Feature Posts

Out/About

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings New Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings New Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

In/Out: Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings Paintings

It’s an absolute treat to have the work of Elisabeth Cummings on display at the same time as the Aida Tomescu exhibition showcased here a little over a week ago. In what is still sadly a bit of boy’s club, these two women have forged exceedingly distinguished careers in the Australian art scene. However where Tomescu presents a bold abstract vision, Cummings almost exclusively paints what she sees; landscape, still life and very occasionally portraiture.

Her paintings are intimate, emotive and require the viewer to take time to interrogate the network of lines and shapes that come together to form the composition. Cummings offers a few visual keys to guide us, the disused cup on a table or the fork of a tree framed by a distant mountain range welcome you into her quiet, private world. Like Tomescu she paints intuitively letting the work reveal itself: ”it’s always in a state of flux and change. I eliminate all the time and re-paint… adding, subtracting, adding, subtracting.” The result is work that powerfully addresses the essence of the place.

Cummings’ ‘place’ for almost half a century is Wedderburn (one hour south west of Sydney) on a property she has shared with many fellow artists, writers and poets. Her observations of this familiar bush landscape, with suffused light and a predominance of the soft greys, browns and greens of gum trees, are interspersed in this exhibition with paintings resulting from numerous travels, most often to the Kimberly, Flinders Rangers and the Pilbara. Like the figurative markers mentioned above, Cummings employs colour, as Anna Johnson so aptly offers, “as a subtle geographic signpost” so you can “swiftly find the difference between a desert floor and a creek bed in these works. The colour is the map.” From the high heat palette of the Australian interior to the coherence of the cooler muted tones, she effortlessly transports the viewer into and around her world.

Like many artists Cummings has combined her studio practice with various teaching positions that have had a major influence on a large number of practicing artists today. As a result, she is often called the “painter’s painter” and is held in incredibly high esteem by the arts community and in this show at Sydney’s King Street Gallery it’s pleasing to see that this is finally extending to a wider collecting public.

Elisabeth Cummings ‘New Paintings’
King Street Gallery on William
177 William St
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Tues-Sat 10-6pm
Sun 11-6pm or By Appointment
17 November – 19 December 2015

Credits: Courtesy of King Street Gallery on William
Words by Katrina Arent

Out/About: Elisabeth Cummings ‘New Paintings’

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat']Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'\Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'\Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Out/About: Aida Tomescu 'Eyes in the Heat'

Good abstract painting is a thing of pure joy, it plays with the senses and allows the viewer to explore and assign meaning. This personal engagement with colour, form, material and process is never more critical than in the work of Sydney based artist Aida Tomescu.

If you frequent galleries you will inevitably come across the phrase ‘gestural abstraction’. This can mean a multitude of different things but at its core it suggests a spontaneity in the placement of marks on the canvas or paper. Tomescu is widely considered to be one of the finest practitioners of this form of painting and yet her works evolve slowly and as she confidently states are “as remote as they could be from self expression.” They are the culmination of months (sometimes years) of unbroken concentration, the adding and removing of paint crafting an “entity” or “presence” in the work.

Tomescu also speaks of colour being transformed into the entity she seeks and the title of her show at Sullivan + Strumpf: “Eyes in the Heat” points to a marked change in the temperature that is distilled in her paintings. Like the process of making the work, colour is layered and scraped back to create the perfect balance between the high-heat of the cadmium-rich orange, red and yellow and the breathing space created by the cool whites and icy pale blues. As a result some paintings vibrate with the full force and immediacy of a complete symphony orchestra (like the monumental diptych with the same title as the exhibition) while others like ‘Ash’ are built up to a point where they emanate profound silence.

Aida Tomescu was born in 1955 in Romania and moved to Sydney in 1980. She is an internationally exhibited artist who is represented in many major collections both here and overseas and this forceful exhibition is a must-see for anyone who wants to witness an artist who is truly mastering the abstract language.

Aida Tomescu ‘Eyes in the Heat’
Sullivan + Strumpf
799 Elizabeth St
Zetland NSW 2017
Tues-Sat 10-5pm or By Appointment
03 November – 28 November 2015

Credits: Courtesy of the artist Aida Tomescu and Sullivan+Strumpf
Photography Credits: Nikki Short, Mark Pokorny, Jenni Carter

Words by Katrina Arent

Out/About: Aida Tomescu ‘Eyes in the Heat’

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Arent&Pyke

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
George Livissianis

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Tracey Deep

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
TOKO

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Megan Morton

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Dinosaur Designs

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Ryan Storer

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Fiona Lynch

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Akira Isogawa

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Bassike

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Adam Goodrum

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Henry Wilson

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Shilo Engelbrecht

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Kamahi Djordon King

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Christopher Boots

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Mika Utzon-Popov

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Hecker Guthrie

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
David Trubridge

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons

In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Zambesi

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In/Out: Out/About: The Chairity Project 2015 - Reinventing Design Icons
Alice Babidge & Robin Hearfield

What do twenty of Australia and New Zealand’s best creatives do when presented with an iconic workhorse; the Series 7 chair designed by Arne Jacobsen and manufactured by Fritz Hansen, a modest but perfectly feminine form so coveted that its been reproduced more than any other? They pull it apart, dress it, clad it, subtract and add structure, paint, draw, photograph, reconstruct and add their own signature; one of pure respect.

Cult’s Chairity Project 2015 is the second edition of the charity event (2014 saw Hans Wegner’s CH33 in the limelight) joining the 60th anniversary celebration of the Series 7 chair. This year-long party has seen this beauty reinterpreted not only by Fritz Hansen – in the anniversary colours of dusty pink with gold legs and her companion midnight blue with brown burnished legs – but also on a global stage by seven leading architects from Zaha Hadid through to Neri & Hu that will tour from London to Tokyo.

So in full festive spirit we are paying homage to this minimalistic sweetheart down under. Unlike most of Fritz Hansen’s chairs that were intended for specific projects the Series 7 was designed to be adaptable; stackable and elegantly industrious, her curvaceous shape almost nude. Comfortably quiet in any setting this birthday makeover has seen her bloom. Do join the party at Cult and come along to visually caress these models all of which will be exhibited and auctioned off to a charity of the creative’s own choice.

Arent&Pyke were honored to be included in the line up of designers invited to participate in this year’s Chairity Project. Faced with this legendary chair perfectly shaped for the human form, we knew we wanted to instill a handcrafted signature that reflected its generous personality. We were inspired to collaborate with artist Tania Rollond, her delicate and exquisite drawings that she describes as “markings in, and of time” visually represented to us, the delicate and often fragile nature of life itself. Rollond’s chalky hand-applied patina creates a soft backdrop for her spidery line work. Like organic erratic longhand it flows over the surface, punctuated by blocks of watercolour giving this continuous monologue expressive relief. We approached the legs with this same attention to detail, preferring a tactile layer of hand knots to lose the brashness of the chrome wrapping it with delicately crafted warmth.

The Kids’ Cancer Project is independent and not aligned to one institution. They support research that is collaborative and has the greatest chance of clinical success. To date, they have funded almost $24million in childhood cancer research that has led to world breakthroughs towards a cure for childhood cancer. As we both have young families, this charity deeply resonated with the two of us.

This is your chance to own a very unique piece of design, and feel good to boot, so get online and register now at www.galabid.com/chairityproject2015 and good luck bidding!

This year Chairity Project 2015 is a travelling exhibition that will be displayed nationally throughout Cult showrooms in Sydney (5-7 November), Melbourne (12-14 November) and Brisbane (19-21 November).

Credits: Photography by: Tim Robinson for Cult Design

Out/About: Chairity Project 2015 ‘Reinventing Design Icons’

Paul Davies

Out/About: Paul Davies 'Other Desert Spaces'

Paul Davies

Paul Davies

Paul Davies

Paul Davies

Paul Davies

Paul Davies

Paul Davies

Paul Davies Out/About: Paul Davies 'Other Desert Spaces'Out/About: Paul Davies 'Other Desert Spaces'Taking the crisp, clean lines of some of the best modernist architecture as his subject it will come as no surprise that the paintings of Paul Davies are popular. So dedicated to his practice, Davies left his hometown of Sydney two years ago to position himself amongst some of the most quintessential examples of this architectural style and set up studio in Los Angeles.

For those unfamiliar with his work Davies creates his paintings by layering multiple hand cut stencils onto canvas. His paint application, often with gestural marks, creates an abstract ground and the perfect tension with the linear characteristics of the landscape and buildings. In fact it is this relationship between the natural and built environments that has motivated Davies for the past decade as he explains, “my work is driven by friction between opposing forces of built and natural environments, design and art, abstraction and figuration.”

This friction is perhaps at its most apparent in this exhibition ‘Other Desert Spaces’ opening in Sydney this month at Olsen Irwin Gallery. Where in previous exhibitions Davies has meticulously created a scene that you feel could potentially exist in the world, this show sees him break down the picture plane and partner seemingly incongruous features, collage-like, on the canvas. Ice-capped mountains loom ominously over a palm tree surrounded pools in the ‘Built Landscape’ series. Here Davies has deconstructed the modernist theme by rotating four stencils around a central axis and thereby fragmented the formal elements that have ruled his previous exhibitions.

Davies also created a series of works on paper on site during a road trip earlier this year that took him through California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Nevada. This work ‘One hour of solstice sunlight’ presents seven repeated mountain landscapes in varying hues recorded using stencils on photosensitive paper. There is a pleasing irony in his use of the stencil, a tool to produce multiples, to create a highly personal reflection of his new surroundings.

It is curious that in an age where Australia’s physical (and therefore cultural) isolation is broken down by new media that Davies’ move to another country has had such a profound effect on his work. It certainly presents a strong case for creatives to take risks with their methods and as Davies returns to the city of angles next week we can’t wait to see what comes next.

Paul Davies ‘Other Desert Spaces’
Olsen Irwin Gallery
63 Jersey Road
Woollahra 2025 NSW
Mon – Fri: 10 – 6
Sat: 10 – 5
Sun: 11 – 5
7 – 25 October 2015

Credits: Courtesy of the artist Paul Davies and Olsen Irwin
Words by Katrina Arent

Out/About: Paul Davies ‘Other Desert Spaces’

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There’s definitely something about our feathered friends that’s striking a cord with the contemporary artist in Australia at present. Artworks with birds have starred in many recent exhibitions including Guy Maestri’s ‘Great Divide’, Paul Ryan’s ‘Birds of Wollongong’, Stu James ‘Vignettes’ and it’s impossible not to acknowledge Leila Jeffreys’ irresistible photographs that articulate every micro-fibre of this beautiful creature’s plumage. Opening this week at M Contemporary is relative newcomer to the exhibiting scene Michelle Cawthorn with her show ‘Birdland’.

Cawthorn has wasted no time since completing her Master of Fine Art at the University of NSW earlier this year, with this impressive exhibition closely followed by another ‘Bittersweet’ at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery. Like the aforementioned artists, Cawthorn employs the bird (and other wondrous creature concoctions) as a vehicle to express something else. She explains that her primary motivation is communicating ideas of memory: “We all have an inner landscape, a private space inhabited by our thoughts and dreams, memories and emotions.” These recollections take shape in her works on paper in representational and non-representational forms.

There is an appealing strangeness in these forms; surrealist at heart. While Cawthorn constructs pictures that draw on the familiar, from her thoughts of the past, when transcribed to the page they take on a distinct life of their own. Elegantly interlacing tendrils float gracefully in ‘730 days’, a quizzical single eye surveys the scene in ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ and a curious bird leg emerges from beautifully rendered abstract shapes in ‘Banded’. Her meticulously hatched lines in these drawings, which she describes as meditative to make, allows the viewer to reflect on their own inner workings, be they memories, daydreams or imaginings.

Michelle Cawthorn ‘Birdland’
M Contemporary
37 Ocean Street
Woollahra, 2025 NSW
Monday: by appointment
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 – 5
Sunday: 10 – 4
3 – 31 October 2015

Michelle Cawthorn ‘Bittersweet’
Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Art Centre
782 Kingsway, Gymea NSW
Monday – Sunday: 10 – 5
17 October – 29 November 2015

Credits: Courtesy of the artist Michelle Cawthorn and M Contemporary
Words by Katrina Arent

Out/About: Michelle Cawthorn ‘Birdland’

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

Formafantasma’ is Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, Italians based in the Netherlands whose inquisitive minds delve into past techniques to shape contemporary forms. Like anthological explorers they glean methodology from the manmade and create objects of beauty labeling and tagging them in a scientific manner, and in doing so crediting, their humble beginnings.

Although only starting their studio in 2009 their body of work is impressive. Each project is thorough in its research, both physically and intellectually, until a purified form is realized. As their name suggests ‘Formafantasma’ – ghost shape or ghost form – the tangible object is only a phantom presence that is appreciated through the manufacturing technique.

They seem to take delight in the grotesque, exploring the unlikely materiality of, lava, fish skins, cow bladders, blood, sawdust, and insect excrement (shellac) in their work. It’s this refreshing take on design and craft that brings them to our shores for the NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) talks, Parallels: Journey into Contemporary Making. Starting today, it is a two day dialogue between both Australian and international speakers, about contemporary craft and its place in modern society.

In anticipation of their visit we wanted to highlight one of Formafantasma past projects. Their ‘De Natura Fossilium’ project illustrates their capacity for diversity from one material. Andrea grew up on the island of Sicily and so experienced the behavior of Mount Etna – one of only two active volcano’s in Europe – he talks of ash being in your house, your bed, your hair. It’s this abundance of materiality that ‘Formafantasma’ talks about within ‘De Natura Fossilium’ – “Mount Etna is a mine without miners – it is excavating itself to expose its raw materials” – which in 2013 led them to explore the characteristic and behavior of lava and basalt.

The collection is at once visually arresting and functionally prolific, reminding us of the materials origins and although sometimes raw they are never clumsy. Making exquisite textiles and fine ceramics out of basalt fibre, controlling the heat process to reshape, and refine lava glass are examples of their curiosity of materiality and As Gallery Libby Sellers so succinctly puts it “by returning the rocks to their original molten state Formafantasma are reversing the natural timeline of the material and forcing a dialogue between the natural and the man-made.”

And with all this in mind we will have a keen ear out at Parallels this Friday to hear what Formafantasmas latest discoveries are.

Credits: Formafantasma

Out/About: Formafantasma at Parallels

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

“Charlotte Perriand - An Icon of Modernity”

Charlotte Perriand: The woman who introduced the ‘modernist’ aesthetic to interiors. Now that is a feat. With 2015 marking the 50th anniversary of the ever-influential LC Collection and 50 years since Le Corbusier passed away, we’re given a great excuse to celebrate that in slightly more depth than usual. Between a special exhibition: “Charlotte Perriand – An Icon of Modernity”, held in CULT’s Sydney and Melbourne showrooms, and a design lecture given by Charlotte’s daughter Pernette Perriand-Barsac, we will delight over this especially talented woman and her work, and appreciate consciously her contribution to modern design.

In the carefully curated exhibition will be a body of the French architect and designer’s work, showcasing the now-iconic pieces she created at Le Corbusier’s studio in the 1920s and 1930s, her revolutionary use of steel, aluminium and glass, and by extension – quite importantly – Perriand’s groundbreaking achievements in what was a male domain. We will see a range of her various designs – from the chrome and tubular to the post-constructivist compositions, simple, peasant-like stools and pieces in natural materials, plus a collection of photographs and sketches never before seen by the public.

Along with the lecture given by her daughter – who worked for over a quarter of a century with her mother as personal assistant and now dedicates herself with husband Jacques Barsac to keeping the legacy of Charlotte Perriand alive through curating exhibitions, authoring books and launching new design collaborations – September will give us a comprehensive look into the life and work of one of our ultimate design icons.

It’s a show we’re eager to see not only because the furniture is truly stunning, but because the furniture represents a major development in the history of design and for society at large: in her work, Charlotte Perriand aimed to create functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps in creating a better society.

‘Charlotte Perriand – An Icon of Modernity” is open in Melbourne from 15 September-15 October and Sydney from 17 September-15 October, 2015.

“Gesture. Shape. Technique of Charlotte Perriand: An Avant-Garde Woman” presented by Pernette Perriand-Barsac and Jacques Barsac and moderated by Cathlyn Lockhart. Dr Chau Chak Wing building, UTS 16 September, 2015 from 5.30-6.30pm

Credits: Cassina

Out/About: Charlotte Perriand – An Icon of Modernity

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: Scorpios Mykonos

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In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

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In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

In/Out: Scorpios Mykonos

Perched on a ridge between Kavos and Paraga Beach, Scorpios Mykonos blends into the landscape perfectly – almost as if it were carved straight from the earth, a little honey-coloured village made entirely of rock and clay. From deck chair to exterior wall, the retreat successfully reflects its immediate landscape: warm tones, dusty textures and organic forms.

Eager to provide a full experience of Mykonos, Mario Hertel and Thomas Heyne, turned to the history of Ancient Greece, in particular, the agora. Literally meaning ‘a gathering space’, an agora was traditionally used as the meeting point for ‘the athletic, artistic, spiritual and political – the Community’. Here, they’ve translated this concept into a day retreat, beach club, bar and restaurant that is both social and relaxing, where time slows right down – almost to a stop – and lets you escape the world. The sense of full immersion into relaxation is extremely alluring.

Building on nearby hotel San Giorgio Mykonos, architects Dimitiris and Konstantinos Karampatakis of K-studio, Athens, Scorpios is conceived as meandering collection of indoor and outdoor spaces from beach front, to beach terrace, to restaurant and finally, inside ‘the house’. Divided as such, the retreat is generously proportioned, offering numerous spots to escape to. Read a book in the under the shade of the thatched cabanas, enjoy (multiple) morning coffees with friends in the eastern terraces, or have cocktails in the evening at the club-house with your love – there is somewhere for everyone, and every mood, to enjoy together or alone.

Scorpios Mykonos is wildly beautiful. Dappled sunlight and billowing fabrics, the contrast between textured stone walls and accents of white washed ones, heavy timber against delicate weaving, the calm that pours from natural tones throughout – it’s the kind of beauty that feels effortless, one the Greeks really do master. Between a pared back colour palette, natural, weather-worn materials of stone and warm timber, and the fine, elegant furnishings that fill the space, Scorpios Mykonos is part-1960s Greek glamour and part-contemporary modernism, oozing with richness in the most subtle way. Ultimately, it’s a space of ease, delightfully celebrating the local culture in the process.

Credits: Scorpios Mykonos

OUT/ABOUT: Scorpios Mykonos

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’

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