2014 was a funny year. In late December I left Japan and came back to Australia – the last month of my decade abroad punctuated with a month of intense activity including 2 small private exhibitions, several last minute projects, farewell parties and the insanity of moving house internationally.
But, with all the work required to make the huge move back to Australia last year, I didn’t have nearly as much time as I would have liked for solid art practice.
That said, 2015 is shaping up to be very different already. In the next month, I’ll be back in the studio working on new stuff and there’s an interesting project with a toy maker in Japan on the boil – but more on that soon!
HIKARITOKAGE Visit the Facebook event page for more details.
0fr. TOKYO GALLERY
A group show with collaborative work by artists Iro Kitamura and Sean Edward Whelan.
Opposing forces are present in everything. The shadow cast behind the vase is in equal measure, the result of the light that hits its surface. When opposing forces work in tandem, we can see a contrast and appreciate the forms that materialize. Similarly, approaching from opposite ends of the art spectrum, Iro and Whelan are meeting in the middle. By finding ways to compliment and communicate with each other through their very different visual languages, they aim to discover new forms.
Iro’s work comes from an expressive, emotional response to personal experiences and musings on street and traditional culture, music and nature. Using found materials, paper, canvas and wood panels, the textures of the paint are fluid and allowed to play across their surfaces. By harnessing the properties of the paint, he recreates and celebrates energy and life in his layered abstractions.
Whelan’s work is figurative and draws from extensive observations. Remodeling traditional and religious paraphernalia and rendering them with bright gaudy palettes, he creates part melancholic, part ironic narratives and asks questions about steadfast traditions and art in a disposable age. In contrast to Iro, and in keeping with his themes, his control over the paint and the surface is practiced and deliberate, with a meticulous attention to detail.
0fr. TOKYO GALLERY
Opening Night: Friday Nov.21st 7pm – 10pm.
Exhibition: Nov.21st – 30th.
Gallery Hours: 10am – 10pm (Sat. & Sun. only)
Tokyo, Meguro-Ku, Kami-Meguro 1-11-1
Vista of my mind, 2014
watercolor, pencil & acrylic
paper mounted on board
150 x 52cm
After several studies and 2 months of work, this piece is finally finished and has found it’s new home back in Australia. Working with natural motifs, I discovered more about what can be done with this method of painting. I’ve always been pretty meticulous with the drafting work at the beginning – measuring all the angles and keeping everything in check, like a perspective drawing, but this time I could sketch things out more loosely and try new things with colour -relying more on the light and contrast to make the figures.
I recently started working on a commission and have been going through a few concepts. It’s been a while since I used natural motifs in my artwork – and it’s been nice to get outside and explore the leafy areas around the river and the mossy woods nearby. Here is an early study on paper with watercolor and pencil. The final piece will be a horizontal diptych, about 150cm wide by 50 high, and probably the biggest I’ll have done yet.
Thank You Television
A little series of works in honor of my favorite irrelevant medium. 39 Art in Studio Zero Myoko starts tomorrow. If you have any queries about the work get in touch. 30% of sales are going to victims of the 3.11 tsunami and radiation evacuees in Fukushima.
39 ART 展 for 3.11
会場/実験空間 Studio Zero
Happy New Year *Update*
SpaceWomb Gallery’s annual ‘postcard exhibition’ group show has begun. The show runs from the 9th, featuring local New York artists and international artists, til the 22nd of January. Click through to the website for gallery opening hours.
Happy New Year!
2013 was a blur. The never-ending lead up to my solo show in August was intense. Interspersed with side projects, the Hazelhurst Prize in Sydney, group shows here in Japan, a studio move and the regular challenges of living abroad, there was a point where it didn’t look like it was going to come together. Fortunately, with the help of family and friends here in Japan and Blackartprojects back in Australia, the long slog was rewarded with a successful show and an Archibottle Prize win with Cake Wines.
2014 is already ramping up, with a group show in New York of postcard sized works. I’ve taken some liberties with the brief an made a 5 piece byoubu based on work I’ve been doing in acrylic recently. The show opens on January 9 which I’ll re-post after the official press release. A small collection of work will also be on display in Niseko, Hokkaido – with more details to come. Check out some of my newest below, thank you for all the support last year and all the best in 2014.
新年明けましておめでとうございます。2013年は、忙しながらもアート活動が充実した1年でした。母国メルボルンでの個展やCake Wines Archi-Bottle Award受賞でのワイン商品化、Hazelhurst Art on Paper Awardファイナリスト、地元妙高でのグループ展など様々な場所で作品を発表することが出来ました。たくさんの方々のサポートありがとうございました。
It’s been quite a while since there was any significant news to report, but that’s not to say I haven’t been busy.
Lots of days indoors recently – working on large wood mounted paper pieces in acrylic. This piece was the first, and it’s setting the level for a small series I’m doing on “spiritual kitsch”. Over the turn of the year I’ll have a few pieces on display in Niseko, Hokkaido. More details on time and place very soon.
Above is a teaser from the new series. “A change in fate / 運命の分かれ道 ” 52 x 73 cm, acrylic & ink on mounted paper.
Archi-Bottle Award Update
I’m very pleased and proud to announce that I’ve taken the Cake Wines 2013 Archi-Bottle Award & my art will be featured on their Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc wine variety from today! Big thanks go out to the team at Cake Wines – a fantastic experience being part of the show and having work side by side with some amazing talent. Looking forward to having a few (glasses).
Cake Wines2013 Archi-Bottle Awardにて今年のグランプリに選ばれました！！
毎年開催されるArchi-Bottle Awardの優勝者には、Cake Winesカンパニー（オーストラリアシドニー）よりワインとして商品化されています。
I’m very proud to announce that my entry into the Cake Wines 2013 Archi-Bottle Award has made the finalist shortlist, and will be on show in Sydney this coming Friday the 18th! Cake Wines hold the competition every year in collaboration with Australian artists, choosing one of the 30 finalist’s artwork for the labeling of the newest wine in their range. For more info on the opening and to view the other 30 finalists, visit the cake wines facebook page here.
Thanks to everyone who could make it to “Playing Statues” last month, the show was a great success and I couldn’t be happier with how everything panned out. Also a huge thanks to Cake Wines , Blackartprojects, and Illuminate that handled the venue, logistics & presentation, looking forward to the next one sometime in the future. Cheers!
For a wrap of the festivities at Cake Wines Pop-up in Fitzroy, Melbourne last month –> video here