Art and ceramics studio 

63 Wilkins Street, Mawson ACT

Media Release -  September, 2007
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Ian Sharpe and ‘the essence of being’

As Canberra artist Ian Sharpe’s work - currently on show at Mawson Gallery -  becomes more abstracted, he feels he is engaging in the very essence of life and creativity.

“This is the first exhibition of work in which I have moved furthest from a subject or literal meaning and towards the intrinsic value of painting itself. If I use a subject or a theme it is only to have something to hang the painting on,” Ian says. 

“The textures in my paintings are the textures of a conversation. If we overhear a conversation in a language we do not understand we can still, intuitively understand the essence of it; whether the speaker is happy, angry or in love. In the writhing forms and textured colours of my painting it is possible for the viewer to witness the agony and ecstasy of life.”

“If I use a subject or a theme it is only to have something to hang the painting on.  This is not to say that I am in some way disappearing into some esoteric world.”

Ian is a popular artist in the local community of Canberra. He is currently best known for his cartoons and illustrations featured prominently in The Canberra Times.

Since moving here from Melbourne in 1974 he has worked in various areas of Canberra's arts community, from illustrating books of poetry to book and magazine design and illustration to theatre poster and stage design to painting.
In recent years Ian has taken to painting and exhibiting small watercolour landscapes inspired by his travels to Europe. These exhibits have enjoyed great success and have helped finance subsequent travels.
In June 2004 Ian a trip to Dubrovnik in Croatia inspired a collection of paintings that crossed over from purely representational work to abstract representations. They were exhibited at the Croatian Embassy in February 2005 as part of the National Multicultural Festival. 

A trip to Beijing and Xian in 2005 resulted in an exhibition of paintings which further move his work into abstract representation. “Walls and Warriors”.  In 2006 Ian traveled to Italy and produced another exhibition of travel sketches titled “The Tuscan Olive Grove” - a number of abstract paintings inspired by the expressive branching of ancient olive trees in Tuscany.

The exhibition begins at MAWSON GALLERY, 63 Wilkins Street, Mawson on 6 October and runs until 4 November.  Opening hours are 10.30am – 5.30pm Wednesday to Sunday. Or by appointment anytime.  Phone 6161 2177,  mobile 0438 473 902.


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