Rather than follow the worldwide trends Australia has up and coming artists who have developed their own unique styles and are definitely worth keeping an eye on to see what they produce in months and years to come. Australia has a very rich and diverse culture and this is often reflected in the arts. Following are some of the noteworthy Australian artists making their name in the art world and the trends that are popular today:
Fiona Hall – A very versatile artist, Fiona Hall embraces many aspects of art, from photography to sculpture, using a wide range of media. Hall is considered one of Australia’s most influential contemporary artists and has been commissioned for several public works. She is very interested in ecology, globalization effects, and history, which is reflected in many of her art pieces.
Ben Quilty – Winner of the Prudential Eye Award (2014) Ben Quilty uses a unique method to create his figures on canvas. Opting to pick up palette knives instead of brushes, Quilty’s works come together through slapping paint onto the canvas and then smudging and smearing it until the figures reveal themselves. His works often depict young men who are embroiled in the darker side of life i.e. drugs, drinking, and reckless behavior. Quilty uses snakes and skulls and other ‘dark’ elements to depict the desperation of Australian male youth today.
James Angus – Sculptor James Angus works in medium and large scale, often taking everyday items and distorting them to create unique objects. Angus has three major pieces that have received significant recognition – Red Cast Iron Inversion, Orange I-Beam Knot, and Yellow Pipe Compression all from 2012 were featured at the 2014 19th Biennale of Sydney. Angus gets much of his inspiration from nature, design and architecture and loves to work with various metal building materials.
Use of Blank Space
With minimalism gaining in popularity the ‘less is more’ theory is right on target within the world of art. Art using blank space, often referred to as negative space, asks the viewer to use their imagination to fill in the empty area with whatever comes to mind at the time. Art pieces are simple but cleverly created to draw the viewer into putting their own interpretation upon them, and in this way every viewer ‘sees’ something different.
Though geometric shapes have trended several times during recent decades they are making a comeback. The sharp, clean lines are aesthetically pleasing, modern, and compliment the space in which the art piece is placed. The use of geometric shapes spills over into house wares and even as far as in tattoos. In art work muted colors tend to be the palette of choice for the contemporary artist.
This fascinating medium is allowing artists to explore color and movement in unique ways. The resultant works are exciting and ‘busy’ in a good way, with a glossy sheen that brings the colors to life. The use of resin can be dangerous if not treated with great care, but the possibilities are worth the effort taken to produce these stunning art works. While upon initial glance an art resin piece may appear to consist of splashes of color, after some time examining the work in detail it almost appears to be topographical in nature.
With this ever-increasing digital world people are living in there is a definite effort being made to hang on to the beauty of nature. As Pantone has declared ‘Greenery’ to be the color of the year, artists are fully embracing the ability to produce art works that bring the ‘outdoors inside’. Green is symbolic of new life and supplies a much needed break from the sterility of many modern homes and offices. Flowers, trees, leaves, grasses, and other natural elements as well as fruits and vegetables are popular both for artists and art buyers.