My passion

You’ve just got to love it!

Whether you are buying a piece of art for the first time or adding to an existing collection of works, the most important criteria is that you are passionate about the painting.

A frequent question that I am asked as an art consultant is “How do you know what painting to buy?” The simple answer and the complicated answer is – “Buy it because you love it”. If you are buying art as an investment there will be other criteria such as growth potential, the investment potential of particular artists, long and short term growth prospects etc etc etc.

However, if you don’t have an affinity with the painting, if it dosent speak to you… and if you can’t establish a conversation with the painting, then why would you want it hanging around, every day in your life?

A painting, well placed, will augment a living space more than any other object. Once you have lived with one beautiful Aboriginal painting, it is highly likely that you will want to fill your entire home with them!

Be careful, that’s exactly what happened to me!

What I am reading at the moment

The latest book in my shelves is “How Aborigines invented the idea of contemporary art” – writings on Aboriginal contemporary art edited and introduced by Ian McLean. The book traces the slow and ambiguous way in which the Australian art world, perceived Aboriginal art and its eventual place in the contemporary Australian artscape – why it was not immediately accepted, why it was so difficult to catagorize, what its artistic merit was, why it was valued from an anthropological rather than an artistic viewpoint, its place in the evolution of post-moderism, and much more. The anthology is a fascinating collection of essays, bringing together many unspoken voices and differing opinions – I am thoroughly enjoying it.

The perfect Tingari by Ronnie Tjampitjinpa

When my colleague told me that Ronnie Tjampitjinpa was working with him, the timing was perfect for my new business artplacement.com.au to purchase a magnificent big black and white Tingari from the great man himself. The immaculate precision of this piece, painted specially at my request, will without a doubt, be a corner piece of the rental collection, as long as we can manoeuvre it’s 1900 x 1900mm frame into sometimes inaccessible client premises.

Please enjoy the progress shots, which I feel convey a real sense of calm and tranquility as Ronnie worked his way up and down the canvas.

Latest acquisition did not come quietly!

Not a huge piece, but really pulling a punch, is my latest Sally Gabori acquisition purchased from Dallas Gold’s gallery Raft Artspace in Alice Springs. Having sat on the floor in Dallas’s gallery pouring over vibrant, energetic, stunning pieces by Sally Gabori on a few occasions, this particular painting kept haunting me until I bought it.

For me it is Sally’s unabashed placement of colour, perfectly balanced by an adjudicating strip of white, somewhere in the composition. Measuring 1000 x 1500mm, I look forward to hanging it along side one of Sally’s other paintings 1500 x 2000mm in some confident client’s foyer or Boardroom!

Phyllis Thomas’s living art

Unlike most contemporary Aboriginal artists who use acrylic paint, Phyllis Thomas paints ochre on canvas.

Being a Kitja ochre artist, she paints Daiwal (Barramundi) Dreaming. In order to catch the fish, people throw leaves into the water to make the barramundi sleepy – they then rise to the surface and are easier to catch! The leaves turn the water a red colour – hence Phyllis has painted the scales of the fish using red ochre. The black canvas behind represents the women’s skin.

The image on the left shows the elder women of the Kitja community semi dressed and displaying the body paint of the Barramundi on the top half of their bodies, in anticipation of Women’s Business. I find the picture interested and yet somehow disturbing – did the women wear their bra’s to protect their own modesty or the sensibilities of the gathered crowd?

Its all about Kudditji!

I have just spent time in Alice Springs with Kudditji Kngwarreye. An extraordinary visit, where I sat with him while he painted, singing his way through a beautiful vivid blue and white panel. Having loved Kudditji’s work since I was first introduced to it, it was a great honour to sit with him and to have the opportunity to tell him what his art means to me, how moved I am by it, how it physically grabs my soul – even thinking about it now, my heart rate quickens, there is a palpable energy that his paintings impart.

That same painting hung in Fanuli Furniture, Cremorne for only a few days before a client walked into the store and fell instantly in love with it – just the way it should be!

A SLIGHT, BUT BEAUTIFUL DEVIATION

Being an Aboriginal art addict can mean that non-indigenous work does not always get a look in!!
However the moment I met “China Boy” a highly pixelated black and white photograph by nationally acclaimed photographer Michelle Aboud, I know that we were destined to be together.
“China Boy” is sixth in a limited edition series of six photos printed onto canvas. Measuring 1450 x1450mmm square (approx) he is a striking and fitting companion to the Aborignal works by Kudditji Kngwareyye, Minnie Pwerle, Dorothy Napangardi, Barney Campbell Tjakamarra and others, that adorn my walls.
However there is an ora of innocence and charm about this boy, achieved not just by capturing a single moment in time, but also by the pixelation process of bringing together thousands of different sized individual black dots to create a work of art. At close range, the photograph reminds me of one of Dorothy Napangardi’s paintings, yet when you squint slightly, it is a fully integrated black and white photo
of “China Boy”.
Having just read “The Hare with Amber Eyes” by Edmund de Waal, I would love to know more about this small child – where he is from, what is he looking at, what has captured his attention.

Betty Churcher – Notebooks

 

I am currently reading Betty Churcher’s book “Notebooks” a compilation of essays on her favourite atrworks, hanging in respective galleries throughout the world. Given that her eye sight was failing, Betty Churcher decided to sketch the key points of her favourite paintings so that they would make an indelible impression on her mind’s eye.
This book reminds me of experiences that I shared with my Year 8 art teacher Sue McBride, whom I credit for opening my eyes to a new way of looking at art and the world at large.
The act of relaxing into a painting and allowing it to take you on a journey, is one of the most seductive pleasures that I can image. By simultaneously looking at the work and reading Betty’s interpretation of it, the whole painting opens up in meaning and visual delight. Not all of Betty’s favourite paintings are mine, however her commentary enriches each one, making it more personal and an overall enjoyable experience.

By |August 30th, 2013|My passion|0 Comments|

A little Minnie

Sometimes its the smaller works that capture our hearts! The luminescence of Minnie Pwerles “Body Paint” 300 x 450mm, is as strong and striking as many larger paintings. You can really see the hand of the artist in small paintings, simple brush strokes, applied with spontaneity and confidence, working across the canvas while the paint is still wet – creating that beautiful mix of colour and blending from one tone to the next.

Art + Soul

Art + Soul
Like many lovers of Aboriginal art, I was riveted by the ABC two-part program Art and Soul.
Congratulations to Hetti Perkins, Senior Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, for producing such an honest, personal insight into aspects of Aboriginal life and Aborignal Art and culture.
While walking through a sacred site with two senior elders, Hetti described the rather illusive concept of “Tjukurpa” – or Dreamtime.
“Tjukurpa is a very complex term. I understand it as a series of narratives or stories that describe the travels and deeds of ancestral beings who created the land, our people and our culture, and it is very much part of the present”.
I know so many people who watched and loved the program – some of them quite unconnected to Aboriginal art, but who now feel that they understand and appreciate it a bit more, as a result of the series. Hopefully there will be more to come.