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

‘For many years Sophia Szilagyi’s work has traversed land, sky and seascapes, inventing a universe that appears plausible yet is largely make-believe. Through digital printmaking she skillfully merges numerous images to create a distinctive sense of otherworldliness in her work that is entirely unique.

However in a marked shift from her earlier prints, sees the artist turn her serene and penetrative gaze away from the restless seas and churning skies, and look inward, to the private realm of home and the friends and family members who inhabit it. This deeply personal dimension forms the starting point for the works in the series. Yet through Szilagyi’s printmaking process of layering images and merging forms, she achieves a quality of timelessness and universality even with such personally significant subjects.

The original limited edition prints are created using contemporary digital technology. Yet many of them contain aesthetic qualities more reminiscent of paintings from the canon of western art history, than some of the current photographic sources from which she draws.

This body of work takes a bold figurative step in a new direction, yet contains the depth and unsettling beauty for which Szilagyi’s landscape derived work is so well loved. It’s a powerful statement of tenderness and vision.’

– Marguerite Brown, MA ArtCur.

Artist - Sophia Szilagyi - Arm -Otomys Art OnlineArtist - Sophia Szilagyi - Back -Otomys Art Online

Words by Bethany Woolfall, Otomys Contemporary London Art Consultant.

Today I had the pleasure of spending some time with our London based artist, Dragica Carlin in her Greenwich studio. A typical grey start to January in London, Dragica’s studio windows stood as a frame, capturing the musing and meanderings of her explorative practice within. Dragica, whilst in the transition of moving studio spaces to a nearby location in Shoreditch, welcomed me into her space with hot coffee and pastries as we sat and caught up over her recent work.

What is so striking about Dragica’s practice is its longevity and steady progression over years of development and refining. Her practice today is sleek, elegant and completely visceral. Seeing her works, during varied stages of progression and development really emphasised the movement that stands within her final works. We sat chatting about the emerging London art scene, her vibrant career and a variety of theoretical texts which we have both been reading lately over the course of an hour.

Dragica not only one of Otomys Contemporary’s artists, but now also my friend, offered me some advice, as someone only newly breaching the expansive London Art Scene. She spoke about the effect of the critique, and how without support, an artist can become too critical and harsh on their practice and self. She said that when you begin to think your practice, your choices, anything and your judgement begins to be too harsh, it is best to just walk away, and give the situation air and time. Upon return, your perspective will be anew and clearer, being able to find the precision within the simplicity of things. I think this approach to decision making is very important, and is something we all should all consider when going about each day. Because it is usually unlikely that a good choice will be made in haste.

Today, the completed works within her studio space sat crystallised in moments of transitory flux and toed the line between loosing control and maintaining their careful composure. The works create a delicate flow of energy from within the canvas, something which Dragica has very clearly mastered throughout her long standing career as a painter.

The Equine Series by Susan Watson Knight.

‘Knight’s interest with the cyanotype began in her father’s architectural office where she first encountered engineering blueprints. The intense hue and technical precision became the trigger for her exploration of the horse bit’s evolution and design. On first glance, the objects in these cyanotypes look enigmatic and vaguely disturbing, almost like obscure medical instruments or handcuffs that pit cold metal against soft tissue as a means of restraint… Knight’s collection of nickel, copper and stainless steel bits with their joints and rings and shanks create tantalizing geometric patterns suggesting interlinked, stick-figure outlines of bodies united in a common purpose, like rider and horse.’ – Fiona Capp 2012.

Documentation suggests that the use of the equine bit dates back to approximately 3500-3000 BC. These original designs were fashioned from rope, bone, horn and wood. Metal bits evolved between 1300- 1200 BC and were made of bronze. Equine bits rest on the sensitive bars of a horse’s mouth and work with either direct pressure or leverage depending on the type. From a design perspective Knight is interested in the purity of these forms and the pragmatics of rationality and functionality. From a riding perspective Knight is aware that a heavy-handed rider can make even the mildest bit painful. The dressage rider strives to develop independent hands that maintain gentle consistent bit contact and a quiet dialogue with their equine companion.

Knight’s dressage trainer shared insightful advice that should be a mantra for all equestrians regardless of discipline ‘assume your horse’s mouth is as soft as butter..’

Soft as Butter by Susan Watson Knight is on view at Otomys Contemporary Melbourne / 567 – 569 Victoria St, Abbotsford VIC 3065. Susan Watson Knight’s cyanotypes are available as originals or a limited edition pigment print. Soft as Butter is a series of 15 original cyantopes. Cut between the space is a series of limited edition of 5 prigment prints on cotton rag paper.

 

What is a cyanotype?

The making of a cyanotype is reminiscent of the magic found in a photographers’s dark room, when the photographic image begins to appear through a mix of chemicals and interplay of UV light and dark. The process is partially one of control and discovery.

Cyanotypes date back to the 1700’s, with a history linking chemistry and photography; known also as photograms, photogravure prints, sunlight prints, blue prints or cyanotypes, it is the latter which accurately refers to the colour.

The cyan in a cyanotype is often a highly saturated deep electric blue / aquamarine, although cyanotypes can be dark charcoal or green grey too.

As the chemical process has etched tiny stipples into the etching plate, the colour appears on paper as soft as cashmere; the tonal effects are similar to that of a watercolour.

American Cyanotype artist, Megan Riepenhoff and her assistant capturing an image at California’s Rodeo Beach. Credit Oprah.com.

Costume Designer, Kristine Doiel: Cyanotype from sheer fabric on A3 paper.

Light Forays is a body of work that blurs mental and physical depth. Haptic and scopic experiments integrate into event-perceptions, exploring sensations in sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and emotion, compressing perceptual diversity into unity.

‘I use light to explore virtually infinite possibilities, linking, generating, and manipulating colour. I am interested in colour and its manifestation, its presence, not as a filler for something but as the subject all of itself. As the camera narrows vision, I look to expand my vision by probing psychological, metaphysical and spiritual experiences. I am less concerned with duplicating physical reality and constantly question the role and limits of photography. I am interested in becoming a part of the picture and aim to produce a treatment of the image that involves the perceptual and physical activity of the viewer upon viewing.’ – Greg Penn.

 

Artist - Greg Penn - New-day - Otomys Art Online

Artist - Greg Penn - Brilliance-of-the-day -Otomys Art Online

Artist - Greg Penn - Problems Exist Only In Time - Otomys Art Online

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 Contemporary 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 Contemporary 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 Otomys Contemporary 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 Contemporary Gallery – Melbourne, or email studio@otomys.com to make an appointment to discuss these works with an Otomys Contemporary Art Consultant.

Otomys Contemporary 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 Contemporary Gallery – Melbourne, or email studio@otomys.com to make an appointment to discuss these works with an Otomys Contemporary Art Consultant.