The Finkelstein Files: The Fine Art of Investment!

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 (w) x 25 (d)cm, P.O.A

Above: Sculpture by Jane Valentine, Shielding II, 2014, Stauario Marble on granite base, 100 (h) x 90 (w) 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.


Thierry B Fine Art is located at 473 Malvern Rd, South Yarra.

Gallery hours: Monday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm or by appointment: 0404861438.

 

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The Finkelstein Files: Monochromatic Schematic

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 (w) 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 art@thierrybfineart.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.

Thierry B Fine Art: The Shape of Things To Come

Above: Jane Valentine’s studio away from home: Studio Nicola Stagetti in Pietrasanta, Tuscany.

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. During her time on Northern Italy, at the base of the Carrara Mountains, the sculpting village of Pietrasanta she continues to explore a strong and individual style of art making. Valentine’s marble forms survey classical simplicity and the purity of form. Much like the later works of Romanian sculptor, Constantin Brancusi, her structures and vessels are abstracted and embrace various aspects of the natural world. Her aesthetic resonates with the essential elements of sculpture and its traditions to reveal the clarity of the material and its form.

valentine-shielded

Above: Shielding, I, II , III.

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.”

 

Above: Shielding, I, II, III – in situ at Thierry B Fine Art.

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.”

Above: Harmonic Lines, 2007.

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.” Inge King was a rare woman in a predominantly male field of heavy sculpture, with many paying tribute to King’s contribution to the arts in Australia as “unquestionably significant”. If she didn’t have the correct tools for her work, she’d make them, if she didn’t know how to do something, she’d figure it out. Undiminished by age almost to the end, King worked actively until she was 98 years old. So too, Valentine is carving her own niche with each international commission she garners.

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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.Origins, is displayed in the western entrance of Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne. Weighing just under 30 tonnes, it is Australia’s biggest marble sculpture in a public space and is viewed by 15 million people annually.

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Valentine 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.”

 

Born in Sydney, NSW, Jane Valentine completed a Diploma of Visual Arts from Seaforth TAFE in 1988 followed by a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts in 1990. In 1992 she was granted a scholarship to Florence, Italy for her Honours year at the Studio Art Centre International. At the completion of her studies Valentine moved to the sculpting village of Pietrasanta, at the base of the Carrarra Mountains, Northern Italy where she lived for the next seven years. Valentine is based in Sydney and continues to work in Pietrasanta, Italy and Cairo, Egypt.

Valentine has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia and in Italy. She has received several commissions for her work including three major Statuaria marble works for Chadstone Shopping Centre in 2009. Jane Valentine represented Australia at the 1999 International Sculpture Symposium in Changchun, China and her work is on permanent display at the Changchun International Sculpture Park.

Jane Valentine’s work is represented in several public and corporate collections including The Art Trust, the Gandel Collection, 151 Macquarie Street, Morgan Stanley Chifley Tower, Sydney, the Retail Employers Superannuation Trust, and in private collections nationally and internationally.

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

 

The Finkelstein Files: JAHM House Museum Tour

         

Above: JAHM Leah & Charles Justin are very welcoming and warmly share their art treasure trove with their visitors.

Today Thierry B Fine Art celebrates 16 years in the business of  beautifying the world! Adding authenticity by placing art work into your environment, whether it be home or work – envelops and defines who we are and what we show shapes and reveals what moves us. We paid a visit to Melbourne’s most recent house-museum addition, JAHM.

Charles and Leah Justin have been collecting contemporary art for over 40 years. Today, they live together with their artworks in the Justin Art House Museum (JAHM) with an aspiration to provide a distinctive experience for visitors, that is also intimate and personal. Their fantastic collection has a strong focus on the theme of  ‘Space’ – reflecting the architectural background of Charles Justin. Consisting of a diverse spectrum of art practices, the collection has a strong emphasis on digital and video work. Like other house museums, JAHM reflects the persona and direction of the Justins, DIGITAL – The World of Alternate Realities”, explores how our contemporary lives straddle the real, the virtual and unreal.

The creation of a house museum was the confluence of several factors. ” We started visiting smaller private museums and enjoyed the more intimate experience and seeing different art. Charles was retiring from his architectural practice. Our collection had outgrown our home, which was also not suited to our life as we grew older. We visited the Lyon Housemuseum here in Melbourne, which was the tipping point. We then decided to build a customised house museum where we could share our collection and love of art with the public.” – Charles Justin.

Above: JAHM Co-Director, Charles Justin addresses visitors to current exhibition, Digital – The World of Alternative Realities.

According to Professor Tim Flannery, from the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, Melbourne University, we only need to reflect on the way that the net and social media are influencing our lives to understand how digital technologies are profoundly altering how we relate to each other, and the world. But over coming decades digital technologies will extend their reach into transport (via driverless electric vehicles), medical care (via robotics), our relationship with the natural world (through webcam), and the wellsprings of human creativity, through the creation of digital art.

“Digital art throws up many questions beyond that of where the act of artistic creation lies. Purchase a work of digital art, and you are likely to receive a small box, inside of which nestles a nicely fetishized memory stick containing the blueprint for the work. I imagine that it’s quite a different experience from purchasing a canvas. And while a work on canvas can be stored away and only infrequently viewed, the digital work doesn’t exist until its digital information is manifested by a machine.

The high fidelity of digital art also sets it apart. It is the work of seconds to replicate with high fidelity the blueprint for an artwork stored on a memory stick. So what does it mean to own an ‘original’ work of digital art? Analog art of course faces its own issues in this regard. Photographs of works on canvas abound, but it takes a talented forger to faithfully replicate a painting. In the newly emerging sharing economy, such distinctions may not matter that much. But in the existing world of conventional art, with its emphasis on authenticity, it presents a conundrum.

One indisputable advantage of digital art, however, is its information density and therefore potential for fine granularity. In principal, this allows digital art to mimic nature in the detail it is capable of representing. And in the right hands, such fine granularity has the potential to create aesthetic and compelling works.”

Above: Peter Daverington Spatial Labyrinth, 2010. Image courtesy the artist and ArcOne Gallery.

This digital print of a labyrinthine space with its intersecting planes, frames and stairs presents a disconcerting Escher like quality of space with no beginning and no end. A space is conjured rather similar to that of a renovated warehouse. Is this a commentary on the type of buildings and cities we live in? Evolving his trademark painterly visual codes of landscape, architecture and geometries of space, Daverington continues his exploration into the collapse of traditional western symbols of landscape—informed by the traditions of the Italian Renaissance and German Romanticism. Flights of steps float, translucent in space, while columns and frames hint at structural elements.

Currently his paintings play with ideas of hyper-dimensionality, infinity and landscape by using perspective and architecture as a conceptual trigger to enter the imagined architectonics of the painted surface. The landscape is often referenced as a site for containing the endless conflict of meaning and information within the cultural histories of religion, science and technology. Within this context the landscape is seen not only as a physical subject but a psychological one as well, a multi-layered collage of information which demonstrates the importance on making visible a system rather than simply creating a composition.

Above: Ollie Lucas, Travelling Matter, 2015. Image courtesy the Artist.

These works have been created by  the artist digitally and although they have the character of abstract expressionist paintings, they have in fact been created on computer, blurring the boundary between the traditional handmade painting and the machine made artwork. Perth born and Melbourne based digital artist Oliver Lucas focuses on the information age and it’s
impact on large cities. In particular, central urban areas such as Federation Square, Times Square, Moscow’s Red Square and Shibuya. These spaces offer a work place, a festive space, a physical location and a hyperreal site for information-exchange, all at once. Inspiration through colourful advertising and neon cityscapes and has led to a creative take on the industrial function of coloured flags and signals that direct travel of trains, planes and ships, known as semaphores. Lucas harnesses this communicative function to explain new kinds of urban consciousness via constellations of arresting, bright colours and geometric patterns.

Above: Paul Snell, Pulse #201021, 2012. Image courtesy the Artist and Langford 120.

This work is a further exploration of the artists’ practice in which he digitally deconstructs photographs that he has taken, reassembling these digital components to create a new image. The process of transforming something real into something virtual has parallels in many spheres of life, be it entertainment or genetics.

“As an artist, I am always seeking the point of entry to liminal space, which, for me, is the marker of creative engagement. I start with an idea, I do research and entertain many possibilities, then I withdraw into that “space between” to let everything cook and stew while I seek to become quiet and receptive and balanced.  I stand on the threshold, poised but not ready to commit.  Stepping through the threshold, moving from possibility to a chosen act or decision, always seems the most difficult part – actually stepping through and being willing to choose “this” but not “that” becomes an act of creative courage. Of course, that is only the first step; it is actually a series of decisions, reflections, and more decisions, an ongoing process of stepping into a threshold, a liminal space, then continuing on through the process, over and over again.
 
The space between here and there is often a place of confusion, restlessness, doubt; perhaps even fear. We live most of our lives in this place of uncertainty. We know where we have been and where we are now; we do not know where we will be tomorrow or exactly how we are going to get there. There is a tendency in this uncertain place to rush too quickly into whatever is coming next. We want to make decisions, to be proactive; we have been taught to just do something. There is a sense of urgency in everything we do. Liminal places teach us to let go, relax, and be changed.” – Paul Snell

Above: Ilan El has created an illuminated stair over 3 flights comprising ’39 steps’. The 4 colour LED lighting to the steps will be interactively activated by the visitors walking up and down the stairs, making the colour and pattern combinations will be unlimited.

Above: Shannon McGrath, Fraction #3  2014. Image courtesy the Artist.

This is a photograph that has been digitally manipulated. It challenges the role of photography that traditionally captured the real. In this work, photography is used for creating the abstract.

Above: Catherine Nelson, Monet’s Garden, 2010.

Catherine Nelson is an Australian artist, living in Belgium and the Netherlands,  who uses digital technology as her paintbrush creating landscape ‘paintings’ and animations. “When I embraced the medium of photography, I felt that taking a picture that represented only what was within the frame of the lens wasn’t expressing my personal and inner experience of the world around me. With the eye and training of a painter and with years of experience in film visual effects behind me, I began to take my photos to another level.” – Catherine Nelson.

Nelson’s Monet’s Garden (2010) is composed from a photograph of the garden which has been stitched together digitally so that the lily-pond at its centre becomes a sphere surrounded by trees and clouds. Is it a commentary on our compulsion to impose the chaos of gardens on nature? Above all it is a beguilingly beautiful work that comes closest to capturing the illusory beauty of traditional landscape painting, albeit with a Hieronymus Bosch-like touch.

Above: Stephen Haley, One Second (plastic bags 31688), 2010. Image courtesy the artist and Mars Gallery.

This is a digital print from a series called ‘One Second’, which explores what gets manufactured in the world each second, in this case plastic bags. Haley has used images purchased on the internet to compose  the image. This work presents a beautiful illusion of a sunset created by the environmental destructive manufacture of plastic bags, which is a metaphor for the comfortable world that man has created for himself at the expense of the degradation of our planet.

Haley’s One Second (plastic bags 31688) is a visual representation of the number of plastic bags produced every second, and the sunset-like light and thousands of tiny bags gives the image a murkiness evocative of pollution. I find it intriguing that the density of information of digital image-making used in this distinctive way can produce such opposite effects. But where does the creative spark lie? The blueprint for the elements in the work were created by others. Are they merely the equivalent of the pigment a traditional artist uses? Is Haley’s arrangement of them on the page – as well of course as devising the concept of creating art in this way – where the spark lies?

“We do not believe meeting the artist is critical. Nonetheless, we have met the majority of the artists in our collection, and with many of them, we have had very rewarding discussions about their works and art in general. Our view is that, the way we respond to an artwork is not necessarily connected to the artists’ intent in creating the work. Our attitude does not in any way diminish what the artist thinks or feels; it just allows for a broader, richer and more diverse way of interacting with the art.” – Charles Justin

What is most interesting is the constant overlapping between private and public elements. Although it is a house museum, JAHM has a clear gallery space with some artworks on display spread throughout the house (bedrooms, studio, living room, elevator, toilets) where visitors are encouraged to wander. Leah and Charles offer a curated exhibition twice a year, where not only the artwork in the gallery but some of the artwork in their private spaces will change. Having themes or curated exhibitions is a great idea to have regular visitors, but it is also a clear way to explore contemporary art from different perspectives, which after visiting today I could say it is essential to the message they want to communicate. I absolutely love the fact, the Justins collect emerging Australian talent and are driven by their individual vision and personal sensibilities rather than what may appear fashionably ‘collectible’.

The tour ended in a very homely and much appreciated morning tea of with fresh Verbena-Ginger tea in gold patterned Turkish glass  cups and a myriad of delicious European cakes and tasty morsels. It was special to be invited into a home where art is valued and upheld as an experience worth sharing communally. Stay tuned for our next visit to another house-museum born via post World War II immigrants finding their feet in the Melbourne modern art scene.

Vicki xx

 

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 Hague – Monument @ Montalto

Monument-hague Robert Hague with Monument at Newport studio, pre-installation. “That’s the problem with being 6’7″ and 128 kg, I make everything look small.”

This is the second instalment this week of sculptor and print-maker, Robert Hague‘s prolific body of work I’ve had the privilege of viewing first-hand in-situ, both at studio and installation.

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The customised, self-built studio space is insane. Aside from all the usual stuff one expects to see, Robert’s personality is stamped into every square inch. After a brief chat about the studio’s creation and evolution, Robert invites me to snap some pics of a soon to be installed Monument short-listed amidst luminary company for the 2013 Montalto Sculpture Prize, in Red Hill, home to many of Victoria’s best wineries.

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Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove, 33 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South is a family owned and operated 60-acre estate, offering a journey of wine, olive oil, Chefs’ Hat restaurant, kitchen gardens and orchards, sculpture and wetlands.

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hague-2Right: 2012 Montalto Sculpture Prize Winner Christabel Wigley ‘Fingers Crossed’.

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hague-17Monument2012, marine grade stainless steel, 270 x 135 x 122cm, powdered plaster & the choral music of Tallis (1505-1585)

“Why do we choose the monuments we do? Assuming a passive and retracted pose, hand cupped, an excavator form emerges from a reductive abstraction…This is a new monument, one that questions why we honour the things we do.”  Robert Hague 2013.