The lyrical paintings of Jana Brike are evocative mood pieces. Her paintings feature young, usually female characters in natural environments; with their strong symbolism and elements of mythology and fairy tales, these works invite the viewer into the action as the characters interact with the world around them or experience intimacy with another—or sometimes with themselves.
Suspend disbelief and escape into a botanically-infused dreamscape inhabited by enchanting, feminine sprites. Suspend disbelief and escape into a botanically-infused dreamscape inhabited by enchanting, feminine sprites. Through an ornamental proscenium you enter a world bewitched with undertones of fantasy and magical overlays, the other-worldliness of it all masking the historical basis for the stories there told. This is the world of Seattle-based figurative-artist, Redd Walitzki.
As Rodrigo Luff was applying the finishing touches to his paintings for our upcoming LUSH group exhibition, he took time-out to discuss his ethereal goddesses, luminescent forests and mysterious owls with Luke Barrett. Fresh from binge-watching David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, they explore the themes and hidden meanings in Luff’s work by drawing parallels to Lynch’s cult classic, in the process sharing some of their own theories and interpretations of that series.
It’s an odd thing to be introduced to a painter and etcher with a background in theology via enormous and detailed dicks carefully rendered over images in one of Australia’s most widely read newspapers. But, that is exactly how we met Jonathan Guthmann. It was clear from the level of detail on the monstrous phalluses he created while “drawing dicks on the Herald Sun” that Jonathan had an enormous amount of technical skill. But, it wasn’t until we got to know him better and view his serious works that we realised he was a artist who created traditional etchings bursting with symbolic imagery and paintings depicting a mix of mythological and theological imagery.
Beau White is an exceptionally gifted figurative oil painter with a proclivity towards bizarre and often unsettling themes. He is technically skilled and able to accurately represent his subject matter to near photorealism while still having the elusive “painterly” touch. His ability could easily lend itself to complete works of neoclassical art. When hearing him talk about working with paint, it is easy to see that he has near encyclopaedic knowledge and a passion to match. But, thematically Beau White’s works are far from classical although they do borrow some elements. And although his works are representational they are also otherworldly in the most bizarre and wonderful of ways.
Isabel Peppard has been an artistic force of nature since the moment she came into the world. A creator, visionary, provocateur and storyteller. In childhood she absorbed the legends, demons and spirits of Japanese folklore. As a teenager she fronted a successful punk rock band. As a young adult she earned her place in the special effects industry and her influence grew from there. She combined her talents in sculpture, painting, film making, animation to break new ground in the Australian arts and media industry.
Over nearly two decades, Australian artist Ben Howe has carved a reputation for himself globally with his iconic photo-surrealist oil paintings. Those paintings have made their way across the world into galleries and private collections, in the process eclipsing numerous grants, fellowships and international residencies which have been sent his way.
Hannah Yata weaves nature, feminine imagery, and other elements into pieces that can both soothe and challenge: while her paintings are beautiful, often with a candy colour palette, they also confront us with complex perspectives on humans and their world. Sometimes wry and sometimes shocking, Yata’s work is invariably arresting.
John Brosio uses traditional painting to portray the relationship of people to their environment in very nontraditional terms. With elements both funny and foreboding, his work captures what people so often miss: the awe that should be inspired by some very large thing we’re overlooking and our arrogant inflation of our own place within the universe. Brosio’s paintings challenge us to not get stuck in the milieu of the everyday but to see the beautiful and sometimes terrible things around us.
Chris Leib is an American fine-artist and graduate of anthropology, renowned for his iconography of Bonobo chimps and astronauts and cosmonauts, often juxtaposed, with exquisite technique and scrupulous attention to detail. Transcending whimsy, his paintings are laden with meaning and intellectual contemplation. Chris’ work explores themes of heroism, human endeavour and the sensitivity of human hopes and ambitions to possible realities of science-fact. His work challenges us to contemplate a collision of science-fiction, reality and religion, this three-car pile-up viewed from the vantage point of our evolutionary ancestors who have quietly continued to evolve themselves.