Angus Fisher – Terra Australis
I had the pleasure of attending Angus Fisher’s ‘insert exhibition name here’ exhibition at the Australian gallery in Paddington, Sydney. I’ve been following Mr Fisher’s art for a couple of years now, and he played a big role in my decision to take the plunge into intaglio techniques (copper plate etching, in my case). To Mr Fisher’s credit, he’s ever helpful and readily shares his vast knowledge with the public. His site contains masses of information that for a self-taught artist such as myself, without access to a formal art education and teachers, is essential when it comes to exploring the lesser known art techniques out there.
In all honesty, and correct me if I’m wrong, but there don’t seem to be many Sydney based artists who specialise in Intaglio techniques. I think part of the reason must be the requirement of a press, which is a large, heavy, and perhaps prohibitively expensive piece of equipment. I was lucky enough to be able to purchase my own little one, and I have the space for it, but the technique is most definitely the most involved of any I’ve ever utilised.
Anyway, back to Mr Fisher’s work: it’s incredible to see such a range of pieces, and some of the sizes are incredible! There’s a perfect balance between clean lines and simple washes that come together to create a very complete piece. I especially adored the small details that cemented each artwork in real life: a bit of chewing gum below a bench’s armrest; trash peeking out of garbage bins and on the ground; signs pinned to chain-link fences.
I wish I was one of Mr Fisher’s students, because I adore his style.
Botanica at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney is one of those yearly exhibitions that I try never to miss, but do so anyway. It doesn’t run very long and I seem to always miss any ads so it flashes past and I find out days after! This year though, I made it! I always know what to expect and it never lets me down. I also know that I leave feeling inspired and ready to go home and paint the first flower I can find, but that never happens. I think however, that more and more artists are painting birds and insects amongst the flora which means I can hopefully contribute in the future. I seem to have all the patience in the world for creatures, but I don’t give the flora its due, and that’s something I need to change. It’s vital that the environment in which my beloved creatures live is not ignored or rushed!
I have ordered some paper samples from Jackson’s Art, and some are specifically created for incredibly detailed work. I’m hoping that after playing around with them I’ll find the paper that suits me best, and I can start focusing a little more on botanical art. Whether I’ll ever realize my dream of taking part in the Botanica exhibition, I don’t know, but it’s always important to try!