Why does art matter?? For without perspective, life would be awfully dull! It is our most expressive form of sharing. Art matters because it illustrates the human experience—the wonder of it, the bewilderment of it, the whimsy of it, and so much more. We would not be connected so deeply without the existence of art
The arts matter because they help us see the world from different perspectives. They give us empathy and help us understand people, places, periods of history, and issues with which we may otherwise be unfamiliar. They comfort us in grief and energise us in celebration. They are important because they can act as a catalyst for change…they can start a revolution! The arts ignite something in our brains that I can’t explain, but I know it’s essential for life.
Are you a newbie to the art of collecting? Here is a substantial reason how you can start your very own art collection! Post October this year, if you have a registered ABN for a business which is turning over under $10million annually, an art work upto $30,000 will be fully tax deductible under current ATO regulations.
So effectively, you could purchase 5 x paintings at $30,000 each & have something to show for $150,000 taxable amount owing. No better time to invest in an art collection! Read more HEREby arts accountant specialist & valuer, Michael Fox regarding the recent ATO updates.
If you have a registered ABN for a business which is turning over under $10million annually, an art work upto $20,000 will be fully tax deductible under current ATO regulations. So effectively, you could purchase 5 x paintings at $20,000 each & have something to show for $100,000 taxable amount owing. No better time to invest in an art collection! Read more HEREby arts accountant specialist & valuer, Michael Fox regarding the recent ATO updates.
The Thierry B Fine Artwebsite offers a complete stockroom to view available works, interiorpages with the paintings installed into their new homes for inspiration, in addition to atestimonialpage which sounds positively smarmy – every word is true!!! We look forward to welcoming you into our bespoke gallery space, complete with oversize stockroom for your viewing pleasure.
Thierry B Fine Art is located @ 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra. Gallery hours: Monday – Saturday 11am – 5pm & Sunday 12pm – 5pm or by appointment via firstname.lastname@example.org
Tolarno’s, a St.Kilda gastronomic institution for many decades of loyal customers gathered regularly to partake the bonhomie and Mirka Mora murals which festooned the walls with ducks, serpents, floral and doll-like motifs.
One of Australia’s best-loved artist, Mirka Mora has passed this week, aged 90, much to the distress of the visual art community. Her work has been revered, enjoyed and collected for as long as Mirka has been creating it. Mirka, one of Melbourne’s most famous bohemians, transformed the culture of her adopted home town since emigrating to Australia in the 1950s from war-torn France.
“Art is the child of the imagination and gives life”, Mirka famously uttered.
Throughout Mirka’s life, art was a constant. Her sensuous, cherubic figures — described by one 1960s art critic as ‘medieval imps’ — are instantly recognisable. Mirka created a prolific output of work spanning across six decades, with a range of media including drawing, painting, embroidery, soft sculpture, mosaics and doll-making.
Mirka Mora with her Soft Sculptures, August 29, 1979. Image Courtesy: Fairfax Media.
With more than 35 solo exhibitions throughout her career, including a retrospective at Heide Museum of Art in 1999-2000, celebrated 50 years of her work. Later this year in October, Heide will mark her 90th year with Mirka Mora: Pas de Deux – Drawings and Dolls, with its curators have written a book, Mirka and Georges, to coincide with the exhibition.
It seems nearly every Melbournite who has worked, lived and breathed amongst the artistic milieu has a Mirka tale to tell, each more arresting and controversially charming than the next. She was the pied-piper of the art tableuax, weaving her special brand of magic-like pixie-dust wherever she went. What a life worth living! Mirka seemed to leave a trail of art-lovers; charming them with her whacky yet wise stories of her colourful life, led with joy. Her joy was infectious, with people often referring to her child-like approach akin to madness – Mirka was perhaps the most sane of all.
Mirka’s studio wall, 2014, Tanner St, Richmond, Melbourne.
Widely respected art dealer, son William Mora explains the magic which was Mirka, “an artist and mentor who touched the lives of thousands, she has had an indelible effect on Australia’s cultural life. The joie de vivre she has shared with so many will continue in her immense legacy of art and her spirit of generosity.”
“Her colourful, sensuous iconography has emerged from the breadth of her interests and reading, her love of classical mythology, her desire to reclaim and make sense of childhood and familial relations, and her recognition of the power of sexual desire”.
Mirka Mora, Mother and Child, 1984, Gouache on paper, 18 x 13cm.
Carrillo Gantner AO, expresses his heart-felt memories in the forthcoming book Mirka Mora, A life of Making Art by Sabine Cotte, published by Thames and Hudson Australia and due for release in 2019:
“Many years ago my wife and I were sitting with Mirka in the café at the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. I asked her to tell me the story of her miraculous escape at age 13 from the train heading to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. She started to relate how she wrote a note with the names of the stations she was passing on a scrap of paper addressed to her father in Paris and pushed it out through a crack in the cattle truck in which she was being transported. Someone picked it up and sent it on to her father who worked out where she was headed. He bribed the Nazi authorities and she was released at the gates of Auschwitz with the eyes of the inmates staring out at her through the barbed wire. Then in the midst of the café crowd, Mirka burst into wild, incongruous laughter.
Mirka Mora, Friends and Lovers, 2004, Oil on Canvas, 119.5 x 119.5cm.
“Those large round eyes staring out at her are there in so many of her paintings and other works. So is her laughter in the face of death and in her commitment to the outrageous and colourful miracle of life. You cannot help but fall in love with Mirka. Everyone who meets her or stands before her work feels the sense of joy and of life lived to the max. If Australia had National Living Treasures as they do in Japan, Mirka Mora would undoubtedly be one of ours”,
Mirka Mora, Medieval Gathering (1987-1992), Oil on Canvas, 122.0 × 214.0cm, Image courtesy: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
“Mirka always said that my mother bought the very first painting she ever sold, and many others in the decades that followed. They remained the closest of friends and I grew up with regular injections of her art, her delicious French accent and delicious French cooking, her laughter and her occasional behavioural extremes. She always managed to put herself at the epicentre of attention, punching her fist into my 40th birthday cake, grabbing my hand and jumping into the swimming pool fully clothed at a polite Toorak party, turning a thank you speech at a Town Hall dinner in her honour into a dissertation on the delights of the clitoris, or hoisting her hospital gown to show me and her delighted hospital roommates her generous surgical scar and so much more.
Mirka Mora, Together, 1996, Oil on Canvas, 50.5 x 61cm.
“For my mother, Mirka represented the freedom of the artist’s life that she wished she herself might have led were it not for family pressures and social convention. For my children, Mirka almost came from another world, bearing the pleasures of surprise and fantasy. She would draw some strange creature for them and inspire them to repay the favour with their own imaginative scribbles. They loved her. Absolutely everyone loved her, whether they were children or elderly students at her Adult Education classes who imagined once again that they just might be.”
“First and always foremost, Mirka was an artist. She loved to paint or build soft creatures or embroider pictures or set mosaics. Every day of her life she worked tirelessly at her art, always sketching or pulling out her watercolours or researching images in ancient art books, always with the intensity of someone who treasured life and valued time. Even as she grew old, she told me that she had to work at her easel for hours every day, summoning mythological angels, animals, birds and plants in vivid colours. And always there were those eyes.”
Mirka’s vivacious personality and her vitality pegged her as a creative who blurred the boundaries by speaking with spirited sense of humanity. Thank you Mirka – you will certainly always be remembered for your exuberance and for exemplifying the art of joyful living.
Wondering how to maximise your tax return for your business and feel like you’ve come out somehow on top?! With Australia’s tax breaks available to businesses which turnover under $10 million annually, owning your own art collection has never been so simple.
Michael Fox, a leading Melbourne tax accountant specialising in the arts explains, “The rules changed about two years ago regarding buying art for your business,” explains Michael Fox. “Today in Australia it is much easier to gain tax breaks for buying works of under $20,000 than it ever was before,” he says. Fox who helps people with their tax every day says one of the big loopholes people can exploit, is the “Turnbull’s Tradies” – a Small Business raft of tax measures, which allows small businesses to claim their expenses up to $20,000. “If you have an ABN, then under the small business act you can claim the entire sum of that purchase up to the tune of $20,000 each; A small business meaning turnover of less than $10 million dollars annually.
“This rule means you can buy as many individual art works as you like worth just under $20,000 each and claim them as a legitimate business expense. For example if you wanted you could buy five artworks for $19,990 each and claim a tax write-off of close to $100,000 by buying those 5 works. “I don’t think the government really intended it to be a tax break for the arts industry. At the time it was introduced so that tradespeople could claim the expense of a utility vehicle. “It is not that widely understood,” Fox says.
Above: Painting by Wilson Lin, Spatiality, 2017, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 91.5cm, $ 5,500. Sculpture by Jane Valentine, Harmonic Lines III, 2007, Marble on Granite base, 48 (dia) x 25 (d) x 90(h) cm, P.O.A
Above: Wilson Lin working on his Fractal series in studio, Melbourne, Australia.
Above: Wilson Lin, A Glimmering Sheet, 2018, Fractal series, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 91.5cm, $5,500
Thierry B Fine Art showcases the Abstract paintings and sculpture from over a dozen Australian artists. Master painter and designer, Thierry B, will also scope your home or business space and recommend the ideal proportions. The South Yarra-based state-of-the-art gallery, Thierry B Fine Art provides a turn-key solution for our valued clients – where guesswork has been eliminated for you.
With prices starting from $2,500 upto $55,000, paintings are given the royal treatment proudly sporting a custom-made frame, complimentary nation-wide delivery & installation.
Above: Master Abstract Expressionist painter Thierry B. pictured in his Huntingdale studio, Melbourne, Australia.
Above: Thierry B., Contrast, 2017, Groove Series, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 183cm, Corporate collection, Craigieburn Victoria.
Above: Patricia Heaslip, Landlines, 2015, Oil on Linen, 183 x 183cm, $15,000
Above: Michelle Breton, Trompette au Soleil, 2017, Mixed Media on Canvas, 153 x 137cm, $9,900
Gallery Manager and art curator, Vicki Finkelstein explains, “that while some people might be intimidated by going to a gallery and asking prices, new collectors should never be scared to talk about the budget they have in mind for buying art. “We can guide people to incredibly collectible museum quality work for under $20,000. We often work to very tight briefs for offices, homes and new collectors. Interior designers and architects for example will always come to us with a budget in mind, so we’re accustomed to taking clients through our stockroom to find the right work,” Finkelstein says.
Above: Thierry B. Dreamscape Series, Suddenly Clare, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 183 x 300cm, custom-framed in water-gilded, 18-carat gold, P.O.A
Above: Thierry B. La Vie En Rose, 2018, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 152 x 122cm, custom-framed in water-gilded, 18-carat gold, $15,000
Are you developing a corporate culture in your business? Are you running a business in a cut throat industry? Wanting to attract great clients and retain incredible staff? Then buy art. Not only will you claim the expense of making your office look cool, but if you are in charge, at the top end of town, you can curate a serious corporate collection.
Once you amass a cool art collection you can tour the work or open it to the public. At the top end of town the ultimate, is when these companies appoint someone as a curator and actually put together a decent collection. Then those sorts of exhibitions can go touring around the country. Granted with the name of the company attached, but still, it’s a form or a good will and very clever marketing.
Above: Richard Lewer, Untitled #27 (Tax Time Again), 2016, Langridge pigmented ink on sandpaper, 28cm by 23cm. Collection of Michael Fox Arts Accountant & Valuer.
Overseas this is common practice. Here in Australia companies like Wesfarmers, BresicWhitney, Allens and SBS all have great corporate collections the public can visit. Collecting art for your company isn’t just about tax savings or marketing. There have been several studies that show people who work in environments with nice artwork tend to be more productive.
Resident Curator at Allens Linklaters Maria Poulos can concur. Their collection was formed under the direction of Hugh Jamieson, a former partner at Allens, who left a legacy of 900 modern paintings. When he retired in 1995 he left behind a collection that has become central to the company’s vision and values, a collection that has continued to expand.
“The Collection represents an important part of Allens’ corporate identity and its connection to a much wider cultural world. In another sense, it’s a sign of good citizenship and creates a ‘civilised workplace’,” Poulos explains.
Above: Painting by Tim Blashki, Container/Contained, 2013, Acrylic on Board, 100 x 540cm, $20,000. Sculpture by Jane Valentine, Shielding II, 2014, Stauario Marble on granite base, 100 (h) x 90 x 25 (d)cm, P.O.A
Above: Sculpture by Jane Valentine, Shielding II, 2014, Stauario Marble on granite base, 100 (h) x 90 x 25 (d)cm, P.O.A
Today, corporate collections are generally no longer seen simply as a way of decorating a company’s foyer, boardroom or offices. Instead, they are seen as a marketing tool that assists in defining a corporation’s brand or reputation. Many of the organisations that focus on collecting contemporary art are in competitive industries where it is necessary to project an image of being a forward thinking, dynamic and progressive market leader in order to attract the best staff and clients.
Above: Michael Whitehead, diptych, Outcrop & Plateau, 2018, Mixed Media on Linen, 180 x 140cm, Corporate collection, South Yarra, Australia.
Shannan Whitney who is the CEO and Founder of BresicWhitney has watched his corporate collection grow considerably since he purchased a Bill Henson for his office back in 2003. “Art was introduced consciously quite early on. It was an important mechanism to connect customers with our brand within a physical space. It was also a nice connection piece for our staff,” Whitney says. Today he points out, that in all four of his offices, art plays a strong, but silent role.
“Firstly it’s unexpected which is great. Secondly like all art is supposed to do, it prompts a response and reaction, which is valuable and finally I think it has been an effective in helping people connect our brand with our vision,” he says. Maria Poulos echoes this sentiment at Allens, sighting the impact on staff as ‘positive’. “Lawyers often comment on the art as a great conversation starter with new clients – a handy way to break the ice. Even if someone remarks unfavourably, ‘How can you put up with that?’, art has stimulated discussion and a different way of looking at things,” she says.
With art we travel. What leads us to search out meaning for the walls of our inner harbours and our exterior retreats? What combination of space, surface and colour lead us to a feeling of extended openness, of belonging to our surroundings, of expansion of space and the glimmer of inexplicable lightness.
As we travel through architectural spaces, designed places – the search for the spontaneous and the desirable, and at times the spiritual, can often be mirrored in how we choose to demarcate our ideologies of place.
Pictured here is abstract artist, Wilson Lin working in his Huntingdale studio, alongside mentor, Thierry B. Originally born in Taiwan, Lin’s paintings have been exhibited in Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as represented in Melbourne at Thierry B Fine Art over the past five years. A student of Thierry B’s, Wilson shares studio space in Huntingdale with him, learning to focus his creativity from a Zen perspective, Buddhist in essence. The pattern-making and repetition of line in his works create a vortex and restful space for the viewer all at once. Lin’s paintings are now highly sought after and collected Australia wide and gaining notoriety internationally.
Above: Thierry B mentors Abstract artist Wilson Lin in the Huntingdale studio, Melbourne.
Above: Wilson Lin, A Glimmering Sheet, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 91.5cm, P.O.A
Above: Wilson Lin, Silver Lining, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 152 x 122cm, P.O.A
Sculpture pictured by Lachlan Ross, Eternity, 2016, Stainless Steel on wooden plinth, P.O.A
Above: Thierry B, Contrast, 2016, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 183cm, P.O.A
Thierry B explains the art of zen; “My work is all about introducing the joy of colour into our lives, often seen here through cross-sections which challenge your spatial perception. The vibrancy of hue and curvilinear forms in repetition create a dynamic feast for the eye, where they are in constant motion. Energy maps a pathway for our eyes and hearts to meld.” – Thierry B, July 2015.
Above: Thierry B, Euphoria Series – Blanc, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 152 x 152cm, P.O.A
Above: Prolific Abstract Expressionist painter, Thierry B in his studio, Huntingdale Melbourne.
Paintings by Thierry B emphasise free, spontaneous, and personal emotional expression. They exercise a freedom of technique and execution to attain this goal, with a emphasis laid on the exploitation of the variable physical character of paint to evoke expressive qualities. Sensuous, dynamic and lyrical. They show similar emphasis on the unstudied and intuitive application of that paint in a form of psychic improvisation. Akin to the automatism, with the intent of expressing the force of the creative unconscious in art. They display the abandonment of conventionally structured composition built up out of discrete and segregable elements and their replacement with a single unified, undifferentiated field, network, or other image that exists in unstructured space. And finally, the paintings fill large canvases to give these aforementioned visual effects both monumentality and engrossing power.
Above: Lily Kelly Napangati, Tuli Tuli (Sand Dunes) 2017, Acrylic Paint on Linen, 122 x 212cm, P.O.A
Lily Kelly Napangati is a highly esteemed artist recognised 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.This painting depicts the Tali Tali, (Sand Hills) around the artists traditional country located around Mt.Liebig, Haasts Bluff, Papunya and Kintore. The dotting represents the shifting sands and landscape. This is where Lily’s ancestors lived, hunted and gathered food. Ceremonies would be performed at sacred creation sites where young women would learn the mythology of how the land was formed and the creeks, plants and animals came into being.
Above: Belle magazine features a glamorous interior by David Hicks revealing Thierry B’s sonambulistic Euphoria series in wistful white. Measuring 183 x 183cm the painting offers a strong anchor point for this pied-de-terre in Melbourne (see page 114, Aug/Sept Belle Magazine). The Euphoria series has been part of Thierry B’s oeuvre and regularly requested by loyal clientele for busy boardrooms and home interiors alike for close to fifteen years.
Above: Jane Valentine, Shielding I, II, III, Statuario Marble, 100 (h) x 90 x 25 (d) cm, P.O.A
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 tobe.” 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.”
There’s a famous Michelangelo quote about the statue concealed in each block of vstone 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 saysof these excursions. “You have to tap marble, it sings, so you’re looking for the appropriate pitch.” All in a days work for widely collected and revered sculptor, Jane Valentine.
As potential collector and client of Thierry B Fine Art, we are excited to offer Autralia-wide complimentary delivery to your home or business address. To place your order, email email@example.com or call directly on: +613 9827 7756. Thierry B Fine Art is located at 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra.
Gallery hours: Monday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm or by appointment: 0404 861 438.
I love it when the spring shifts ever so slightly into summery mode. If you are based in Melbourne, Australia – you may also have taken note & fished out your sandals last week when the mercury hit 31 degrees two days, back-to-back. Alas, as optimistic as even the most seasoned veteran of our blink-and -you’ll-miss- it weather down south, we are back to halcyon high-wind days filled with woeful hay fever and awful allergies fluttering through our day.
Summer, where are you?? Please hurry! We miss you and want you back!
Above: Thierry B, On The Rise, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 183 x 152cm, P.O.A.
Michelle Breton, Honey Dreaming, Mixed media on Canvas, 137 x 153cm, P.O.A
Above: Patricia Heaslip, Landlines, Oil on Canvas, 183 x 183cm, P.O.A
Above: Thierry B, Satisfaction, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 91.5cm, P.O.A.
Even As I thumb through my latest novel, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti, I am willing the weather toward sunshiney days/daze:
“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
Above: Thierry B, Submerged, Synthetic Polymer Paint On Linen 184 x 153 cm, P.O.A
Above: Thierry B, Effervescence, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 168cm, P.O.A
Above: Michelle Breton Trompette au Soleil, Mixed Media on Canvas, 153 x 137cm, P.O.A
I also feel I need to tell you that I started the day by ordering at my local cafe Mr.Brightside a plate of summer! I couldn’t go past their special menu which had got a little summer make over today. This is Challah French Toast with raspberry mascarpone, fresh berries and maple. Never one to do things half-heartedly, I added a berry smoothy in for good measure! So delicious. Now all we need are some seriously good sunsets beachside , with some Frose or Negroni spritzers & we’re talking!!
Inspired by this sunset snap last week (above), I throw it out to the weather gods that be – summer where for art thou?!! If I cannot bask in the light of a shimmering summer day, than I will go in search of finding other ways to bring the energy inwards – paintings perform this function. They engage and enliven a previously empty space, lending it life and an anchor for your gaze. Take a closer look at the new offerings by Australian talent we have in the gallery stockroom now to view.
Above: Michelle Breton, Octobre a Ceret,Mixed Media on Canvas, 152 x 137cm, P.O.A
Patricia Heaslip, The Essences, Oil On Canvas, 152.5 x 106 cm, P.O.A.
Patricia Heaslip, Fortitude, Oil On Canvas, 183 x 183cm, P.O.A.
Above: Michelle Breton, Rising Candy, Mixed Media on Canvas, 183 x 152cm, P.O.A
As potential collector and client of Thierry B Fine Art, we are excited to offer Autralia-wide complimentary delivery to your home or business address. To place your order, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call directly on: +613 9827 7756. Thierry B Fine Art is located at 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra.
Gallery hours: Monday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm or by appointment: 0404 861 438.
Above: Patricia Heaslip, Ether, Oil on Linen, 183 x 183cm, Private Residence, Malvern, Australia.
13 REASONS WHY ORIGINAL ART IN THE HOME IS AS IMPORTANT AS A BED
Having original art in the home is vital to your well being. Art is a key piece of furniture for many reasons and yet it is sometimes put on the back burner in comparison to other home objects. This list is dedicated to the understanding of importance of art from perspectives of interior design, well being, social atmosphere, creating a mood in the home, and more. One quote that stands out about the importance of original art is the following, “You would never put fake books on your bookshelf, so why would you put fake art on your walls?”
Above: Patricia Heaslip, Untitled, Oil on Linen, 183 x 183cm, Private Residence, Brighton, Australia.
1. Creates Mood
Brain scans have revealed that looking at works of art trigger a surge of dopamine into the same area of the brain that registers desire, pleasure, and romantic love. Romantic, sublime landscapes provoke contemplation of nature and purity. Such works then create a mood of peace and are good for relaxation rooms such as the bedroom.
Above: Michael Whitehead, Ever After, Synthetic Polymer Paint & Mixed Media on Linen, 80 x 270cm, Private Residence, Toorak, Australia.
2. Adds Personal Character to the Home
We all love to express ourselves, be it through clothing, accessories, social media – the list goes on! Original art in the home is a perfect way to express your artistic and aesthetic interests in a way different from most, for original artworks are one of a kind.
Above: (left) Phonsay,Under My Umbrella, (right) Bubble Gum Dream, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 122cm, Private Residence, South Yarra, Australia.
3. Makes Memories
Buying an original work of art is an experience. For whatever reason, you were drawn to a specific piece (or multiple). You may have seen it at a show opening, had a nice trip to the ice cream shop before hand. Whatever happened leading up to/during/after the purchase of a meaningful original work will be remembered every time you see it. This will not happen with a poster from Ikea.
Above: Thierry B, Darwinism Series, Triptych, Synthetic Polymer paint on Line, 183 x 152cm x 3 panels. Private residence, Caulfield, Australia.
4. Provides a Colour Palette
When rooms have a lot of colours, or many shades of the same colour, it can become overwhelming. An original work of art is a beautiful, meaningful way to tie everything together and create a general focal point.
Above: Thierry B, Next Chapter, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 183 x 183cm, Private Collection, South Yarra, Australia.
5. Makes a Room Feel Finished
When walls are empty, a room does not necessarily look bad, but by no means does it look finished. Rooms with empty walls are functional rooms in a house. Rooms with original art work are comfortable rooms in a home.
Above: Michelle Breton, Untitled, Mixed Media on Canvas, 152 x 152cm, Private Residence, Kooyong, Australia. Styling: Lisa Gole Interiors.
6. Inspires and Fosters Creativity
This one is simple – in rooms with no art, artistic expression is lacking and therefore the need and want for creativity is not very prominent. On the opposite end of the spectrum, original artworks foster creativity, expression, artistic inspiration. This is particularly important in homes with children as being surrounded by artwork will allow creative thinking. This idea is expanded on in reason 11.
Above: Justin Audrins, Talking Heads, Oil on Canvas, 137.5 x 198cm. Private Residence, Toorak, Australia.
7. Conversation Starter
As mentioned in reason 2, hanging original art in your home is a way of expressing oneself. That being said, guests will always be curious about the choice of artwork, the story, have questions about the artist, etc. It is a way to show off your art collection while having passionate conversations with house guests.
Above: Thierry B, Euphoria Series, Synthetic Polymer paint on Linen, 183 x 183cm. Private Residence, Melbourne, Australia. Styling: David Hicks Design.
8. Supports Artists
One of the most important things about buying original artwork is that you are supporting an artist’s career. Each time you have a look at a work in your home, it provides a feel-good emotion that you are assisting an artist in achieving the success and recognition they deserve.
Above: Michael Whitehead, Things Forgotten, Synthetic Polymer Paint & Mixed Media on Canvas, 120 x 150cm.
9. It is an Investment
Building off of reason 8, not only does owning original work in the home allow you to support artists’ careers, but it is also an investment. These artworks can be passed down through family and friends, be shared with loved ones for many years all while increasing in worth. This is never something that will be achieved with a $12 print from Kmart.
Above: Thierry B, Blush, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Canvas, 122 x 91.5cm.
10. Creates a Livable Environment
Art can make rooms that are not necessarily “home-y” become comfortable working and living environments. A home office, for example, can transform from a place of work and business to one of relaxation and productivity all the with addition of an original work of art. Attached is an article explaining how artwork in office spaces improves employee productivity.
Above: Thierry B, Unlimited, 183 x 183cm & Between the Lines Series, 122 x 91.5cm, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen. Private Residence, Albert Park, Australia.
11. Keeps the Brain Active
Art is very conceptual, artists use it as a medium to express personal thought, political or social issues, and to make us as viewers think. Some people do quizzes or crossword puzzles to keep their brain active, but another way to do so is to own original artwork in the home, to just sit, look, and think.
Above: Michelle Breton, Collioure, Mixed Media on Canvas, 117.5 x 203cm. Private Collection, Caulfield Australia.
In a busy, fast-paced world that demands speed and productivity, home should be a place of relaxation. Coming home from a busy day at work to sit on your couch and stare at a TV or a blank wall is not as recharging or relaxing as enjoying an artwork purchased with the means to create a positive mood.
Above: Thierry B, Pieces of You, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen, 122 x 91.5cm. Private Residence, Toorak, Australia.
13. Curating Your Own Gallery is Fun!
Last but certainly not least, curating a gallery is fun! Attending show openings, going to galleries, chatting with artists even, it is a fun experience! After a while you will start to notice a theme, in subject matter, colour, concept, etc. Playing with moods, composition, placement in the home, of all these reasons why to have art in the home, let’s not forget the fact that it is simply something fun to do!
The contradiction of Aboriginal art is that it is both timeless and contemporary at the same time. This duality challenges the Western understanding of the progress of culture and ideas. Since Aboriginal culture is the oldest continuous living culture in the world , her artwork has existed for 40,000 years and is rooted in the human pre-history. Through songs, rituals, dances, storytelling, symbols and meaningful patterns that are being passed on, Aboriginal groups have managed to preserve their culture for thousands of years. When a group of elder desert men first started to paint their cultural heritage using paper and canvas, that was the birth of the movement that much influenced Aboriginal communities and Australian art in general. For the majority of Westerners, this was the first encounter with Aboriginal culture in general. Having a timeless connection to the pre-history and the first inhabitants of the Australian landscape, Aboriginal art has also been perceived as an innovative and iconic art form inherent to Australia.
Gloria Petyarre, Bush Medicine Leaves, Acrylic on Linen, 204 x 139 cm.
The Origins of Aboriginal Contemporary Art
The first desert works emerged in Papunya in 1971. A white Australian teacher and art worker Geffrey Bardon who was working in a remote community in Central Australia started an art program with children and elder men in the village. When elder men started to translate their knowledge of traditional folklore onto canvas, this was the birth of the contemporary art movement. Soon after, eleven men have formed a cooperative called Papunya Tula Artists, and the movement started to generate a widespread interest across rural and remote Aboriginal Australia. Over subsequent decade as many Aboriginal communities contributed with their specific culture and knowledge, these differences developed into different pictorial languages and regional styles emphisizing their diversity. These initial works that include pieces by now famous Aboriginal artists such as Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri and Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, are today considered as the foundation of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement and are accounted as very valuable. The art critic and writer Robert Hughes has described the rise of contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art as ‘the latest great art movement of the twentieth century’.
Since Aborigines didn’t have a history of writing, they have a long tradition of communicating their stories and heritage graphically through symbols. This ancient iconography has transferred into contemporary art works. Often reflecting the spiritual traditions, cultural practices and sociopolitical circumstances of indigenous people, stories and symbols vary widely among the diverse Aboriginal cultures. They range from ones derived from the hunting and tracking background portraying animals and humans with marks they leave or certain clan patterns to aspects of their ‘Dreaming’. The Dreamtime is a translation of the Creation time for Aboriginal people, and it provides their identity and the connection to the land. Artists often need a permission to paint certain traditional stories, and this right is inherited.
Sally Gabori, DulkaWarngiid, 2007, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Canvas, 195 x 610cm. Collection: National Gallery of Victoria.
The Aboriginal Art Today
Contemporary indigenous artists have won many of Australia’s most prominent art prizes not only reserved for indigenous art. Also, Aboriginal artists have represented Australia in the Venice Biennale in 1990 and 1997. Today, Aboriginal art is internationally acclaimed and recognized as fine art. It ranges across a wide variety of mediums from works on paper and canvas to fiber, glass and printmaking. Rooted in traditional iconography, the works are often remarkably modern in design and color. Some of the most prominent names include Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Kaapa Tjampitjinpa,Emily Kngwarreye, Lorna Napurrula Fencer, Christine Napanangka Michaels, Rover Thomas and Gloria Petyarre. There has been a number of Aboriginal artists, such as Michael Cook, William King Jungala or his daughter Sarrita King who have developed a very unique contemporary style combining their Aboriginal heritage with practices and techniques closer to the Western contemporary art. Albert Namatjira, one of the pioneers of Contemporary Aboriginal art, produced western style landscapes different to the traditional Aboriginal art style. On the other hand, there is a number of artists who ethnically and culturally identify as indigenous, but have adopted global art practices and recognizably Western style. Labeling them as Aboriginal artists have caused political controversies and raised questions on conventional notions of what Aboriginal art is.
Sarrita King, Ancestors, Jap 010912, Acrylic on Linen, 90 x 60 cm.
Sarrita King, Water, Jap-008727, Acrylic on Linen, 230 x 140 cm.
Labels and Controversies
It has been widely discussed whether the indigenous art has been commodified by the West and the commercial art world. It has been even suggested that using terms as ‘Aboriginal art’ is intrinsically racist in terms of labeling Aboriginality as ‘other’ compared to the Western norm. Many contemporary artists who happen to be of Aboriginal descent refuse to be categorized and labeled simply for their ethnicity. This issue has gained great publicity when in 1990s Australia’s most renowned international artist Tracey Moffatt refused to present at the exhibition exclusively Aboriginal, and more recently when acclaimed contemporary artist Richard Bell was awarded the National Aboriginal & Torre Strait Islander Art Award in 2003. It seems that it might be the time that the Western community develops a more sophisticated understanding of the diversity of artists of indigenous descent.
Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Bush Yam Dreaming, 1994, inscribed verso: #551, Synthetic Polymer Paint on Canvas, 183.0 x 122.0 cm.
Aboriginal Art in the Art Market
In 2007, the painting Earth’s Creation by Emily Kngwarreye became the first Aboriginal artwork sold for more than $ 1 million. Her use of dots reaches its crescendo in this phase, with dots merging, separating and dominating in various configurations. They fuse together to create planes of colour structured into mobile shapes, or are choreographed to form lines that suggest dance movements. In earlier works they are used to form fine veils that shield secret markings or create shimmering effects reminiscent of the cosmos. Emily’s palette was largely determined by the changing seasons. Dusty browns appear in her canvases during the dry season, and greens appear after the rains, which Emily referred to as ‘green time’. When wildflowers carpeted the desert, she used a spectrum of yellows. The visual intensity of these paintings recalls the work of French colourists Sonia and Robert Delaunay, or even Claude Monet. Yet Emily knew nothing of their work and, while these French modernists explored pure colour as form and subject, Emily’s only subject throughout her life was her ancestral home of Alhalkere. Emily’s “green-time” canvases attest to an unshakable connection between body and country, one that evades iconography yet demands to be felt.
Only a few months after, an epic work Warlugulong by Clifford Possum was sold for $ 2.4 million in Sotheby’s auction in Melbourne. After the initial boom, the market for these works started to struggle due to the issues with authenticity, ownership, exploitation and Australia’s cultural heritage regulation. On the other hand, the first ever sale of Aboriginal art at Sotheby’s London in June 2015 was a huge success showing a sign of renewed interest in this movement. When choosing a piece, the great importance should be placed on the style, medium, status of the artist and age of the artist. With five works being sold for over $100,000, the auction brought in over $ 2 million for 75 lots. As the price of the pieces is rising again, buying Aboriginal art could be a wise investment.
Thierry B Fine Art proudly offers Aboriginal art and may be viewed in our gallery stockroom. Gallery hours are: Monday – Saturday 11am – 5pm, Sunday 12pm – 5pm, or by appointment on : +613404861438.