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JULIAN MEAGHER THE SPACE INTO BICHENO 2


Cover:

The Space Out of Bicheno, 2019 oil on linen 183 x 152 cm


JULIAN MEAGHER THE SPACE INTO BICHENO 2 18 September – 12 October 2019


The Space into Bicheno Julian Meagher ‘Water, that strong white stuff, one of the four elemental mysteries, can here be seen at its origins. Like all profound mysteries, it is so simple that it frightens me. It wells from the rock, and flows away. For unnumbered years it has welled from the rock, and flowed away.’ Anna ‘Nan’ Shepherd, as quoted in Robert MacFarlane, Landmarks (2016), p. 79 ‘I am the daughter of Earth and Water, And the nursling of the Sky; I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores; I change, but I cannot die.’ Percy Bysshe Shelley, ‘The Cloud’ (1820) Julian Meagher’s new series is unashamedly Romantic—it seeks to chase, and then pin down, moments of beauty in the landscape. But Meagher is also reconfiguring the features of traditional landscape painting. That is, rather than providing a realistic scene or pastoral view, Meagher pares back and removes detail. The result is a series of works full of minimal marks and compressed gestures: these are brushstrokes that intimate or imply scenes, instead of presenting them in their entirety. While each of these paintings depict the east coast of Tasmania, they also sit resolutely in the in-between: they are abstract and realistic; they are landscapes as well as portraits; they are urgent in their desire to catch a single instant, even if they are imbued with stillness and calm. But this series is also about repetition: it is the act of returning and repainting the same coastal scene (rock, water, horizon, cloud & sky). With each new painting Meagher is cutting into, or reshaping, the landscape at a different angle—he is reworking the surface just as his relationship with the coast is being reworked. At times the view is hostile, at other times, welcoming. In one moment, it is cloistered in its silence; in the next, it is as gentle as a sigh. You can think of these changing views as condensed self-portraits of Meagher’s internal state. Just as the Romantic poets found the tracks of their own psyche in the fells of the Lake District, the tenor of Meagher’s paintings shifts in accordance with mood: with the ebb of a particular want or desire or fear. What does Meagher see when he looks at these repeated scenes? He sees the refuge of his past teenage self, or he sees his desire to feel the weight of this space, or he sees the place where his son and daughter will soon stand beside him. It is the mark-making of someone being-in-thepresent. But it is also the mark-making of someone who knows this being-in-the-present is always informed by the pressing of the past, or the incursion of a future need. You can find references to this in the brushstrokes’ dividing lines, in the way negative or absent space hangs at the edges of the scene. The paint dribbles, pools, or leaks into these spaces, suggesting a landscape half-caught, or a dream half-remembered.


But just as the ocean view repeats, so too does the presence of the moon—a celestial anchor point that looms large over Meagher’s horizons. ‘I am convinced that the first lyric poem was written at night,’ writes the poet Mary Ruefle, ‘and the moon was witness to the event and that the event was witness to the moon.’1 The moon exists in Meagher’s paintings as a silent witness—a steady orb that does not change, even as the water shifts and moves beneath it. It is the moon, and all the references it carries with it (the changing of the tides, the cycles of time, melancholy, longing, and comfort) that unites this series. It’s the moon’s presence as mute observer that offers the feeling of stability in this painted space, a space which is not here, and not there, but in between. Naomi Riddle

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Mary Ruefle, Madness, Rack, and Honey, (Seattle and New York: Wave Books, 2012), p. 12


Blind Creek 2019 oil on linen, diptych 153 x 246 cm


Last Blackbird, No Place to Land, 2019 oil on linen, diptych 153 x 246 cm


Devils Creek, 2019 oil on linen 152 x 123 cm


Black Moon, 2019 oil on linen 152 x 123 cm


Self Portrait #1 2019 oil on linen 183 x 152 cm

Bicheno 2019 triptych oil on linen 152 x 364 cm


Long Night, 2019 oil on linen 152 x 123 cm


A Million Suns, 2019 oil on linen 152 x 123 cm


Self Portrait #2, 2019 oil on linen 152 x 123 cm


The Space into Bicheno 2019 oil on linen 152 x 123 cm


The Space into Bicheno #4, 2019 oil on linen, diptych 51 x 82 cm


The Space into Bicheno #3, 2019 oil on linen, diptych 51 x 82 cm


The Space into Bicheno #2, 2019 oil on linen, diptych 51 x 82 cm


Blowhole, 2019 oil on linen, diptych 51 x 82 cm


Bicheno 11, 2019 oil on linen, diptych 51 x 82 cm


Bicheno #9, 2019 oil on linen, diptych 51 x 82 cm


Bicheno #8, 2019 oil on linen, diptych 51 x 82 cm


Bicheno #9, 2019 oil on linen 51 x 82 cm


Bicheno #7, 2019 oil on linen 51 x 82 cm


Bicheno #6, 2019 oil on linen 51 x 82 cm


Bicheno #5, 2019 oil on linen 51 x 82 cm


Bicheno #3, 2019 oil on linen 51 x 82 cm


JULIAN MEAGHER Born 1978, Sydney, Australia Solo Exhibitions

2018 2018 2017 2016 2015 2015 2014 2013 2012 2012 2011 2011 2011 2011 2010 2010 2009 2009

Tidelines, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane Inlet/Outlet, Olsen Gallery, Sydney There is hope to the Last Flower, Olsen Gallery, Sydney Everybody talks in their sleep, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Melbourne project Alone in the Sun, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane Drinking with the other sun, Olsen Irwin, Sydney The sky still breaks, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, USA The Space Between Clouds and Mud, Edwina Corlette Gallery Brisbane Pressure makes Diamonds, Aratong Gallery Australian High Commission, Singapore As a matter of Fact, 52 Tins Flight QF1 Art Vault, Mildura Blue Ribbon. Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney The King of Good Times, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane From where you'd rather be, Gallery Ecosse, NSW Strong men also cry, Lindberg Gallery, Melbourne Small Heroes, Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney Portable Shrines, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane Mikoshi, Scott Livesey Gallery, Melbourne Inks in Oil, Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney

Group Exhibitions

2018 2017 2014 2013 2013 2012 2012 2012 2011 2011 2010

5x5 The artist and The Patron, Penrith Regional Gallery Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Edwina Corlette Gallery Melbourne International Art Fair, Edwina Corlette Gallery Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Chalk Horse Gallery Fhloston Paradise, Merry Karnowski Gallery Los Angeles, USA Miami Scope Art Fair, Chalk Horse Gallery Melbourne International Art Fair, Chalk Horse Gallery New Collectors, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane Miami Scope Art Fair, Chalk Horse Gallery Wattle, Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong Tatau, BMGART Adelaide


2010 Shanghai Art Fair, Future Perfect Contemporary Art Platform, China 2010 Melbourne Art Fair, Chalk Horse Gallery 2010 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2008 2008 2007 2007 2007 2007

Aratong Gallery, Singapore Christmas Show, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane Australia Council for the Arts Group Show /Artbank, Sydney The Horn of Plenty, Para/site Gallery Hong Kong Inks, Concord Library, City of Canada Bay Sydney Smoking Guns, The Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong. Chalk Reindeer, Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney My Body, My Business, At The Vanishing Point Gallery, Sydney Chalk Reindeer, Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney Australia Council of the Arts Window Box Show, Sydney New Artists Collective Exhibition, McCulloch Gallery, Melbourne Cross Sections II Collector’s Choice, Rex-Livingston Gallery, Sydney

Prizes

2019 2018 2017 2016 2016 2015 2015 2013 2012 2012 2012 2011 2011 2010 2010 2010 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2008 2003 2002

Glover Prize Finalist Paddington Art Prize Finalist Shirley Hannon Portrait Prize Finalist, Bega Valley Regional Gallery The Gold Award, Rockhampton Art Gallery Shirley Hannon Portrait Prize Finalist, Bega Regional Gallery Archibald Prize Finalist, AGNSW Wynne Prize Finalist, AGNSW2014 Finalist, Archibald Prize Mosman Art Prize Australia Council New Work Early Career Grant Doug Moran Portrait Prize Finalist Metro Art Prize Finalist, Melbourne Metro Art Award Finalist, Melbourne Salon Des Refuses Finalist, S.H Erwin Gallery Sydney Black Swan Prize for Portraiture Finalist, Perth Metro Art Award Finalist, Melbourne Salon Des Refuses Finalist, S.H Erwin Gallery, Sydney Royal Bank of Scotland Emerging Artist Award Finalist, Sydney Blake Prize Finalist, NAS Gallery, Sydney Metro 5 Art Award Finalist. Melbourne Doug Moran Portrait Prize Finalist. State Library NSW. Salon Des Refuses Finalist, S.H Erwin Gallery, Sydney Australia Council Emerging Artist New Work Development Grant Salon Des Refuses Finalist, S.H Erwin Gallery, Sydney Salon Des Refuses Finalist, S.H Erwin Gallery, Sydney


Collections

Bega Regional Gallery Artbank Australian War Memorial, Canberra St Paul’s College, Sydney University St John’s College, Sydney University St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Sydney Private collections Sydney, Melbourne, Paris and Hong Kong Education

Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery, University of New South Wales, 1997-2003 Portrait Painting at Charles H Cecil Studios, Florence, Italy, 200 Part time student at Julian Ashton Art School, 1994-1997


JULIAN MEAGHER THE SPACE INTO BICHENO II 18 September – 16 October 2019

Profile for OLSEN Gallery

JULIAN MEAGHER | THE SPACE INTO BICHENO II  

JULIAN MEAGHER | THE SPACE INTO BICHENO II