Claire Primrose and Brendon Stewart
28th Oct – 21st Nov 2015
Stanley Street Gallery is excited to announce the upcoming exhibition by two landscape artists - Claire Primrose and Brendon Stewart. Inspired by many different locations including her nearby environment of the Snowy Mountains, Claire Primrose captures both emotion and grandeur through her interesting exploration of surfaces, textures and colours. In contrast, Brendon Stewart explores his personal connection to place. As a student of Zen Buddhism for many years, his practice involves an attention to mindfulness helped by zazen or sitting meditation. The reoccurring use of motifs such as bridges, gates, veils and screens combined with vibrant and dynamic colour, create paintings that are unique and engaging.
Inspired and informed by many different locations from the Australian landscape. Primrose is interested in recreating the surfaces, textures and colours evocative of a particular place, although each work is a culmination of many different images, spaces and experiences, achieved through memory and experimentation.
Primrose’s method of working is integral to her art practice. She works outside on location and incorporate elements of her surroundings, she gathers soil and water samples from these field trips and uses these samples in her work.
“Fragments of my immediate inspiration form the framework of the composition”.
Primrose is interested in the interplay between her chosen medium (spray enamel) with the natural elements she has collected. Salt water is used to repel and react against the spray enamel paint. It also occasionally acts as a tool for oxidation, mimicking an act of nature.
“All of these processes are hard to control, it is the ‘surprise’ element; or ‘happy accident’ that I am most interested in pursuing”.
Based in Queanbeyan, Claire Primrose studied Visual Art at the Australian National University, majoring in Printmaking and graduated in 1997. She has also completed a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Art Education and has taught both Visual Art and Dance at various high schools in Canberra. Her work draws inspiration from the Australian landscape.
“ I am interested in recreating the surfaces, textures and colours evocative of a particular place, although each work is a culmination of many different images, spaces and experiences, achieved through memory and experimentation. “
Primrose has participated in group and solo exhibitions both locally and nationally. Career highlights include being selected for the Exploration 14 exhibition Flinders Lane Gallery Melbourne, the DIRECTION NOW> national touring exhibition with 10 other artists who also focus on abstraction, and the Introducing exhibition at The Stanley Street Gallery. Her work has also recently been selected for the Paddington Art Prize, The Hawkesbury Art Prize, Morton Bay Art Prize, the Norville Art Prize, and the Whyalla Art prize. She has been awarded winner of the Queanbeyan Regional Art Prize in 2009 and also in 2015.
Moonlight penetrates the depths of the pond,
Leaving no trace in the water.
Brendon Stewart has been a student of Zen Buddhism for many years. His practice involves an attention to mindfulness helped by zazen or sitting meditation. There is a rich cultural tradition associated with Zen practice that is deeply, and with great sophistication, present in the imaginary mix of dharma stories. Bridges, gates, gardens, and the arrangement of flowers, veils and screens are time honoured Zen images that help with the story telling.
“For me, Zen is so much more, it involves an attempt to live the Buddha way, it is an ethical pursuit”.
The paintings in Stewart’s exhibition at Stanley Street Gallery to be held in November continue to explore the mix of motifs inspired by time spent in Japan.
“I am always astonished as I paint how a blank canvas turns into a picture. There is of course my logic within the intension I bring to the composition, still as I work away the picture always, and pleasantly seems to happen magically. The work reveals itself on the surface of the canvas somewhat with the knack of a daydream”.
Stewart draws with Black Japan lacquer, allowing the stream of brown/black liquid to fall away from his drawing tool onto the canvas, which is lying on the studio floor. The consequence of this simple technique is always random and uncertain.
“When we cross over we are going somewhere else. I like to think that the place we’ve come from is just as important as the place we are going towards. In my paintings I am constantly playing with ideas of home and journeying, here and there. Passing through a gate or crossing over, by way of a bridge, are recurrent metaphorical images used to describe this Dharma journey”.
Brendon Stewart is a landscape artist whose work explores an expression of a personal connection to place. He lives and works in Sydney and has painted pictures that reflect his deep affinity with his Sydney home. He has written extensively in both academic and as a more popular author on the idea of home and the poetics of home making. His more recent work extends the experience of place to include the great sweep of the consequences of the Pacific war that involved his family between 1941 and 1946. His work is represented in the Art bank collection and many private collections in Australia and abroad. Brendon Stewart has been the recipient, in collaboration with a small team of other artists, of two Australia Council Community Partnership Visual Arts/Craft awards. He also received an Australia Council oversea studio award to the Milan studio.