Following Clay and A Painted Landscape, Still Life completes Amber Creswell Bell’s genre trifecta of artful gems that champion remarkable Australian artists. The book looks at the styles, subjects, visions and philosophies of more than forty contemporary Australian artists. To give you a feel for this incredible book, check out our gallery featuring the work of some of the artists featured as well as their perspectives on the genre.
‘Perhaps still life is more accessible with it’s traditionally domestic subjects and therefore considered a more ‘democratic’ genre, sitting more comfortably with ideas of the classless society we imagine that Australia is.’
‘I have always been interested in recording or interpreting my surroundings in a visual way. I almost feel I haven’t properly experienced looking at something if I haven’t observed it and tried to create either a picture from the subject or responded to it.’
‘All paintings, including still lifes, should feel erotic.’
‘There’s a certain tension in setting up, where I tend to get so frustrated with the tediousness of finding the composition and mixing the paints that by the time I put brush to linen, I’m about to burst.’
‘I feel that the endurance of the still life genre has to do with its relative anonymity compared to more figurative work.’
‘A collection of objects, no matter how mundane, tells a story. They are like a little world; you can get lost in them.’
‘What I love most about painting a still life is creating a sense of order in life, if only on the canvas. I strive to create a sense of tranquility and calm in my pieces in the midst of a busy and bustling life.’
Still Life is available now. Text by Amber Creswell Bell and design by Ngaio Parr.
Front cover: Tsering Hannaford, Yellow Magnolia, 2018. Oil on board, 60 x 45 cm. Courtesy of the artist.
June 15, 2021