01/21/15

Ann Thomson | studio visit

We recently visited the studio of Ann Thomson to look at some new works. Ann spent three months of last year living and working in Reims, France. The gouache on paper and acrylic on linen works she made there were a highlight of the visit. Ann has also been organising paintings in her studio for a show in Canberra at the Drill Hall. ‘Freehand – Ann Thomson’ will open on the 20th of February, and it was a lovely opportunity to see some of the pieces that will be in the show.

Born in Brisbane in 1933, Ann Thomson has been exhibiting since 1965. Thomson moved to Sydney to study at the National Art School after initially learning from Australian expressionist Jon Molvig. Ann has had a long relationship with France. in 1978 she was awarded a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. She would be awarded this residency again in 1995, 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2006. Ann lives and works in Sydney.

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08/9/14

Marisa Purcell | Studio Visit

We paid a visit to Marisa Purcell’s Bondi studio in the months leading up to her exhibition Polyphony, currently on show until 17 August 2014 at Olsen Irwin. Purcell’s light filled studio was a hive of activity as she put the final touches onto her mixed media on linen works. Be sure to visit Olsen Irwin for the final week of Purcell’s show.

Purcell_Studio2014_1Polyphony: from Greek poluphōnia, from polu- ‘many’ + phōnē ‘sound’.
def: The style of simultaneously combining a number of parts, each forming an individual melody and harmonizing with
each other. (“Polyphony.” The Oxford English Dictionary)

“What is the omnipresence of sound? Is it visible?
Is it constant or sporadic?  Is there an underlying rhythm?
Sound is essentially abstract, endless and defies visual description.

The expression of sound through painting is by no means a new idea – Kandinsky’s improvisation paintings of the early 20th century allowed painting to enter into a world of sound, rhythm and timbre, liberating painting from the visual world.

Like sound, a painting has rhythm – the regular alternation between silent gaps and beats. The spaces – the voids – are anything but empty.

In these new paintings, sound dissolves, and dissipates into an underlying field. Where does this sound go? And what form does it take? The colours and marks in these paintings are a playful imagining of how sounds relate – how they cross over, how they resonate and then how they disappear or transmute into another state.

Colours blur out of focus, as if the light hasn’t yet reached us, lines feel as though they are moving away and gestures punctuate to bring together a polyphonic composition in paint. The varied forms of tone and mark reveal distant sounds that have always been present, and will always remain.

To depict is to impose boundaries, and a sense of the infinite is boundless, un-depictable. The abstract becomes the language with which to respond to this boundlessness, to respond to sound.”

Purcell_Studio2014_3 Purcell_Studio2014_4About the artist:

After an initial career as a high school art teacher, Marisa Purcell (b. 1971, Queensland) moved to Sydney in 1994 to pursue a career in art practice. She went on to complete a Post-technician’s certificate in Printmaking from the National Art School, Master of Art Administration at the College of Fine Art UNSW and a Master of Visual Arts from the University of Sydney. In 2006 Purcell received the University of Sydney Postgraduate Award.

Purcell has been awarded prestigious residencies both in Australia and internationally, including a six-month residency in Zürich, Switzerland in 2003, a 2004 residency at the Cite Internationale des arts Paris, in 2008 at Haefligers Cottage, Hill End with Bathurst Regional Art Gallery and with Waverley Council in 2009. Purcell has exhibited Australia wide and internationally in Italy, France, Switzerland, Korea and Hong Kong.

Marisa Purcell
Polyphony
30 July – 17 August

Olsen Irwin
63 Jersey Road
Woollahra NSW 2025 Purcell_Studio2014_5 Purcell_Studio2014_6 Purcell_Studio2014_7 Purcell_Studio2014

07/17/14

Fiona McMonagle | Studio | Art Guide Australia

Art Guide Australia takes us inside the Melbourne studio of Fiona McMonagle as she prepares an animation for the Basil Sellers Art Prize.

“The animation is based on female boxers. It came about because I’ve been doing boxercise classes. I thought it would be an interesting subject – a lot of people don’t understand why a woman would want to get in the ring and box. I haven’t really gotten in the ring yet – it’s been more about the training – so when I see women who are brave enough, it’s inspiring. I’m interested in what kind of person has that kind of courage.” – Fiona McMonagle, Art Guide Australia

After being selected one of sixteen finalists, the shortlisted artists are then given eight months to complete a work centered on the theme of sport. The acquisitive prize will award $100,000 to the winner on 25 July 2014.

Click here to see more images and read about McMonagle’s work and studio on the Art Guide Australia website.

Basil Sellers Art Prize
22 July – 26 October 2014

Ian Potter Museum of Art
The University of Melbourne
Swanston Street
Parkville VIC 3010

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Image courtesy Art Guide Australia. Photography by Jesse Marlow

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Image courtesy Art Guide Australia. Photography by Jesse Marlow

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Image courtesy Art Guide Australia. Photography by Jesse Marlow

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Image courtesy Art Guide Australia. Photography by Jesse Marlow

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Image courtesy Art Guide Australia. Photography by Jesse Marlow

11/15/13

Olsen Irwin | Istagram

Take a look behind the scenes at Olsen Irwin by following us on Instagram. Studio visits, artists talks, openings, installations and a touch of general silliness are all part of a typical day in the life of Olsen Irwin. Catch up and keep informed on Instagram – Follow us @olsenirwingallery

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09/27/13

Cressida Campbell | The Design Files

The Design Files have featured a stunning interview with Cressida Campbell in her Waverly studio. An absolute must read – Cressida details the laborious yet rewarding process of completing one of her unique woodblock prints, tells of local inspiration and even gives away her best kept Sydney secrets.

“Cressida Campbell is nothing short of a master in her field – her breathtakingly detailed works are highly collectable, and are held in some of the most prestigious public collections in the world, from the National Gallery of Australia to the British Museum.” – Lucy Feagins, The Design Files

For more beautiful images and the whole interview – click here.

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The Design Files: Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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The Design Files: Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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The Design Files: Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

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The Design Files: Photo – Sean Fennessy, production – Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.