Ken Knight, Don Burrows, Nicole Scerri, Robert Simpson, Stephanie Corkhill Hyles & Lynne Tinley
Exhibition runs from 28th June until 28th July
An exhibition by six artists who express their individual emotions through their art-making that may reflect that emotion, and/or make images that create an emotional response in the viewer.
Emotica is a nonexistent word concocted by Bungendore Wood Works Gallery owner and Artistic Director David Mac Laren. Obviously the word “emotica’ just gives a nice idea for a name as a play on the word emotion. I wanted to do something different with this EMOTICA exhibition, making it a bit of an online experience both visually and audibly, and for people who are not able to visit the exhibition in person. I asked each artist to put together their thoughts on how they work, and how emotions or passions may play a part in the way they approach and execute their artwork.
To prompt them I sent a few quotes or near quotes about the role of emotion in art.
"Many artists express their emotions through their art-making, and the finished art may reflect that emotion. Other artists may make an image with the hope of creating an emotional response in the viewer."
"In the early 20th Century, there developed an art movement called ‘Expressionism,’ in which the artist was more interested in expressing an emotional experience and less focused on depicting realism. The art work could be a record of what the artist was feeling at the time of making it, and it could also bring about emotional reactions from the viewer."
"A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is in itself, a living thing.”
I talked to each artist on how they might go about their art, inspired by emotion and their passions for their particular subject matters, and further if they work towards soliciting an emotional response from the people who view their artworks.
The artists’ comments can be found below and I trust that they will provide you with insights into these talented creative minds.
Stan d’Argeavel MA(VA)
It’s always been my intrinsic interest in nature, that’s where my love of landscape came from. Most sincere landscape artists have an affinity with the landscape.
And you realize the power of it, when you think of earthquakes and cyclones and flooding. I don’t think man could simulate a thunderstorm. You just can’t do that.
Getting back to the landscape, it’s the emotional response to it that really is a powerful and an innate force in all of us. That’s why I think all the great impressionist works were painted outside. Then beyond that, you could view it as a foundation to abstract it. That probably becomes more important back in the studio. It’s so hard to divorce yourself from that view.
Whether it’s the heat or the flies or the sand, it’s real, outside, and you do things outside that sometimes are totally irrational when you let that energy flow. It becomes a much more cerebral exercise in the studio.
And you use anything that works. You often work backwards and the great thing about oil paint and most other paints is that you can always revise it, if it doesn’t work.
Initially my work is done outside but the revision in the studio is becoming more and more important.
I don’t know what I would have done in my life without music photography and fishing. I don’t know how I’ve crammed anything else in but I have. With regards to the visual arts and music, for me they are pretty much one and the same.
My response and action to each is the same as to the other. In other words if Kev (Hunt) and I are playing jazz, I’m listening to what he does and he’s listening to what I’m doing, and we react, we go the way we feel it’s got to go. So we don’t know where our next note is coming from until it actually happens.
Well with my photography, like music, is much the same. I never know where or when the next shot will come from. And there are so many ways to approach it. I’ve never used sets of lights and things like that or have anyone posing. It’s always just shots as they happen, if they happen.
And a lot of the shots I’ve done, of nature, trees, clouds and things, have been when I’ve been fishing, and I’ve had the camera tucked down the top of my waders, sometimes I wouldn’t even touch it, but suddenly I would be torn between, there’s a trout rise over there, and at the same time the light’s great for those trees over here, so what do I do, its pretty difficult.
Music has taken me all over the world and many of my non-playing hours have been spent wandering the streets and landscapes of every continent and many countries - happening upon those special human moments and sublime lighting situations that produce the shots and scenarios that I re-live in my photographic images.
I’ve enjoyed drawing and painting since I was little and generally paint from my mind’s eye
I love colour, however I don’t think I need to do a blue sky blue, or oceans that are supposed to be the right colour. I like to explore abstract ideas, and if I see something small I might exaggerate it for effect .
I love nature but do most of my work in the studio. I don’t have a photographic memory but vividly remember small details, weird things: for example in the smoke girl painting. She was sitting smoking a cigarette and strong light suddenly hit the smoke. I saw all these little images floating in the smoke and I just had to get that down.
My paintings at the moment are on canvas and I’ve started painting on wood. I really love the technique and the shine that comes through. My next works will be on wood. At times I use acrylic for the base and come over with the oils that I find renders the colours in a really pretty way.
I have a lot to learn and I like finger painting, combining the brush strokes with the fingers. The hair might be by brush combining with finger textures and maybe the palm of the hand for a smooth face
When I’m not painting I practice light techniques and shapes, or draw a circle and start working out the shapes within the circle and see what I can get out of it. I’ll draw something, stand back and think about what its giving me, rather than what I’m giving it.
Throughout my life had books have decided my artistic course. The first was Patrick White’s The Vivisector. It’s the story of an artist and it just resonated with me. I thought “this guy thinks like I think”. That’s when I knew there was something in art for me. I had always been into drawing and did art at school.
Some years later I read Desiderius Orban’s What Is Art All About and it was responsible for changing my style completely.
His book is about making art, not about selling it, doing something. It’s about the non-objective, getting rid of description. Not being solely about that, but more about the tenets of art. I read it on a plane trip. It’s only a little book, but I read it in one go.
At that time I was painting traditional landscapes. I started the next one, and I just couldn’t do it. I felt guilty and I said to myself, “I just have to take the plunge.”
Initially I would still go out, and the gums were shredding, the blackbutts and the scribblies. I would look up into the trees, set up my canvas and look at the shapes of those creamy boughs against an intense blue sky, this twisting dimorphic form.
I started working towards having an image without imagery. Just having the vestige or residue of imagery but still something interesting to look at. A bit like life I guess. It’s never perfect. In the end you have to make a painting that works. It doesn’t matter what the object is.
Stephanie Corkhill Hyles
I would like my work to have the power to make the viewer react with a smile, a laugh and to take them on a journey- lift their spirits and maybe capture some of the essence of what I want to say, usually through text or the title.
I believe I’ve been given a gift to enlighten and brighten the viewer. I feel so encouraged and light when I create, it lifts my spirits, it releases tension, and it takes me to another place. I feel that each piece that I create has this power attached to it, so if the viewer is open to this, they too can capture this feeling, emotion and power.
The viewer can use my works as a sounding board for their own story, emotion or creation.
A majority of my works are about making people think, “The run Away Bride” is a piece that you can make up your own story, I plant the seed, and you create what you wish. There are clues, a whimsical bride dressed in red, churches and houses below. It is up to the viewer!
“An Early Morning Love Song” – To me Love is the ‘bee’s knees’! My works depict the notion of ‘Love’ in many different forms. Love can be a healer, an inspiration, a safety net, uplifting and so many other things. Some species of birds partner for life and these two ‘made – up’ birds are partners for life! I think this work captures “Love” in its true form, simple and refreshing!
“Check Out Her Hair Do!” –is full to the brim with humour- loaded with emotions of just a good laugh and a smile!
“Looking through the Obstacles” – The bird is in a bottomless cage depicting there is always a way out or a way of working through what seems impossible! The deer is a helping hand!
“LOVE” – this work captures my love for fun old cars!
I’m really passionate about my work. I’ve been painting all my life. Nature is what inspires me, and the natural world, anything from landscape and trees and water and birds and animals. I‘ve always been really inspired by the ancient rock art both in South Africa where I come from, the Bushman paintings, and in Australia, mostly the petroglyphs that I’ve seen up in the Pilbara in WA.
The inspiration from this ancient primitive work has always been with me all of my life and that’s where the linear feeling comes in my life and my work. And the simplicity, the single lines expressing an animal with very little detail and the movement, I like to capture the movement and the character of the animals and the birds that I paint, very simply, with single lines or brush strokes.
Now, as I get older, I find my work becoming more abstract and powerful, and more emotional. I don’t try to edit it at all. It just comes through. As I work I try not to think too much about what I’m doing, or what I will do next. I just allow it to come through, then at the end I go in to edit mode. I might touch up things or change colours or whatever, but I do try and almost channel the work through me. I seem to be able to tap really into the emotions in quite a strong way.