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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Christopher Beaumont





''About Still Life Painting


In secondary school I was very good at Maths & Sciences so I found myself studying Medicine when I left school in the early 80’s. It was in microscopic anatomy when I was told not to do a “drawing” but to do a “diagram” so that other people could understand what I was seeing down the microscope. Art is about communication. The mental light bulb turned on and I started spending too much time in the art section of the Baillieu library at Melbourne Uni and the NGV in Melbourne. Soon I had left the medical course and started night classes in life drawing & painting (with the very enthusiastic Howard Arkley). I had to go back to basics because I had no art background (but I had a natural advantage in anatomy). I did a TAFE art & design year which was a roller coaster crash course in everything and came out starting Sculpture at the VCA moving to the Painting department after six months.

Why still life? In the final year at VCA I decided to do some still life painting to focus on some basics in painting and came across the wonderful Spanish still life painters of the early seventeenth century. Juan Sanchez Cotan used geometric arrangements of vegetables in rectangular spaces with dark backgrounds. I loved it! The unglamorous vegetables common to his time and mine; the hyperbola used as a subject itself; the black void and shallow but emphatically three dimensional space and the simple & intimate lighting. Gareth Sansom was Dean of the art school at the time & still calls me “The Cabbage Painter” – I painted many cabbages as well as turnips, pumpkins, onions, cucumbers etc. Still life is a genre common to painting across millennia and cultures, from Pompeii to China to Cezanne, Magritte and Morandi.

I work in a traditional method with oils on prepared linen. This is the digital age and the digital camera and Photoshop are tools of production along with drawing & careful scaled griding in chalk before underpainting in lead white on a burnt sienna ground. The objects are slowly modelled in opposing glazes to create a sense of three dimensionality. I select my subjects at Safeway or more recently at a local farmer’s market. I set up the still life in the studio doing drawings & thumbnails and working with the digital camera. A working image or number of images are finalised in Photoshop and a grid applied then chalked to the canvas. As the vegetables wilt and dry up over the coming months I work from a laptop screen zooming in & out while working into glazes hoping to capture the glow of the LCD balancing the black background. There is no black paint in the backgrounds of these paintings. Alternating glazes of red vermillion & green viridian absorb light as it travels into the painting creating a surface which feels darker that anything black paint can do.

The space in these works is a virtual or abstract space while the rendering of objects wholly representational. I had a great interest in astronomy as a child. The heavens are an abstract emptiness with objects moving on principles of geometry. The world of atoms & molecules are often pictured as coloured spheres in this same black space. Atoms and molecules don’t actually look like this at all but this helps us to understand them conceptually. It is the same space of 3D computer modelling. I have grown up in a time when these images are commonplace and this is definitely an influence on the way I conceive of paintings.

Something that appears in the older works in this show is the presence of paper collage & black-board paint. Still life objects have to sit on something usually a table or ledge – the “architecture” of the painting. The paper is newspaper lists of stocks, law lists or even death notices. This is the type of information we call data, these days assembled in databases. I have worked as an information architect and we see our world in terms relationships to data. The space in these paintings is not the solid architecture of the real world and old still life paintings but the virtual space of our world. Paper collage and black-board paint unambiguously identify the flat surface of a painting which is a principle theme in modernism. Curiously the representational parts of the work are made stronger as these two modes clash.

Finally the act of building time & sensibility into a painting is what I love most about the paintings. These works take a lot of time as I essentially redraw the objects over and over again until they start to carve out some space of their own.''

Christopher Beaumont 2006














Born: Melbourne, Australia 1961

Studied
Studied 1997 Swinburne University of Technology - Grad Dip. Multimedia Software Development
1985-87 Victorian College of the Arts - BA. Painting & Sculpture
1984 Prahran College of TAFE(now Swinburne University) - Dip. TOP Art & Design
1980-83 University of Melbourne - MB., BS. Medicine


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Zai Kuang

Zai Kuang



1962 - Born in China
1998 - Moved to Australia
2002 - Master of Fine Art (research) Monash University
2002 - Commenced painting full-time
1997 - Master of Visual Art (Painting) Central Academy of Arts & Design
1987 - Bachelor of Visual Art (Painting) Central Academy of Arts & Design
1987-94 - Beijing University, China
1987-94 - Teacher, full-time




















Madeleine Winch

Madeleine Winch

here and here



STUDIES & TRAVEL

1965-67 - Design at National Art School, Sydney
1967-72 - Worked and travelled in UK and Europe 1975. Set up studio for one year on the Greek Island of Paros
1978 - Further study travel to Greece
1980 - Etching 1984-89 Amsterdam and London, Ireland, France, Italy
1995 - Paris and Brittany, France
1997 - Tuscany & Venice, Italy
2000 - Paris, France
2001 - New York City
2003 - Prague, Krakow and Vienna





















Andrew Bennett

Andrew Bennett



Andrew Bennett is a contemporary Australian Artist who works primarily in acrylics on canvas.

''When I first took up a brush I had some early influences - artists such as Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, and Wayne Thiebaud .Their sense of space, light and composition appealed to me. There was also a sense of capturing their environments what caught my eye.

In the early years, I developed an interest in still life painting, which was a way for me to come to terms with the medium of paint. Over time, I progressively expanded the close, intimate space of still life to incorporate the concept of landscape in a single work. The process enabled me to create layers, a sense of immediate and distant perspective.

Using this perspective I created a stream of work, combining close up observation of still life with the grander sweeping issues involved in representing landscape. This allowed me to explore the possible thematic and aesthetic relationships between the viewer's immediate space, occupied by still life, and the more atmospheric and distant space that landscape encompass.

However after some time I came to realise that the possibilities for using this format to explore other conceptual ideas had great appeal for me.

What appeared to be a surrealist bent seemed to develop. Even though there often is some unconscious reference in some of my work, as surrealists such as Rene Magrite and Salvadore Dali explored, it is the conscious arrangement between all the elements that continue to fascinate me.

Each painting presents a slew of possible interactions to explore as I work the process from the initial inception, to the final rendition.

Throughout the application I strive to keep a sense of life in the work, that very hard to categorise element that one has to feel, perhaps even intuit rather than simply reason. It can be as simple as an unexpected placement in the composition or an addition or subtraction of another element that can bring a work to life. ''


All works are acrylic on canvas after an extensive preparation of 6 to 8 sanded undercoats.
























Early studies
His interest in painting began in late high school, when his early studies of perspective and still life studies won the Sydney Morning Heral Art Heritage Prize in 1983. He began university studies in physics 1984, but soon switched to fine arts, majoring in painting and photography at the City Institue of Art (now known as College of Fine Arts, UNSW).

Exhibitions & Collections
Since graduating in 1987, Andrew has pursued his career as a full-time artist, exhibiting regularly in Sydney, Melbourne and the Central Coast. His works are held in numerous Australian and International collections in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Canada.

Travelling extensively throughout his career, Andrew has consistenly sought to draw together subject matter from a variety of sources, reflective of his fascination with light, texture, perspective and ideas.

Andrew's painting, The Casual Farmer, was included as part of the 2008 Wynne Prize exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW.
















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