Wednesday, 5 October 2011

NEXT UP . . .


‘Vertically Challenged’ is an emotive exhibition where keen observations of city streetscapes and memories of the southern highlands come together by multi- talented artist, Peter Hickey. The title refers to the realization by the artist that soon after he began working on this show, a recurring theme was presenting itself; many of the works had a vertical orientation in their imagery - vertical lines of tree trunks, fence posts in the landscapes and the elongated shadows produced by the reflections of people and buildings in the cityscapes.

While the country scenes, particualry around Berrima, where the artist resided for 10 years, are all memories; the city works are the result of much walking and visual notetaking, capturing ‘impressions’ of iconic Sydney locations.  Looking deeper, this body of work also reflects the artist’s shift, not only physically but mentally, from the tranquility of the country to the buzz of the city. 

Still life paintings, aquatint etchings and his much loved animal portraits are included in this exhibition, however the main focus is on his sensitively rendered monochromatic street scenes and landscapes. Peter works in oils and charcoals using a technique in painting known as ‘subtractive’; where after paint has been applied, it is removed with different materials to produce the shapes and tones that provide the imagery.  The artist prefers a monotone approach, feeling it gives a more dymnamic effect to his work which would not resonate as much if colour was introduced. In mastering this technique Peter has claimed it as his signature style and having studied Sumie (Japanese Ink Painting) in Japan, he appreciates the Japanese philosophy that ‘less is more’ which is reflected in the minimalist quality of his work.

‘Vertically Challenged’ = ‘Visually Pleasing’!

From 8 – 26 October. Enquiries 02 9327 6525.

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