As we wind down over the Christmas period and take much needed time to regroup, we reflect upon the year that was. Taking time is something we cherish at Otomys Contemporary. It allows us to pause, even for just a moment, and reconnect with what is going on around us, with the people that matter most. We sit back with gratitude and pride as we learn and grow from one year to the next.
Otomys Contemporary began the year by welcoming Zarah Cassim to our gallery. South African born, Paris based artist introduced a contemplative series of original oil paintings that questioned both reality and illusion, and attempted to blur the boundary between the two entities.
Hannah Abbott, existing Otomys team member, was warmly welcomed into the role of Australian Co – Director in February. Her unwavering passion for art, design and the finer details within creative ventures lead to the appointment of her role. Hannah joined Co – Founder and Co – Director Megan Dicks, slipping into the role with grace and enthusiasm.
At this time we also saw Celia Gullett’s geometric abstraction series come to life in the Melbourne and London galleries. In this series, Gullett explores the interplay of colour and compositions, creating a lively dialogue within and between the works. We have since exhibited and sold Celia’s first large scale geometric abstractions. Observing such development and distillation of practice is most exciting!
As February became March, Parisian artist Caroline Denervaud adorned the skyline of London Fashion Week in Roksanda’s runway showcase – exploring traces of time and abstract movement to compliment the garments on show. The work engulfed the end wall of the runway acting as an expanded backdrop to the fashion show and was also echoed along the length of the ceiling through delicate, organza hanging panels.
March presented two exhibitions – Autumnus in Melbourne and the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea, London. Curated to draw on the energy of shorter days and cooler nights, Autumnus encouraged guests to sit for a moment and listen to music selected by artists to accompany their works. The Affordable Art Fair in Battersea, London was a wonderful celebration of art by many for many! An experience that instills much confidence and pride within the art market.
With great excitement Otomys Contemporary welcomed two new Art Consultants to our team in April; Jessica Leighton appointed for Queensland and Sarah Richardson for New South Wales (Australia). Jess and Sarah are dynamic, effervescent in nature and filled with great determination – a pure delight and asset for the team. Pictured below – Jess, Bethany, Sarah and Liesl at our team conference in Melbourne.
By the middle of the year, we welcomed the work of Danielle Creenaune to Otomys Contemporary. Danielle’s work acts in occupation for the liminal zone between abstraction and representation, where the experience of a place, rather than a literal rendition of landscape feeds her creative practice. Her work – reductive and selective – distills the essence of her subject though mark making on lithographic plates and printmaking techniques. Based in Barcelona, Spain, her superb print studio acts merely as her canvas where the life of pre-lived experiences of landscape and people are brought to life
In July, we were focused on Heath Newman’s Melbourne exhibition, Somnium. The opening drew a crowed of well over 150 people and was a tremendous success. Since, Heath has been working back to back on commissioned works, as well as building his practice – fragments of still life, myths of the world, strokes, scrawls and colour fields. Heath himself describes his work and playful practice as a mental map; both of his subconscious and of the greater, deeper collective consciousness.
September and November were marked as significant months for our gallery in the United Kingdom. In September, Co – Founder and UK Director Nikki Finch popped up in the Marylebone Design District for London Design Festival. Nikki curated a brilliant exhibit of works by Caroline Denervaud, Ian Rayer Smith, Nina Dolan and Linda Oubhi. With our gallery space located in Tetbury (in the Cotswolds) it is important for our artists to be seen in London through carefully curated, collaborative events. Returning to Tetbury for our November winter exhibition, Nikki presented work by Ilaria Rosselli Del Turco, Kira Ni and Luke Eastop. Pictured below – Danielle Creenaune travels from Barcelona to visit Nikki in London.
In the last quarter of the year, we welcomed artists such as Dragica Carlin to Otomys Contemporary, as well as new pastel works from Karin Haas and large light forays by Greg Penn. In celebration of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, our Melbourne window was dressed with Susan Watson Knight’s gentle and unique cyanotypes from the series Soft as Butter.
The year was dotted with collaborative projects for unique and carefully considered spaces with leading design studios and architects. Working along side such industry leaders ignites the power of careful aesthetics whilst highlighting the importance of art within the everyday.
All of a sudden, we sat looking at our diaries to see that December was neatly stamped at the top of the page. December marked an exciting beginning for our newly appointed London Otomys Art Consultant, Bethany Woolfall. After spending a few valuable months in the Melbourne gallery, Bethany left for the United Kingdom, ready to take on the New Year with Nikki Finch.
Our year has been filled with countless moments to be thankful for, and without the work and commitment of our incredible artists and team, we would not be able to be where we stand today. It is with tremendous gratitude that we are able to close our books for the year, and spend this time being thankful. We thank you for your commitment and support to the gallery, and we look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year!