It's a jungle out there

Please join the directors of Arthouse Gallery, Di and Ali Yeldham, to celebrate this stunning new series of hand painted ceramics by artist Susan Hipgrave.

'It's a jungle out there'
7 – 23 March 2019

Opening Thursday 7 March, 6pm
To be opened by Steven Miller
Head of National Art Archive, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Susan Hipgrave’s intricate paintings filter historical depictions of the natural world through a striking contemporary lens. Reincarnating forgotten scientific engravings from the dusty pages of nineteenth century encyclopaedias, Hipgrave renders zoological and botanical imagery on a ‘circular canvas’ of porcelain in an attempt to understand the natural in an increasingly unnatural age. Her new collection of paintings explores the ‘dark side’ of nature through a focus on instinct and survival. She considers the crossovers between mankind and the animal and plant kingdoms; between the fraught socio-political jungle of our millennial epoch and the environmental jungle of the natural world. ‘In the jungle there is beauty and brutality’, reflects the artist as she analogises the dualities of nature with the paradoxes of the wider world.

Hipgrave’s meticulous painterly process is both intuitive and planned. The artist searches for images that resonate with her; ‘it might be the eye contact of a bird, something that speaks to me’, she reflects. Working with superfine Japanese brushes, she then begins the methodical and meditative practice of applying black underglaze to bisque-fired porcelain, before the plate is fired again. The circular format of the works echoes the spherical shapes of the natural world, from the cellular to the celestial. Bringing together life and death, beauty and decay, Hipgrave’s works are symbolic portals into another time and place, undisturbed by humanity. The works remind us that we are, ultimately, all struggling for survival in a world pivoted on great divides between the strong and weak; between privilege and poverty, and yet beauty and hope shines through the darkest of times.

Susan Hipgrave has been exhibiting her exquisite paintings in Australia, Hong Kong, Scotland and France and has been included in group exhibitions in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh and at the prestigious Fondation d’entreprise Bernardaud in Limoges, France. Hipgrave’s work is held in significant private and corporate collections both in Australia and Internationally.

We look forward to welcoming you to the gallery.

66 McLachlan Avenue, Darlinghurst NSW, Australia
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