The art in Out From Down Under & Beyond: Fine Art From Australia and New Zealand demonstrates the profound impact that the beautiful, stirring landscape and culture of these lands has had on the artists who live there. Whether directly or indirectly, the resulting feeling of scope, inspiration and emotion means that these remarkable works have an unforgettable impact.
Australian artist Betty Anderson’s paintings are highly detailed and naturalistic, inspired by the minute precision and accuracy in the paintings of Old Masters like Caravaggio. Working with oil on linen, Anderson builds up pigment in thin layers without much impasto, creating a smooth surface which seems to call out to be touched. She specializes in subjects such as animals, birds and flowers, as well as portraiture. Her quick eye and ability to observe both details and atmospheres invest each piece with both a sense of reality and a feeling of seeing something for the first time. Blessed with the perception and insight that gives true life to artworks, Anderson's instinct is spot on, giving her paintings a feeling of vitality and immediacy.
Despite a lifelong interest in art, Anderson only started painting seriously in 2008. Since then, her talent has been widely recognized, and she was selected for the Salon des Refuses of the Archibald Prize for Portraiture and the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture in Perth in 2012.
When it comes to managing his creative output, contemporary photographer/ painter Antonio Clemente lets the subliminal subconscious reign supreme. Says the artist of his work: “My arrangements are schematic, inviting the viewer to move into a space of speculation, reproducing familiar surroundings and arranging them into conceptual layers.” His photographs draw upon images of decay and ruin for inspiration – crumbling infrastructures, brooding skies and barren landscapes reoccur as themes throughout this artist’s sublime oeuvre. Non-narrative and full of cryptic messages and leading visuals, these truly enigmatic works offer the fruits of an intense manual technical process where the knowledge of what is captured is a mystery until it is processed and hand-layered. Polyvalent and layered, they are charged up with swift visions, poignant moments and whispered associations. Prone to experiment with chemicals, solvents, pigments, oils and acrylics in a highly physical manner, his painter’s canvases are quite large to allow room for a similar process of alchemy to occur.
Antonio Clemente currently resides in South Australia his work has been exhibited throughout Australia and Germany. He studied Visual Communication and Visual Art at the University of South Australia.
Inspired by spontaneity, Australian artist Wendy Hope approaches her canvases with an impulsive spirit and vibrant color palette. Working largely in the Abstract Expressionist idiom, she translates her vivacious energy into spirited, capricious paintings that whirl with excitement. Layering richly nuanced texture with non-representational forms, Hope conjures a dynamic picture of lively vigor. Aesthetically lyrical, the paintings also pulsate with the complexity of the human psyche. “I would like to think that my works speak for themselves, that they are timeless mysteries, ever moving and charged with emotional energy,” says the artist. Indeed, these works palpably demonstrate classicism in artistic approach and vision. Hope never formulates a painting in her mind; instead, she relishes in the opportunity to let her materials guide her composition. Excited by what is unexpected, she pushes the limits of paint in her originality of form and content.
An Australian native, Wendy Hope studied art at the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales, and has exhibited her work throughout the country.
Photographer Jude Murray’s devotion to adventure travel has taken her to over thirty countries, although her homeland of New Zealand continues to be her greatest photographic inspiration. Interested in natural landscape, people, culture, architecture, disaster, devastation and victorious feats, her works probe the highest registers on the human emotional scale and lock their vivid detail into photographic prints on canvas or high quality photographic paper. Murray recalls that it was when volunteering to help survivors of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia that she took her first powerful series of disaster photos, touched and humbled by the strength and hospitality of those affected. From then on, Murray became more serious about her craft, and whilst in Sri Lanka, a chance meeting with professional UK photographer Jim Rice gave her the confidence and encouragement to take her photography further. Whether caught in the throes of elemental spitfire or peacefully composing the natural landscape, her work captures her, and that intensity is certainly conveyed to the viewer through the results.
Born in New Zealand and currently making her home in Perth, Western Australia, Murray has exhibited widely including in New Zealand and the Middle East.
Bob Williams’ lively, unpredictable digital artwork is a triumphant mix of old and new aesthetics. Williams begins by hand-sketching and moves to the computer when he has the basis for a composition. He then uses digital tools to create imagery with precision, care, and an unmistakable human touch. His signature is his line; the pieces range from stylized representations to pictures so overrun with intricate patterns that the linework becomes the true subject. In flattened, graphic shapes and bright colors, Williams creates expressive mazes that invite a profusion of interpretations. An outdoors enthusiast who has lived in nine countries, he celebrates diversity and nature in his work. He uses organic forms as central motifs, including flowers, eggs, and clouds. His palette, variety of textures, and treatment of the human form show influences as wide-ranging as the Middle East, the UK, and the Far East.
Williams was born in Melbourne and lived all over the world before returning to Australia. Besides creating art, he has worked in construction and is the author of both fiction and non-fiction.