Simply and respectively, a selection of professional Australian artists who we love, but are yet to be exhibited at Backwoods Gallery. Without further ado let us introduce you to the Fresh Blood line-up.
Georgia Hill is an Australian artist, specialising in contemporary, often site-specific based artworks that combine bold, monochromatic textures and lettering within experimental compositions.
Using a range of mediums, her instantly recognisable aesthetic can be read in terms of connections, relationships, time, place and community. Over the past four years, Hill’s works have developed from smaller exhibition works to large-scale installations that explore how structures and our natural environments are vital in allowing experiences to exist and develop from one physical context to another.
Hill's works have spanned small inner-city walls to 400ft abandoned buildings across Canada, New Zealand, Iceland, The United States, Japan, Indonesia, and across Australia’s states.
Minna Leunig is a Melbourne based artist working primarily in black and white pigments to create playful, primal and earthy images inspired by the natural world. Her work is characterised by a wandering hand and an intuitive lyrical approach to aesthetics.
Having grown up in rural North-East Victoria, Minna spent countless hours throughout her childhood and teenage years with her dogs, wandering the bush on foot and on horseback. Here she developed a profound love and respect for the Australian landscape and all its life forms. The presence of animals both wild and domesticated, as well as the many botanical varieties found in her early environment have been a strong influence, and her work often pays homage to these plants and animals, seeking to illustrate them as unique species and individuals – full of character, personality and spirit, in a world that so often commodifies, devalues or destroys them. Her recurring motifs affirm the strength and integrity of the natural world, and include the vital wild elements of joy, humour and beauty, inspired by the life force of the bush and a deep abiding connection to country and its creatures.
As well as having exhibited at galleries such as Outré, Montsalvat, Neon Parlour and Lamington Drive, Minna has a keen interest in bringing art out of gallery spaces and into the public realm through street art, working by the philosophy that art should be an integral part of everyday life, and accessible to all.
Tom Gerrard’s art career started in the mid-90s where his art could be found on the streets of Melbourne. These days, he’s globally known for painting simplified characters, architecture and nature using a minimal colour palette. The characters and elements that make up his paintings have been inspired by people he’s seen and places he’s been.
Tom’s gallery work is an evolution of style and technique that was learned painting on the streets. He has fused this style with acrylic paints, water colours and any other materials that he can find in his studio.
After eight years of travelling around the world, Tom returned to Melbourne in 2016. Since then he has placed his artistic focus exclusively on Australian life, suburban culture and his natural surroundings. He has utilised his thirteen years working as a graphic designer, and as a result his art has a graphical look as he works with a minimal colour palette and strips back his subjects to simple shape and line work.
Tom has settled back into Melbourne life where he paints murals at large art festivals across the country, exhibits in prestigious galleries such as Bromley & Co and Benalla Art Gallery and collaborates with some of the country’s biggest names in contemporary art.
In February 2016, Tom moved back to Melbourne where he continues to work as an artist and run his art podcast, Bench Talk.
Robert Bowers has been refining his painting techniques for over a decade, with the wild world a common theme over this time.
A tropical, colourful setting suffuses many of his paintings, creating a warm palette and mood.
Bowers paintings typically highlight lost scenes set within lush foliage, sometimes including hidden figures, both human and animal. Roberts work combines the beauty of nature with the unexpected simplicity of the everyday norm, creating a sense of nostalgia and wonder.
His creations come in all forms of sizes; from intricate paintings the size of a post card, to large scale murals that still present the same amount of detail.
Robert has held numerous solo exhibitions across Australia over his career and has also been shown in numerous exhibitions further abroad; including New York, London and Singapore.
Bowers is an Australian artist, currently living in Melbourne.
Al Stark’s work exists out of personal necessity as opposed to any particular career choice or need to belong. It is through an innate drive that he is able to form purpose and order to make some kind of sense within his existence, and its place in the world.
It is a practice, which primarily concerns itself with the malignant complexities of the human condition, where a theatre of symbolic forms and action are able to play out complex narratives.
Al has maintained a creative space operating largely outside conventional trajectories, choosing to follow where the work takes him and where it can adapt. This has led to a diverse range of work practice, commissions and approach including wall painting, printmaking, film, installation, sculpture, drawing, tattoo and studio painting.
Based in Adelaide, working full time as an artist oscillating between painting, installation and sculpture. Fortrose likes the freedom of being able to bounce between mediums and enjoys using elements from each part of his practice to build a stronger identity for his paintings.
Abrupt and immediate ideas around composition and structure hold the attention in Matthew’s mural, studio and installation work.
Drawing influence from colour field painting and early Bauhaus graphics, the use of rudimentary tools and industrialised processes assist in constructing a strong visual language towards his work.
Using documentation of a built environment, interventions within urban space and explorations into materiality, his works seeks to engage an audience through a series of persistent investigations around the use of public space, and how that communicates to a formal studio practice.
Tristan Kerr (born Melbourne, 1985) is an artist and typographer whose work reflects on cultural diversity, consumerism and advertising, and the tensions between subjects who exist within these worlds, as he combines fragments of street signage, mark making, graffiti and abstraction through his works.
Through his practice, Kerr interrogates the ever-changing face of the city and its typographic ephemera, portraying the disregarded surfaces of urban life in his paintings, sculptures and large-scale installations. His fixation with fleeting urban street views was fuelled by the several years he spent working and exhibiting in Paris—as he noticed the disregarded shopfronts with fading hand-lettered signage, the sprawling graffiti and the torn metro posters that adorn the cities walls, forming part of its cultural archive.
Kerr’s works encourage people to stop, look and question their surroundings, considering other possibilities for what public space might constitute. Kerr has exhibited locally and throughout Europe.
James Dodd exhibits regularly across Australia in publicly funded institutions, commercial galleries and artist-run spaces. He works across a range of mediums with particular interests in painting, machines as art, graffiti, adventure and public space. He maintains a curiosity in sheds, backyards suburbia and the creative activities and transgressions that occur in these spaces.
Dodd is active as an educator at Adelaide Central School of Art and regularly delivers youth and community based arts programs across a range of outcomes. Dodd is represented by Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide.
Jack Rowland is a Melbourne-based artist, whose chromatic and saturated landscape paintings aim to offer alternative perceptions of the natural world. Rowland holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from RMIT University, Melbourne.
He has been exhibiting nationally and internationally including James Makin Gallery, Anna Pappas Gallery, Linden New Art, Rubicon ARI, Blindside Gallery, Flinders Lane Gallery and Kunstraum Tapir (Berlin).
Rowland received the Hawkesbury Art Prize Highly Commended Award in 2015, and has also been short listed for a number of prizes such as Bayside Aquisitive Art Prize, Albany Art Prize and Substation Art Prize.