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The Fit & Fab Files – For Fit Sake!

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the Fit & Fab files

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For Fit Sake!

A few months ago I took an unscheduled tumble down my back stairs at home & needed surgery on a foot & knee high moon boots on both legs for couple of months. The post surgery pain was excruciating. Like a demented teletubby lurching around, my twin 4 year olds were about to start school holidays – the timing couldn’t have been worse. Luckily, I am a quick healer! Many pharmaceutical filled months later, I emerged, tentatively at first, back into the sunlight.

The lesson here I think may have been I was so busy trying to race around & check everything off my daily- to-do list, I was blinkered to the moments I was missing in the here & now.

NEVER ever, will I take my feet for granted again! Post physio rehab, I visited a local, charming Indian podiatrist who took one look at my still somewhat mangled toes & sighed. “You weren’t being mindful then?” she enquired gently. Bingo. Sometimes it only takes a moment for our focus to wander – huge things can happen as a result of being out of our bodies.

Which brings me to the here & now. Monday morning. I’d asked around, & yes, Dave, owner & director of For Fit Sake, taskmaster & general all-round nice guy – could help me. Everyone says he’s a tough trainer but his track record on yielding results speak for themselves. Enough said.

Here I am, writing to you, feeling a little anxious. The last time I’d boxed, burpee’d & suicide sprinted was B.T (before twins). About to eat a protein fuelled poached egg & spinach on avo on rye  combo as prep. No caffeine hit – how do you think I’m gonna pay for my sessions?!! Seems like a positive trade: giving caffeine the flick for the sake of my fitness.

See ya on the other side!

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The Finkelstein Files: Golden Repair

Above: Remembering the Pattern, 2016

Analogue collage, oil stick on hand painted rag paper, 34 x 46cm.

Above: Where The Sun Don’t Shine, 2016

Analogue collage, oil stick on hand painted rag paper, 35 x 45cm.

“Helen Gory’s art pivots upon its connections. Its power lies in its links. Her images seem to unspool and reveal an almost filmic flow of associations. Golden Repair, the title of her solo exhibition at Chapman & Bailey in Abbotsford, refers to the Japanese procedure of Kintsugi. This process brings together and reconnects fragments of that which was whole; it is, in essence, an embrace of imperfection. For Gory, the procedure stands as an analogy of the honest acceptance of often overlooked and almost forgotten aspects of her inner self. It’s a type of re-stitching – an aesthetically realigned spill-out of the contents of a mental handbag.”

Attending the opening of the exhibition, I was reminded of the astute observations of esteemed art historian, Ken Wach, (above) as he waxed lyrical about Gory’s gilt creations. An Associate Professor and former Head of Creative School of Art at Melbourne University, Wach has long proved a valuable treasure trove of knowledge when sluicing to the core of an artists’ intention.

Above: (detail.) Never Ending, 2016

Collage and oil stick on paper, 140 x 100cm.

The mixed-media works in Golden Repair speak of desire and displacement. Through her art Gory searches for patterns and meanings; her mind is seduced by connections and coincidences as it points toward a form of self-interrogation. Thoughts are prompted by fractured, fragmentary and juxtaposed images – an inventive vision of constructed parts rather than given wholes.

“This body of work is autobiographical, and has taken me close to three years,’ says Gory. “To celebrate that which is not perfect resonates deeply with me. These distortions and missing bits and pieces, floating in mid-air, are expressions of seeing beauty in who we are, as we are,” explains Gory. “Finding the connections are our strengths.”

Above (Left to Right) : Three generations of Gory women together, artist Helen Gory with her daughter and grand-daughter.

Recognising the beauty in broken things, is interwoven with the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi – to find beauty in broken or old things. By giving new life, or rebirth to objects by celebrating their flaws and history, the 15th century practice of Kintsugi can be applied to life. To find value in the missing pieces – to bring light the scars that have come from our experiences, to find new purpose through seeing the beauty of imperfection – is a gift of innate prosperity.

I have long been an ardent fan of the collage as a unique medium of exploration – signposting our most primal visual markers. Assemblage is a dense and intricate process not for the feint-hearted as Gory explains of her practice. Gory’s ability to track and expand upon her ideas are referenced here in an earlier body of works here.

For an artist, who once was firmly fixed on the spectator side of the studio, her gallerist eye is sharp and pincer-like. An advantage of two decades of running a commercially successful exhibition space, and nurturing the fledgling careers of many of Melbourne’s finest talent, Gory has a head start. To then be able to ‘un-see’ what she can already ‘see’ is the trick to tying it all together. The Guts & the Gory.

Above: Holding My Flame, 2016

Oil Stick on Board, 38 x 34cm.

Above: Feeding the Donkey, 2016

Oil stick and pastel on paper, 122 x 86cm.

From a collectability perspective, the works are genuine nuggets of gold. Priced extremely affordingly, it is tempting to select more than one work of art. A pair juxtaposed and pitted against themselves works well. I often ask my twin 7 year-olds their opinion on new works – their untrained eyes often ‘see’ better than most jaded buyers with decades of viewing under their proverbial belts. After a short discussion, they both select the same work – declaring it ‘special’.

A week post-opening, the collection is fast on its way to selling out – audiences are aware that what they see and feel resonates within long after stepping away from the image. That’s how great art is meant to make you feel. That you have stumbled upon something precious that makes you feel joyous!

Golden Repair is on until April 1st at Chapman And Bailey, 350 Johnston St, Abbotsford. For sales call the gallery 03 94158666, mon-fri, 10-5.30, sat 10.30-4.30.

Thierry B Fine Art: Jane Valentine

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Sculptor Jane Valentine, is an artist working in a revered art form, crafting the marble of Michelangelo and the inspiration of ancient Egypt and Renaissance Italy into a 21st-century statement. Valentine is brightly blonde and seductively ebullient. One of Australia’s pre-eminent – and rare – marble sculptors, her personal stash of marble blocks are agisted in a field on the edge of Sydney. She works on the other side of the world: most usually in the Italian village of Pietrasanta, where Michelangelo sourced his marble; sometimes in Xiamen, in the south-east of China; most recently in Cairo.

“As a carver, the scale in Egypt is unbelievable. Something as little as 10cm is so incredibly beautiful and contains as much essence as something that’s five metres tall. The history, the culture: it’s everywhere. You could live in the Cairo museum, it’s amazing. And when I saw the pyramids, I cried.”

One of the earliest art forms, sculpture still carries the imprint of artisan knowledge passed down through centuries. Yet while Valentine’s practice honours and continues many traditional methods, she is very much a 21st-century practitioner, excited by technology and operating globally, sourcing her materials, her working spaces and conversations all over the world. “I work with whatever technology I can take; and I work some pieces just by hand. That’s amazing – and even more beautiful when you’re working more intuitively and you don’t know what the end product is going to be.” Now, she says, working like that is “something that I give myself as a gift”. “Part of my artistic practice tries to get to the essence of things and that’s often a pure, fragile, feminine essence.”

A contradiction to the sense of solidity and grandeur often associated with marble? “Yes, and with marble you have a sense of immortality, too – a memorial aspect. To get to an essence, to immortalise it, that’s essentially what I’m doing. It’s a beautiful juxtaposition.”

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Always confident she’d be an artist – “it was the only thing I was good at, at school” – Valentine majored in painting at the Sydney College of the Arts. On graduation, she won a
scholarship to Florence, only to find herself overwhelmed trying to work in “this ancient, culturally rich city”. The epiphany came on an excursion to Pietrasanta: Valentine saw a girl working in one of the studios and knew instantly what she wanted to do next.
“The first time I worked with marble was like watching black-and-white television turn into colour,” she says. Valentine never painted again. “The technique I use is subtractive: give 30 students a block of clay, 28 will put little pieces of it together to assemble a shape – only a couple will start subtracting pieces of the clay to find something. That’s working
in negative space and I found that language very intuitive. It was the first time I calmed down. Sculpting is very meditative and I’m very lively, always thinking 20, 30 different things. Sculpture lets me have that thinking space, and all those ideas, but it lets me quieten my voice and get to the essence of what I’m trying to say.”
Her first major exhibition was representing Australia in the 1999 International Sculpture Symposium in Changchun, China.

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Contemporaries Valentine finds admirable, inspiring, include “Anish Kapoor, of course, Isamu Noguchi, Peter Randall-Page, Antony Gormley – people you return to just for the simplicity of falling in love with their work.” Then there are women such as the late Louise Bourgeois and Australian artists such as Marea Gazzard and Inge King. “They arose within their media within such a difficult age of being.” She spent eight years in Pietrasanta – a long apprenticeship, she concedes, but one she couldn’t have undertaken anywhere else.
“It’s a melting pot of artists from all round the world, from very significant artists to people working on their first pieces. It’s a beautiful amalgamation of ideas and cultures. After work, you’d go to the bar, have a coffee or a glass of wine, covered in marble dust, then you’d eat together – people from five or six different countries, maybe a writer or a dancer. It’s the only place I’ve ever found like that.”

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There’s a famous Michelangelo quote about the statue concealed in each block of stone and the sculptor’s task of revealing it. In Valentine’s concentration as she listens – leaning in to catch anything obscured beneath the stones of a conversation’s words – you sense the focus with which she seeks out her marble and its internal potential. “It’s better to go when it’s just been raining and there’s early morning light,” she says of these excursions. “You have to tap it – when you tap marble, it sings, so you’re looking for the appropriate pitch.” It’s a sensual step in a very physical process: work with marble is work of heft, with cranes and grinders, tractors and hoists. The tallest of the exquisite teardrops Valentine made for Victoria’s Chadstone Shopping Centre is three metres high – and the hunt for their stone took six solid weeks. All of which creates its own economies of scale: the crafting of a maquette might take six weeks – “although that includes the time you are thinking about it while you’re peeling the potatoes” – a work the size of the Chadstone piece, Origins, required a year from start to finish. Then there is the cost of the raw materials she uses: a marble block can cost her as much as $40,000.

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Jane Valentine’s studio away from home:

Studio Nicola Stagetti in Pietrasanta, Tuscany.

Thierry B Fine Art is proud to present Harmonic Lines by Jane Valentine (pictured at top) located at 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra 3141. Gallery hours are: Monday – Saturday 11am-5pm  & Sunday  12pm-5pm.

The Finkelstein Files: Bonnes Vacances!

Thierry B Fine Art is open 11am – 5pm until Saturday 24th December! We have had a very busy few months welcoming clients into our new purpose-built gallery showroom in South Yarra. Now open across 7 days, our collection is accessible from 11am – 5pm or by appointment. As a note of gratitude to our loyal clientele, the gallery would like to extend an invitation to purchase paintings at a reduced price, to include custom framing, delivery and installation into your space for business of home.

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Michael Whitehead, Ever After, Synthetic Polymer Paint and Mixed Media on Linen, 80 x 270cm, Signed, Dated and Titled Verso.
fortitudePatricia Heaslip, Absinthe, Oil on Canvas, 137 x 137cm, Signed, Dated and Titled Verso.

 

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Thierry B, Tides Turning, Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen , 200 x 300 cm, Signed, Dated and Titled Verso.

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Patricia Heaslip, Diamond Soul, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm, Signed, Dated and Titled Verso.

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Thierry B, Indulgence of Freedom, Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen , 200 x 300 cm, Signed, Dated and Titled Verso.
Foreground: Alan Annells, Kimberley Horizons Series, Cast silicon bronze and stainless steel, unique edition.

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Master painter, Thierry B. pictured in his Huntingdale studio.

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Thierry B, The Well Wisher, Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen , 200 X 300 cm, Signed and Dated Lower Right, Titled Verso.

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Thierry B Fine Art Gallery interior featuring 200 x 300cm paintings by Thierry B.

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Thierry B, Grounded, Synthetic Polymer paint on Linen, 152 x 122cm, Signed and Dated Lower Right, Titled Verso.

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Thierry B, Relying On Each Other, Synthetic Polymer paint on Linen, 122 x 183cm, Signed and Dated Lower Right, Titled Verso

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Thierry B, Deep Ocean Horizon, Synthetic Polymer paint on Linen, 183 x 330cm, Signed and Dated Lower Right, Titled Verso.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy new year for all,

Vicki & Thierry xx

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The Finkelstein Files: Prodigious Paintings by Master Painter Thierry B

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Thierry B is well known for his colossal sized canvases – all abstract in style and resolutely zen in spirit. The three framed works featured in our South Yarra gallery measure 2 x 3 metres each. Happy to paint commissioned works for his clients, Thierry loves to bring colour, movement and energy into a room changing the feel forever into a space where you are at home.

Bigger indeed, can be better! If you have a space or multiple areas which have blank walls crying out for some special treatment, visit Thierry B Fine Art where we showcase larger paintings. We also offer a custom framing service, delivery and installation included in our pricing for a total turn-key solution for your home or business.

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Above: Master painter, Thierry B. in paint splattered overalls doing what he loves most – creating! Pictured here in his Huntingdale studio hard at work.

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Thierry B.
The Well Wisher
Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen
200 X 300 cm
Signed and Dated Lower Right
Titled Verso

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Thierry B.
Tides Turning
Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen
200 X 300 cm
Signed and Dated Lower Right
Titled Verso

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Thierry B.
Indulgence of Freedom
Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen
200 x 300 cm
Signed, Dated and Titled Verso

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Thierry B.
New Chapter
Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen
183 x 183 cm
Signed, Dated and Titled Verso

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Thierry B.
The Love Exchange
Synthetic Polymer Paint On Italian Linen
170 x 250 cm
Signed, Dated and Titled Verso

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The gallery is open Monday – Saturday 11am – 5pm and Sunday 12pm – 5pm until Christmas Eve @ 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra.

For an appointment outside these hours, please call  0404 861 438 or email art@thierrybfineart.com.

Happy Holidays to all from me and mine – to a new year filled with health and happiness for all.

Vicki xx

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The Finkelstein Files: Indigenous Instyle

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Lily Kelly Napangardi is a highly esteemed artist recognized for her contribution to contemporary aboriginal artwork. With a talent for intricate detail, Lily has captivated audiences with her interpretations of the shifting seasons and changing country.

Napangardi  was born around 1948, is a senior law woman of the Watiyawanu community, Haasts Bluff and is from Mount Liebig. Lily moved to Papunya in the 1960’s. She began painting in the 1980’s. Her ‘Tali -Sandhills’ paintings are finely constructed of a series of fine dots and dashes, their fasinating structure builds to a wonderfully detailed topography of her land. Lily Kelly Napangardi holds the authority over the “Women Dreaming ” story associated with Kunajarrayi. Lily’s paintings depict her country’s sandhills, the winds and the desert environment after rain, especially the sandhills near the Kintore area.In January 2006, Lily Kelly Napangardi was included as one of Australia’s 50 most collectable artists by the prestigious Australian Art Collector magazine.

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Lilly Kelly Napangardi was born at Haasts Bluff in the Northern Territory around 1948. She moved to the newly established settlement of Papunya in the 1960s. During her time in Papunya, Lilly engaged in painting activities, notably assisting with works by her husband Norman Kelly in the early 1980s. Lilly is one of the senior Law Women of the community, teaching the younger women traditional dancing and singing. Her language is Luritja. Lilly is a respected senior law woman of the community imparting knowledge of traditional songs and dancing to the younger generation.

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Lilly began painting in the early 1980s, winning the Northern Territory Art Award for Excellence in Aboriginal Painting in 1986. Lilly’s hypnotic ‘Sand Hills’ paintings are made up of fine dots and dashes, their muted tones building up a mysterious, hidden topography of her land.

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These paintings portray the depiction of the “Tali”, sand hills located near her homelands. The microscopic dots show the impact of the rain and the wind as it moves across the countryside. This story was passed to her by her father and the sand hills (Tali) are a site of significance for the artist and her family.

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Lilly is a highly collectable artist with a strong following: she is represented in major national and international collections.

Selected exhibitions:
1999 Desert Mob Show, Alice Springs
2000 Graham Marshall Gallery, Adelaide
2001 Desert Mob Show, Alice Springs;
2002 Desert Mob Show, Alice Springs.
2002 Telstra Awards;
2003 Telstra Awards
2003 Neil Murphy Indigenous Art showing at Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
2003 Graham Marshall Gallery, Adelaide;
2003 Telstra Awards; 2003 Neil Murphy Indigenous Art Span Galleries, Melbourne;
2003 Desert Mob Show, Alice Springs;
2004 Neil Murphy Indigenous Art showing at Span Galleries, Melbourne,
2004 Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
2004 Graham Marshall Gallery, Adelaide.

Awards:
Winner, 1986 Northern Territory Art Award
Winner, 2003 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award

Collections:
National Gallery of Queensland Brisbane
The Kerry Stokes Collection, Australia;
National Gallery of Australia Canberra;
Art Gallery of New South Wales – Sydney;
Art Gallery of South Australia – Adelaide;
National Gallery of Victoria – Melbourne;
Holmes A Court Collection Perth;
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory Darwin;
Art bank Sydney;
The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, USA;
Thomas Vroom Collection, Amsterdam;
James Erskine Collection;
Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2003;
corporate and private collections around the world.

Thierry B Fine Art is excited to offer a new range into the gallery of Lilly’s work for both the discerning and burgeoning art collector.  Gallery hours are: Monday – Saturday 11am-5pm and Sunday 12-pm or by appointment on 0404 861 438.

Vicki xx

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The Finkelstein Files: The Art of Michelle Breton

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Le-Matin De Bonne Heure, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 198 x 182.5cm.

Michelle Breton’s ouevre relates to deep inward feelings rather than appealing to the intellect –  a visceral expression of motifs. Organic is form and matter, the works are resolved instinctively and intuitively. Filled with movement and chaos and control, Breton is a master of the abstract landscape.
“There comes a point in the painting when it reveals itself to me, and it’s at that moment I seem to know what it wants to be and what I need to do. Before that I’m it’s slave, making marks, throwing paint and even sometimes  eliminating everything,then taking stock of what has occurred and launching back in to it, allowing anything to happen. This process can take days, weeks or even months. We work together then it releases, I let go and voila! It’s a relationship that can be tumultuous at times, but it’s a dance that I never tire of, it is my joy and I couldn’t live without it, it’s my passion and my love.”
Thierry B has a strong relationship with artist Michelle Breton, showcasing her paintings for the past decade, both in High St, Prahran and now in the new purpose-built space at 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra. We have just received a new collection of canvases into the stockroom which are available to view.

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Apres Midi D’uns Founa, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 152 x 137cm.

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Eclipse Telegraph 23, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 183 x 152cm.

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Octobre A Ceret, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 152 x 137cm.

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Presque Perdu, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 183 x 152cm.

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Coming Home, Mixed Media on Italian Canvas, 91 x 91cm.

The paintings are currently available at Thierry B Fine Art, 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra.

Gallery hours: Monday – Saturday 11am – 5pm, Sunday 12pm – 5pm or by appointment.

Thierry B: 0413 675 466 or Vicki: 0404 861 438.

ENQUIRE NOW

Vicki xx

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Thierry B Fine Art: Ebb and Flow

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Diamond Soul, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm.

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Aether, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm.

I have been a long-time admirer of artist Patricia Heaslip. Actually a decade long love affair with her paintings have haunted me with their wistfulness and transcendental gentle waves. A master of the abstract landscape, Heaslip is based in North East Victoria – she lives on a property with neighbours abutting, barely within cooee. Happily at home amongst the native flora and fauna, Trish,  as she asks me to call her, runs a thriving studio practice.

“I met Thierry B over a decade ago, and immediately was drawn to his energy and intention both as an artist and gallery director – I’m grateful to have established a dynamic and transparent relationship, I call him a great friend. He is one of my constant reminders that detachment does indeed, equal flow”. Heaslip will only ever take her brush to canvas when she is has clarified her purpose in that moment and feels present. If painting is a form of mindfulness, then Heaslip has been an ardent and fastidious student.

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Fortitude, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm.

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Walk In Silence, Oil on Canvas, 125 x 125cm.

This ebb and flow, is an expression which alludes to the inward and outward movement of ocean tides. A recurrent theme in her paintings, Heaslip is quick to reference nature as inspiration. “We are all matter and forms, ephemeral and yet timeless together. Nature is marvellous in all her fecundity – I harness that energy and reveal it in layers through the canvas. While painting, I experience thoughts, feelings, and sensations but never judge them.”

Her latest series graces the gallery like a blanket of love. One melon-coloured canvas is entitled “Jubilant” and absolutely exemplifies a happiness and triumph. A part of new Soul series, Heaslip experiments with undulating tone, while all the time flirting with the suggestion of depth of field. It’s a heady and seductive mix of mindful over mayhem. A taming of the soul.

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Monument, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm.

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Ruby Soul, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm.

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Jubilant, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm.

Heaslip’s jewel-like offerings hold much resonance. Clear with intention, they convey much about its master painter. She brings to her practice a tranparency that alludes many artists. The painting size commands attention, as they stand to attention as sentient sentinals, happy with their pride of place on the gallery wall. Palettes of gradation invite the viewer to look always inward at the maelstorm beneath the calm exterior. Upon closer inspection, the canvases undulate , dance and shimmer with light and love.

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 Magnaminous, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm.

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Landlines, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm.

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The paintings are currently available at Thierry B Fine Art, 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra. Gallery hours: Monday – Saturday 11am – 5pm, Sunday 12pm – 5pm or by appointment. Thierry B: 0413 675 466 or Vicki: 0404 861 438.

ENQUIRE NOW