We are proud to present Christopher Lees’ latest exhibition and cordially invite you and your guest to join us as we celebrate his show. Continue reading
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Jill Lewis conjures fragmentary, dream-like moments on canvas through multi-layered negotiations that translate into a sense of the familiar. The viewer is embroiled in a pictorial journey, at once candidly child-like and extraordinarily sophisticated. Lewis skilfully weaves snippets of ‘everyday life’ into playful and poetic tapestries of mythological animals and fanciful objects. The result is a substantial body of work over twenty years, narrating life’s elusive and private moments on her canvases. The artist delves into ancient cultures, borrowing symbols, sacred objects and totems, then employing her iconic mythical creatures. A painterly and spontaneous mark-making technique of rich earthy hues, and gelati colour bombs, emphasise the personal metaphors and private moments underlying her stories. This lyrical and primitive universe forms a theatrical stage for her fantastical cast of bazaar creatures and characters.
Lewis reflects on the stepping-stones that resulted in her burgeoning artistic career –
Four years at RMIT with teachers including Andrew Sibley, Jan Senbergs, James Meldrum and Rick Amor imbued a requirement for some measure of toughness within the work… I learnt that superficial decoration can be pleasing, but that paintings need strong bones to succeed. Exhibiting at Roar Studios in 1984 exposed me to the Roar artists… exhilarating and stimulating… Later, having children.. watching them draw and paint… gave me a love and appreciation of the spontaneous gesture. Their intuitive free spirited drawings made my own work feel labored and restrictive, and inspired a new approach.
The artist’s formative years of keen observation and self-discovery shaped over two decades of exhibiting as well as major commissions in Queensland and Melbourne. Lewis has painted full-time to satisfy demand for her unique work having exhibited at Libby Edwards Galleries in all four galleries since 1998. Her work is represented in collections worldwide and throughout Australia.
RMIT University Bachelor of Arts – Fine Art 1980 – 83
RMIT University Graduate Diploma Painting 1984
Melbourne College of Advanced Education, Graduate Diploma of Education 1985
Moved with new family to Queensland in 1988. Worked as tertiary art educator in tropical Far North Queensland and then the Sunshine Coast, teaching part time for 9 years, before returning to Melbourne in 1999.
Designed, introduced and taught the first Fine Art course at the new University of the Sunshine Coast, Qld 1998- 99.
Painting, for me, is a means of understanding and communicating with the world around me when words do not suffice, which is much of the time!
For influence, I draw upon many forms of ancient and primitive art, as well as child-art. I choose such influences because those artworks were created quite directly, as a means of communication. Such influences may have taken the form of picture stories, cautionary tales within mythology, or even as ways of appealing to, or bargaining with, the gods.
In an age now where technology is so much at odds with the natural world, I try to convey a feeling of spiritual connection to the natural world. For this reason I mostly avoid representing man-made elements other than the occasional bowl, hut or boat.
In the picture plane, I flatten figures, animals, birds and plants, and change them to an unnatural scale in order to unify them. I decorate them as a way of honouring them and giving them importance in my imagined world. I “invent” new hybrid species of animals, birds and plant-forms. They simply evolve on the canvas.
Within this changed spatial relativity, along with the textured, patterned surfaces, I explore the subtle and peculiar relationships between people, animals, birds, plants and the land, via anthropomorphism. At times I attempt to convey the interesting notions of animism and totemism. Sometimes there is an undertone of an uneasy, primitive, spirit-world because of this.
That said, and just for fun, I will often employ humour in the way I portray animal and human characters, because amid the dark times, I believe there can be a place for healing divisions by laughing at ourselves.
2019 “Silent Conversations” Anthea Polson Art, Gold Coast
2015 Recent Paintings Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne
2013 Recent Paintings Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne
2012 Recent Work, Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne
2011 Recent Work, Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne
2010 Recent Paintings, Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne
2009 Libby Edwards Galleries Brisbane
2008 Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne
2007 Libby Edwards Galleries Sydney
2006 Libby Edwards Galleries Brisbane
2005 Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne
2004 Greetings from La La Land, Libby Edwards Galleries Brisbane
2003 Libby Edwards Galleries Sydney
2002 Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne 2001 Libby Edwards Galleries Sydney 2000 Libby Edwards Galleries South Yarra
1998 “A Response to the Far North” McWhirter’s Art Space Brisbane
2019 “Figures and Faces” Libby Edwards Galleries, South Yarra.
2018 Anthea Polson Art Gold Coast Queensland
2018 Libby Edwards Galleries April Curators Picks
2018 Libby Edwards Galleries, Feb Curators Picks
2017 Libby Edwards Galleries,December Curator’s picks
2017 Libby Edwards Galleries, Spring Curators Picks
2016 Salt Contemporary, Queenscliff, Victoria. (six artists).
2012 Small Works Group Show, Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne
2012 Femme Fatales, Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne
2011 Contempo, Libby Edwards Galleries Melbourne 2000 Summer Show Libby Edwards Galleries Portsea
1999 Summer Show Libby Edwards Galleries Portsea
1997 The ‘Tate’ Gallery Contemporary Art Space Noosa. Qld 1996 ‘SAVE’ Gilchrist Galleries, Brisbane 1996 Group – Gilchrist Galleries, Brisbane
1994 ‘PRISM’ – 10 QLD Artists. NOOSA Regional Art Gallery
1993 Fairhill Gallery Yandina Qld
1992 Australian Artisans’ Studio, Cairns
1992 ‘Man, Land, Images’ Cairns 1992 Palm Court Gallery, Cairns
1991 “Keep the Rivers Flowing’ The Environment Centre, Cairns
1991 ‘8 Local Artists’ Palm Court Gallery, Cairns
1991 Palm Court Gallery, Cairns “Invisible Art”
(documented by National Gallery, Canberra)
1991 Palm Court Gallery, Cairns
1991 The Alice Prize, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs 1984 ROAR Studios, Melbourne – three person show 1983 RMIT Post graduate exhibition RMIT Gallery, Melbourne
Wrotham Park Station P & O Resort, Cairns, Queensland Marriot Hotel – Brisbane.
Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery. Vic (from Exquisite Corpse Exhibition)
St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne
McDougall-Ireland Pty Ltd. Brisbane.
Mungojupp Media Productions Pty Ltd. Mt Eliza Vic.
Royal South Yarra Tennis Club, Toorak, Vic.
Caringbah Medical Centre, Sydney.
University of the Sunshine Coast, Permanent Collection
Private collections in Japan, Taiwan, USA, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Majorca and Australia.
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Harvey Galleries was founded by the Harvey family in 1994 with an eye to establish a dynamic and inclusive contemporary art space on the North Shore of Sydney. For almost three decades we have expanded our reach to over three gallery locations and an ever expanding stable of the best artists Australia has to offer.
Harvey Galleries acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which our galleries stand. The Guringai people (Seaforth), the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation (Sydney), and the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation (Melbourne).
We pay our respect to Elders past and present.
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