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11/2/18 3:32 PM

JULIAN MEAGHER INLET O UTLET


Cover: Inlet #7 2017 oil on linen 152 x 122 cm


JULIAN MEAGHER INLET OUTLET 21 March – 15 April 2018


Inlet #19 2017 oil on linen 152 x 122 cm


From Memory “We are made happy when reason can discover no occasion for it. The memory of some past moments is more persuasive than the experience of present ones. There have been visions of such breadth and brightness that these motes were invisible in their light.” David Henry Thoreau (48 Years of Discipline,1841) In Julian Meagher’s latest body of work, Inlet/Outlet these motes fill the canvas as he recalls from memory the time spent at Mimosa Rock National Park near Tathra on the NSW South coast. The elements that go to making a painting are vivid: the line of the shore; the way light reflects; or the colour of the sky and sea as they compete, seem etched in memory. Once paint touches canvas however, it is something else entirely that is recalled. As Thoreau suggests, memory is more persuasive than the present, and whether Meagher is recalling pure joy or profound complexity, it is this density of perception that informs his latest work. Meagher’s experience of the landscape during this brief moment in time has the influence of a life’s experience made sharp by two key factors. The underlying emotional weight is the impending birth of his child. The calm before the storm in a sense. Time together, alone, long walks on the beach, time for thinking, fear, joy, and the perpetual ebb and flow of the inlet: an ever-present reminder of time’s inevitability and life’s impermanence. Compounding this, Meagher worked, during the residency, with an artist who had returned to the canvas having lost his sight. Recalling the landscape from memory, Meagher would guide the artist’s brush from paint to canvas. For the sight-impaired artist, the traditional outcome was essentially immaterial as both the memory and painting reside wholly within his mind’s eye. The act of painting however was essential. For Meagher, this ability to reframe the desire for artistic expression delivered room to explore beyond the limitations of physical reality. “I approached this body of work as an exercise in the meditation of painting, chasing that freedom, a sort of portrait of a landscape that breaths through the abstraction of surface” he says. With this in mind, though there are elements of the abstracted realism that swim in and out of his portraiture and still life paintings, the landscapes shift on a much grander scale. The headland and clouds of Inlet #7 for example have the fragility of formal romantic oil painting, while the water’s surface shares qualities of reflection with Self Portrait as Vessel, 2017. It is however, the huge overlain economy of brush strokes that bring emotional life to the painting. Part deception, part erasure, the quality is simultaneously fast and slow, with the brush strokes edging towards a photorealism depiction of the watercolours he works from as Meagher explains “My aim was to retain that spontaneity of mark-making that watercolour is so good at delivering, that calligraphic quick, fresh feeling and the luminosity of paper.” The light central line of Inlet #7 makes this point well as a spontaneous stroke that is acknowledged as artifice via small stroke marks. On a meta level, the effect is to shift the


painting’s weight into three contained bands. Effectively, the eye is pushed to the body of water, while the foreground acts as a palimpsest that informs the overall reading of the painting. Conversely, gesture has also been used as a central mark. In particular Inlet #8’s tiny portion of formal landscape, where cliff meets shore, is granted the weight of the land in a single expansive brush stroke. Using a two-phase technique of applying a thinned medium to deliver the primary mark that is then quickly worked with a different brush, the action needs to be fast and decisive. Here, tones of eucalypt, sea, sky and earth converge and layer as the self-same expression of place where mark-making and narrative are interwoven with image. To quote Thoreau again, when observing the quality and colour of Walden Pond (Walden, The Ponds, 1854) he states: “In clear weather, in summer, they appear blue at a little distance, especially if agitated, and at a great distance all appear alike. In stormy weather they are sometimes of a dark slate-colour. The sea, however, is said to be blue one day and green another without perceptible change in the atmosphere.” In painting the confluence of inlet and sea as both tide and storm approaches, Meagher’s Inlet #19 has aligned these qualities in a single painting. Yet, the fleeting nature of the captured image signals it as a memory. The simultaneous blue green of the sea, the slate of the tide, the agitation of blue and the quick lines of etcetera that fill the sky, are overwritten by the feeling of rain that the whole embodies. Granted, the shifting blur of the headland and combination of horizontal and vertical motifs offer a classical suggestion of rain, but the painting posits more than that. “I remember this intense calm, it was so still and that deep silence of night with the sky pulling in this fierce battle inside this silent blackness” says Meagher. It is this fragile calm of the foreground that takes us to that moment of watching something approach, something larger than ourselves, something powerful, something great, something other.

Gillian Serisier

2018


Inlet #12 2017 oil on linen 152 x 122 cm


Inlet #16 2017 oil on linen 152 x 122 cm


Inlet #11 2017 oil on linen 152 x 122 cm


Inlet #17 2017 oil on linen 152 x 122 cm


Inlet #8 2017 oil on linen 152 x 122 cm


Inlet #18 2017 oil on linen 152 x 122 cm


Inlet #15 2017 oil on linen 152 x 122 cm


O pposite: Inlet #10 2017 oil on linen 152 x 122 cm


Study B ithry Inlet #4 2017 watercolour on paper 42 x 30 cm


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Study B ithry Inlet #1 2017 watercolour on paper 42 x 30 cm

Study B ithry Inlet #3 2017 watercolour on paper 42 x 30 cm


Study B ithry Inlet #2 2017 watercolour on paper 42 x 30 cm


Study B ithry Inlet #5 2017 watercolour on paper 42 x 30 cm


JULIAN MEAGHER Born 1978, Sydney, Australia Solo Exhibitions 2017 There is hope to the Last Flower, Olsen Gallery, Sydney 2016 Everybody talks in their sleep, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Melbourne project 2015 Alone in the Sun, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane 2015 Drinking with the other sun, Olsen Irwin, Sydney 2014 The sky still breaks, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, USA 2013 The Space Between Clouds and Mud, Edwina Corlette Gallery Brisbane 2012 Pressure makes Diamonds, Aratong Gallery Australian High Commission, Singapore 2012 As a matter of Fact, 52 Tins Flight QF1 Art Vault, Mildura 2011 Blue Ribbon. Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney 2011 The King of Good Times, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane 2011 From where you'd rather be, Gallery Ecosse, NSW 2011 Strong men also cry, Lindberg Gallery, Melbourne 2010 Small Heroes, Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney 2010 Portable Shrines, Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane 2009 Mikoshi, Scott Livesey Gallery, Melbourne 2009 Inks in Oil, Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney 2008 The best gesture of my brain, Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney 2008 Scrub Series, Upstairs Flinders Gallery, Melbourne 2007 Integument, Chalk Horse Gallery, Sydney 2006 Scanning, SNMI 06, Jamshedpur, India 2006 Dissections, Depot II Gallery, Dank Street, Sydney 2003 Sketches from India, New York & Jupiter, Knot Gallery, Sydney 2002 Double Exposure Oils on X Ray, Pavillion Gallery, Bondi Sydney 2000 Artist in Residence, Sydney Grammar School, Sydney Group Exhibitions 2014 Group show, Olsen Irwin, Sydney 2013 Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Chalk Horse Gallery 2013 Fhloston Paradise, Merry Karnowski Gallery Los Angeles 2012 2012 2012 2011

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


2011 2010 2010 2010 2010 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009 2008 2008 2007 2007 2007 2007

Wattle, Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong Tatau BMGART Adelaide Shanghai Art Fair, Future Perfect Contemporary Art Platform, China Melbourne Art Fair, Chalk Horse Gallery 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 2016 2016 2015 2015 2013 2012 2012 2012 2011 2011 2010 2010 2010 2009 2009 2009 2009 2009

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

2008 Australia Council Emerging Artist New Work Development Grant 2003 Salon Des Refuses Finalist, S.H Erwin Gallery, Sydney 2002 Salon Des Refuses Finalist, S.H Erwin Gallery, Sydney


Collections 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 INLET OUTLET 21 March – 15 April 2018

Julian Meagher Inlet/Outlet exhibition catalogue  

Julian Meagher Inlet/Outlet exhibition catalogue

Julian Meagher Inlet/Outlet exhibition catalogue  

Julian Meagher Inlet/Outlet exhibition catalogue