We spent a cosy afternoon in September enjoying a cup of delicious Sticky Chai surrounded by beautiful art and talented artists! ‘Stories from The Lab’ was a relaxed talk with a few of the artists who were exhibiting in Art Pharmacy’s pop-up exhibition, including Bea Bellingham, Maz Dixon, Stuart Smith, Sara Roberts, Elyssa Sykes-Smith, Mr Will Coles and Vincent Buret.
This was a rare opportunity to hear the perspectives of emerging artists, to learn about their methods and how they began their practice. The speakers were from a great mix of backgrounds, some self-taught and some classically trained. There was a lot of variety in what the artworks expressed, Bea Bellingham spoke about how important humour is when she’s painting, she really just wants to make both herself and the viewer laugh. Stuart Smith spoke about how he uses his paintings to capture and draw attention to a simple object, to prompt the viewer to recognise the significance of small things.
Elyssa Sykes-Smith is a sculptor who has been exhibited at ‘Sculpture by The Sea’ twice, her work is all about expressing how it feels to be in a body. She shared with us how recycled timber has become her favorite medium to work with, it’s a sustainable and inexpensive material to use, she can find it in so many places and friends even call her up if they find a good source!
Mr Will Coles is a prominent Street Artist in Sydney whose sculptures can be found on street corners and in parks all over the city, he spoke of how he distributes his work and how he feels when one gets stolen, stating that it’s just something you have to deal with as a Street Artist, likening it to when a mural is painted over.
Maz Dixon, who has been exhibited in the Sulman art prize twice, spoke about how her work has evolved over time, her paintings focus on beach culture and she takes inspiration from images which she finds on postcards. In her recent works, she has started using fewer layers of paint so that pencil marks can be seen from where she’s traced these post card images, giving the viewer some insight into her process.
Vincent Buret spoke about his series of lights ‘The Copper Collection’ and how when he works on a creative project he has to place limitations on himself, so he decided that he would only design ten lamps and that each one would only use only one meter of copper.
Painter, Sara Roberts, spoke about how contemporary gallery spaces can often be daunting or confusing and that the themes of works are not always clearly expressed, therefore she creates works which can be easily appreciated and understood by anyone who views them. And I feel that this idea really captures the feeling of ‘Stories from The Lab,’ there was no snobbery in the gallery space, just a lot of creative people sharing their perspectives.
This event was such a fun and unique experience, a chance to connect with artists in an intimate and friendly setting and to ask them questions about their practices and their passions. There are works from these wonderful artists (and many others!) available for purchase from Art Pharmacy’s website.