Written by Atorina Saliba
To all those loitering around Brisbane over the next few days, be sure to head over to Mayne Line Gallery and enjoy artworks of a grand scale. Symbiotic pulls together a group of Brisbane artists each with a background in creating artwork in public spaces and places them in a contained environment.
“Symbiotic bridges these two worlds together with the purpose of delivering high impact work in a contained environment.”
As part of this year’s Brisbane Street Art Festival, each of the seven artists approaches the canvas with a unique style that speaks to their sensibilities. Their intention is to provide a high impact delivery. From painting with oil paint, acrylic, aerosol, and more, they encapsulate the viewer with images of cultural icons to experiments in perspective and depth. Here’s what they have to say about their artworks.
Existing Beyond Our Walls by Jordache
The work I’ve created for Symbiotic is a grand scale piece from a body of work I am currently creating. The main aspect for myself as an artists with this piece, is the sheer scale of the painting which allows my background as a large scale outdoor painter to thrive within the gallery setting.
The artwork draws aesthetics from architecture, perspective vanishing points, colour depth and composition while leading your mind into another dimension. By utilising the scale of the artwork, I was able to incorporate whole body movements in the process picked up from graffiti, and then refine the chaotic mess with solidified components that help define focal points in the painting. At this stage in my career I like working with acrylics which allow me to work fast and various mediums for different layering techniques.
Existing Beyond Our Walls represents the self’s need to explore worldly possibilities within our own state of consciousness.
Keep It Together by Callum Francis
Keep It Together was a personal work for me, self-reflective almost in the sense that I was able to comprehend recent events in my life through the process of painting the work in the studio. I was far more considerable in my approach to the work and physically slowed down the process of executing the line work and colour placement.
The royal blue is a representation of an aerial view of a river and that is a direct reflection to earlier this year where I reached a point of clarity sitting by the river of 1770 watching the sunset. I introduced depth into my painting as a way to demonstrate that contemplation, using deepened tones to offset the royal blue; this cast a shadow throughout the whole painting which really enhanced the blue. The shadow placed emphasis on the tones of colours, allowing me to play more with a broadened palette.
Synergetic by Sevens
I’ve approached this larger piece drawing on colours, patterns and layering used in my public works. Due to the scale and the meaning behind the show my thought process or idea was to paint more like I was outdoors and utilise more of my body during the piece. Whilst sticking with canvas and acrylic which is often seen in the gallery space.
Playful by Carmel
Titled Playful, I photographed my friends at a secluded beach for my series of beach nude paintings, which I work on when I can. In between working, ice skating and family etc.
Kendrick by Matte
I mostly paint portraits in realism styles using acrylics or aerosols. I love to paint people who have inspired myself or the viewer in anyway. Being able to form a connection between my paintings and the viewer is very powerful. Perfecting a craft is inspiring to me so I draw most of my inspiration from musicians, sports people, and actors. I love nostalgic aesthetics and visual representations from certain cultures which communicates to the viewer.
For the upcoming group show I have painted a black and white portrait of the musician Kendrick Lamar, using only aerosols. I wanted to paint something with a big impact and presence as it’s my largest painting on canvas so far. I have selected a certain composition and colour pallet to achieve that. I picked Kendrick Lamar because he is a voice of the people and is a big inspiration. The emotion on his face also adds to its presence which I love.
[Lamar] has put a lot of attention on racial issues and the abuse of power, through his music which I think has had a massive influence on younger people growing up. He’s definitely had a positive impact on how we collectively move forward.
Abide by Kirilee West
My artwork Abide is an oil painting portrait of this amazing woman Fadak Alfayadh, who is a lawyer and refugee/women’s rights advocate in Melbourne. She did a speaking tour a couple of years ago sharing her story of coming to Australia as an Iraqi refugee as a child. I met her in Melbourne a couple of years back and she’s just such a switched-on woman. She invited me to her home and I met her mum – [who] was so welcoming.
The painting was a very meditative experience. I was really taken with this notion of taking ownership over ourselves and our lives, the idea of how following our own path can sometimes feel like walking through our own desert by ourselves. I think to really honour our truths can be a hard experience but the ‘desert’ is so necessary to our growth, and there’s so much beauty to be found here.
So the painting honours the hard times of walking true to ourselves, and the strength, resilience and beauty that comes from that choice. We did a live sitting and then the rest was from a photograph.
Symbiotic will open on May 14 at the Mayne Line art gallery in Brisbane.
To find out more about the exhibiting artists, head to Mayne Line Gallery.