There are several stages of understanding and appreciation involved in presenting a new body of work – from our initial chats with the artist, to studio visits and conceptual discussions, all the way through to the first time we view the finished artworks. That final moment is a real highlight, but what comes next is just as exciting.
Delving deeper into the body of work and hearing directly from the artist is a fascinating part of the process, and our In Conversation series makes it possible for us to share this with you. Our current exhibiting artist Christopher Jewitt is both a shining light on the Australian art scene and an all round breath of fresh air.
Read our chat with Chris below and get to know more about the how and why behind his solo exhibition Hidden Narrative (and view some great snaps from his enviable studio space!).
When did you begin painting this body of work and what inspired those first few lines and colour choices?
I began painting this body of work around 2 years ago. Its starting point was a natural progression from trialing new mark making techniques in conjunction with old styles. These works were much more free flowing, punchy and energetic
Do the pieces in this body of work relate or speak to one another, or do they stand quite independently?
The pieces in this body of work are related through concept and aesthetic but the individual ‘hidden narratives’ are not related.
There’s something new to be found each time we view one of your works. Tell us, when you’re deep into one of your paintings, what is it that influences your next brush stroke or desire to add another layer? And then, how do you know when to stop?
This body of work has been my most intuitive to date. What influences my next mark and colour choice has to do with the painting’s overall balance. Part of my final aesthetic is pattern. This is established through repetitive mark making and keeping a sense of balance in mind. Knowing when to stop is hard. Sometimes I have to place a painting aside and return to it weeks later to see how it feels.
Your aesthetic is so engaging, it’s also very distinctive. How have you felt yourself evolve as an artist while painting Hidden Narrative?
Colour. Thats what I have really developed and evolved throughout this body of work. A couple of years ago I only focused on two or three colours in a painting. Now I start with at least 8 colours on my palette.
What are the challenges and rewards that you experience when it comes to your practice?
Challenges? Well I’m always battling the feeling of never having enough time and I’m constantly finding myself thinking about my art.
Rewards? Discovering new ways of presenting my aesthetic.