in their get up. Excessive appliqué morphs, while the busy backdrops in monochrome and pastels animate their forms.

Hyper-realism with a palette that harps back to the excesses of the 1980’s, this is a generational take on aspirational life. “Life viewed within this construct of carefully edited online personas confuses happiness with affluence, relaxation with indulgence”.

Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis ‘Everything We Ever Wanted’
Nationale
3360 SE Division Street
Portland, OR 97202
Monday: 12-6
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday-Sunday: 12-6
Until 6th July, 2015

Images courtesy of the artists and Nationale, Portland Oregon

OUT/ABOUT: Katie Batten, Jonathan Casella, Sarah Mikenis ‘Everything We Ever Wanted’

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

In/Out: YIELD

A pure philosophy of quality objects, ethically produced, both functional and decorative are core to design duo, Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming, of Yield. The self proclaimed “New American Standards”, it’s fitting that Yield is based in Saint Augustine, Florida, the oldest European settlement in the USA.

Yield is a collection of feel good objects, honest in their materiality – dull brass, copper ready for patina by many hands, calico bags with vegetable dyed tanned leather, and matte-finish ceramics – and in their production. Objects not manufactured in the USA, (such as ‘French Press’ from Hanoi in Vietnam) are diligently sourced from a Fair Trade makers around the globe.

As expressed by Yield, “Beauty, sustainability and ethical production are not at odds – they must all be considered to create something of true worth. Anything created at someone else’s expense is not beautiful and the manufacturing of disposable goods for short term benefit has robbed our natural resources for too long. We bear a responsibility to create timeless pieces that last. Buy for keeps or please do not buy at all.”

Even though Gant and Deming celebrate the classic forms they embrace the future through the collection. Gold cast rings, with names like ‘Century’, ‘Infinity’ and ‘Primary’ are three-dimensionally printed. Yield is a collision of worlds both past and present, that come together with such gracious serenity.

Credits: Yield

YIELD

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In/Out - OUT/ABOUT: Edwina White 'A Beautiful Complication'

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In/Out - OUT/ABOUT: Edwina White 'A Beautiful Complication'

In/Out - OUT/ABOUT: Edwina White 'A Beautiful Complication'

In/Out - OUT/ABOUT: Edwina White 'A Beautiful Complication'

In/Out - OUT/ABOUT: Edwina White 'A Beautiful Complication'

In/Out - OUT/ABOUT: Edwina White 'A Beautiful Complication'

In/Out - OUT/ABOUT: Edwina White 'A Beautiful Complication'

In/Out - OUT/ABOUT: Edwina White 'A Beautiful Complication'

In/Out - OUT/ABOUT: Edwina White 'A Beautiful Complication'

All the working (and non-working) mothers out there will appreciate the title of Edwina White’s most recent exhibition ‘A Beautiful Complication’. Finding out that she was pregnant after booking a solo exhibition on the other side of the world provided many challenges and fortunately just as much wonderful inspiration.

The Sydney-born, now New York based artist works primarily with paper and her compositions are the perfect balance of quirky collage and beautifully realized drawing. White’s ability to create plausible characters in her work has made her popular with regular contributions in high profile publications The New York Times, Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair and our own Sydney Morning Herald. Actually, many of the enchanting creatures you will find in this exhibition began their life as illustrations for news stories.

There is however a lovely autobiographical narrative that weaves through the work, it speaks of a life spent observing the eccentricities of life in a big city, of actors trying for their big breaks, of fabulous parties and couples courting. The genesis of the whimsical abstract works; so delicate and pretty, were created when she found out she was having her gorgeous daughter Frances but couldn’t tell anyone her exciting news.

Edwina is also celebrating the release of ‘Sembene’ at the Sydney Film Festival, a documentary on Ousmane Sembene the ‘father of African cinema’. ‘Sembene’ was an ambitious animation project many years in the making and gives us the opportunity to see her delightful drawings brought to life.

Edwina White ‘A Beautiful Complication’
Olsen Irwin Gallery
63 Jersey Road
Woollahra 2025 NSW
Monday: 12-5
Tuesday-Friday: 10-6
Saturday: 10-5
Sunday: 12-5
Until 28th June 2015

Credits: Words by Katrina Arent
Images courtesy of the artist Edwina White and Olsen Irwin Gallery

OUT/ABOUT: Edwina White ‘A Beautiful Complication’

In/Out: Dadu Shin - I don't like clothes

In/Out: Dadu Shin - I don't like clothes

In/Out: Dadu Shin - I don't like clothes

In/Out: Dadu Shin - I don't like clothes

In/Out: Dadu Shin - I don't like clothes

In/Out: Dadu Shin - I don't like clothes

In/Out: Dadu Shin - I don't like clothes

In/Out: Dadu Shin - I don't like clothes

In/Out: Dadu Shin - I don't like clothes

New York illustrator Dadu Shin’s personal project ‘I don’t like clothes’ is a series of whimsical drawings assembled from visual reference, fashion and folly.

‘I don’t like clothes’ came about when the volume of Shin’s editorial workload drove him to find an expressive release without a brief. Shin’s figures are mute, their clothes owning the person and dictating their identity; the street girl in Converse high tops and an army bomber jacket, the glam diva in a full-length golden gown, the black and white checked muse, the Lagerfeld-inspired zigzag, the kimono-ed geisha, the psychedelic guru, all relishing in their timelessness.

Like most illustrators Shin is a constant doodler, his nimble fingers racing to keep time with the creative pace of his work. Early in his vocation he’d tried to pigeon hole his style, but he found instead this quashed his creative expression. Working with mediums from pencil through to ink, paint and gouache, his drawings are diverse in character and meaning. Embracing his eclectic flair has ensured that his work is now found everywhere from Harper’s Bazaar to the New Yorker.

Credits: Dadu Shin

DADU SHIN ‘I DON’T LIKE CLOTHES’

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

In/Out: Alana Wilson

Sydney-based ceramicist Alana Wilson’s new collection II has a tiptoeing poise and a sense of lightness evocative of Degas’s ballet dancers. With a dancer’s sense of graceful composure and movement, their feminine forms hover high on fine bases, their sweeping tops generously flared.

Delicately poetic, they have a preciousness that only comes from something so tenderly crafted. Wilson uses a slip cast technique to ensure multiples of one form. She then applies layers of stoneware glaze, creating imperfect surfaces of warm milky whites and metallic dense blacks and bronzes so that each piece has completely unique.

The captured images of Wilson’s work, styled and shot by floral artist Simone Gooch of Fjura, echoes Wilson’s other inspiration; Ikebana, where the two elements – vessel and flora – unite humanity and nature. Wilson’s vessels are an integral partner to the blooms, open throated they sing for their host.

Wilson’s work is exceptional, her love for the contextual, intertwined with her quest for experimental contemporary glazing techniques, ensures that the result is something that is so very captivating and mesmerisingly ethereal.

Credits: Ceramics & Creative Direction by Alana Wilson, Photography, Styling & Florals by Simone Gooch

ALANA WILSON ‘COLLECTION II’

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