Art & Architecture
Artist Profile

Artist Profile Issue 49

Artist Profile is a leading quarterly journal taking its readers into the studios and minds of contemporary artists across Australasia and beyond. Industry professionals engage leading practitioners and emerging talent in conversations about their art, in their own words, while our exclusive photo shoots provide intimate access into artists’ personal and working lives. Readers gain knowledge of artists’ methods, preview works in progress and discover the life experiences that ignite artistic imaginations.

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4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

Artist Profile Team Publisher JOHN FEITELSON Editor KON GOURIOTIS OAM Art Director KIM GREGORY Deputy Editor ELLI WALSH Principal Writer JOHN MCDONALD Intern BELLA CHIDLOW Sub-editor JAMIE MCILWRAITH National Advertising Manager JILL TROCHEI Stories and Photos SUZANNE ARCHER is an artist based in Wedderburn, NSW KIRSTY BAKER is a writer based in Wellington, NZ SASKIA BEUDEL is an essayist, novelist and nonfiction writer JANINE BURKE is an art historian BEN CURNOW is a writer based in Wellington, NZ JANE ECKETT teaches art history at the University of Melbourne EMMA FINNERAN is a Sydney-based artist KIM GUTHRIE is a photographer based on the Sunshine Coast, Qld LOUELLA HAYES is a Perth-based arts writer NIKITA HOLCOMBE is a Sydney-based arts writer and curator H.R. HYATTJOHNSTON is an artist and writer based in Sydney COURTNEY KIDD is a Sydney-based arts writer and curator ANNA KUCERA is a photographer working in Sydney; annakucera.com KATHLEEN LINN is a Sydney-based arts writer and curator ERIN MCFADYEN is a an…

2 min.
editor’s note

It may be tempting to situate this issue of Artist Profile within a feminist framework, adding to the growing discourse surrounding gender inequality within the arts. Indeed, the trope of the male genius suffuses the canon of Western art like a lurid light that has too-often relegated female practitioners to the shadows. Though the interviews, essays and reviews on these pages do address this imbalance of exposure by spotlighting female practitioners, they are not gendered in tone or content. No; this issue is simply a celebration of art today. Many of these artists engage with the politics of representation, creating a space where perception and convention collide to form new modes of seeing. In a world where imagery is currency, disseminated and consumed en masse by a visual culture that teaches…

4 min.
the nude now: three paintings at the kilgour prize

In 2019, it’s tempting to think that we’ve passed beyond the boundaries of genre. We live in an arguably postmodern period defined by Craig Owens, for instance, as ‘a crisis of cultural authority’. However, this year’s Kilgour Prize at Newcastle Art Gallery was an exposition of the ways in which figurative painting still grapples with the generic protocols of the nude. We’ve long known that ‘naked’ simply describes a body unclothed, while the nude takes nakedness and filters it through a set of formal and conceptual conventions, politicising it in the process. Almost fifty years after its publication, I find John Berger’s Ways of Seeing remains some of the most compelling historical analysis of the nude. To Berger, the nude instantiates a concept of ‘woman’ as an object of observation, a…

4 min.
atong atem

Your photographic works are beautifully staged and finished in colour by hand. Can you speak to the technical and artistic influences in your practice, in particular your ‘Studio Series’? The ‘Studio Series’ was directly influenced by the works of studio photographers across Africa who directly challenged the European, ethnographic lens of most early photos of African people. I was initially inspired by photo and video technologies as weapons or tools that were used by colonisers to further their colonial plans. It’s really interesting to me that the first depictions of black people seen by outsiders and even by other black folks were ones that framed black bodies in such a potent way that socially those frames still exist today. More than that though, I’m interested in the moment in history when black…

6 min.
nicole kelly

Do you paint en plein air or do you work in the studio from sketches or photos? Plein air is a really key aspect to my practice … a way of seeing and feeling the landscape on quite an emotional level. Without that I’d have nothing to work from in the studio. The two painting practices are interlinked. The studio works are solely made from memory, being outside in the landscape, with pen line drawings as my only reference, trigger or emotional anchor. It’s quite a responsive process in the studio. The studio works also allow me to filter thoughts or ideas of the landscape in a more reflective way, as opposed to when I’m painting outside that’s quite a direct response. What are the landscapes to which you’re drawn? France has evolved…

6 min.
justine varga

The photograph is often considered a visual expression of a singular instant, an isolated representation of a moment in time so infinitesimal that mechanical capture is the only means of suspending it. Today, rapid photographic images proliferate exponentially, they are the currency with which we circulate our perspectives of the world: instantaneously taken, broadly disseminated. Justine Varga subverts these commonly held beliefs. As she asks: ‘How can these works contest material, procedural and, ultimately, social expectations we take for granted?’ Her photographic objects persistently assert their physical materiality and the means by which they have come into being. If we take for granted the notion that a photograph represents a singular moment in time, then a work such as 2011’s Desklamp steps into this suspended instant, both inhabiting and exceeding the limits…