The meticulously choreographed fine art images of Melbourne based artist Rebekah Stuart are a striking blend of contemporary digitalisation and classic landscape painting. There is something remote and tranquil in her work, an under-current layer of dark mysticism underlies this still beauty, which is crafted with mastered contemplation.

 

1. What is your greatest inspiration?

I have many inspirations in life. One of my greatest is the power and truth of nature; it always shows up, accepts its purpose and sense of being in the larger scheme of things. I am inspired by the impermanence of things, which may be as variant as the swift passing of light scintillating over forms, the settling stillness of the moon, words from books such as the wonderful inspiring dancer Isadora Duncan, moving my body as a dancer to find truth, a kind gesture from a human being, a performance that speaks so succinctly to the human condition that it makes you cry and feel joy.  All of these things I speak of live and die, making space for new fragments that live and die. All experience is painful and extraordinary, but it always happens in a state of impermanence and flux, preparing us for life and death.

 

Every Wake has a Silver Lining, 152 x 99.07cm, Limited Edition 10.

 

2. As the light falls in ‘Scarlatti and the View’ softer than mist, it settles in the inky water and lights up the shoreline. This work speaks of music and dance ~ tranquillity and reflection. As a performance artist you present a powerful connection to sound / music. Could you select a piece of music to accompany one of your art works?

I haven’t called myself a performance artist before. I am an artist that at times performs using the medium of dance and story which is often abstract, non linear. Music has always been a large part of my life. I grew up in a family who had a tradition of singing together around the piano once a week. We also performed as an A Capella ensemble for many years. I have taken interest to use recordings of original music from my friendship circle for dance performances, as I feel this creates an intimate and familial atmosphere, rather than using famous composers works who are much more distant from my living context. Recently for my opening art exhibition ‘ The Other Shore’ I directed five dancers to move in front of my artworks, responding to and emulating elements of air, wind, heat, cold and water. The music was a looped score recording of my sister singing a lullaby in an Italian church on a family holiday a year ago. ‘Scarlatti and the View’ is partially inspired by Scarlatti’s keyboard Sonata in B- Flat major.

 

Scarlatti and the View, 127.54 x 93cm / 106 x 79.6cm, Limited Edition 7.

 

3. Can you describe the contemporary medium of your work?

I work using fragments of earth, sky, foliage, light and colour and place them side by side, or I superimpose, erase, overlay and so on. I usually begin with a background work of a vast sky, ocean or land. By the time I have completed the work I rarely remember which photograph I began with, as much like a painter the works evolve, often taking up to three months to create. A painter takes paint to the brush and reworks, I take pieces of the landscape instead. I often work to classical music to bring memory, dreaming, dance and philosophy to my process. Until recently I have used photographs that I have taken to create all works. My show that is currently on until 9th of October ‘The Other Shore’ (at St Francis’ Pastoral Centre) explores both mediums of photography and painting which is new for me.

 

Watch Rebekah Stuart’s dance clips documented by film maker Mischa Baka.

Rebekah Stuart, Myer Music Bowl.

Otomys is most excited to introduce and welcome the work of Karin Haas! Karin is a New York City based multimedia artist. Living in Manhattan, her work is heavily inspired by her surroundings of architecture, and the geometric surfaces of stone, marble, terrazzo and tiled patterns. Karin deconstructs these patterns and builds them back up to create minimal yet complex abstract forms that explore movement and balance. New York City is full of colour and has influenced Karin to freely choose a palette for her works, without overthinking it.

 

Otomys is delighted to introduce new works by Sydney-based Artist, Celia Gullett.

Gullett’s masterful Geometric Abstractions (Oil on Panel) are a construction and deconstruction of arrangements. In this series, Gullett explores the interplay of colour and compositions, creating a lively dialogue within and between the works. A recurring motif features within many of the works in the series – these pieces play to each other in a sympathetic vibration of sorts. Viewing or procuring the works as a pair or collection highlights the striking conversation between the shifting shapes.

Gullett’s Raga Series (Oil on Linen) examines the confluence between painting and music in the Rajput tradition of Indian culture. Within each Raga, Gullett explores colour and layering, making reference to melodic structure and spirituality in the Raga tradition. As such, each Raga seems to possess distinctive notes and energy levels. These are deeply peaceful works. The immersive quality of the Raga series is strengthened by their large scale and highly textured ‘loom state’ linen.

We visited Gullett’s Sydney studio – a large, collaborative studio space shared with five other artists – to view her works in progress, and catch up on her most recent influences.

Celia, thank you for having us at your studio! Please tell us about your recent inspirations and processes?

What propels my work is a fascination for colour and surface. I’m interested in working with colour. It has meaning. It has structure. It can be elusive, it can be emotive. But as a single entity, it’s really limitless. In terms of colour, my inspiration comes from observing. Anything can trigger a painting – an arrangement in nature, or a partnership of colours I might find in the non-natural world. Light and its effect on colour is vital to the way I observe. Surface is something that can in itself be seductive, but surface is affected by how we apply the matter, the substance of paint. The way a brush delivers paint to the surface is really the hand writing, the mark making. This mark making is such an important part of my practice, it’s a language I am constantly developing.

In both my Colour Fields and my small geometric pieces I am investigating colour and surface. The Colour Fields works are nearly always inspired by a desire to dialogue with one colour. Within this one colour there are many versions, so I tend to layer versions of, for example blue, until the work has enough depth. Generally, when the depth is right, the painting is finished.

The Geometrics are a little different, in that there are more colours. It’s about composing – balancing those colours within a motif that supports the colours. Often one colour calls for another, in a certain tone or density. In this way, I can choose between a discord or a harmony, depending on what I am trying to explore.

The panels I work on give a very different surface to the effects of paint on heavy linen. Multi layered, glazed, altered until everything sits perfectly together. I’m totally inspired by my trips to India. The Ragas have a strong connection to the culture and history, in particular the music. This led to a need to harmonise or make each colour speak to the others in each painting, creating a narrative in colour.

Please tell us about your new work? What are you exploring? Is it linked to your previous work?

My new work is a continuation what I have been doing. I’m inspired by the works of Fra Angelico, not so much in terms of their religious subjects, although I think they go way beyond the Christian beliefs and go closer to pure painting, pure spirit. The palette is limited by the pigments that were available at the time. The extraordinary use of these colours is wonderful. I find so much relevance for this use of colour in my own work, it speaks to me.


View Celia Gullett’s Online Gallery, or make a time to view the works within our Melbourne and Tetbury Gallery spaces.

Contact studio@otomys.com to make an appointment to discuss these works with an Otomsy Art Consultant in your state.

“Danielle’s work occupies a liminal zone between abstraction and representation, where the experience of a place, rather than a literal rendition of landscape feeds her creative practice. Wind-swept and gestural, the artist distills the essence of her subject through reductive marks made confidently on lithographic plates, which through the alchemy of printmaking are released onto paper.” – Marguerite Brown MA ArtCur, General Manager Print Council of Australia Inc.

 

Danielle completed a Masters of Art at the University of New South Wales before moving abroad. Having remained overseas for the last 18 years, Danielle currently practices from her superb print studio in Barcelona. Her central motivation is the intrinsic dialogue between landscape and people, how landscape is perceived through our library of pre-lived experiences and the ways in which this is reflected through the visual language of gesture.

Her work has received numerous awards internationally including – The René Carcan International Printmaking Award 2016 1st Mention in Belgium, and her lithographs were selected to represent Australia in the International Print Triennial Krakow 2015. Creenaune’s work is held in public collections including the National Gallery of Australia. Her book ‘When the Sea Wakes Inside You’ is currently selected in the 250th Royal Academy Summer Exhibition London.

View Danielle Creenaune’s works in the Otomys Gallery – Melbourne, or email studio@otomys.com to make an appointment to discuss these works with an Otomys Art Consultant.

Otomys is proud to represent London-based artist, Gill Rocca, and we were thrilled to visit her London studio to view her new art works. Rocca’s contemporary oil paintings tend to stop viewers in their tracks. The powerful miniature scale of these works prompts the viewer to engage and contemplate.

One can get lost in these art works – there is a sense that each image is a screen or portal to another world; a mysterious, alluring realm, hidden in our own. Each piece is spectacularly detailed, and the fine mist that lingers in each possesses its own emotive power.

Rocca describes: “My body of work primarily revolves around the representation of imagined landscapes. Executed in oil, the works vary in scale from intimate miniatures on resin and wood to large scale paintings on canvas.

Inspired by the realism of film and photography, the paintings attempt to create a dreamlike tension between reality, memory and the imagination.

Always uninhabited, shrouded in mist or captured as night draws in, the scenes pictured suggest an unspoken, unfinished narrative. The glow of streetlights or road markings act as traces in the paintings, often disappearing into the distance to merge again into empty space.”

View Gill Rocca’s works in the Otomys Gallery – Melbourne, or email studio@otomys.com to make an appointment to discuss these works with an Otomys Art Consultant.

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland. Paris based. This is research. Feelings and sensations create the forms; guiding the movement onto paper. It’s a question of here and now.

In this proposed series of paintings, forms and colours play around balance in space. The quiet abstract compositions hide stories, the feeling is fixed on paper. The paintings are caséines, pigments reveal their intensity or not depending on the preparation.

My work is a constant research around balance-unbalance. I try to get that little moment when the unbalance is balanced and the balance is unbalanced.

Denervaud studied contemporary dance, movement analysis and choreography at the Laban Center in London, as well as Fine Arts at Beaux-Arts de Paris.

Since she was very young, Denervaud has been exploring the ways that movement can convey intrinsic emotions. Dancing and allowing herself to accept natural bodily motion has been a prominent part of her life and has become the foundation of her expansive practice, which includes performance, video, paintings and collage.

Through Denervaud’s performance she creates marks – marks of movement, marks of time, marks of emotions.

Meet the Montreal born, New York based, OTOMYS artist Liza Lacroix. As OTOMYS prepares to head to America this week, we reflect upon the last time we were in the USA; visiting Liza Lacroix in her New York Studio. Follow us into Lacroix’s realm of gestural movement, bold strokes, dark hues, soft pastels and abstract figures.

‘I exalt in the aura that comes both from the historical prominence of painting and from its potency as an emotional object. Throughout the painting process, I am compelled by the heightened subconscious and intuitive possession that takes hold as a painting comes together, component by component, stroke by stroke. I am open to chance, accidents and awkward colour juxtaposition. I place the agency of the painting materials above personal intentions for storytelling; the paint has a life of its own.’

‘While my influences are drawn from the canon of abstraction, I reject the dichotomy between figuration and abstraction. I prefer to refer to my work as abstract figurative painting. Using large canvases and a rich but muted colour palette, I create soft but arresting paintings using texture, wide strokes and watery oils. I often use reference material that contains images of humans, a practice in line with the history of abstract painting. I push my abstraction to a place where it becomes almost entirely non-respresentational – but it must still maintain a human presence. I wish to always maintain a trace of humanity.’

View Liza Lacroix’s work at OTOMYS. Beyond the Online Gallery, we share access to Lacroix’s NYC art portfolio and facilitate commissioned projects. Facilitating commissioned projects is a very rewarding part of our work at OTOMYS. Representing both client and artist, we seek to deliver the most unique work for the specific space, whilst honouring the integrity of the artist. Schedule a Liza Lacroix appointment | studio@otomys.com

If Mark Roper wasn’t already on your radar, he most definitely is now. Originally hailing from the UK, Melbourne based Mark Roper isn’t just an artist, but a brilliantly versatile creative. With an extensive portfolio including food, travel, lifestyle and interior photography for both editorial and commercial projects, he is undoubtedly well regarded in his industry. However, Mark’s latest venture was one of a more personal journey.

Chronicles got talking to Mark fresh from the opening night of his new photography series ‘Arcane’.  In his limited edition debut collection of 8 Archival Lustre prints exhibited at Otomys gallery and online, Mark uses Polaroid film to explore the relationship between old and new, light and dark, chemical and digital.

Otomys: Tell us a little about your background, what did you study and what led you to where you are today?

  • Mark: I studied film and photography in the south west of the UK. I was originally going to take the path of film making but found I enjoyed the photography part of the course more, so ended up specializing in that.

Otomys: What 3 words best describe your work?

  • Mark: Moody, Layered, Mysterious

Otomys: What inspired your shift from traditional photographic work to polaroids, which forms your new ‘Arcane’ series?

  • Mark: My editorial and commercial work is all shot digitally. I love the control and precision of digital photography but missed the unpredictability of film, especially Polaroid.

Otomys: What did you love about experimenting with polaroids?

  • Mark: With Polaroid, when you peel back the film you’re never 100 percent sure what the outcome will be. The more I experimented with the structure and the chemicals in the Polaroid, the more unpredictable it became. I manipulated the chemicals found in the film with a number of different elements which produced new and interesting results.

Otomys: Can you give us a little insight into the creative process behind the ‘Arcane’ collection? Was there an intended message behind this work?

  • Mark: There’s no set message behind the work, I think they are the kind of pieces that people will connect with in different ways. I started my career shooting on film and Polaroid so I was excited to get back to my photographic roots. I’d been sitting on the idea for a while so am very excited it’s all come to fruition!

Otomys: What’s next for Mark Roper?

  • Mark: Now that Arcane is complete it’s inspired a lot more ideas. I’d like to complete a series using a mix of mediums, not just photography. Hopefully I can finish the idea by early next year.

Otomys: What would be your dream creative project?

  • Mark: My dream creative project would be to work with an interior designer and creative artworks for a hotel fitout

Otomys: Where do you currently call home?

  • Mark: I live in Caulfield, Melbourne. It’s a quiet suburb that is still close to everything with great parks and cafes.

Otomys: Can you share with us any best-kept-secret locations in a favourite neighbourhood around here?

  • Mark: There’s a great little cafe called Next Of Kin in Elsternwick which does fantastic breakfasts and coffee.

Otomys: What does a typical Saturday look like for you?

  • Mark: A typical Saturday for me, if I’m on top of all my work, involves a lie in, a couple of coffees and then spending the day with my wife Deb and kids Jack and Ella. We like to head out for lunch at our local or down to the park or the beach.

The process Chris Warnes uses for his fine art photography tells as much of a story as his final image does. This British born artist’s path to photography began in Art Direction and Advertising. Warnes now lives near Sydney’s Manly beach with his young family and he has successfully turned his passion for being behind the lens into a career. Inspired by the simplicity of capturing a moment suspended in time, Warnes describes his latest photographic series; Wet II, as “An abstract take on the ocean, using light, reflection and the subtle colours of water”.

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Warnes explores the unique landscape of the ocean the old school way- with a Hasselblad camera. He tells us “Film is an especially great medium to work with, the grain gives it more of an organic feel and ultimately more softness and depth.”

Warnes admits that he loves nothing more than watching water in motion and the huge storms that surged the Australian coastline earlier this year were no exception. He witnessed an awesome opportunity to capture these moments and illustrate the breathtaking force of nature.

We asked Warnes how he manages to plan shots during such an unpredictable process “I visualise an idea or image in my mind and then I spend time working out how to capture it. Sometimes I capture it exactly, other times I capture something different, that was actually better than what I had visualised” explains Warnes.

These incredibly calming images explore the essential components of photography, revealing new and exciting ways of experiencing the visual, spatial and momentary virtues of our Australian coastline.

Warnes aesthetic reveals the volatile beauty of each shot, but of course, he has to wait for the film to be developed before he knows for sure…

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