Life that is Still

Published by: Susan Gibson | 4-Sep-2016
"A still life is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects" Traditional still life has often been a historical record and reflection of life style. It often not only tells us about the artist but about the world the artist lives in. Four artists have been asked to interpret the "still life" genre with their varying techniques.
Venue: Cambridge Studio Gallery
Address: 52 Cambridge Street, Collingwood, Victoria.
Date: 14 September to 2 October, 2016
Time: Weds to Suns, 12 to 5pm
Ticket: Free
Call: 03 9486 0169
Ness Alexandra asked her female friends on Facebook to provide an image of their most "feminine and sexy" shoes and to tell why they like them.

Alexandra says "when I think of sexy shoes, I think of fetish heels, designer brands and movie stars"¦ Louboutin referred to the shape of the female foot in a stiletto as the shape of a female orgasm. I'm fascinated by women who torture themselves with fashion and the shoe are often linked to pain and bondage."

From flats to designer heels, Alexandra has portrayed the fun, personality and love women have for their shoes. Using mixed media methods, she has incorporated the individual stories about each shoe with the addition of a high gloss resin finish to reflect the compelling, seductive attraction of this commodity.

Jennifer Gough was inspired to infuse images of everyday objects with a sense of calm immediacy and to engage in ways of working that allows the unconscious to contribute to the creative process. She enjoys being able to play with line and shape in a way that suggests the hidden truth of an object, rather than a literal interpretation of it.

Working with a limited colour palette, rollers, brushes and found objects, she works quickly on paper and card surfaces to create layers of texture, colour and line. Then taking advantage of the effects, sometimes brought about by chance, she works back into these surfaces with oil crayons, pastel, paint, ink and collage to create loose recognisable forms. There is an intimacy that is created with the random but poignant choice of chosen subject matter.

Jonathan Dudley like Gough is drawn to the simple everyday objects that surround him. In contrast to Gough's immediacy of response Dudley contemplates the vessel, elevating it to a higher level. He says," what I intend to do in these paintings is show a still object before the sublime and mysterious expanse of the eternal."

The spiritual dimension is important to Dudley, his compositions become a vehicle for him to explore this. "I want my work to show how we can find stability and stillness in this turbulent world."

Erica Wagner has "cleaned up" her studio by collaging her discarded paintings and drawings. This is an interesting twist on the still life tradition. There is something playful and artful in the way she positions the shapes in the space.

Wagner arranges shapes of vases, jugs, pots, birds and leaves, finding colour harmonies and texture. She creates compositions using negative space to enable the viewer to appreciate the patterning of her recycled artworks within the silhouettes. Erica Wagner has always loved bringing together the figure and the landscape and the idea that a silhouette of a figure can be a window into our relationship with the world.

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