Watch this space! More content coming soon.

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POETIC SPACE | Opening

OTOMYS is pleased to open the exhibition: Poetic Space. A succinct and aesthetically honed grouping of work by three Melbourne-based artists. The three practitioners share a common background and profound understanding of architecture and photography. Poetic Space is all about photography and architecture, yet – it is nothing about these things.

As the title would suggest, there is more going on in this exhibition than can be seen by the eye. Knight, Barbieri and Mein’s respective practices are driven by similar conceptual and technical concerns, locating their work along an ever increasing scale shift from the next to the next. From the micro to the macro, each suite of works establishes a platform from which the mind’s eye is free to wander.

Susan Knight invites us into a domestic setting with her collection of everyday, household objects. As with previous works, Susan is interested in the personal connections objects around us become imbued with over time. Suspended within a grid, these familiar items begin to fall from view as one looks closer and realises Susan is tuning us into the spaces between. Rendered through a cyanotype process, material and form, the objects once embodied start to be read as a series of blueprints. Suddenly, spaces between a string of beads undergo a scale shift and their relationship becomes a composition of positive and negative space. No longer objects on the kitchen table, rather plans for future spatial environments.

At architectural scale, we meet the works of Liliana Barbieri as though on an afternoon stroll through a piazza in an un/familiar town. Drawing from the language of Renaissance and Italianate architecture; geometry, perspective, colour and space are among her chosen media. Liliana’s carefully pared back fragments of architectural elements appear and hint at locations and moments in time neither past, nor present. The spaces created between form and sky articulate the passage into an emotional realm, the key to Liliana’s paintings.

Zooming out beyond the architectural plane, Trevor Mein draws us into the ether, high above Earth. On entering his floating world Trevor presents us with a repeating line in the sky. The line acts as an orientational device which we hold onto until we are prepared to take a leap beyond. Should one look deeper, we realise his compositions are about subtle shifts in atmospheric vapors resulting in significant changes as we move from one image to the next. Each frame brings with it a completely different psychological landscape. Mein’s evanescent medium conjures vast expanses of possible spatial configurations we find ourselves imagining into.

WORDS | Ri Williamson 2017. BFA (sculpture) M.Arch (Prof.)

VIEW COMPLETE GALLERY

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POETIC SPACE – You’re Invited!

Trevor Mein | atmosphereelevenfortyseven2017

POETIC SPACE
Trevor Mein Susan Knight  |  Liliana Barbieri

 

You are invited to the opening!

Wednesday 6th September – 6:30pm

567 – 569 Victoria St Abbotsford 3065

 

 On View | 6th – 29th September 2017

RSVP studio@otomys.com

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NEW YORK STUDIO | LIZA LACROIX.

Meet the Montreal born, New York based, OTOMYS artist Liza Lacroix.

As OTOMYS prepares to head to America this week, we reflect upon the last time we were in the USA; visiting Liza Lacroix in her New York Studio.

Follow us into Lacroix’s realm of gestural movement, bold strokes, dark hues, soft pastels and abstract figures.

‘I exalt in the aura that comes both from the historical prominence of painting and from its potency as an emotional object. Throughout the painting process, I am compelled by the heightened subconscious and intuitive possession that takes hold as a painting comes together, component by component, stroke by stroke. I am open to chance, accidents and awkward colour juxtaposition. I place the agency of the painting materials above personal intentions for storytelling; the paint has a life of its own.’

‘While my influences are drawn from the canon of abstraction, I reject the dichotomy between figuration and abstraction. I prefer to refer to my work as abstract figurative painting. Using large canvases and a rich but muted colour palette, I create soft but arresting paintings using texture, wide strokes and watery oils. I often use reference material that contains images of humans, a practice in line with the history of abstract painting. I push my abstraction to a place where it becomes almost entirely non-respresentational – but it must still maintain a human presence. I wish to always maintain a trace of humanity.’

Liza Lacroix | Brooklyn Studio

VIEW | Liza Lacroix’s work at OTOMYS. Beyond the Online Gallery, we share access to Lacroix’s NYC art portfolio and facilitate commissioned projects. Facilitating commissioned projects is a very rewarding part of our work at OTOMYS. Representing both client and artist, we seek to deliver the most unique work for the specific space, whilst honouring the integrity of the artist. Schedule a Liza Lacroix appointment | studio@otomys.com

Further Reading –

Liza Lacroix | Liza Lacroix x OTOMYS

Stay Social –

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Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art.

 Removed from our own very Gallery in Abbotsford, we are forever frequenting The Heide Museum of Modern Art. With every visit, we become even more so enchanted by Heide MOMA. 

Beginning life in 1934 as the home of John and Sunday Reed, Heidi nurtured circles of artists, writers and intellectuals such as Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester, John Perceval and Danila Vassilieff.

The fifteen acre property has since evolved into one of Australia’s most important cultural institutions. Heide MOMA presents a space for contemporary art, literature, conversation, connection, sharing and friendship.

Recently we viewed: Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art. So we ask, What is Constructivism? And how has this movement impacted Australian Art?

George Johnson, Construction With Brown Triangle 1986

Constructivism is nonrepresentational style of art developed by a group of Russian artists, in response to the social and political nuances of The Russian Revolution [1917]. Lead by Vladimir Tatlin, this group presented art as an approachable everyday idea, rather than a unique commodity. Employing modern industrial materials and abstract forms to explore mass, volume and space, these artists sought to ‘construct’ art, and engage with it!

Constructivism called upon geometry, colour and line to unite art and life.

Ralph Balson, Constructive Painting, 1963

This artistic experiment quickly travelled throughout Europe, eventually reaching Australia. International Constructivism pervaded architecture, graphic design, industrial design, theatre, film, dance and fashion. And of course, art. Modern art movements of the 20th century grew from International Constructivism, particularly Bauhaus and De Stijl trends.

Zoe Croggon, Harp no.2, 2015

Co-curators, Sure Cramer and Lesley Harding trace the influence of Constructivism on Australian painters and sculptors throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, as well as in later, contemporary times.

Considering that Constructivism sought to explore ideas across all art forms, the exhibition presents painting, sculpture, videography, photography, graphic arts, theatre and costume.

“We’ve tried to convey that it’s a very mobile movement,” says Lesley Harding. “It never stays still. It’s international and intergenerational.”

On view are works by Russian Constructivists: Rodchenko, Malevich, El Lissitzky and Alexandra Exter. British Artists: Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. Australian Artists: Ralph Balson, Frank Hinder, Inge King, Gunter Christmann, George Johnson, Robert Owen, Rose Nolan, Justene Williams and Zoë Croggon.

Sure Cramer encourages visitors to consider “how art might function in the world and interact with the everyday.” 

 

Heide Museum of Modern Art | 7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen VIC 3105.
Hours | Tuesday – Sunday – 10 am – 5 pm.
On View |  5 July – 8 October 2017.

 

Further Reading –

Heidi Gallery | Call of the Avant-Garde: Constructivism and Australian Art

Stay Social –

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Meet Oliver Tanner | The newest addition to the Stable.

LIQUID BRONZE | Rendering bronze into forms that seem to defy the nature of the material itself.

 

Let us introduce you to the work of Oliver Tanner; a graduate of the National Art School in Sydney and the newest member to the OTOMYS stable. Since graduating four years ago, Oliver has embarked on his journey as a practicing artist and designer; exhibiting both Nationally and Internationally, as well as completing studies at the New York Studio School, USA and residencies at Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, China.

 

  

Oliver Tanner | Liquid Bronze 01

 

Oliver’s skill and ingenuity presents an exploration of traditional techniques and emerging technologies. In order to produce fluid forms, organic shapes and tactile textures from cast liquid bronze. The seemingly unimaginable is created!

Presented in a number of private and public collections throughout Australia, Asia, Europe and the USA, OTOMYS is thrilled to house and share the work of Oliver Tanner. Get to know Oliver Tanner yourself, as we discuss the life of an artist, creative pursuits and matters of the heart.

 

Oliver Tanner | Sydney Studio Space

 

Where is home? Home is Sydney, although I spent a year living in Berlin which resulted in having a 4 metre sculpture commissioned for the Bei Wu Sculpture Park there.

Where do you holiday? I just got back from a holiday to New York, I love going places where the best art and culture is happening all around you.

What do you hope for? I’m someone who loves to build things and work with my hands. I was taught to weld by artist Bronwyn Oliver who’s mantra was to ‘master your medium’, much of my work is about trying to understand the possibilities of the materials I work with and push them to the limit of what’s possible.

 

 

Browyn Oliver | Unicorn 1984

 

When do you feel most like yourself? When I’m in the studio, in the flow of making something and am lost in the process.

How do you resemble your parents? They both have a passion for the arts, their interest was one of the ways I first begun to be interested in a career in this field.

How would you describe your journey as an artist? A fortunate one, through some chance encounters I have had the chance to work under and learn from some really talented individuals like Bronwyn Oliver and Martin Sharp.

How would you describe your work? I believe the best ideas are the simple ones, realised with elegance. Everything I do aspires to realise something simple, yet unexpected, that tells the viewer something about not only the artwork but the material it is made from.

 

Oliver Tanner | Liquid Bronze Series

 

Have you got other passions? I tinker, I build things, I help others build their projects, I’ve always liked solving problems and figuring things out, this is why my art is the way it is, but also dictates much of the rest of my life.

Have you got a favourite book? I listen to endless audiobooks, podcasts and music while I work, there’s something meditative to being busy with your hands while your mind is filled with new ideas.

Who inspires you? Many people, from artists I studied with, those I worked under and the greats who’s work I’ve most recently seen in museums in New York. Anish Kapoor is a constant influence who’s idea’s about materials and form always kickstart new ideas.

 

 

Anish Kapoor | Untitled 2016 – Untitled 2012

 

Not ready to go? Have one last minute with Oliver Tanner in his Sydney Studio..

 

COMMISSIONS  – The first series of sculptural work by Oliver Tanner sold instantly. If you’d like to house one of these original works prior to Christmas please send through your expression of interest in order to ensure this is achieved. Commissions will be taken up until mid September – studio@otomys.com.

 

Further Reading –

New York Studio SchoolRed Gate Gallery, Beijing, China

Otomys x Oliver TannerOliver TannerAnish Kapoor

Bronwyn OliverNational Art School, Sydney

 

Stay Social –

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10 Questions with Artist Mark Roper

If Mark Roper wasn’t already on your radar, he most definitely is now. Originally hailing from the UK, Melbourne based Mark Roper isn’t just an artist, but a brilliantly versatile creative. With an extensive portfolio including food, travel, lifestyle and interior photography for both editorial and commercial projects, he is undoubtedly well regarded in his industry. However, Mark’s latest venture was one of a more personal journey.

Chronicles got talking to Mark fresh from the opening night of his new photography series ‘Arcane’.  In his limited edition debut collection of 8 Archival Lustre prints exhibited at Otomys gallery and online, Mark uses Polaroid film to explore the relationship between old and new, light and dark, chemical and digital.

Otomys: Tell us a little about your background, what did you study and what led you to where you are today?

  • Mark: I studied film and photography in the south west of the UK. I was originally going to take the path of film making but found I enjoyed the photography part of the course more, so ended up specializing in that.

Otomys: What 3 words best describe your work?

  • Mark: Moody, Layered, Mysterious

Otomys: What inspired your shift from traditional photographic work to polaroids, which forms your new ‘Arcane’ series?

  • Mark: My editorial and commercial work is all shot digitally. I love the control and precision of digital photography but missed the unpredictability of film, especially Polaroid.

Otomys: What did you love about experimenting with polaroids?

  • Mark: With Polaroid, when you peel back the film you’re never 100 percent sure what the outcome will be. The more I experimented with the structure and the chemicals in the Polaroid, the more unpredictable it became. I manipulated the chemicals found in the film with a number of different elements which produced new and interesting results.

Otomys: Can you give us a little insight into the creative process behind the ‘Arcane’ collection? Was there an intended message behind this work?

  • Mark: There’s no set message behind the work, I think they are the kind of pieces that people will connect with in different ways. I started my career shooting on film and Polaroid so I was excited to get back to my photographic roots. I’d been sitting on the idea for a while so am very excited it’s all come to fruition!

Otomys: What’s next for Mark Roper?

  • Mark: Now that Arcane is complete it’s inspired a lot more ideas. I’d like to complete a series using a mix of mediums, not just photography. Hopefully I can finish the idea by early next year.

Otomys: What would be your dream creative project?

  • Mark: My dream creative project would be to work with an interior designer and creative artworks for a hotel fitout

Otomys: Where do you currently call home?

  • Mark: I live in Caulfield, Melbourne. It’s a quiet suburb that is still close to everything with great parks and cafes.

Otomys: Can you share with us any best-kept-secret locations in a favourite neighbourhood around here?

  • Mark: There’s a great little cafe called Next Of Kin in Elsternwick which does fantastic breakfasts and coffee.

Otomys: What does a typical Saturday look like for you?

  • Mark: A typical Saturday for me, if I’m on top of all my work, involves a lie in, a couple of coffees and then spending the day with my wife Deb and kids Jack and Ella. We like to head out for lunch at our local or down to the park or the beach.

Arcane – by Mark Roper (free entry)
Otomys Gallery 567-569 
Victoria Street (corner of Duke Street) 
Abbotsford, VIC 
Gallery OPEN Thursdays and Fridays 10 – 5pm or by appointment any other day .

(Images courtesy of Mark Roper)

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The Space Between Home and Gallery: JAHM

“The collection has given us such pleasure over the years and we want to share that joy with other art lovers,” – Charles Justin, founding director of architecture practice SJB.

And sharing is exactly what serious art collectors Charles Justin and his wife Leah have done.  In April of 2016, they opened the doors of their private Prahan residence to the public, in a bid to share the couple’s burgeoning collection of over 300 works of contemporary art acquired over the past 40 years…and counting!

Some 17 years on and the pioneering ‘Lyon House Museum’ in Melbourne’s suburb of Kew is still receiving international acclaim. Recognition that both Charles and Leah took as the final push they needed to swing open their own doors last year. Making Melbourne now home to two dedicated house museums.

‘House museum’ is a concept used across the globe. It’s used to describe a unique architectural combination of a private residence and private museum; where ‘museum’ and ‘family life’ are housed together under a single roof.

Enjoying retirement together, they now welcome visitors in to enjoy an authentic experience that is both intimate, personal and reflective of their own passions in the art world. Alongside more established artists, Charles and Leah turn their attention to emerging artists with a special interest in new digital and video works.

It’s been a family affair. Taking after her father, Charles and Leah’s daughter Elisa who is also an Architect, designed the customised the house museum. Located on a corner site in the inner Melbourne suburb of Prahran, the converted apartment block includes a gallery on the second level and residences on the third.

The museum hosts two exhibitions every year which are personally guided by Charles and Leah. With a vision, much broader than their own collection, the Justin’s dedicate one of these exhibitions to showcase art that is not from their collection. Currently on show is ‘Digital: The World of Alternative Realities.

Viewings are only available through pre-booked tours. JAHM’s exhibition ‘Digital: The World of Alternative Realities’ will run from 16th February until 4th June 2017. Bookings are essential and can be made via the museum’s website here.

Photography credits:Courtesy of Justin Art House Museum, Andrew Wuttke and Megan Dicks.

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Q&A with Australian Artist: Diana Watson

Humble, hard-working and taking on Hollywood, established artist Diana Watson talks to Chronicles about her hometown Sydney and her latest collection of work; Ambrosia.

Acclaimed for her hyper-realistic large-scale floral murals, particularly “those” roses, Sydney-based artist Diana Watson’s work fuses art with the utmost consideration for interior décor. From restaurants to residential homes to the Hollywood set of recent film ‘Collateral Beauty’ (starring Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren and Will Smith) Diana Watson is fast becoming a household name.

Diana’s latest exhibition ‘Ambrosia’ opens 4th May 2017 at Otomys Gallery in Melbourne.

Otomys: You’ve had an impressive career in art spanning over 20 years. Can you tell us a little bit about the path that led you to here, have you always painted large-scale murals? 

  • Diana: It all came about after my Mother once let me paint a very large blue horse on the kitchen wall when I was about ten years old, which ignited my passion to paint. After studying art I actually went on to work in advertising and it was not until after having my daughters that I started exhibiting my work. I have always enjoyed painting large canvases, and the large flower murals came about with digital technology which allowed me to enlarge my paintings to wallpaper size.

Otomys: We’d love to know what inspired your latest body of work ‘Ambrosia’? 

  • Diana: I was delighted when Otomys approached me about my ‘Nova’ series. After years of concentrating on nature I wanted to start exploring my other interest; fabric.  I’ve always enjoyed sewing and the challenge of painting folds of intricate fabric.  It was incredible to finally combine these two elements through colour to form an interesting body of work. With beauty being the focus ‘Ambrosia’ seemed a fitting title.

Otomys: How did it feel when Warner Bros approached you to feature your artwork in the recent film ‘Collateral Beauty’? 

  • Diana: Naturally that was an unforgettable moment to think that Warner Bros in Hollywood had noticed my work . However,  the actual frame including my work was a rather fleeting moment in the film.

Otomys: What would your dream creative project look like? 

  • Diana: I have always liked the idea of designing film sets. It would be a amazing to design and paint large-scale murals for a production situ.

Otomys: What’s next for Diana Watson?

  • Diana: Painting is one of those things that can last your whole life and I certainly have no intention of ever stopping. Living in Italy or France is also up high on my bucket list…

SYDNEY QUESTIONS:

Otomys: How long have you been calling Sydney home?

  • Diana: We came to live in Sydney from Perth back in 2000. I can’t believe we’ve been here 17 years!

Otomys: Where would we find you on a typical Saturday in Sydney?

  • Diana: If I haven’t got a deadline to meet? Then, spending time with my family is what I cherish.

Otomys: You must have some secret Sydney spots….any that you’re willing to tell share with us?

  • Diana: Kirribilli has two unique coffee shops. One is at the Wharf (conveniently) downstairs from our apartment and the other is the Flying Bear which is aptly named after the Sydney Flying Squadron. Both wonderful settings to sit and enjoy a good coffee while watching over the water.

Otomys: What was the last momentous meal you had in Sydney?

  • Diana: Christmas dinner at Blueys Beach.  My family love cooking meals together and we have created a long standing tradition with our daughters where we spend almost all year talking about and planning Christmas together. When it finally comes around, we spend the entire week celebrating and eating our way through all the amazing meals.

Otomys: Do you have a favourite Sydney neighbourhood and why?

  • Diana: We landed in Kirribilli more by accident than anything, but it has turned out to be a great place to live!  We have made some wonderful friends and there is a close-knit community spirit in our building. Notably, the harvest of our olive tree and the street party at Christmas time are both highlights in our neighbourhood.

Photo credits: Julie Adams 

JOIN US! Thursday 4th May at 5.30pm for our special Champagne & Ambrosia event in the gallery.

Ambrosia – by Diana Wastson 4th May –26th May 2017 (free entry)
Otomys Gallery 567-569
Victoria Street (corner of Duke Street)
Abbotsford, VIC
Gallery open Fridays and Saturdays or by appointment any other day.

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Art of the iPad: David Hockney

“What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing”. Spoken by one of the most influential living artists of our lifetime; David Hockney does exactly that through his latest solo exhibition at Melbourne’s NGV.

Otomys decided, there’s no better way to kick off a New Year that with some art inspiration. And so, we had the technicoloured pleasure of viewing some 1200 works presented through ‘David Hockney: Current’. Incredible artwork that scans across a decade including some never-before-seen in Australia pieces. Installations that encompass mediums from paintings, digital drawings, photography and video works. Each piece showcasing a celebration of Hockney’s life in England, eclectic art and his very modern way of painting.

Born in Bradford, England, in 1937, David Hockney attended art school in London before moving to Los Angeles in the 60s. There, he painted his famous swimming pool collection. In the 70s, Hockney began working in photograph and in the late 80s, he painted vivid seascapes, flowers and portraits. He then famously, introduced technology into his art and has arguably, earned himself the title of one of Britain’s greatest living painters.

Drawing from life with a clear, unabashed love of the landscape and seasons around him, Hockney, at the ripe age of 79 still chooses to work prolifically. He’s just adapted to the way he’s chosen to do it “I go and see anything that’s visually new, any technology that’s about picture-making. The technology won’t make the pictures different, but someone using it will.” Hockney’s experimentation with mastering new technologies, creating works on his iPhone, iPad and in video set an example to us all. “We all got iPhones in 2009 and I installed the Brushes App on it, and I started drawing. I quickly realised this was a new medium and it was really good.”

We know we’re not meant to choose favourites, but the ‘Bigger Trees Near Water’ installation was both spectacularly immersive and enlightening. Hockney’s largest painting comprised of fifty oil on canvas panels, and the centrepiece of Hockney’s hugely popular exhibition Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy, London which he then gifted to the Tate.

Hockney’s richness in colours make you feel joyful and optimistic and it’s without a doubt the best way we started 2017.

Photography above by Megan Rawson

David Hockney: Current
The exhibition is currently on display at the NGV International until 13 March 2017.

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6 Gifts Director Megan is Coveting This Season

For the team at Otomys, Summer is undoubtedly one of the most glorious and festive times of the year. 2016 has been a non-stop hectic ride for our Melbourne based gallery and it’s finally time to kick back and celebrate before the New Year rolls around and we do it all over again!

In our Director Megan’s Melbourne home, Christmas day is all about spending quality down time with her husband, their two teenage girls and extended family and friends. For her it’s a day spent celebrating, eating (including plenty of her family’s secret recipe Christmas Pudding!) drinking and hopefully soaking up some sunshine. Megan explains “More than anything else, I just love that Christmas makes me stop and take a moment to remember how important my family and friends are to me and to reflect on all the special moments the year has bought us. I’m always so busy that it’s a nice excuse to finally come up for some air- and some champagne!”

That said, Christmas is also time of giving, and although we’d all love to gift our nearest and dearest something bespoke, beautiful and thoughtful the hunt for that joy-inducing gift isn’t always so sublime. So, we quizzed Megan on what she’s coveting this season. We hope you find some gift-giving inspiration in our curated edit below…


A Philip Low Acrylic Sculpture– or two! Dazzling when it catches the light.


Byredo Ambre Japonais Candle– my epitome of luxury.


2005 Arras Tasmanian Rosé– an elegant, local drop to reign in the new year with.


A Kayu St Tropez pompom-embellished woven seagrass tote– the perfect beach accessory this Summer!


Ocula Conversations Book– a poolside read, for my fix on all things art inspired.

And lastly, tickets to La Biennale di Venezia – I’m dying to tick this off my bucket list this coming Spring 2017!


From all the team at Otomys, Thank You to all our readers, clients, friends of the gallery and suppliers for all your support throughout 2016. Have a wonderful break and we look forward to catching up in the new year! .