20/11 - 3/12/15
John Bartlett is a dedicated minimalist/impressionist.
John ( in his mid-eighties) has recently had health setbacks and this may be the last of his painted works. This health issue has come at a dollar cost and this exhibition is one way of (in part) raising funds for him.
He intends to move on to drawing and works on paper.
John’s journey of developing techniques and philosophies to create works of extraordinary impact and intensity can be seen in this exhibition.
Opening Sat Nov 21st 3-5pm
Tues. to Sun. 12-5pm
The Dreaming with Saline Hues_State 3
Australia’s indigenous people seem to have long had their own version of Google satellite. Their artists, well before the arrival of Europeans and well before they had the odd experience of flying in the air with the aid of planes and helicopters, knew how to paint the topography of their land from above.
The obsessive minimalist/impressionist artist John Bartlett has no such otherworldly skills. But his fascination with the symbolic, and his perpetual, almost scientific, research into notions of both the sublime and the sacred has led him on some intriguing paths and he has, with the utmost respect, followed the elders in the depiction of the land from above – with the help, of course, of Google satellite imaging.
The results are startling. The Dreaming with Saline Hues_State 3 suggests a painterly molten mass of deep crimsons, colours that one does indeed experience whilst travelling in the red heart of Australia.
Bartlett’s influences are vast, ranging from the scientific and alchemist to Zen Buddhism and Sufi, from classical music to the tragi-historical of the Australian bush. In these new works he eschews a singular stylistic approach, leaping like an imp of the perverse from figurative, naive landscape to almost pure abstraction. But even at these extremes there are links, key amongst them a journey to attempted self-awareness, to probing notions of enlightenment and even belief. Now in his mid-80s there is inevitably an air of contemplating his own mortality in these works, but this sits alongside ongoing fascinations with such zones as the language and belief systems of the Arrernte and Luritja clans of Central Australia. Bartlett’s never-ending probing of culture and belief creates a rich cocktail indeed.
– Ashley Crawford (2015)
5-17 December, 2015
Opening: 5th December 6pm