Mike Emmett's 32x32 and Bec Jones' Mono.
NB. To make sense of this work...get the image up on your computer, and walk back ten paces...then voila!
I'm bumping into more and more artists who choose photography to express their creativity. Mike Emmett is one such artist. His current exhibition, 32x32 at Healesville Contemporary Art Space is the result of many years of looking, photographing and 'playing' with images. He loves the narrative in photographs...he is looking for it all of the time. Several are woven into this exhibition. They include narratives of childhood memories, landscapes and nudes.
The process of creating these limited edition photographs is a 'trade secret'. Suffice to say that he reduced each image to 32 squares of colour and tone across, by 32 squares down, hence the name.
He loves that the viewer needs to interact with the work physically, by walking back to find the best vantage point, where all of those 1024 squares begin to make sense.
He shares the exhibition with his colleague Bec Jones whose delicate detailed black and white photographs on handmade paper provide a great counterpoint to Mikes pared down images.
You'll know by now that I'm fascinated by artists creative process. Here's a description of Mike Emmett's... As a very well known, successful local commercial photographer, Mike is required to take photographs according to the clients' brief. He's good at it. There's no shortage of work but every time he goes out on a job he brings something home for himself...Often just one image that the client hasn't asked for...one that has the creative potential an artist is always on the look out for. It keeps his creative 'muscle' alive and I'll guarantee enhances his commercial work. The two photographs below exemplify this beautifully.
This wedding shot was one required by the client... (fabulous and broody thanks to the impending weather event)
Below is the shot that Mike took just for himself...The light fell naturally, illuminating the wedding rings that had been passed around for the guests to see. The body language of the couple had me immediately imagining their story. There's a whole novel in that exquisitely realised photograph...the narrative that Mike is so passionately interested in.
Mike is a director of the well known Yarra Valley design agency, Red Fish Blue Fish Creative.
All work in this post is ©Mike Emmett and is published with the permission of the artist.
In addition to showcasing the work of local artists, Healesville Contemporary Art Space offers great food and coffee to the intrepid art lover. Go on... pop this exhibition in your diary marked...A Day In the Country...you know you want to!
Special Offer...Free Tickets to Art Melbourne
Isiiad is offering free tickets to Art Melbourne Friday 25th May, for two lucky people.
To enter...go to Isiiad's facebook page...if you haven't already 'liked' the Isiiad page, make sure you 'like' the page first by clicking on the icon at the top then simply leave a message under the Special Offer saying why you would like to attend Art Melbourne. Comments are open until midday on Wednesday 23rd May and the winner will be announced after 5pm that day. The winner will be notified via facebook.
Raelene Sharp and that Archibald Packing Room Prize
Raelene Sharp, A strength of character, oil on canvas, 132 x 132cm. ©Raelene Sharp Winner of the Archibald Packing Room Prize 2012 and Archibald Finalist 2012
Raelene Sharp and John Wood, both demonstrate a strength of character. John Wood is Melbourne acting royalty. His career has spanned the small screen and stage. He has played characters as diverse as Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Sr. Sgt. Tom Croydon in the long running Australian television series Blue Heelers. In 2006 he won the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television after being nominated each year for the previous 10 years. On accepting the award, John famously said, "Too much, too soon."
With this portrait, Raelene Sharp has captured the depth of character of a much loved Australian actor, in the most heartwarming way...no wonder the Archibald Packers chose this painting. The Packer's choice is as much a tribute to John Wood as it is a tribute to Raelene Sharp for her ability to 'capture' him in paint on canvas.
Raelene Sharp© A Woman's Lot (self-portrait), 2005 oil on canvas, 152 x122cm.
Talking to Raelene Sharp at her home and studio in Yarra Glen, I discovered not only a very accomplished portrait painter but also a mother, a wife and a daughter, determined to follow her creative path among the challenges of family commitments. (No mean feat for any artist.) The moment I saw her self portrait, A Woman's Lot, I recognized her acute self awareness and her ability to capture her own essence. This painting was the winner of her first significant portrait prize- the $30,000 Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize in 2006. In it, she sits in the spotlight with the demands of family directed toward her. She is protective but resolute, with eyes displaying the compassion of the open hearted humanitarian so evident during our short time together. You can see and feel her 'strengh of character' in this work.
She is presently working on a series of paintings, with one of her beloved daughters the subject. In the first of these works, Raelene's ability to observe the complexities of the human condition is once more immediately evident. The work almost brought me to tears.
Raelene is a member of a group of six painters known as Fusion6. She is also a participant in the Yarra Valley Open Studios. I first encountered her work after a workshop she conducted at Acme et al last year.
There's a little frisson bubbling up in the Yarra Valley with the 2012 Archibald Prize on it's way to TarraWarra Museum of Art in early June. You will have the pleasure of seeing Raelene's work alongside the other shortlisted works then. You can make a booking online at TWMA's website.