‘HARBOUR’S EDGE’ by Paul Maher
6 – 17 February 2019
Wednesday 6 February, 6-8pm
This February, Saint Cloche presents a solo show for much lauded artist, Paul Maher.
Paul Maher’s experience of the landscape has been made sharper through his observation. Not a resident of Sydney, but a regular visitor, he has allowed the harbour to enter his senses. He defines the place with tough, terse brush strokes and counters them with a seductive love of his subject.
The concept for this series is based on observational drawing on harbour visits by ferry or on foot along the harbour’s edge from Rose Bay to Watsons Bay. I was attracted to places that evoked a sense of the land’s relationship to the water and these images are drawn from both vantage points. Steering away from the typical Sydney icons, I settled on a series of places that I hadn’t looked at consciously before but could see were valued by the people who live there.’
In Harbour’s Edge, the painting is immediate and fresh – every action can be traced on the canvas. Maher has delivered a series of quick impressions, developed from drawings in the field which has taught him to think on his feet. The paintingsexhibit an outrageous lack of caution in the use of colour in some instances and in others shows a quiet reserve. These palette changes convey a brightness and optimism and in others, contemplation to correspond with his observations of place, light, reflection and viewpoint.
The ceramic pieces compliment the paintings; they test the imagery and develop themes. Robust ceramic forms and platters explore the relationship between the land’s foliage to the scene below. Plant life along the harbour’s rock platforms position the viewer and lead through to the open water beyond. Working in two mediums simultaneously has led Maher to emphasise the design in painting and the ‘painterlyness’ in ceramic arts. He has tested his practice and broadened his view and allowed the audience to see this landscape through fresh eyes.
Paul Maher has previously been a finalist in the Gosford Art Prize(2018 and 2017), the Muswellbrook Art Prize(2017), the Brisbane Art Prize(2017), the Redlands Art Prize(2016), the Kilgore Art Prize(2015 and a recipient of the Mornington Peninsula Residency(2017). He has staged solo exhibitions at Gallery 139,Newcastle Art Spaceand Galleries Fleur d’Or Paris(1999) and was curated into group shows at Sydney Contemporary Hunter Prints and Paper(2018), Aro Gallery, Darlinghurst (2018), University of Newcastle Gallery (2017), The Depot, Sydney (2016), Recent Acquisitions Newcastle Art Gallery(1998) and Shifting Grounds, Art Gallery of NSW(1990). Maher’s work is held in the collections of Newcastle Art Gallery, University of Newcastle, the Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery Sculpture Gardenand private collections in Australia, France, Ireland and New Zealand. Maher has been making and exhibiting art for over 30 years in Australia and overseas. Raised in the Hunter Valley, he trained in Visual Arts at the University of Newcastle, completing his postgraduate in Painting. This will be his 12th solo show.
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For more information, please contact: info[at]saintcloche.com