Join us this coming week as we open Undercurrents by Sophia Szilagyi. This retrospective collection presents a rare opportunity to view an extensive body of work not exhibited for some time. Presented alongside major new works in Sophia’s signature style of evocative and painterly archival pigment prints, this is an exhibition not to be missed. Megan Dicks sat down with Sophia Szilagyi ahead of the opening.

It’s been six years that Otomys Contemporary has represented you and I can’t tell you how honoured we are to have you in our stable. The first time I saw your artwork so many years ago, I actually saw it upside down on a printing table and I’ll never forget that moment – I was immediately entranced! Before we go on to explore that alchemy that exists with your art tell me a bit about you. Do you love to cook, to garden, to listen or play to music? 

Thank you for having me! I am 46, my husband and I have a 13 year old and we live in the northern suburbs. I grew up in a creative family, it felt right to study the visual arts and become an artist. I call myself a printmaker, as that was my formal education and is my source of reference in terms of art making. After finishing my honours degree, I worked as an intaglio printer. Despite what some people may think, I am not a photographer and my work is not photography, although I do use snapshots in gathering source material for my images. I love to be in the garden. Any garden really. I am not so keen on vegetable gardening, I am more drawn to the forms of foliage and flowers. There is something very special and grounding about planting and nurturing your own plants and creating your own space. I enjoy cooking and eating!  Cooking is a little like being in the garden – your senses are at work – touch, sight, and smell.  It takes concentration, love and care. As with gardening, it focuses on the mind, and I enjoy that. Oh, and I should add, I am a coffee snob! I adore my coffee and take great care in making and perfecting it. Being outdoors, socialising and exercising in some way on a regular basis is important to me. Walking, swimming and tai chi are all a part of maintaining a healthy mental and physical balance. When I walk, I look and think.. And I really enjoy a good afternoon nap!

It seems to me that you create space in your life for contemplation – And one of the ways you invest in this is by steering clear of social media. So, you may not appreciate it, but from my perspective, there’s a wonderful freedom in your approach – I admire this about you. Sometimes I’m concerned that the world is going crazy. Whilst instant digital communication offers great inspiration and connection – It also saturates, represses and deceives. Whilst you could be wildly promoting yourself and all the parts to your day to build a sunny and glossy Instagram profile, you choose not to. Why? 

To put it most simply Megan, I don’t use Instagram because it takes up too much of my time and, being prone to anxiety, too much of my emotional space. For some people Instagram is perfect, it is just not a good match for my personality. I would rather spend my time doing something which I find more supportive.  

If you could invite any two people to your upcoming exhibition, who would that be? 

I would invite British artist David Hockney. This may seem an unusual choice, given the difference in our art styles, but when I saw the most recent exhibition of David Hockney’s work at the NGV, I was enthralled.  By incorporating Ipad drawings, large scale paintings and split screen video pieces, his use of scale was magnificent. Some of his pieces were so large they had to be printed in panels, and to see a whole work, you had to turn your head left, right, up and down. Hockney’s work is all encompassing, just as it is when you are in a landscape. Aside from this majestic scale, I truly admire that as a traditional painter he has completely embraced new technology and thus supporting a new art language. In my art I hope not to imitate what I see but rather to capture the emotions I feel; my mood in the space, the vastness, the cold, how open or claustrophobic it feels. The possibilities of expressing one’s emotional experiences in nature by using traditional and new technology is of interest to me.

So, if you were to choose one work from Undercurrents to gift David Hockney, which one would that be and why?

I would gift David Hockney an edition of my Evening Waves at 1200 x 4500mm. This large work has been created from reams of photographs I took of the back beach of Sorrento late one afternoon.  Evening Waves records my emotional response to this site; to the time and space and how it felt to swim in that powerful and unpredictable ocean. A single photo could not do that for me.

Evening Waves is an astounding work Sophia, we are yet to have a client who is not transported by the strength and beauty of this work!  You have one more person to invite – who would that be?

Although he is no longer with us, I would also love to invite Dutch painter, Johannes Vermeer. His subject matter, lighting and colour has always captivated me. Once again though, what interests me most is Vermeer’s use of space. Not the physical space but the psychological space. His images are intimate; when I look at them, I feel as if I am witnessing something private and personal, where the subject is unaware of my presence. There is a strength in the simplicity of the potentially mundane actions he painted – a letter being read, milk being poured or purely a conversation being had. The beautiful Girl With A Pearl Earring, where she is looking directly at you, it feels as if she has heard me sneaking behind her and has spun around to see who is there. I do not know what is going on her mind, but something has or is about to happen. Paradoxically, although the subjects are quiet and intimate, as an audience we share the knowledge of how it feels to be in your own private space. I love that something so personal can be understood on a communal human level. And that is what speaks to me so clearly in his work. One of my pieces which I am exhibiting in Undercurrents is heavily influenced by Vermeer and that is Girl At The Piano. I happened to see my daughter through the doors sitting playing the piano with our dog in the room, both were completely unaware of my presence and too involved in what they were doing to care. It was such a beautiful moment and after I took the photograph I crept off, not wanting to disturb their space. This is the work I would gift Johannes Vermeer.

With 14 large works and 15 small works to be exhibited in Undercurrents –  Is there one or two that are more meaningful to you? 

Each of my works takes me back to reflect on a particular time and how I was feeling then. In this way, like a diary, they are all important to me. However, some are louder than others. Breaking, Wave and Grounded were all worked on at a particular time that was emotionally challenging for me to express.

I worked long and hard on these three and when they were finished, I felt enormous satisfaction and relief. Calling although depicting the Australian landscape, was channeled by my love of the English moors in The Secret Garden, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I can’t help it, sometimes when I’m in certain landscapes, that’s where my mind goes!

Scrub is my most recent work which evolved through many stages and forms. Originally it was a foreground detail of a seascape on the Great Ocean Road. As I worked on all the images, the foreground detail instinctively became the whole subject matter. Scrub explores more closely the textural and sensory elements of the landscape, in a way which is new in my work. 

It is always such a delight talking to you Sophia, you show strength and beauty in the way you navigate life and it is palpable in your work.  We understand you are not a photographer or are you a painter – you are a digital printmaker, which in some ways is a hybrid of the two and your talent and skill in this medium has enabled you to create a profound study of the emotions of our Australian landscape and some of the people who inhabit it.

Congratulations – we wish much success with Undercurrents. 

Thank you, Megan and Hannah for helping me put together this exhibition. I look forward to sharing it with everyone. Best wishes, Sophia.

 

Opening Thursday 2nd May 2019, 6 – 8pm to Wednesday 22nd May 2019
567 – 569 Victoria Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067
RSVP gallery@otomys.com

Heath Newman / Otomys Contemporary / The Dot Project

 

Otomys Contemporary has partnered with The Dot Project to bring forward a new body of work by Australian artist, Heath Newman. Since first exhibiting with Otomys Contemporary in Melbourne in 2018, Newman has quickly developed a strong identity and practice as one of Australia’s loved, emerging artists, known for his quintessential use of painterly “automatic writing” and symbolism.

The Sun Comes at Dawn, Newman’s first international exhibition, explores the world of duality and the nature of the soul. Light and dark take roles in common archetypes from ancient myths to the circadian rhythm of life, the sun befalls night only to be awoken again in the morning, and so, the balance of life is restored. This concept is prevalent throughout the worlds ancient fables, stories and proverbs.

Abstracting these concepts, Newman looks to create a subtext to the fables, a renewed dialogue between this world, and others, peeling back the veil to the world of ideas and journeying to a realm of reverie. Combining fragments of still life, myths of the world, strokes, scrawls and colour fields, Heath describes his work as a mental map; both of his subconscious and of the greater, deeper collective consciousness. These ideas and the exploration of colour in Heath’s new series of paintings and works on paper drives an exploration of texture, tone, perception and depth; the arise of colour in the human eye and brain, the appreciation and discrimination of harmony and the confusion and intrigue of visual perception.

Otomys Contemporary thanks partnering gallery, The Dot Project, for working collaboratively on Newman’s new solo exhibition. The Sun Comes At Dawn will be available to view by appointment through The Dot Project.

 

Opening May 7th at The Dot Project, Holland Park, London.

Catalogue request nikki@otomys.com.

Otomys Contemporary announces Solo Exhibition by Australian artist Sophia Szilagyi. Undercurrents by Sophia Szilagyi is an exhibition based on the idea of looking back on the old and towards the new. Szilagyi is a contemporary artist combining printmaking with a digital medium and this exhibition will show new works with a selection of images curated from a 15 year period of the artist’s career.

The themes and undercurrents threading through Szilagyi’s extensive body of work present a vibrant and ethereal reading of nature. Crashing waves and building skies are infused with depth and mystery through Szilagyi’s willingness to depart from the literal, and venture into deeper senses of memory and the primal emotional undercurrents conjured by the forces of nature. The sheer beauty and spaciousness of the landscape, and the wild mysteries of the human condition are layered within these spectacularly beautiful and dream-like images.

This retrospective collection presents a rare opportunity to view an extensive body of work not exhibited for some time. Presented alongside major new works in Szilagyi’s signature style of evocative and painterly archival pigment prints, this is a show not to be missed.

Opening Thursday 2nd May 2019, 6 – 8pm to Wednesday 22nd May 2019
567 – 569 Victoria Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067
RSVP gallery@otomys.com

 

Otomys Contemporary announces participation at Draw Art Fair London. Draw Art Fair London will be the first fair in the United Kingdom dedicated to modern and contemporary drawing. It aims to present all facets of drawing as a fundamental practice and to create a platform where rare works by modern masters and recent works from the 21st century will stand side by side. This event is an unrivaled opportunity for visitors to discover the new, and to rediscover established artists. Draw Art Fair London will present sixty galleries, who have been invited to curate individual exhibitions of artists’ drawings, or groups of drawings, in a museum-style context. It will take place over three floors at the Saatchi Gallery. In the heart of Chelsea, Saatchi Gallery is a landmark building, formerly the Duke of York’s Headquarters; in central London near Sloane Square on King’s Road.

Georges Dorignac @drawartfairlondon

Exhibitors may juxtapose drawings with related paintings, sculptures, photos or videos, in a ratio of approximately 70% to 30%, using drawing as the core concept and placing it at the heart of a broader perspective on artistic creation and production. As a result, there will be rare and exciting opportunities for visitors to see drawings alongside related works, some possibly on view together for the first time since they left the artist’s studio.

Tadao Ando @drawartfairlondon

Otomys Contemporary will be showcasing a curated collection of new works by Zarah Cassim and Caroline Denervaud. South African artist, Zarah Cassim is concerned with the notion of perception. Creating dreamlike, dense and abstract landscapes, Cassim believes that reality exists in multiple layers. She uses her medium to affect the viewer’s encounter with spatial illusion. Cassim’s pieces will engage in dialogue with works on paper by French artist, Caroline Denervaud. Trained in contemporary dance and movement analysis, Denervaud has been exploring how movement can convey intrinsic emotions. Through her mark making and gestural stroke, her work presents a research of balance and imbalance.

Opening on Thursday 16th until Sunday 19th May, Otomys Contemporary can be found at stand G6.5. Please contact nikki@otomys.com for a full list of works available and tickets to the fair. Should you not be available to make it to Draw Art Fair, please contact studio@otomys.com to schedule a time to view the work of Caroline Denervaud and Zarah Cassim in the Melbourne or Tetbury gallery.

Caroline Denervaud, Paris Studio @ideih

Browse Caroline Denervaud’s Online Gallery

 

Zarah Cassim, Cape Town Studio @zarahcassim

Browse Zarah Cassim’s Online Gallery

 

 

Simone Boon is a Dutch born artist who resides between Amsterdam and Hong Kong. Living between the east and west has brought to her attention the different ways in which people perceive the world around them; realising that preconceptions, as well as understanding or misunderstanding are intertwined with the inner paradigms embedded in each of us by the culture of our upbringing. Perception thus has become an important consideration in Simone’s work. Another interest that Simone explores is how life evolves over time, space and place. Always in transition, weaving and layering, the fragments of life leave a trace of fascinating patterns. Simone’s latest series explores such notions from a female perspective; presenting a philosophy of becoming.

Artist - Simone Boon - Swan Lake -Otomys Art Online

Artist - Simone Boon - History In An Ice Cube -Otomys Art Online

‘Experimental photography is at the core of my work. In one photograph I capture more moments in time. It is almost like a mini recording and in this related to film. Intriguing to see forms of transition revealed by the camera that are impossible to grasp with the bare eye. My moving portraits of young women, unfrozen, aim to give a different perspective on the essence of identity. They hope to question existing preconceptions and archetypes of the female subject position, that penetrate our cultures and minds. At the same time they relate to romantic ideals and mystics that surround her imago. The aim was to capture the becoming instead of the being. Not the moment here and now, but the inclusion of the before and after…’  –  Simone Boon.

Browse Simone Boon’s Online Gallery.

Artist - Simone Boon - Passage I -Otomys Art Online

The weather was warm and the sun was shining bright on Saturday 30th March as we opened our Spring Show in the Tetbury gallery. UK director, Nikki Finch, curated a group exhibit that brought both colour, light and several new artists into the gallery space.

Like a shining beacon, the charming gallery window was illuminated by the work of newly appointed Otomys Contemporary UK artist, Marise Maas. The Dutch-born, Melbourne based artist plays with making what is usually seen as the unimportant, important. The precarious worlds which she creates within her oil paintings address narratives of the self through whimsical and childlike symbols. Her work “Homesick Horse” evokes a sense of nostalgia; like taking a peek back into the pages of your favourite children’s book from when you were younger. Her work welcomed our guests into the gallery over the evening and will do so for the duration of the Spring show.

As Otomys Contemporary welcomed new artists to the space; we also saw the return of artists such as Celia Gullett. Sitting confidently above an assortment of ceramic works, Celia’s two geometric oils on panel sat in conversation with one another. Although not necessary to be coupled together, the paintings pair perfectly through their similarities in form, but still manage to contrast one another through colour.

In addition, Otomys Contemporary welcomed the experimental photographic practice of recently appointed artist Simone Boon. Her work, concerned with human identity from a female perspective, presenting a philosophy of becoming. Boon’s embodies a flurry of crystallized movement and captures an ambiguity of form in motion.

The Otomys Contemporary Tetbury Spring Show will be on view for the forthcoming month as we welcome the eventual change in season and elongated twilight hours.

11 Church Street, Tetbury GL8 8JG UK

Wednesday – Saturday: Open 10 – 4 pm

Nikki Finch  nikki@otomys.com  +44 (0) 7484 751 157

Thursday 14th March, 2019.

567 – 569 Victoria St, Abbotsford VIC 3067.

Ben Sheers’ practice, particularly for the ABSTRACTIONS exhibition, is process driven and it seeks to retain the simplicity and magic of initial collage work.  By employing photography, screen printing, texture and scale he enhances the physical relationship between the viewer and the artwork and exploits the visual tension between mark making, flattened space and mixed media.

The timber sculptures in this exhibition are a natural continuation of Ben’s exploration of shape and space. They continue a dialogue of negative and positive space in three dimensions whilst making use of the inherent qualities found in the materials.

This body of abstract contemporary work is both precise and poetic. We are delighted to introduce ABSTRACTIONS to Otomys Contemporary. Browse the Online Catalogue.

‘This recent body of work was inspired by teaching my young boys how to use scissors! This teaching in turn taught me about the pleasure of mark making and the sophistication of cut and paste.’

Following an Honours in Fine Arts at Monash University, Ben Sheers’ art is now held in private collections in London, Sydney and Melbourne as well as the ING and Monash University’s collections. These works explore a visual language of shape and form through a variety of materials and processes.

Ben’s practice, particularly for the ABSTRACTIONS exhibition, is process driven and it seeks to retain the simplicity and magic of initial collage work.  By employing photography, screen printing, texture and scale he enhances the physical relationship between the viewer and the artwork and exploits the visual tension between mark making, flattened space and mixed media.

The timber sculptures in this exhibition are a natural continuation of Ben’s exploration of shape and space. They continue a dialogue of negative and positive space in three dimensions whilst making use of the inherent qualities found in the materials.

This body of abstract contemporary work is both precise and poetic.

In Australia we’re living in age of speed and sophisticated chaos and control. As an artist how do you see our creative future evolving?

I think the visual arts in general are quite remarkable in that you have always had artists whose practices embrace the age in which we are living and even help to push new ideas and technologies into areas they were not originally intended. While at the same time you have artists whose practice is grounded in the tradition. With these ideas in mind, I think our creative future will be one where boundaries are further blurred when it comes to artists utilising a multi- disciplinary approach to dealing with the practice of making art. 

And as a father of two young creative minds, what is the best piece of advice you can give your boys to navigate their way into the future?

Do what you love. You’re not always going to be able to solely do what you love but if you can keep it moving along that is something that will help you and become something you can draw upon as your move through all stages of life.  That and don’t hit your brother.

And … The best advice you’ve received?

I think it was something along the lines of “You need to make art for you and not anyone else because at the end of the day or I should say at 2 in the morning, no one else is in the studio cheering you on so you have to be excited by what you are doing”.

You have an added insight from teaching art to the younger generation – What are your thoughts on art education and what do you love about your day job?

I think the older I get the more I am just amazed by some of the things kids make and how their work has this amazing quality that we end up losing as we become adults. The irony is that it’s not until you grow up and study art that you can actually appreciate how beautiful some of their spontaneous creations are.

I think the thing I love about my day job is that I can learn and experiment with new things and not feel like they need to come back into my practice, that and as a teacher you can easily talk to 100 people in a day. Compare that to working in the studio on your own and I think the two, kind of compliment each other. 

Your art practice has shown tremendous growth in both medium and composition since winning the 2010 Metro People’s Choice Award. Your upcoming exhibition at Otomys ABSTRACTIONS is a total breakaway from your earlier oil paintings – What determined this change and what was the inspiration for this work?

The new direction in my work began several years ago but there were a number of different things that happened around the same time that led to the change. The first being, I took almost 18 months away from the studio because I began a major renovation and extension on our 1960’s weatherboard beach house. That time on the tools and away from the studio was really important in retrospect because it allowed me to reflect on my practice and kind of work think about art without the pressure of making it the same time.

The second thing during that period was a very generous friend and art collector invited my family to move into the back of their Merricks Nth weekend residence which  has an amazing art collection made up of Australian abstraction and indigenous art. So just being around these works day in and day out helped me gave me the confidence and the necessary push to explore abstraction.

Thirdly, working with building materials everyday gave me the materials and the skills to explore abstraction with. So I began constructing paintings with acrylic sheet and plywood  and combining it with materials I was already familiar with like raw linen and canvas. I started to build sculpture seriously for the first time in my career using form ply, which is used for making formwork when pouring concrete, and hardwood. So essentially everything I was learning while building was worming its way into my art practice.

You live and work in one of the world’s most beautiful serene locations – can you share with us any best-kept-secrets on the Mornington Peninsula?

I don’t know how secret they are but there are some nice secluded little beaches between Olivers Hill in Frankston and Mount Eliza that you wouldn’t even know are there. They’re generally pretty empty even during summer which means you can take your dog without any dramas too.

Pt Leo Estate and McClelland Sculpture park are also great places to visit with amazing food and wine. Both have some great works by Australian and International sculptures and because they’re outside the kids can run around and everyone’s happy!

You are invited to join us for a celebration of ABSTRACTIONS by Ben Sheers.

 

THURSDAY 14TH MARCH, 6 – 8 PM

567 – 569 VICTORIA ST, ABBOTSFORD VIC 3067

RSVP  GALLERY@OTOMYS.COM

PRE SALE CATALOGUE REQUEST

When I told people from home at the end of 2018 that I was relocating to London to pursue a career within the art market, I was met with a variety of responses. Typically, it was confusion. Why would someone want to move somewhere where the days are colder and darker, the pound in comparison to our dollar is almost double, and the only real beach within driving distance is Brighton, which upon inspection, is hardly a beach at all by Australian standards.

In hindsight, relocating in the lead up to the Christmas frenzy, and basically going from winter into winter maybe wasn’t the smartest of choices. Whilst watching instagram stories of my sun kissed, rosé sipping friends galavant around Melbourne, I was settling in and setting up. In the very brief period I had between leaving home and diving head first into work in this nocturnal city, I wanted to see, do and most importantly, eat, anywhere and everywhere before the craziness of the working year really began.

Now as we are suddenly welcomed by March and the dreaded feeling that the year is already escaping before our eyes, I can pretty confidently say I am getting the swing of things. I have mastered the ability to dart through the bustling crowds of the London underground whilst sending emails from my phone, and managed to quite happily secure my new ‘local’ for good coffee and free wifi. It is said that New York is the city that never sleeps, however in reality, the word sleep isn’t even a part of London’s diction. No matter the hour or the weather, there is always something happening here, so I have compiled my very own snapshot guide to London so far…

Around Me…

London is sprawling, with every suburb engulfed in its own identity and microclimate. Brixton is where I now call home, and let me tell you, it is the furthest place from the refined elegance of what I had thought London was to be. Brixton is a creative boiling pot 15 minutes out of the central madness of London with some of the best Ethiopian food and many popular emerging foodie hotspots. Brixton could be described as an eclectic mix of shabby chic, where quite frankly, anything goes.

If you want a KILLER coffee, as well as a great spot to fire up your laptop check out Stir Coffee. This is my favourite place to get work done. It’s a fuss free cafe, with great coffee ( arguably better than my favourite spots in Melbourne.) Dog and laptop friendly, this spot is popular for good reason. My partner and I find Stir Coffee perfect on a Friday when we are both work from home, and need to get out of the house. ps. I must mention they have The best carrot cake ever!

Brixton Village is my next go to. Made up of approximately 100 local traders, this indoor arcade brings together cafes, champagne and cheese bars, local artisan stores and some of the best local produce in the area. On my favourites list is Burnt Toast Cafe, with a sibling cafe being in Melbourne. If you’re looking for a cosy glass of Red wine to finish the week and a killer cheese board to share for £20, go no further than Champagne + Fromage. This place is humble and understated, like you’re stepping through to a small bistro in Paris.

For a slightly more vibrant and buzzing night spot, I’d head to Canova Hall. Set to the backdrop of its very own micro distillery, Canova Hall is my recommendation for delicious wood fire pizza and a cocktail. Saturday nights here will find the place buzzing and always boasting a crowd, but come sunday mornings, you will find the booth style tables adorned with proseco and smashed avo. Its a bit of a jack of all traits, and surprisingly, it ticks all the boxes.

Just a tube ride away…

As Brixton is only at the end of the Victoria Line, my journey into neighbouring areas is super simple. Most weeks, Im darting to Old Street, Shoreditch, or into the mayhem of Piccadilly Circus. Here I’ve listed some of my must do’s in London.

Art:

Here my days are filled with art; working with Otomys Contemporary  my spare time is spent exploring the big guys over here: The Tate Modern,  The Tate Britain, The Serpentine and The National Gallery… but what I’ve found to be most interesting is the smaller galleries. They are at times hard to spot but are like little nuggets of gold when you stumble across them. I was recently introduced to the app ArtRabbit, which for me, has been invaluable. Determined by your location, the app tells you what’s on and around you, and then gives you snippets of info into the galleries or exhibitions. It’s great for exploring the London art scene including art talks and events on any given day.

Do:

Every Saturday morning, in almost every park around the U.K is a fantastic free event called Park Run. Started as a way so promote a healthy active lifestyle throughout the country, Park Run is a free 5km run open to any level and age. Doing the run most Saturday mornings has become somewhat of a routine for me now. Its a way to really kickstart my weekend and do something active. I recently ran the Hyde Park route, and it was spectacular running through the park past the incredible architecture that scatters itself along the perimeter. Kicking off at 9am, the fun run is a fantastic way to meet people and see neighbouring areas.

Go:

My favourite place to visit; Shoreditch. Filled with the coolest of the cool, Shoreditch is home to some of the best restaurants, cafes, bars and shopping (in my opinion) in London. For great shopping head to Redchruch St for brands, or check out Goodhood for the best collections of curated streetwear and cool things for your home, that you didn’t realise you need. Not to far away is the iconic Brick Lane Beigel Bake where you can pick up a smoked salmon and cream cheese beigel for £4. Shoreditch, much like Brixton, has the appeal of not being too precious but also boasting some of the best design and art conscious hang outs. If you’re in the area, check out The Ace Hotel London. The Ace, second to its partner hotel in New York, is truely a spot for people watching. Whether you park yourself in the Lobby with your laptop, or pull up a chair in @hoipalloi for brunch, this place is always buzzing. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with Otomys artist Ian Rayer Smith here and we brunched to the backdrop of a string quartet playing Beyonce, what more could you want on a Saturday morning?

Eat:

Its hard to just pick one restaurant to recommend in London. If I had to choose a place that would be suitable for a work lunch, visiting relatives, a date night or even just a quick bite before heading to a show, it would have to be Dishoom. Scattered all over London, Dishoom is a modern take on traditional Indian, with a bubbling and electric atmosphere to match. The food is delicious, the wine list is full but not over the top and for London, it is very reasonably priced and open for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Like most of London’s restaurants, walk-ins only at dinner means a bit of a wait, but they certainly make up for it with the complimentary spiced chai tea in line whilst you wait.

Drink:

Slightly outside of the central London area is a neighbourhood worth visiting for a night – Clapham is home to the discrete and seductive Wine and Charcuterie Bar. Transformed from an old toilet block (hence the clever double title and abbreviation) W.C is a moody, dim light wine bar, right next to the underground entrance. Warm and inviting, this little gem has nibbles on the menu too if you get too comfortable to leave. We visited here with friends late one Saturday and found this to be the perfect spot for a rainy afternoon.

Honourable mentions:

Kricket – Similar to Dishoom but without the wait and the fuss, this place was designed by the team at Run For The Hills and is another favourite spot of mine for dinner with restaurants in both Brixton and Soho.

South London Gallery – Situated just outside of Peckham, this gallery is split over two locations and always has interesting and thought provoking exhibitions.

Colombia Road Flower Market – What better way then spending a Sunday morning stopping to smell the roses?

Afternoon tea at Claridges – The traditional afternoon tea of London in the heart of Mayfair. Booking ahead is essential.

 

Written by Bethany Woolfall, Otomys Contemporary London Art Consultant.

Responding to the energy of an Australian landscape

This is the Mullumbimby home and studio of Heath Newman, an Australian artist who is creatively responding to the energy, movement and character of the Australian land.

Heath’s work is expressive and gestural, with spontaneous brushstrokes simply reflecting his deep-rooted interest in botanicals, literature and Greek mythology.

Visiting an artist’s home studio is a little like walking into someone’s bedroom – it’s a creative space filled with personal treasures and spaces for quiet meditation.

Heath’s new home studio in the peak of summer is like being on a stage set – the Victorian weatherboard has aged beautifully into it’s surrounds, the sounds of beetles blend into ‘The Pavilion of Dreams’ playing on the record player, large banana leaves at the entrance lead into rooms with French doors which open out into rambling gardens and horses in a paddock.

All windows and doors open to welcome the slight summer breeze… Bookshelves loaded with publications on art, art conversations, artists, painting, botanicals, Greek Mythology, medicinal plants… A spread of very old and precious Bonsai has been passed down from his father for him to nurture and refine this discipline.

All the while we wander through Heath’s home with a cup of gently brewed calming tea, Heath shares his thoughts of how his work is travelling, what’s next, what he has planned for the year – his mind bubbles constantly with ideas and energy.

Extraordinary new sculptural works in plaster and a series of vintage polaroid studies with a note contemporary boldness are up next.

It’s not only this home and the art that exudes a great sense of optimism – Heath himself, always dressed in a fabulous combination of vintage fashion, it seems is always having a ‘great day’.

To request a catalogue of Heath Newman’s current body of work – please contact info@otomys.com.